Vampirina Utilizes Extremes to Explore Issues of Immigration and Cultures

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Vampirina

She was a ghoul in her village, doing all right. Then she became American overnight.

The latest little lady to take over the Disney Junior programming  is new to American culture. In fact, she's new to human culture. She's Vampirina Hauntley (ISABELLA CROVETTI), and she's just immigrated from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, along with her father Boris (JAMES VAN DER BEEK, DAWSON'S CREEK) and mother Oxana (LAUREN GRAHAM, GILMORE GIRLS), and a few household friends like the ghostly Demi (MITCHELL WHITFIELD, TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE) and stony gargoyle Gregoria (WANDA SYKES).

Vampirina tries to keep her Transylvanian heritage a secret, as she's been warned that humans can be kind of "jumpy" and "screamy." However, she decides to open up to the girl next door, Poppy (JORDAN ALEXA DAVIS), who is startled at first that her new friend can turn into a bat, but quickly realizes that beyond all that, she's still "just Vee." Later, Poppy convinces Vee to open up to their other friend, Bridget (VIVIANN YEE), who's the most "jumpy and screamy" of all the kids. Vee isn't sure, but Poppy teaches her that you have to be open and honest about yourself with your friends, and it surprisingly all works out.

It's not a courtesy, however, that gets extended to everybody. Like Poppy's twin brother, Edgar (BENJI RISLEY). He's always snooping about with his camera looking for something to put on his would-be paranormal online channel that has all of six viewers (including Grandma and her cat). Or the teachers at school who have a wicked time of trying to get Vampirina's school picture taken.

Mostly VAMPIRINA is a study in culture clashing and blending. While there's a lot of acceptance with things like music and toys, there's also a lot of confict, such as the way Transylvanians throw surprise parties -- where the host is fully aware the party is happening, and the spooky surprises are all for the attending guests! Or the time when Vee's mother turns the house into a B&B for monsters on the same day Boris has graciously invited Poppy and Edgar's mother to stay over while their house is being painted, and the only reason the visiting vampires and humans don't clash is because of a facial mask that makes the human look monstrous.

Overall, VAMPIRINA is much like every other Disney Junior animated series: a lighthearted series with situation-based humorous moments and lessons all-round in friendship.