February brings us Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, both occasions that teach us to love one another, and embrace cultural and racial differences. Our picks for February include a beloved canine family, a teen girl overcoming her insecurities, and selections from Disney+ and Hulu’s Celebrate Black Stories collection.
Rise Up, Sing Out
“Rise Up, Sing Out” is an animated series of music shorts that empowers children and their families to celebrate their differences in race and culture. Executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, both musicians are also characters in the series. Episodes include celebrating Black hair, responding to hurtful comments, and embracing the meaning behind names. Available on Disney+, and also airing on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.
Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents “Summer of Soul,” a documentary about The Harlem Cultural Festival filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in the summer of 1969. Until now, footage has never been seen from the festival. Within the documentary, never-before-seen footage from the festival includes performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knights and the Pips and more artists. Winner of the Best Documentary Critics Choice Award, “Summer of Soul” highlights Black history, culture, and unity. Available on Disney+ and Hulu. Rated PG-13.
Pretzel and the Puppies
Based on the classic book “Pretzel” by award-winning authors Margret and H.A. Rey, “Pretzel and the Puppies” is an original animated series about a modern dog family. The eight episodes follow stay-at-home dad Pretzel (Mark Duplass), his five puppies, and mom Greta, the mayor of their hometown, Muttgomery. In each episode, the family aims to make the world a better place for their friends and neighbors. Pretzel and Greta encourage their pups to try to solve their own problems, often reminding them to “Get those PAWS UP!” when they face a challenge. All episodes of “Pretzel and the Puppies” are available on Apple TV+.
Tall Girl 2
The sequel to Netflix’s successful teen romantic comedy, “Tall Girl 2” follows the protagonist, Jodi (Ava Michelle) and her life after her inspiring speech at the homecoming dance. With her newfound popularity, confidence, and a boyfriend, Jodi’s life has turned around for the better. However, Jodi’s new popularity comes with more pressures and insecurities, as new relationships form and old ones get tested. When Jodi begins to feel overwhelmed, she must remember what is truly important and stand up for herself and others. “Tall Girl 2” is available to watch on Netflix.
The Wonder Years
Based on the coming-of-age sitcom from the 1980s, “The Wonder Years” is back with an all new cast. From the perspective of 12-year-old Dean (Elisha Williams), “The Wonder Years” follows the story of the Williams family during the late 1960s. With the wisdom of his adult years, Dean’s hopeful and humorous recollections of his past showcase the ups and downs of growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, and the friendship, laughter and lessons along the way. Episodes 1-12 are available on Disney+, Hulu, and ABC.
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse
Disney Television Animation and Emmy Award winning artist and director Paul Rudish present “The Wonderful Winter of Mickey Mouse.” The second season to the successful “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” consists of four specials that are themed to each season: winter, spring, summer and autumn. With adventure and comedy, “The Wonderful Winter of Mickey Mouse” is great for all ages. Premieres Feb. 18 on Disney+.
The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
A continuation of the acclaimed animated series, “The Proud Family”, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud and her family. With a new career for mom Trudy, wilder dreams for dad Oscar and new challenges for Penny, the Proud family navigate the 2020s with humor and heart. “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” will be available on Disney+ on Feb. 23.