Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses-paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, which included an exclusive interview with Vampirina’s Executive Producer Chris Nee. All opinions are my own.
Disney Junior’s Executive Producer Chris Nee has done it again! She has created another hit animated series that both kids and adults enjoy. The songs are catchy and the storylines are brilliant.
How does she do it?
If you are not familiar with Chris Nee, think Doc McStuffins and now add Disney Junior’s new series Vampirina to her resume.
Vampirina is a young vampire girl who faces the joys and trials of being the new kid in town when her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania.
During the #ThorRagnarokEvent we were invited to screen a new episode of Disney Junior’s newest animated series. We also had a chance to sit down with the series’ Executive Producer, Chris Nee
Exclusive Interview with Vampirina’s Chris Nee
What’s the secret to creating shows that both adults and kids enjoy?
Chris Nee said, “What I really want to do is bring families together to watch shows. And I think those shows that so actively sort of alienate the parents really create the separation in the enjoyment. For me, I have a great ability to remember what it felt like to be a kid and that’s what I’ve tapped into for twenty years working in kids TV. “
“Often, when you ask someone who works in kids TV exclusively, who they are writing for they’ll say, ‘the kids.’ And I know that’s the right answer, but I’m writing for myself.
I’m trying to make myself laugh, work out my own stuff and remember my own childhood. I try to remember those feelings and write the world that I hope we can live in.
I’m also a mom so, I certainly know what it’s like to want your kid to watch shows that the music is something you can stand ’cause you’re gonna watch it a lot.”
If I give you guys something that’ll make you laugh along the way, I think it’s a great way to make it a universal experience.”
The Vampirina character she relates to the most
Nee said, “I really love Gregoria. Gregoria and Demi I added to the cast because, obviously the books are such a huge inspiration, but there’s a lot that’s not there in terms of building out a world that you can tell X amount of stories every week.
I really wanted the comic relief and I really like intense specificity of character and you can see that on Doc [McStuffins] where everyone’s really solidly who they are.”
I wrote Gregoria for Wanda [Sykes] having no idea she would say yes. That character was the biggest leap of faith because she’s a very cantankerous character for a preschool show.”
How Vampirina is able to go outside during the day
It’s simple: Vampirina wears a very intense sunblock that is mentioned in one of the episodes.
Nee loves that at it’s core Vampirina is about family.
Nee said, “I love seeing a family that feels real to me. We got lucky with the cast and there’s just such a warmth to the family.”
Keep watching to meet some of the extended family including an appearance by Vampirina’s grandmother!
It’s okay to be different
A running theme in Vamprina is that being different is okay and acceptable. However, the show also realizes that being different can come with its challenges.
Chris Nee added, “We wanted to make sure that anyone who ever found out that she was a vampire, loved her anyway. And, that Vampirina was okay with telling people who she was.”
Nee added, “It is a show where we say, ‘she is different and sometimes that’s hard to be friends with.’
We’re not saying that she isn’t different, we aren’t saying that everybody’s exactly the same and there’s never stuff isn’t being conveyed as a conflict because we’re coming from different perspectives.
In fact, we’re saying that’s exactly what this is and yet you can still be friends.
And maybe the only way that we’re gonna get some place is to say,
You’re different from me but let’s hear each other and I still want to be your friend through it. We can still find common ground’
That’s what this show is about.”
Personally, this was one of my favorite interviews during our press trip. Chris Nee is an inspiration to follow for many reasons. As a fellow writer I realize how much our words impact our lives. I love that she is creating shows by using her words that teach kindness and demonstrate powerful leadership skills that our kids can learn from.
More Vampirina Fun Ahead
Disney Junior’s Vampirina – The Ghoul Girls Featurette
Vampirina Products Perfect for Holiday Gifting
— Modern Mom Life (@amodernmomlife) October 10, 2017