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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Milo Murphy's Law is a hilarious animated series from the creators of Phineas and Ferb. It suggests that the fabled Murphy's Law (whatever can go wrong will go wrong) is a real condition that afflicts its titular character and puts him through all sorts of unpredictable trials. As a result, there are lots of scary and potentially painful accidents (falling off a cliff, being chased by wolves, getting caught in a subway turnstile), but Milo always approaches them with a can-do attitude that positively influences his friends as well. As for his friends, they prove their worth by sticking with him regardless of what that exposes them to, so there are lots of good messages there.
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What's the story?
MILO MURPHY'S LAW follows the calamitous life of 13-year-old Milo (voiced by Weird "Al" Yankovic, who also sings the opening song), the youngest in a long line of unlucky family members afflicted with "Extreme Hereditary Murphy's Law Condition." Originally manifesting many generations back, the ailment results in the worst case of bad luck imaginable. For Milo, that puts a dangerous spin on even the most mundane of tasks such as a simple walk to school or a class field trip. Fortunately for him (but unfortunately for them), his two best friends, Melissa (Sabrina Carpenter) and Zack (Mekai Curtis), don't let Milo's misfortune scare them off, leading to some hilarious circumstances for the three pals.
Is it any good?
From the minds behind Phineas and Ferb comes this laugh-out-loud series with similarly outrageous situations and indestructible friendships. Despite daily run-ins with wild animals, cave-ins, and the occasional alien encounter, nothing dampens Milo's optimistic outlook on life, making him the model of perseverance in difficult circumstances. He also puts the Boy Scouts to shame with his level of preparedness, packing hazmat boots and headlamps alongside his homework, just in case the inevitable oil spill should threaten his plans.
So while his ill-fated life provides the humor, his enduring friendships deliver the emotion. Melissa embodies the ease and security of a long-standing relationship where history shows each party can count on the other through thick and thin. On the other hand, newcomer Zack represents the excitement and joy of making a new friend by looking past the exterior (and the constant pitfalls) and focusing on the person's positive qualities. The bottom line? There's no deep learning from this lighthearted series, but Milo Murphy's Law has an excellent voice cast (Sarah Chalke, Christian Slater, and Vanessa Williams among them), hearty friendships, and some unforgettable scenarios.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of bad luck in Milo Murphy's Law. Do you think it's a real thing, or do you believe you make your own luck? How do the choices you make influence what happens to you? Do some people seem luckier than others in your experience?
How does having friends by your side improve bad or scary situations? Parents: Are your kids the type who lean on friends, or do they prefer to tackle things solo? Kids: Who are some of your role models? In what ways do you take inspiration from them?
Milo prides himself on always being prepared for any situation. While we likely won't experience the kinds of mishaps he does, there are times when we have to make preparations for our own safety, such as when bad weather is on the way. This is a good opportunity to talk with your kids about your safety plans in the case of fire or another disaster.
Families can talk about gratitude. How does Milo express gratitude for his life and friends, even though things don't usually go quite right? Why do you think this attitude is an important character strength?
- Premiere date: October 3, 2016
- Cast: Sabrina Carpenter, Mekai Curtis, "Weird Al" Yankovic
- Network: Disney XD
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Gratitude, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: September 3, 2020
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