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EntertainmentNigerian Disney show Iwájú receives poor review from critics

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Nigerian Disney show Iwájú receives poor review from critics

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Disney’s latest venture, the animated series Iwájú on Disney+, is making waves for its “top-notch” animation, “stellar voice acting,” and a “delightful” portrayal of futuristic Nigeria, according to critics.

The collaboration with Nigerian production company Kugali marks a historic milestone for Disney+, showcasing a commitment to boosting African representation in animation.

Centred around Tola, a young girl navigating a sci-fi version of Lagos, Iwájú introduces viewers to a world where luxury cars fly over bustling markets, supervillains wield bionic arms, and AI pets are a must-have.

Despite praise for its inventiveness, some critics note flaws, with concerns about the show’s pacing and character development.

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The Guardian applauds Iwájú as a “delightful coming-of-age adventure” but acknowledges its “frantically paced” narrative.

Similarly, Screengrab criticises pacing and character development but acknowledges the distraction provided by the “top-notch animation.”

Social media users with access to the show call it an “instant classic” and “authentic.”

While the series receives positive global reviews, some Nigerians express frustration as Disney+ is not available in their country.

Disney responds by announcing that Nigerians with DSTV subscriptions can watch Iwájú on the Disney Channel starting in late April and early May.

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Australian news outlet ABC praises Iwájú for being “uniquely African” yet universally appealing, while Mashable describes the show as “gorgeous” with covetable gadgets.

Nigeria’s Culture Minister hails the series as a monumental moment, asserting, “This is huge for Nigeria because at last, we now have our own stories being told from our own perspective.”

Kugali co-founder Hamid Ibrahim, who once vowed to compete with Disney in the African market, reflects on their collaboration in a documentary.

He hopes Iwájú will inspire the next generation of artists and bring about meaningful change.

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The Guardian’s review notes that Iwájú taps into Afrofuturism, presenting a “solid sense of Nigerian identity.”

However, it assures viewers outside Nigeria that universal themes like self-identity, family, and independence make the series relatable regardless of cultural background.

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