Vampirina is an episodic cartoon show about a young vampire and her human friends. Vampirina, ancient by human standards, appears to be a 10-year-old child with blue skin and batwings in her hair. The show features her two in-the-know human friends and a clueless neighbor boy that is determined to capture the supernatural for his web show.
Luke, my two-year-old son, loves watching Vampirina on Disney Junior. He actually watched and enjoyed the show when he was a newborn. There were many nights where the only thing that would calm his midnight crying sessions was the sound of Vampirina’s theme song.
Now that he’s old enough to watch and sing along with his favorite episodes, he is still a huge fan of the show. A show that, on the surface, is created for and marketed to girls.
After years of watching this little guy grow and develop his own personality, I’ve come to one conclusion: Vampirina (and other shows that are seemingly designed for females) are excellent shows for children of all genders.
Young Children Don’t Care About a Character’s Gender
Luke identifies most with Vampirina herself. She’s from a fantastical place where the impossible is possible and everything around her comes to life. His imagination puts him in a similar position, where cars and busses have conversations with humans and even the fruit has personalities.
He does the same with other cartoons he enjoys. He identifies with Owlette over Gecko and Catboy on PJ Masks. His favorite character on Muppet Babies is Summer Penguin, too.
This isn’t to say he only identifies with female characters. He make-believes as Bingo and Rolly from Puppy Dog Pals, too. If the character has a fun catchphrase and an exciting presence on screen, he’s quoting their lines along with them.
Vampirina Delivers Subtle Moral Lessons in Fun Ways
Just about every episode of Vampirina has a subtle moral lesson included in it. Sometimes, this can be as simple as trusting your friends or not being afraid of the unknown, but this lesson is rarely obvious to the viewer.
That’s a great thing! It makes Vampirina stand apart from other shows targeted to that age group. It puts the story first and gives parents a reference to use when a similar situation arises in their child’s life.
“Remember when Vampirina was nervous about making new friends?”
The primary premise of the show from a child development point-of-view is that the differences between people are positives. Everyone can learn something new from people with different backgrounds and experiences.
Vampirina is a Departure from Typical Cartoon Shows
Throughout my life, monsters have rarely been the good guys. I can think back to shows like Ahh, Real Monsters on Nickelodeon from the ’90s. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is another example.
Vampirina turns the stereotypical monster villain on its head. The monsters are just normal people that march to the beat of a different drum. It’s a cross between the Munsters and Pippi Longstocking.
It isn’t the only monster show where monsters live among humans. He also enjoys one called Super Monsters which features an entire group of monsters that transform from humans to monsters when the sun goes down.
Vampirina is an excellent show, overall. Its characters are well written and the voice acting is fantastic. Its aesthetic is also uniquely positioned to capture an audience segment that most other shows miss the mark on. With all this said, at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that Luke enjoys watching it.