I was a sensitive child but for some reason, vampire flicks never scared me. Perhaps it’s the Gothic romance. The idea of an unattainable love. Over the years tales of vampires have been told in many ways. New amongst them is Disney Junior’s Vampirina. Dublin based studio Brown Bag Films will be producing the second animated series. Vampirina was inspired by Disney Publishing popular children’s book series Vamprinia Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I was not familiar with the programme until London Toy Fair a week and I’m glad for the introduction. Vampirina is winning hearts all over the world with her resourceful ‘can do’ spirit.
Disney hosted a press event to showcase Vampirina. Attendees were treated to two episodes from the first series; ‘Going Batty’ and ‘Scare B&B’. I ALMOST felt ashamed about how much I enjoyed the episodes. Totally loved references to cult favourites that we grown-ups can relate to like ‘Orange is the new Black’. Of course we were the big ballads and get-down pop songs throughout. For series two you can expect more of that because Broadway composers Michael Kooman and Christopher Diamond (The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes) are the series song writers and Layla Minoui (Castle) is the composer.
It’s ok to be different
First of all, Vampirina in voice and spirit of reminded me of Sofia the First,however, she’s not. Vampirina has a different set of supernatural talents and adorable pals; girls next door Poppy and Bridget. Poppy also has a twin brother, Edgar, who’s always looking for exciting news to share on his blog. Let’s not forget cantankerous Gregoria (voice by Wanda Sykes of blackish) or playful ghost Demi (voiced by Mitchell Whitefield of My Cousin Vinny) either. We were gifted with a Disney Life card which has allowed me to see more of Vampirina. I thought I was introducing Ang and Val to something new and amazing, but my bulletin was late. Ang & Val duly informed me, they had seen clips on YouTube. Oh dear, mum fail.
Each episode is engaging with life lessons and coming of age experiences; making friends, first day at school, first house party and so on. I would say the over-arching message of Vee’s story is; it’s OK to be different. Most noteworthy is the diverse cast of characters.
While we wait for series 2 being created, a collection of Vampirina toys well be launched, mid-February 2018. From the sneak peek I had, I can say customers can expect to find: play sets, collectables, dressing up clothes, dolls and cuddles. They are all attractive and well made. Keep your eyes peeled because little fans will want to get their hands on the new toys.
Vampirina airs in 115 countries and 15 languages worldwide. Watch it on Disney Junior. There are also clips as part of Magical Moments on Disney Life and YouTube.