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Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action!
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! is a movie based on the Mattel toy line of adolescent monster dolls, books, games, and other merchandise -- as well as TV specials and a web series. Because they're high school students, some of the Monster High characters are preoccupied with celebrity crushes and have boyfriends/girlfriends. Several times, someone says a celebrity is "hot," and the couples hold hands, hug, and briefly kiss. The language is fairly mild but does include some name-calling like "stupid," "cray-cray," "loser." Parents concerned with unrealistic body issues may not appreciate the way the Monster High characters are mostly tiny-waisted waifs with perfect hair, big eyes, and noticeable makeup or super handsome jock-ish looking guys.
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What's the story?
Draculaura (voiced by Sue Swan) is tired of the popular Vampire Majesty movies all her friends are obsessed with -- particularly the way actress Veronica Van Vamp depicts vampire royalty (her family used to be part of the court). In a surreal coincidence, Draculaura is informed she is the only surviving heir to the vampire throne, but on the eve of her coronation in Transylvania, she discovers the rightful heir is missing and somehow connected to Veronica Van Vamp. She and her Monster High besties head to Hollyweird to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, the teens left behind at school hold a "cute court" to once and for all decide which vampire actor is the best-looking celeb of all.
Is it any good?
For existing fans of the dolls, this movie at least provides a somewhat amusing story to follow. These monsters have a similar look to the Bratz -- they have huge doe-eyed, prettily glossed lips and shadowed eyes, and fashionista figures -- but they also have the more interesting twist of being monsters. Because the characters are teenagers, they tend to be focused on adolescent issues like romance and friendship drama, so this movie's plot is really for upper elementary. The plot, at least, is actually pretty funny, as it clearly spoofs on real pop culture, like the Twilight craze and the fervor with which fans debate which suitor they support in fictional love triangles.
But the overarching story about Draculaura's search for the real vampire heir may not interest kids as much as the silly debate between the girls back at school about who is the hotter Veronica Van Camp boyfriend -- Edweird of Alucord. Because of the way the girls fight and get upset over their celebrity crushes, it's hard to recommend this for young girls who really shouldn't be concerned with boyfriends and celebrity romances yet
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how common it is for toys and dolls to have accompanying movies (Barbie, American Girl, etc.). Are you OK seeing movies about toys without getting/wanting the actual toys?
How do the Monster High girls represent different backgrounds or cultures? What is the movie trying to say about friendship? Should how someone looks or where they come from keep you from being their friend?
How familiar are you with the Monster High characters? Do you prefer the movies, TV specials, or books about them?
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