Monster High: Escape from Skull Shores

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Monster High: Escape from Skull Shores Movie Poster Image
Monster dolls share positive messages, wear iffy clothing.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 44 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Everyone should be treated with respect and celebrated for what's inside, not out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the characters are loyal, supportive friends and stick up for the underdog. But all dress provocatively with excessive makeup and skimpy outfits.

Violence & Scariness

Some monsters are scary even to the monsters, such as a kraken and a big beast. Some cartoonish violence and evil scheming.

Sexy Stuff

Some talk of high school relationships and "meeting the parents." The girls all are dressed much more provocatively than your average teen in high heels, skimpy outfits, and lots of makeup.


Some characters called "freaks," but the movie shows how hurtful the term is.


Based on a line of dolls, games, and accessories from Mattel.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster High: Escape from Skull Shores is a made-for-TV movie featuring the characters from the Monster High doll line. The Monster High characters are not your ordinary teens; they're ghouls, goblins, and ghosts, though they're more silly than sinister. The movie has a strong message about tolerance, but it's partially undermined by the over-the-top sexy outfits and makeup sported by the female characters, who are otherwise pretty decent role models. And with only some mild references to adult relationships and a little cartoon violence, this short tale should be OK for grade-schoolers and up.

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What's the story?

It's spring break at Monster High, and Lagoona (Laura Bailey) invites her friends on a sailing trip to the Great Barrier Reef. On the way, the ship is attacked by a kraken, leaving the crew stranded until the mysterious Bartleby Farnum (Keith Silverstein) rescues them and takes them to Skull Island. While the kids from Monster High enjoy the island retreat, Farnum is secretly plotting to use Frankie (Kate Higgins) to lure a rare and elusive beast into his clutches. Little does he know that Frankie has other plans for the beast, who turns out to be more than what he seems.

Is it any good?

It's campy and a little cheesy and full of every cringe-worthy joke and pop-culture reference about monsters they could fit in, but there's something endearing about the classmates of Monster High. They're freaky and fierce but incredibly supportive of those who are different. And, although the plot of MONSTER HIGH: ESCAPE FROM SKULL SHORES is obviously largely knocked off from King Kong, it's still a fun and entertaining adventure.

Although it's not to be expected that the ghoulish girls of Monster High would be dressed like your average teen, it's a shame they have to be decked out to the nines. With a little more clothing and a lot less makeup, many of the female characters would be stellar role models, without detracting from the plot. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pop-culture references in the movie. Which movie and character references do you recognize?

  • A lot of the characters worry about being accepted. Do you think this is a common fear for average kids?

  • What do you think about the way the female characters are dressed? Do they dress like the girls at your school? How are they different?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love school stories

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