Full of tropes that we have all heard growing up, about vampires, the short film is still abundantly refreshing! Read on for our review...
Last Updated: 03.43 AM, Apr 22, 2022
Disney Launchpad is back and this time we’re going for a bigger bite. Growing Fangs depicts a Mexican American family with a half-human, half-vampire teen called Val Garcia. She sort of sleeps upside down is sort of burnt by the sun and is sort of visible in the mirror. Her ‘sort ofs’ is a result of having a father who is human and a mother who is a vampire. Her Abuelita sprays herself with Holy Water even when it steams her hair and her brother is obsessed with drinking blood. Full of tropes that we have all heard growing up, about vampires, the short film is still abundantly refreshing!
High school is a confusing time for all teenagers, specifically while transitioning towards adulthood. It can be even more challenging if you have unresolved things you have to hide. Ann Marie Pace's story is about Val, who wants to tell her best friend Jimmy that she is a vampire, much to her family’s displeasure, even though they themselves accept her father as part of the family. Jimmy goes to a different school as compared to Val who these days has started attending a school for vampires. This monster school is complete with finger-flicking-magicians and werewolves and Elsie Fang, the star of the basketball team on whom Val has a crush.
A Fleabag-esque narration and the constant breaking of the fourth wall make this specifically appealing to a younger audience, not to forget the diversity in casting. The film is an allegory for those born between two cultures. In the end, Val shows her true self in an attempt to save Jimmy by throwing garlic enchiladas on the bullying vampires. In the process, she discovers a friend who is half-werewolf and half-vampire, who thanks her for not making her feel as alone anymore.
In an attempt to fit into her new school and find new friends, as advised by her family and be noticed by her crush, Val decides to volunteer as a mascot for the basketball match, drinking gator bleed right before it. Fatal to humans, the drink makes her throw up and she ends up in the infirmary where the self-proclaimed witch-Muslim-tall lady tells her that she is not half-half but actually fully both. This particular scene felt forced and unnecessary and could’ve been done away with it. Val’s family accepts her new friend and also Jimmy knowing the truth about them.
The movie plays on the cultural identity crisis that many of us go through and the struggle to embrace who we really are. The fun short is definitely worth a watch and is available to stream on Disney+Hotstar.