Nalyce was very excited for this disc. Vampirina is one of her favorite shows to watch on Disney Junior. I will admit that it was not as bad as I figured it would be. Vampirina follows the story of Vampirina “Vee” Hauntley, who becomes a new kid on the block after she and her family move from Transylvania to Pennsylvania to open a local bed and breakfast called the Scare B&B for visiting ghouls and goblins. The Hauntley family have to learn to do things the “Pennsylvania way,” especially when Vee is at school. Vee has a group of people helping her to blend in and keep her superpowers in check. At home, there are her parents, as well as Gregoria the gargoyle and Demi the ghost. At school, she is assisted by her two human friends who know her secret, Poppy and Bridget. It is a fish-out-of-water story for the younger generation.
The 30-minute episodes are broken into two halves (with the exception of Home Scream Home), each featuring a different story with a different and age-appropriate them such as the importance of sportsmanship, or the one that was my favorite, Vampire Weekend, where Poppy and Vee temporarily switch lives, with Poppy becoming a vampire and Vee walking a mile in the shoes of a human. What can I say; I’m a sucker for the Freaky Friday subplot. In this case, I feel that it depicts the importance of appreciating what you have in your life, as the grass is not always greener on the other side. However, when you are attempting to make that point to a six-year-old, something gets lost in translation. To her, it would just be cool to be a vampire and have superspeed. I can’t exactly fault her logic on that one.
Touching on the relatable themes again, that is where this show thrives in my opinion. Each episode addressed something that a kid is likely to experience in everyday life. Whether it was in The Ghoul Girls, where Bridget had to learn to overcome her stage fright, or Vampirina Ballerina, where Vee must learn that every skill won’t come naturally and will require hard work. Granted, kids may not always get the message, but it presents the adult who is obligated to watch this with the kid the opportunity to reinforce these positive lessons.
On another positive note, there is more than one familiar voicing the characters of this animated series; Lauren Graham and James Van Der Beek lend their voices for Vee’s parents, Oxana and Boris Hauntley respectively. Their voices are a bit harder to identify; there is no mistaking Wanda Sykes as Gregoria. Each episode features multiple musical numbers that encompasses the plot and are pretty catchy. Most are sung by Vee through the guise of her band the Ghoul Girls, but each character gets the chance to show off their musical chops, which according to Nalyce was her favorite part. Unfortunately, my daughter is horribly tone deaf and had no clue when it came to the words of the song. However, that did not stop her from attempting to belt out the song. The show brought out that energy in her; as soon as the music started, she was on her feet singing, or trying to sing, along with no fear. It was good to see that.
Simply put, Vampirina was not intended for me, but being able to share it with my daughter made it worthwhile for me. It reminds of Doc McStuffins with a supernatural theme, another Disney series that my daughter was obsessed with. Overall, grade-school kids are likely to love Vampirina: Ghoul Girls Rock, and parents will love seeing their kids enjoy it.