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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monster High: Electrified is another animated, direct-to-DVD movie about a high school made up of monsters of all sizes, shapes, and species. Ostensibly created to promote diversity and acceptance of differences, the good monsters are meant to reflect friendship, teamwork, and striving to achieve goals. The female "ghouls," as they are known, make up an ever-growing group of high school kids/dolls, with curvy bodies, makeup, high heels, and often skimpy clothing, each of them designed to represent the monster they are inside (vampire, werewolf, ghost, and so on). This movie pits a troublemaking zombie student against a creative, well-meaning werewolf and her friends. Action is mostly made up of electrical threats: bolts, zaps, shocks, an electrical storm, and power surges. One character appears to be dangerously electrified before she is rescued. Plus there are zombie attacks (mostly comic) and teeth-baring wolf chases. As always, Monster High films are cross-promoted with an extensive line of dolls, toys, apps, and associated products from Mattel. In this movie, a new doll, Silvi Timberwolf, is introduced, and several of the leading characters will now have "electrified" versions of their characters for sale. This is only for kids who are comfortable with real vs. imaginary violence.
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What's the story?
Clawdeen Wolf (voiced by Celeste Henderson) has a dream in MONSTER HIGH: ELECTRIFIED. Feeling very creative, she wants to open a luxury salon, delivering her phenomenal new styles and creations in many forms -- hair, makeup, fashion -- to everyone, including the nearby "normies." All the ghoulfriends thinks it's a great idea. Frankie (Cassandra Morris), who's just invented a super battery that can contain vast amounts of electricity as her science project, is totally on board. Of course, Moanica D'Kay (Cristina Milizia), a zombie who just loves to spoil everything and desperately wants to keep the local humans as enemies, isn't about to let it happen. When the ghouls begin to set up shop in an old power plant, the whole project becomes the target of Moanica and her army of zomboys. She plans to turn Clawdeen's grand opening into the Night of Zomboys. It's up to Frankie, Twyla, and the others to foil Moanica's evil plan. Meanwhile, there's a new girl in school -- a gray werewolf with a Scottish accent named Silvi Timberwolf (Katy Townsend) -- who shows up just in time to join a new band being formed by Wraith, Deuce, Wooly, and Rolling Bones.
Is it any good?
In this movie, creativity is valued; zombies are funny; electricity becomes a weapon; and Mattel has an opportunity to sell a whole new inventory of "electrified" versions of their popular dolls. Monster High: Electrified has an easy-to-follow story; the characters stay true to the personalities that have developed over the years, and there's enough humor and cartoon action to keep everything moving. As usual, a few positive messages are included (the joy of creativity, reaching for goals, the value of teamwork). And it's a plus to find out that this 15th movie has a brief introduction to the creation of Monster High (which was the basis of Welcome to Monster High). It gives just enough of the backstory to help new viewers enter the world of ghoulish friends and enemies. Though the story focuses on the creation of a new salon, not too much attention is paid to fashion, hair, or makeup; it's simply the vehicle that powers the plot. This should appeal to old fans and make some new ones, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about all the new dolls introduced in Monster High: Electrified. Do you think films like this one help sell the toys and products associated with them? After watching this movie, were you motivated to buy Frankie, Draculaura, and the others as "electrified dolls"? How does your family decide what and what not to buy?
Clawdeen talks about how much fun it is to be creative. Who else in this movie was creative? How? Other than "the arts," which other activities, at school and at home, offer the opportunity to be creative?
Twyla is the daughter of the Bogey Man. She's quiet, shy, and often likes to be alone. How did her unique personality help resolve this story? Do you think the movie showed how someone who's not as outgoing as others is to be valued? Think of someone you know who is shy, and describe what he or she contributes.
- On DVD or streaming: March 28, 2017
- Cast: Cassandra Morris, Celeste Henderson, Jonquil Goode
- Director: Avgousta Zourelidi
- Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, High school, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 71 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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