The Great North, an animated comedy from sisters Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux, starts on Fox Feb. 14. The show features the Tobin family in Alaska, with a single dad trying his darndest to keep the family together. Nick Offerman voices dad Beef, Jenny Slate voices daughter Judy and Will Forte handles brother Wolf.
Megan Mullally is also in the voice cast, as is Alanis Morissette, who is an imaginary friend, appearing in the Northern Lights, to Judy.
The Molyneux sisters are showrunners. They’re also exec producers on Bob’s Burgers.
Sister partners in television production are uncommon. “A message for young girls--do some networking at home,” said Lizzie.
Lizzie had visited Alaska a few times and thought the setting was perfect for the show. “It’s very vast and the scenery is gorgeous,” she said. “Alaska was exciting to us and it felt like there were a lot of layers to explore.”
She said Alaska reinforced the series’ vibe of “feeling small in a big world.”
The sisters grew up in rural Indiana, so they know about vast woods, if not the frozen tundra.
While the official premiere is Feb. 14, a couple episodes have aired as early peeks. “Sexi Moose Adventure” sees a moose break into the Tobin home, while “Feast of Not People Adventure” has Judy concerned about her and brother Ham growing apart. The official premiere, “Avocado Barter Adventure,” shows Wolf searching for the perfect gift for fiance Honeybee, voiced by Dulce Sloan.
Loren Bouchard of Bob’s Burgers is an executive producer on The Great North, as is Minty Lewis. Fox has already ordered a second season.
Lizzie mentioned pop star Morissette as “a big influence on me growing up.” The sisters saw the Alanis-in-the-stars character as someone for Judy, her mother out of the picture, to bounce her grand thoughts off of. “There’s a feeling, as a teen, that you want to get out your big ideas about the world and how it works,” she said. “They want someone in their life to speak about their dreams to.”
Morissette was on board after reading the scripts. “There wasn’t a back and forth,” said Wendy. “It was a pretty quick yes.”
Might Morissette do some music on The Great North? “We can neither confirm nor deny,” said Wendy.
Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill started on Broadway late in 2019. Lizzie called the artist “a musical icon” but also, more relevant to The Great North, “a really funny person.”
The expansive outdoors depicted, at least in animated form, on The Great North may just work for those cooped up amid the pandemic. “A lot of people right now want a sense of escaping and being outdoors and seeing the vast beauty of the world,” said Lizzie.
Her hope for the characters she and her sister created is “a group of people you like and want to spend time with.”
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