Morphle and the Magic Pets: Moonbug EP reveals why the Disney Junior series is perfect fun for the whole family

Moonbug Entertainment and Disney Branded Television are co-producing a series based on the wildly popular Morphle TV YouTube channel, which boasts over 11 million subscribers

Morphle and the Magic Pets. Courtesy of Moonbug Entertainment
Morphle and the Magic Pets. Courtesy of Moonbug Entertainment /

Make way for Morphle! The popular children's shape-shifting character recently hit a television screen near you when Morphle and the Magic Pets premiered on Disney Junior on Mar. 20. The series is comprised of 52 seven-minute episodes and 50 three-minute shorts, which means that there's more than enough Morphle to go around.

The Candle Media-owned production company Moonbug Entertainment is responsible for bringing Morphle to the forefront for young viewers. Through a co-production between Moonbug Entertainment and Disney Branded Television, as explained via a press release provided to The Parent Watch: "The series follows Mila (Lexie Foley) and friends as they embark on adventures with magical pet, Morphle (Ben Prosky) and their shape-shifting abilities, solving problems all while relying on the power of friendship." Morphle and Mila lead the series alongside Mila's stepbrother Jordie, who is voiced by Ayden Elijah.

With the first season now available to stream on Disney Junior and Disney+, The Parent Watch spoke with Kathryn Power, the Executive Producer for Growth Brands at Moonbug Entertainment. As a parent herself, Kathryn provided insight into what makes Morphle unique for kids, and what she would do if she had her own Morphle! Want to learn more about Morphle and the Magic Pets, if that sounds like you, read on for more!

The Parent Watch: You have first-hand knowledge of the behind-the-scenes aspect of making Morphle, and it's an insanely popular YouTube series. Can you tell me more about the inception of Morphle prior to joining forces with Disney?

Kathryn Power: Yeah, for sure. Morphle was created 2011, and it was originally a 2D YouTube series. Then Moonbug acquired it, and it's gone through a real growth and evolution into 3D. With us looking at ways of further expanding and engaging with our audience, even as we look at diving further into who our characters are and what this world is, we were looking at opportunities like this for that longer format. The Disney partnership is really a nice home for Morphle and the Magic Pets because it really feels like it resonates with their core audience too, the elements of magic and friendship and it really is a lovely home. It's been a really nice partnership and next place for the evolution of this brand.

Right off the bat, I watched the trailer for Morphle and the Magic Pets, and it's so adorable. Honestly, I watched it and I [thought] I need to have my own! Morphle can morph into anything, any object that kids need to solve problems. It inspires creativity. What are you hoping that parents will get out of watching this series with their children?

I've thought about this, and I'm a parent. I have two small children. I have a little girl and a little boy who sit right in the demo, and so do a lot of the team that created this content. I think we've really thoughtfully and consciously crafted this series with even our own children in mind. Things that are really important to us as parents who do put this content on for our children as we need it. We've done that with a view to the things that are important to us, instilling confidence and creativity and resilience. I think we've really crafted it with those things in mind, and positivity and friendships, how to connect with your friends appropriately, those social-emotional lessons. I think we've really done that thoughtfully.

I'm hoping that parents feel like Morphle, and they know that Morphle and the Magic Pets is a safe place that their kids can go, knowing when they put this content on that has been crafted with their children's development in mind. That's what I'm really hoping that parents can get out of series.

I know that in this series, there's a little bit of diversity. Milla has a stepbrother, Jordie, and all of the family dynamics are just so interesting to me. I wanted to know from your perspective, was that something that was really important to showcase when the show was initially green-lit and then when you got into this partnership with Disney?

Absolutely. When you evolve, when you take these projects the way Moonbug does from their roots, where they start. They start really simply, and they were just Morple and Milla, and then you get the opportunity to evolve them. The idea of diversity and diversity across gender as well is all really important.

This new series, and the expansion of a series just really provides us an opportunity to thoughtfully do that. Jordie was a character that existed in the brand, and this provided us an opportunity to bring him to the front and create this blended family. I think we know it's really important for children to see themselves reflected back and also see experience, diverse experiences from other people through their content and what they see. That was a really conscious decision for us in the making of this series.

When it comes to the magic, the fantasy element of this series, it's so fun because, like I said, creativity plays a big part in it. When you watched any of the episodes, did you have a special one that you resonated with?

That's a good question. I think maybe the pilot episode, which is the Gobble Frog episode. When Gobble Frog gets scared, he gobbles. It's about understanding people and finding your connection in the places where you feel safe to be yourself. I think for me, that is reflected in that episode. For me, the idea of, I think we see people's behaviors and understanding that there's a reason. If we approach it with understanding, we can solve that problem; Understanding and creativity. Which is obviously very important, the problem solving element in this. I identify with Gobble Frog to some degree.

Developing this with Disney in a short form format, what were the conversations like, putting the show out there at this specific time?

What's interesting there is the understanding of short form. For us, we come from the YouTube space where they're even shorter. So for us, this was a long-form opportunity. We [didn't even know] how to tell stories in a three-minute format on YouTube, so coming to a seven-minute format on Disney was a joy for us because it actually provided us even more opportunity to go deeper with our characters. In those three-minute stories on YouTube, you have less opportunity to have characterful moments and connected moments. It's more like, "Let's drive that adventure and fun."

When you get to this opportunity where they're slightly longer, you have a moment to sit with a feeling or learn a lesson or understand a character a little bit more. That really was exciting for us, despite it still being short. I think for us it felt even longer, which was exciting in our conversations with Disney.

Like I said, I want my own Morphle. I want to know for you, what would you want Morphle to turn into in your own life?

What would I want Morphle [to turn into]? I would have so many answers to this question. I think the way we've approached the Morphle in the series... It's the idea of absolute wish fulfillment. So anything a kid would like in there, anything they wish for and aspire to in their life, Morphle can become. And so I think that's how we approach all the morphs.

Coming at it from that perspective, I think I would love a flying unicorn, which is very specific, but I think the idea of flying is great. I also want the fantasy. I want to be able to lean into the fantasy. I just love when we have those morphs that are a mashup of something. When [Morphle] just morphs into a race car. I love when we get these hybrid morphs that are super creative. If I could morph into a flying unicorn, so I still have the magic powers of a unicorn, but I can also fly, that would be the ultimate wish fulfillment for me, my childlike self.

In the trailer and they show Morphle turning into a baseball mitt.

I want Morphle to turn into a race car, drive down the street! Knowing those moments, sometimes when I'm stuck in traffic, if I just had a Morphle that could turn into a motorbike and I could lane jump, drive up between the cars.

I'd love for you to expand on the parent aspect of it... Morphle is one of those shows where you can sit down with your kids and watch the show and talk about it. Do you find any specific storylines that are perfect conversation starters for parents and their kids?

Almost all of our stories have some social-emotional aspect to them, where Mila is trying to solve a problem. This is just coming really personally, for my kids, there are storylines in there where they're trying to desperately to solve a problem on their own. There's this really important throughline or a lesson in a lot of our episodes where we learn about the value of our community and the value of asking for help and leaning on the skills and the expertise of those around you, even just being able to go to your parents and say, "Oh, my gosh, I've been struggling with this thing." We don't have to struggle through anything alone.

There's a really lovely, gentle throughline of that in this series that kids will understand. There's also a nice opportunity in terms of the co-viewing for parents to be able to have that conversation with their children. "If there's something you're struggling with, you can tell me." These experiences are better and easier to solve when shared.

That's something that I think parents will really gain and children from the co-viewing experience of this, aside from the fact that there's a lot of comedy that is specifically for the parents in there.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

New episodes of Morphle and the Magic Pets are airing regularly on Disney Junior and you can stream episodes on Disney+!

If you're interested in learning more about this show and are looking for the trailer, you can find it right here on Morphle's official YouTube channel:

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