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: Great Scarrier Reef is a typical Monster High DVD release. The teen "ghouls" (as always curvy and fashion-savvy) embark on an adventure, meet new teen monsters, and return to their domain with important lessons learned. Some mild cartoon action includes: a fall into a whirlpool, which carries them into an underwater civilization; an encounter with a mischievous teen "ghoul" of the sea; and a face-off with a legendary "Kraken" (sea serpent) who roars a lot, chases them, and attacks the school. Of course, the release of this DVD is tied to lots of new dolls and related products. Cross-promotion is a trademark of the Monster High brand.
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What's the story?
Lagoona Blue (Larissa Galagher), with her sea-monster heritage, takes center stage in MONSTER HIGH: GREAT SCARRIER REEF. Toralei Stripe (America Young), competitive, sneaky, and jealous of Lagoona, discovers that her rival is a wonderful dancer struggling with a bad case of stage fright. Eager to capitalize on Lagoona's weakness, Toralei embarrasses and bullies her on the Internet. Lagoona fights back, and the two end up struggling in a churning whirlpool. When some of the other ghouls (Clawdeen, Gil, Draculaura, Toralei, and Frankie Stein) jump in to help, they're transformed into sea creatures and sent deep into a wondrous ocean habitat. There, in addition to meeting Lagoona's strange family and other denizens of the deep, they discover that to regain their natural forms and return home, Lagoona must acknowledge her darkest fear and confront it. It's a challenging mission, made even more treacherous by Kala Mer'ri, a mean-spirited Siren of the Sea, along with the Kraken, a legendary sea serpent. Fortunately, Lagoona Blue is strong and determined, and she's not alone. As always, the ghouls from Monster High work together to confront the fragile Lagoona's darkest fear, make surprising new friends, and win the day.
Is it any good?
The "ghouls" make quite a splash in this underwater adventure, inhabited by an assortment of creative new monsters with unique skills and quirky personalities. The story is fun and easy to follow. The villains are more comic than scary. Getting to know Lagoona Blue and her aquatic family is a treat. And there are strong, well-articulated messages to which kids can easily relate. Fans won't be disappointed. Neither will the toy makers and vendors.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of franchises such as Monster High that sell DVDs, books, TV shows, toys, dolls, and more. How do films and TV shows help sell products? How hard might it be for a new toy or doll to find fans without the help of some form of film?
Toralei Stripe was a bully in the early part of this story. How did Lagoona Blue deal with that bullying? Was her response effective? How should you handle bullies?
Lagoona Blue realized that her stage fright was the result of something that happened when she was very young. What was that event? Do you think Lagoona's understanding of her fear helped her overcome it? How can you overcome your fears?
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