Why “The Ghost and Molly McGee” Is A Fun Animated Series!
The Ghost and Molly McGee tells the story of a Thai-American tween who moves with her family to a new town and meets a ghost whom she befriends while adapting to her new school and having adventures along the way.
The Ghost and Molly McGee is a supernatural comedy, musical, and buddy comedy series by long-time Disney creators Bill Motz and Bob Roth, that is centered around the eponymous protagonist, Molly McGee.
As a warning, this recommendation discusses some spoilers for the first 15 episodes of The Ghost and Molly McGee
The Ghost and Molly McGee has a relatively simple storyline. Molly McGee, a half-Thai, half-Irish tween voiced by Ashly Burch, befriends a ghost named Scratch (voiced by Dana Snyder) who accidentally curses himself to be with her. She is joined by her father, Pete McGee (voiced by Jordan Klepper), her mother Sharon McGee (voiced by Sumalee Montano), and her no-good brother, Darryl (voiced by Michaela Dietz).
The show also features Molly’s grandmother, Grandma Nin (also voiced by Montano), Molly’s first friend in Brighton, Libby Stein-Torres (voiced by Lara Jill Miller), who is Latine and Jewish, her arch-nemesis / frenemy, Andrea Davenport (voiced by Jules Medcraft), her geeky friend Sheela (voiced by Aparna Nancherla), and her sweet and pink-haired friend, Kat (voiced by Eden Riegel).
Additional characters include Libby’s mother, Ms. Stein-Torres (voiced by Pamela Adlon), who runs a local bookshop, the town’s mayor (voice by Patton Oswalt), the principal of Brighton Middle School, Principal O’Connor (voiced by Eugene Byrd), and the news reporter in Brighton, Joanie Pataky (voiced by Grey Griffin), and the twin uncle of Molly, Billy (voiced by John DiMaggio).
The opening song of the series is performed by Burch and Snyder. Allie Felder, Mike Kramer, Bill Motz, and Bob Roth wrote the song. The theme is relatively upbeat, pulling you into the series. It makes you want to watch each episode.
The same can be said for Molly herself, who has exuberance and dedication, even if it can be a bit much at times. This causes her to become too attached to a goat, freeze in the blizzard when no one else wants to go outside, and attempt to unite two long-lost lovers, to give a few examples.
The Ghost and Molly McGee is part of a raft of animated series recently produced by Disney which features diverse characters and themes. Such content includes Mira, Royal Detective, a children’s animated series set in late 19th century India and comprised of an entirely South Asian cast, The Owl House which has an Afro-Latine and bisexual protagonist, and Amphibia with a Thai-American main character, a Chinese-American protagonist, and is created by a Thai animator. There’s also The Proud Family revival, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, which is only airing on the Disney+ streaming service, not on broadcast television, possibly setting a precedent for future Disney series.
Molly is the star of The Ghost and Molly McGee and is the complete opposite of her ghost friend, Scratch. He wants to make people miserable and make the world worse, while she wants to make the world better and spread joy. Even so, their unexpected, and unlikely, friendship, blossoms through the series, guiding them through the worlds they inhabit. At times, their friendship is even at stake.
The series has been praised for having characters who have left their “mortal coil,” in the case of Scratch and for its star-studded cast of guest stars, some of whom are people of color. This list of guest stars includes Greta Gerwig, Eden Riegel, Kelsey Grammer, Yuri Lowenthal, Alanna Ubach, Yvette Nicole Brown, Marieve Herington, D’Arcy Carden, Grey Griffin, and Danny Trejo. Additionally, Chandler Kinney, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jessica Keenan Wynn, and Montano all voice characters who make guest appearances.
All in all, the show is undoubtedly “frightfully fun,” while integrating Thai culture into storylines, helping to educate viewers about Thai culture. Mira, Royal Detective does something similar with Indian culture, as does Amphibia when it comes to Anne’s Thai parentage and ancestry. The series also has many hilarious moments, either through the dialogue or situations the characters find themselves in.
Those who voice the characters for The Ghost and Molly McGee are a talented bunch. Some have appeared in indie series like Ollie & Scoops, while others have voiced characters in series ranging from OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes to Steven Universe, Cleopatra in Space to Adventure Time, and The Loud House to Glitch Techs, to name a few.
The show’s crew is similarly talented. For instance, episode writers Samantha “Sam” King, Sammie Crawley, Cynthia Furey, Madison Bateman, Charley Feldman, and Maiya Williams wrote for The Loud House, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, DC Super Hero Girls, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Owl House, and Futurama respectfully. Other writers, like Paul Chang and Peter Limm, are new. Additional writers, such as Peri Segal, and Katie Greenway, have only written for live-action shows before this series.
Such talent and inventiveness in The Ghost and Molly McGee make it no surprise that the series has already been renewed for a second season. Unlike The Owl House which was cancelled for not “fitting” Disney’s brand, The Ghost and Molly McGee falls under the branding linked to the company’s claim it is the “world’s greatest storytelling company” as it declared in a recent press release.
I have to mention the LGBTQ+ representation in the series. In September 2021, Roth indicated the show will address LGBTQ+ issues. He later confirmed this on Twitter the following month and also argued that people were reading too much into the interactions between Molly and her friend Libby, assuming that such interactions were romantic.
In October 2021, the series introduced a history teacher, Ms. Roop, voiced by Jane Lynch, a lesbian actress. In one episode, “Mazel Tov, Libby!”, she slow-dances with a woman. In a later episode, “No Good Deed”, she is noted as a lesbian and it is shared that she danced with her wife, Pam. Going by what the creatives have shared, there will undoubtedly be more LGBTQ characters as the series continues through its first season and into its second.
Beyond this is the fact that Burch, who voiced Molly, has voiced various LGBTQ+ characters in the past. This includes the Rutile Twins in Steven Universe, Enid in OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, Ash Graven in Final Space, Lainey in The Loud House, and many others.
Burch acknowledged this. She told an interviewer for Gayming magazine that she doesn’t know if it is a coincidence or is cast with it in mind, but the “majority of the characters” she voices “are LGBTQIA+.”
Valerie Anne, a reviewer for Autostraddle, an online queer feminist magazine, stated that she didn’t know if Burch is queer in real life, but has played enough queer characters that she considered Burch “queer until she says otherwise”. Anne added that Burch is “obviously an ally” since she continues to play queer characters, who she often champions.
All in all, The Ghost and Molly McGee is a must-see, especially for those interested in diverse stories and watching two episodes in a row for the length of one 22-minute long episode.
The series is currently airing on the Disney Channel and also streaming on Disney+.
Author: Burkely Hermann
Burkely is an indexer of declassified documents by day and a fan fic writer by night. He recently earned a MLIS with a concentration in Digital Curation from the University of Maryland. He currently voraciously watches animated series and reads too many webcomics to count on Webtoon. He loves swimming, hiking, and searching his family roots in his spare time.
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