Amazon today announced its first Amazon Original Special “An American Girl Story–Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” is scheduled to premiere on Friday, October 21 on Prime Video in the US and UK. The first of four original “American Girl” specials for Prime Video stars Marsai Martin (“Black-ish”) as the title character Melody, Frankie Faison (“The Wire”) as Melody’s grandfather Frank Ellison, Idara Victor (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”) as Melody’s mother Frances Ellison and Frances Fisher (“Titanic”) as Miss Abbot.
Executive produced by Alison McDonald (“Roots”), Common’s Freedom Road Productions, and Christopher Keenan and Melinda McCrocklin for American Girl, the special is directed and produced by Tina Mabry (“Mississippi Damned,” “Queen Sugar”).
Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, “An American Girl Story–Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” centers around 10-year-old Melody whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”
“The ‘American Girl Melody’ special is an empowering and inspiring story that will quickly become a favorite for young girls, while bringing families together to help start a healthy dialogue,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “Although our special is historical, the themes presented are sadly very timely and relevant for the world in which kids today are exposed.”
The Amazon Original Special is based on American Girl’s Melody character and inspirational stories. In addition to the special debuting exclusively on Prime Video, Amazon and American Girl have collaborated to create a destination for fans of Melody’s stories to find a wide selection of American Girl Melody products. Go to www.amazon.com/americangirl to buy an 18-inch Melody doll, historically accurate 1960s doll outfits, a Motown-inspired recording studio that plays and records music, and more.
“We are always looking for new ways to bring our great content to life both on and off the screen,” said Eva Lorenz, Category Leader for Toys. “From toys to books to crafts, Melody’s biggest fans can now discover and shop a wide selection of items available with free Two Day Shipping for Prime members.”
“An American Girl Story–Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” will be available for Prime members using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals–Prime members will also be able to download the series on mobile devices for offline viewing. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices visit http://www.amazon.com/howtostream.
Watch a first-look at the film below, courtesy of Access Hollywood: