Disney Junior’s Firebuds, an animated comedy-adventure series from Disney Branded Television featuring a team of young first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks, premieres Wednesday, September 21, with a simulcast on Disney Channel and Disney Junior (10:30 a.m. EDT).
An initial batch of episodes will premiere the same day on on-demand platforms and Disney+. From Emmy Award-winning creator and executive producer Craig Gerber (Disney’s Elena of Avalor and Sofia the First), the music-filled series follows a group of friends, all children of first responders, who embark on adventures to help their community and learn what it truly means to be a hero.
The lead voice cast includes Declan Whaley as Bo, Terrence Little Gardenhigh as Flash, Vivian Vencer as Violet, Lily Sanfelippo as Axl, JeCobi Swain as Jayden, and Caleb Paddock as Piston.
Lou Diamond Phillips and Yvette Nicole Brown also star as co-fire chiefs, Chief Bill Bayani and Chief Faye Fireson, respectively. Joining the voice cast in recurring and guest star roles are the following:
Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef) as Chef Pavani
Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) as Beth Bayani
Oscar Nuñez (The Office) as Chef Fernando
José Andrés (We Feed People) as Chef Al
Pamela Adlon (Better Things) as Principal Kagan
“Weird Al” Yankovic (Milo Murphy’s Law) as Latch
Lisa Loeb (Jake and the Never Land Pirates) as Laura
Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) as Duke the Duckbus
Nat Faxon (Loot) as Throttle
Ali Stroker (Broadway’s Oklahoma!) as Gliderbella
LaChanze (Broadway’s The Color Purple) as Jenna
Aimee Carrero (Elena of Avalor) as Marina Ramirez
Natalie Morales (Dead to Me) as Val Vega-Vaughn
Allison Case (Broadway’s Matilda the Musical) as Viv Vega-Vaughn
Rich Sommer (Mad Men) as Mr. Wexell
Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) as Wayne Riley
Tatiana Lee (Speechless) as Ayanna
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer (Give Me Liberty) as Jazzy
Set in a fantastical world where talking vehicles live, work, and play with the humans who drive them, Firebuds follows a boy named Bo and his fire engine best friend Flash as they team up with their first responder friends to help others in their community with problems big and small.
Each episode is comprised of two 11-minute stories that showcase the importance of teamwork, helping fellow citizens, and volunteerism. The creative team worked with consultants from RespectAbility to help populate the diverse communities of Gearbox Grove and Motopolis featured in the series.
Planned extensions for the series include Disney Junior Music: Firebuds digital soundtrack from Walt Disney Records, debuting Sept. 16, and storybooks from Disney Publishing, releasing later next year. Spin Master is the North American toy licensee for the series and will debut an innovative toy line featuring vehicles, figures, playsets, and more, launching in the summer of 2023.
Additionally, Bo and Flash will be featured in the upcoming Disney Junior Live On Tour: Costume Palooza, launching Sept. 2, with stops at more than 80 North American cities throughout 2022.
In addition to Gerber, the series’ creative team consists of Matt Hoverman as story editor, Francis Giglio as art director, and Robb Pratt and Craig Simpson as supervising director and producer, respectively. Krystal Banzon, Leanna Dindal, Norma Sepulveda, Jeremy Shipp, and Alyssa Stratton comprise the writing team, and the episodic directors are Kris Wimberly and Julius Aguimatang.
Emmy Award-nominated Beau Black is the series songwriter, and Emmy Award winner Frederik Wiedmann is the composer. Firebuds is produced by Disney Television Animation.
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded Vital Thrills in 2018 to cover the latest streaming, movie, TV, and video game news. Mirko previously created the websites ComingSoon, Spider-Man Hype!, SuperHeroHype, and ShockTillYouDrop.