Disney+ and The Roots Team Up for Short-Form Animated Series ‘Rise Up, Sing Out’

QuestLove and Black Thought of The Roots attend the Nordstrom NYC
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Nordstrom

A short-form animated musical series, executive produced by The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, is set to land on Disney+ today (February 2).

Rise Up, Sing Out is an eight-Eight through inspiring, empowering, and optimistic messages. The series will highlight themes and topics such as diversity, inclusion, kindness, and self-expression. Grammy-winning artists Questlove and Black Thought not only serve as producers on the series, but they also made the music for the show and will appear on-screen as animated characters.

“The Rise Up, Sing Out shorts touch on a lot of real-world issues, especially for young Black kids, that just weren’t talked about when we were growing up,” said Questlove and Black Thought in a shared statement (via Variety). “The beautiful thing about these shorts is that not only are they going to provide young kids the proper language to talk to their friends and family about some of the things that might be bothering them, but it’s also going to give parents the tools on how to respond.”

“We feel this is the perfect moment and the perfect time for us to put this project out into the world to plant a seed about kindness that will hopefully have a lasting impact for generations to come,” the statement continued.

The series was produced in response to parents who have requested Disney Junior produce more shows that help them in talking to children about having respect for others. According to Variety, one episode will celebrate Black hair, while another will look at names that are often mispronounced or stigmatized.

“We’re proud to introduce these entertaining and inspiring animated shorts that reinforce the fundamental values of respect and kindness, which we created in response to parents today who are increasingly asking for media content that supports young kids’ self-esteem and helps them grow up happy, empathetic and respectful of others,” said Disney Junior senior vice president of original programming Joe D’Ambrosia.

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“Bigotry, bias and stereotyping aren’t simple topics for anyone to tackle,” he added. “But the talented creative team did a thoughtful job in delivering memorable songs and stories that reflect the opportunity storytellers have to help parents as they raise healthy, thoughtful and well-rounded kids.”

Music from the series will also be released by Walt Disney Records on Friday, February 4.

Rise Up, Sing Out, Season 1, Wednesday, February 2, Disney+