Wondering if Julie and the Phantoms on Netflix is kid friendly? Julie and the Phantoms is rated TV-G, but I disagree with the rating (again, Netflix). Julie and the Phantoms is appropriate for tween age kids, but parents, you may want to watch first or with your children. Here’s what parents need to know in this Julie and the Phantoms Parents Guide.
Is Julie and the Phantoms Ok For Kids?
First sign that kids will want to watch Julie and the Phantoms is that it comes from Director Kenny Ortega who also directed High School Musical and the Descendants franchise. And yes, you may recognize several Descendants actors like Booboo Stewart who plays Willie, Jadah Marie who plays Flynn, and Cheyenne Jackson who plays Caleb Covington.
Kenny knows how to make a series a hit with tweens and teens, and frankly, he hits the right notes and dance moves with Julie and the Phantoms. The premise is a little bizarre, but it works. Julie and the Phantoms is based on a Brazilian TV series Julie e os Fantasmas, where the main character, Julie (Madison Reyes) forms a band with 3 ghosts to help get over her mother’s death. Yes, you read that correctly, ghosts. But they’re cute teen ghosts, so, is it really that weird?
Julie is the only one can see them, until they perform together on stage, then everyone can see the band members, and Julie has to pass them off as a hologram band when they disappear as soon as the music ends. Things get tricky when they find out they’ve been betrayed.
Kids will enjoy Julie and the Phantoms, because of the high energy musical numbers, but parents, be aware that there is a focus on death. Now let’s talk about that TV-G rating.
There is no language besides words like stupid.
So here’s where I struggle with the TV-G rating for Julie and the Phantoms. TV-G is supposed to mean appropriate for all kids, but Julie and the Phantoms deals a lot with death, but adds humor and friendship to help deal with the grief. Julie lost her mom, and there are some heavier issues that the band ghosts have to deal with from their past, too.
They talk about not having great family lives and one character’s parents being unsupportive when he told them he was gay.
Kudos for the LGBTQ representation in an age-appropriate manner. Two male characters begin to develop a relationship and flirt with each other. There is no kissing or sexual activity. Just an FYI, since some parents did not appreciate my Baby-Sitters Club review.
Also there’s a male character who changes his shirt to get dressed, so he is shown shirtless for a second. Another scene involves the band members mooning someone, but no backsides are shown.
Is Julie and the Phantoms Appropriate for Kids Under 8?
I would recommend Julie and the Phantoms for kids ages 10 and up, but you could go younger if they’re fans of Disney-style shows like Descendants and Zombies. Julie and the Phantoms is pretty safe for kids who want something more mature than cartoons but are not ready for teen shows like Outer Banks or even shows like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
I loved the quirkiness of the show, and I wish they would have delved a little deeper into that premise that three guys die by eating bad hot dogs. It lightens the mood of the show, but it left me with so many questions! While some do get answered, fans will be wanting more after that cliffhanger.
Can we talk about the music? This is really where the show shines! Sure, some of the songs are too pop-like, but this is for tweens and teens, and parents like me who enjoy watching these shows with their kids. The over-the-top dream sequences and flashy costumes and numbers are joyful while the emotional ballads hit you right in the gut. Bravo to all these talented teens, because they can SING! If you have music lovers, they’ll be singing these tunes all through the house.
It’s nice to see Kenny Ortega bring this family-friendly content to Netflix. The messages of trust, friendship, overcoming obstacles, and chasing your dreams plus a touch of the afterlife, leave kids with a lot to learn and discuss. Plus the diversity of the cast makes my heart happy, and I’m glad that teen roles are being filled by minorities to give youth the chance to see themselves onscreen.
A quirky, fun show, Julie and the Phantoms digs into emotions while giving it a feel-good vibe you can rock out to with the whole family.