Whoopi Goldberg, Ronen Rubinstein, and Monique Coleman Cast in Animated Short ‘Asali: Power of the Pollinators’


What do Whoopi Goldberg, Ronen Rubinstein, and Monique Coleman have in common? They are the cast of a new animated short film from activist Maya Penn called Asali: Power of the Pollinators!

From Penn’s production company, Uppendo! Productions, Asali “is an independent animated action-adventure short film and follows Asali, the honey bee, as she meets a colorful group of pollinators and a human environmental scientist. Together, they unravel a trail of secrets to discover if they can save their home from a monstrous and deadly force that has been haunting Asali and her family’s past.”

The film, which marks Penn’s directorial debut, dropped the first trailer at SXSW during the Empowering the Next Generation to Build a Better Future featured session. Penn stars in Asali alongside Goldberg, Rubinstein, Coleman, Joy Ofodu, and activist Lupita Pineda. Viola Davis and Julius Tennon will executive produce, while Penn will animate and produce with Uppendo! Productions.

Goldberg has had a prolific career in the last few decades, but recently she can be seen in Godfather of Harlem, Harlem, Till, and the upcoming third Sister Act, obviously among many, many other projects.

Rubinstein stars as T.K. Strand on Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, which is currently in its fourth season. He can also be seen in No Escape, Smiley Face Killers, American Horror Stories, Brooklyn Love Stories, and Dead of Summer.

Coleman is perhaps most recognized as Taylor from the popular High School Musical trilogy, but she was also in A Christmas Dance Reunion with HSM co-star Corbin Bleu, Phobias, The Outdoorsman, We Are Family, and will appear in the upcoming fourth season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Check out the official teaser trailer for Asali: Power of the Pollinators below!

Variety was the first to break this story.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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