Monster High: Ghouls Rule

  • Review Date: October 16, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 72 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Toy line characters teach tolerance -- and iffy body images.
  • Review Date: October 16, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 72 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

This title intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

The story explores the effects of bigotry and making assumptions about a person's character based on his or her appearance. The characters learn to dismiss longstanding prejudices and relate to others based on commonalities. Peer pressure, family relationships, fitting in with peers, and bullying arise in the content, not always with positive outcomes. The movie's message to young girls about body image is its biggest problem, thanks to teens who flaunt lanky bodies that meet unrealistic specs.

Positive role models

All of the characters come around and reach common ground by the story's end, but the road there doesn't bring out the best in all of them. Some lie, misrepresent themselves, and toy with the law (breaking into the school's security room, for instance) for their own gain. A teen frames an innocent person for vandalism she committed in an effort to aggravate existing animosities between monsters and Normies. On the plus side, Frankie spends most of the movie standing up to prejudices and trying to smooth out differences between the two sides. Adults are mostly shown to be unsympathetic or oblivious to the teens' plight. Stereotyping exists in an African-American-looking teen with a decidedly "street" dialect. Girls have uniformly unrealistic body types.

Violence & scariness

Some peril, and an instance of a flying meat cleaver whizzing past a girl's head, but no injuries.

Sexy stuff

Romantic relationships exist among the teens but on a fairly innocent level. Physical contact is limited to hand-holding and hugs. Girls dress in short skirts, tight tops, and teetering heels, and their movements are designed to draw attention to the curves in their twiggy physiques.

Language

Some name-calling like "nerd," "loser," and "freak," as well as "shut up."

Consumerism

This movie is based on a merchandise line from Mattel, and the characters have previously starred in movies and webisodes. Teens -- and girls especially -- are attached to their cell phones and mention "Critter," which it's implied is a nod to Twitter.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Monster High: Ghouls Rule is inspired by a toy line from Mattel, so there's a strong marketing tie-in to consider for kids. The movie's messages about diversity, battling stereotypes, and overcoming differences are unmistakable, and the colorful cast of monsters and ghouls reference lore about vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the dark. Even so, there's nothing frightening about the movie or its friendly stars, so it's a viable option for kids who aren't quite ready for the scary stuff. Parents' biggest concern is likely to be what the female characters' twiggy, doe-eyed, made-up appearances say about body image, but if your kids (and you) can see past the exterior, they'll find a surprising diversity of personalities and positive traits like compassion, determination, and intelligence among the cast.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As Halloween approaches, the students at Monster High receive their annual warning to steer clear of the "Normies" because of longstanding conflicts between the two groups. But when Frankie (voiced by Kate Higgins) learns that the two used to celebrate the holiday together peacefully, she sets out to reunite them. Unfortunately, though, the Normies want nothing to do with the ghouls, whom they blame for a prank against their school. It will take a monster-scale compromise to get these two sides on the same page, but the end result could be a good change for everyone.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

MONSTER HIGH: GHOULS RULE tackles the issues of prejudice and tolerance in a clever way that illustrates for kids the importance of celebrating their own individuality while still being respectful to the same in others. The colorful cast of ghouls boasts diversity of both ethnicity and heritage (monsters, vampires, and mythical creatures all have a home here), and the effect multiplies when they come to accept and welcome their human counterparts. Along the way, there are examples of responsible and not-so-responsible behavior (breaking into an off-limits room of the school, for instance), but it all has a role in putting an end to the longstanding feud.

Parents of girls will take immediate note of the female characters' appearances and may fear the messages they will send about beauty. Although they're all cloaked differently, the teens' lanky understructures are similar, as is the style of their minimalistic clothing and outrageous footwear. Happily, though, these aren't two-dimensional characters, and if kids pay attention, they'll take more notice of the strong examples of friendship and acceptance that overtake the visual messages they're getting from the movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about peer pressure. When do you notice instances of peer pressure in the story? Do you think you would have handled a similar situation in the same way? Why is it difficult to stand up for what you believe in when you're the only one?

  • Kids: How do the characters overcome their differences and forge new relationships? What roadblocks do they face in doing so? How do our patterns of behavior stand in the way of our reaching out to someone new?

  • Are you familiar with the Monster High characters? Where did you first see them? Do you like them? Do you have a favorite? If so, why? Does seeing them in a movie like this one make you more inclined to want the toys?

Movie details

This review of Monster High: Ghouls Rule was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMaia1596321 November 24, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Loving sister

My little sister loves this movie. She show it to all her friend. Her favorite person is Draculaura. She is daughter of Dracula.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old June 22, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Great for kids

I love monster high ghouls rule the dolls are so cute and I love the movie if your kids love monster high they would love this movie
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 19, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

monster high ghouls rule

story? Do you think you would have handled a similar situation in the same way? Why is it difficult to stand up for what you believe in when you're the only one? Kids: How do the characters overcome their differences and forge new relationships? What roadblocks do they face in doing so? How do our patterns of behavior stand in the way of our reaching out to someone new? Are you familiar with the Monster High characters? Where did you first see them? Do you like them? Do you have a favorite? If so, why? Does seeing them in a movie like this one make you more inclined to want the toys?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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