A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monsterous Holiday features minimal violence or scariness, but what's there is not to be encouraged -- there are a lot of unsupervised lab experiments involving electricity, unsuspecting fruit, and explosive goo. Parents will want to reinforce the safety risks inherent in experimenting for fun, while still encouraging the delightful pro-science, pro-intellectual-curiosity attitude in this flick that has a lot of fun with the Halloween spirit.
What's the story?
Andy (Drake Bell) is a good kid who "accidentally explodes a lot of things." He needs a new project for the upcoming science fair but is having trouble making any experiments work. His father signs him up for football, and his mother (Brooke Shields) encourages him to pursue both interests. When he asks his neighbor, the brilliant, reclusive Dr. Frankenstein (Jon Heder) to help, he finds the doctor's creation, a monster named Frank, a teenager he finds he has a lot in common with. They devise a plan: Frank takes his spot on the team, and Andy gets to use the lab. Unfortunately, Andy's project turns out to be too scary for its own good, and now he must save the town from his own invention: a giant monster!
Is it any good?
MONSTEROUS HOLIDAY pulls off some really smart tensions -- between brains and brawn, between lonerism and community, between isolation and teamwork. It works out notions of differentness and fitting in, and, instead of having the characters resort to typical cliquishness, the book finds a way to bring seemingly disparate groups together toward common ground. It does this against a backdrop of spooky Frankenstein Halloween spirit that's gooey, pro-science, and self-aware.
Kids who love science, creepy crawlies, and Halloween will have a blast with this film, and parents can appreciate so many smart lessons layered in without fanfare.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about safety with science. What are some rules for conducting science experiments safely?
Andy struggles between fitting in with his football-loving father and getting better at his favorite subject, science. Have you ever felt torn between activities? How did you choose?
The movie plays around with the idea of being smart versus being physically fit. Can you be only one or the other? Is it possible to work on your brain and your body? Which do you like doing more, and why?
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