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Lauren Graham & James Van Der Beek make their Disney Junior debuts with "Vampirina" animated series

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Lauren Graham & James Van Der Beek make their Disney Junior debuts with "Vampirina" animated series

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Is the world really ready for Lauren Graham to go from being a "Gilmore Girl" to a "Gilmore Ghoul?" 

Well, we'll have an answer to that question later this year when "Vampirina" premieres on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and the new Disney NOW app. This new animated series (which is based on "Vampirina Ballerina," that popular children's book series from Disney Publishing) chronicles the adventures of a young vampire girl who struggles to fit in after her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania.

12 year-old Isabella Crovetti is voicing this show's title character, Vampirina AKA Vee. Graham & James Van Der Beek will be voicing Vee's parents, Oxana & Boris Hauntley, who have traveled to the U.S. to set a Scare B & B (i.e., a bed and breakfast for visiting ghouls and goblins).

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Just so you know: This isn't Lauren's first time voicing a character for animation. Graham was featured in 2009's "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" as the voice of Flint Lockwood's mom, Fran. She also voiced Mother Maggie in "Road to Europe," a 2002 episode of Fox's "Family Guy."

And as for Mr. Van Der Beek ... James voiced Pazu in the 1998 Disney-produced English redub of Hiyao Miyazaki's animated adventure, "Castle in the Sky." He's also helped Seth Green send up "Star Wars" via several characters that Van Der Beek recorded for Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken."

Getting back to "Vampirina" now ... Wanda Sykes (who's already part of the extended Disney family thanks to her supporting role on ABC's "Black-ish") voices Gregoria, Vee's cantankerous-but-loyal gargoyle sidekick.  Rounding out "Vampirina's" vocal cast in recurring roles are Tony Award-winners Patti LuPone & Brian Stokes Mitchell, who will be voicing Vee's grandparents, Nanpire & Grandpop, respectively.

(L to R) Lauren Graham, Isabella Crovetti & James Van Der Beek in the booth
recording dialogue for Disney Junior's new animated series, "Vampirina."
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Speaking of theater vets ... "Vampirina" will feature music by Broadway composers Michael Kooman & Christopher Dimond. Each episode of this new Disney Junior show will include original songs performed by the talented vocal cast. And just in case you're wondering: Yes, that is Graham, Van Der Beek & Crovetti who you will hear performing the theme song for this new animated series.

As to why (beyond Lauren & James' role in this new TV show's vocal cast) parents should put "Vampirina" on their radar ...  Many of the key creatives working on this new animated series cut their teeth on Disney Junior's Peabody Award-winning show, "Doc McStuffins. " These include executive producer Chris Nee & co-executive producer Norton Virgien, while Nicky Phelan (who previously worked on Disney Junior's "Octonauts") will serve as "Vampirina" 's director.

As to when exactly this new animated series will be premiering on Disney Channel, Disney Junior & the Disney NOW app ... Mickey isn't being specific. Not yet, anyway. All that we know  (so far) is that "Vampirina" will be make her debut in the Fall. 

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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