Before Marvel’s characters became feature films and television shows, they originated in the panels of the venerable company’s comic books. As a result, the stories of thousands of characters have been told throughout the years. Fortunately, “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is taking the next step from the illustrated pages to the animated realm on television as the title characters come to life.
“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name that began in 2015, will premiere on the Disney Channel on February 10 and debut soon after on Disney+. The series features 13-year-old Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl (Diamond White), who uses her superpower — her brain — to protect her community in New York City’s Lower East Side. Accidentally transported into New York City, Moon Girl’s sidekick is the very large, loud, and lovable Devil Dinosaur (Fred Tatasciore).
Actors discuss their roles in “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.”
“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” showcases White’s experience as both a live-action actor and a voice actor. White has starred in a pair of Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Halloween” movies and such series as “Empire” in live-action, and she has had a long-running role on the classic daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Her voice acting résumé is equally impressive, with roles in such Disney series as “Phineas and Ferb” and “The Lion Guard.”
Fred Tatasciore has built his career almost exclusively on animated roles, having provided his voice for over 900 projects, including films, TV shows, and video games since the mid-1990s. Throughout his career, Tatasciore has voiced characters in a plethora of Marvel and “Star Wars” projects, various video game franchises such as “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty,” as well as for one-off projects such as the satirical puppet comedy “Team America: World Police.”
Actress Diamond White’s appreciation for the world of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Diamond, you’ve had many wonderful opportunities in your career — among them, working with Tyler Perry, who I am so inspired by. But now, knowing the impact that Marvel has had on popular culture, this almost has to be next-level stuff for you with “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” yes?
Diamond White: Definitely. We made history by being Marvel’s first teenage girl superhero, so I’m super excited about it.
What must be exciting is that her superpower is her brain — and her concern is not really about saving the world but saving the local roller rink and the community. I think that’s a wonderful thing to do. You can save the world, but it starts with the ground that you stand on.
White: It’s about saving Lunella’s community, the Lower East Side of New York, and she would do anything to keep her roller rink running and protect the LES.
Tatasciore was attracted to the series for its multi-dimensional storyline
Fred, with more than 900 screen credits, it must be challenging to keep track of what attracted you to specific projects. But since Marvel’s “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is so fresh and new, what is it that clicked about the project that made you want to get involved with it?
Fred Tatasciore: Well, it’s multifaceted. One is what was mentioned before. Just culturally, how cool this is. I already knew about Devil Dinosaur, but finding out about Lunella, finding out about Moon Girl, this genius nerd woman of color that is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe, and being a family member — not just a crime-fighting partner, but a family member to her — that’s huge.
Then, I get to be something that I always play — a lot of terrifying, big creatures. But this creature has such a heart, and deep down inside, he’s really a 10-ton dog who loves her, loves hot dogs, and would do anything for her and [her friend] Casey. He wants to protect the Lower East Side and prefers where he is because she brought him in with love and learned his language. So from an artistic point of view, I loved speaking a language that we could make up together. So that was very appealing to me.
Diamond, now that you’ve entered the world of Marvel in the animated realm, have you thought about what character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe you would love to tackle at some point?
White: I would love to tackle Moon Girl. I don’t know if she will be in the whole [Marvel] Cinematic Universe, but I would love to play her.
Tatasciore: You should!
Tatasciore Considers Team America: World Police One of His ‘Wackier’ Projects
Fred, what is the strangest voice request you’ve ever had? I don’t want to put you on the spot, but doing the voice of Samuel L. Jackson for “Team America: World Police” jumped off the page at me because of how edgy Matt Stone and Trey Parker are.
Tatasciore: It wasn’t the strangest request for a voice role because back then, I was doing a lot of voice matching for everybody. There’s a rhythm to that. The project itself was crazy. I love their work, but I had no idea how far that was going to go and the music and everything. They did such a great job.
It was one of the wackier projects. They’re [the type of people where if you do] something for them and they like it, they laugh, and they move on. They were a joy to work with. That was not a wacky request — just a wacky project, period.
Have you ever talked with Sam Jackson about it?
Tatasciore: Oh, no. I wouldn’t dare. He’d be like, “You are the one!” No, I would not. I hope to meet him. He’s one of my favorite actors. What can I say?
Well, let’s bring both you and Diamond into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in live-action to play opposite Nick Fury, and you can meet him that way.
Tatasciore: I want his character on [“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur”]. I want to see Fury deal with all of this stuff in New York.
The premiere of “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is scheduled for Friday, February 10, on the Disney Channel, and it will be available shortly after on Disney+.
We have edited this interview for clarity.