Lil Rel Howery and his son Judah celebrate Father’s Day in real life and as animated characters in the Disney Jr. animated series Eureka!
In the new series, which premieres Wednesday, Howery and “Hamilton” star Renée Elise Goldsberry Rollo and Roxy, mother and father of Eureka (Ruth Righi), a young black girl who is an inventor who designs gadgets, in hopes of making her world (and her prehistoric city of Rocky Falls) a better place.
“I’ve always wanted to play a cartoon dad. And I bring with me a lot of stuff that I do, from feature films to animation. To really lean into the fatherhood of things,” says Howery. “I’m a huge Steve Martin fan and I think some of his biggest work was those dad things, you know what I mean?”
From the creators of Doc McStuffins, the show has a strong emphasis on science and problem-solving for kids: creating pulley systems, making a pizza with volcanic steam, etc. It’s a younger, smarter, and more inclusive update of The Flintstones.
“I mean, it’s this cool, inventive young black girl who basically invented the wheel,” Howery said. “It’s so important and I applaud Disney for making a show like this.”
Howery is proud of the show’s diversity, and the fact that it’s on a channel his 11-year-old son is familiar with helps too. Judah, who voices twins Spruce and Cypress Stoneland, has been involved with his father on other projects but is particularly looking forward to this one.
“I grew up with stuff like that. Stuff about Disney Jr. That got me into it,” Judah said. “It’s really cool to be able to do something with my dad. Pretty much everything I’ve done is with him and it feels good to hear what he thinks about things – like I should do this or that. And when I bring in his comedic stuff, I think it really helps.”
“If you hire me, you need to know what you’re getting. And they were very open to that. When I watched the first two episodes I almost cried a bit because I was just so happy to hear my voice attached to something like this. Like Judah just said, my babies grew up on this channel,” Howery said.
Howery also has I Love My Dad (2022) and Harold and the Purple Crayon (2023) in the pipeline, two projects exploring father-son relationships. Coincidentally?
“You saw Eddie Murphy do that at some point in his career. He did daddy day care and some dad stuff. At some point you get excited about doing things that your kids can actually see,” Howery said.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-06-19/lil-rel-howery-eureka-disney-jr-fathers-day For Lil Rel Howery, ‘Eureka!’ on Disney is Father’s Day treat