A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive social-emotional lessons about middle school social interactions, looking for the good in any situation, and dealing with toxic positivity.
Positive themes around kindness, treating everyone fairly, and dealing with emotions in a constructive way.
Positive Role Models
Molly McGee is a lovable character whose never-ending positivity is infectious to everyone around her. Despite her sunny disposition, she is also very in touch with her emotions and talks about things that are hard for her. Mostly, she wants everyone to get along, and is a great role model for rising above the politics of the middle school social scene.
Main characters are racially diverse: Molly and her brother Darryl are biracial (mom is Thai, dad is White). Their Thai grandmother lives with them, is very proud of their heritage. Good counter-stereotypical gender representation: Molly is in some ways a "girly girl" but also is not afraid of the ghost that lives in her room, and Molly's dad is more emotional and sensitive than her mom.
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Violence & Scariness
Ghost Scratch is a silly villain who causes mischief and tries to scare people by morphing into a scary-looking ghost (but only sometimes succeeds). Some slapstick humor without lasting injuries. Occasional mild expressions of dislike between characters.
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The ghost characters are a bit rough around the edges and use insults like "jerk" and "stupid." The human characters do not use put-downs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Ghost and Molly McGee is the story of an unlikely friendship between Molly, a super-optimistic tween girl, and a grumpy ghost named Scratch. Scratch and other ghosts distort their usual appearances to try to scare people, with varying degrees of success. Older kids will understand that the scariness is part of Scratch's job and likely will find the "scary" scenes funny. Younger kids, however, are likely to be spooked when the ghosts transform into their scariest selves. The ghosts are a bit rough around the edges and use insults like "jerk" and "stupid" and are involved in some slapstick violence. The human characters are much more positive and show good examples of social-emotional skills. The show has a bit of middle school social drama, but main character Molly is a great role model who points out how silly it all is and brings people together.
Is It Any Good?
This is a charming, sweetly spooky animated series with characters tweens will love. The overall conceit is a bit derivative from fellow Disney franchise Monsters, Inc., but the characters more than make up for the similarity. Kids will identify with Molly and how desperate she is to make friends in her new town. At first her never-ending positivity is a bit obnoxious, but it becomes clear that it's a coping mechanism she's developed from moving around so much and leaving so many friends. Molly is actually very emotionally self-aware and is a great role model for kids learning to identify and deal with difficult feelings. Kids will feel very seen as Molly experiences some middle school social drama, and the show handles these storylines admirably. Molly's kindhearted nature gives viewers an alternative to getting sucked into the negativity and meanness. There's also a lot of comedy in the series via Scratch's ghost antics, and there's even a fun musical theater element as Molly sings a catchy tune in each episode. A ghost-girl buddy series may seem like a strange concept, but kids (and grown-ups) will enjoy this fun tween series.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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