A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.
It's hard to avoid the story's message about conquering fears, which are repeated in the dialogue at nearly every turn. Examples of friendship and family bonds are strong as well, and there's a minor subplot that observes the transition of a mean girl into a less snooty, friendlier version of herself. A teen's defiance of her parents' rules has drastic (although hardly likely) consequences, and she has to set things right for everyone's sake.
Positive Role Models
Skylar's parents withhold a secret from her that puts her in danger, but they do it for what they consider to be good reasons. She disobeys her parents, but has to deal with the consequences. She and her friends have to face their fears to conquer the monsters and save the day, and they find that once they've done that, their newfound confidence spills over into other parts of their lives as well.
Violence & Scariness
Monster hunters use ray guns and containment units to capture monsters, who are seen as clouds of smoke, disembodied heads, and finally fully bodied people. Characters are often in peril as they face down the creatures or are threatened by them. Multiple chase scenes in which monsters trail terrified teens. In some cases they possess people or inanimate objects like trees.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sweet crush develops between two teens who have been friends for a long time, but there's no physical contact.
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No cursing, but some name-calling like "idiot" and "stupid," plus "shut up."
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Products & Purchases
The movie makes good use of its musical star, incorporating a few sure-to-please pop songs (which are for sale) into the story.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Girl vs. Monster is a comical, light-hearted Halloween movie that is appropriate for most kids. Save for a few surprises that might get your youngsters' hearts racing, the content isn't apt to frighten kids, and the story is comical enough that yours won't take the monsters too seriously. Watch for examples of the characters challenging their fear and gaining a newfound inner strength by doing so, as well as some heartwarming moments that celebrate friendship and families. If your kids are familiar with other Disney shows, they'll likely recognize the core of Disney alum stars, and they may find a new favorite song in one of the two performed in the movie by Olivia Holt.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun choice for families who like Halloween thrills without the slasher-style blood spills. Its violence is limited to ray guns that reel in monsters and some sticky situations that are equal parts peril and comedy. Likely the jumpiest moments for kids (and perhaps parents) are the surprises that lurk in the shadows -- trees that spring to life, floating heads that appear out of nowhere, and the maniacal Deimata who possesses Skylar's friends in an effort to get close enough to scare the wits out of her. It might mean you have to snuggle a little closer to your kids on the couch, but they probably won't suffer any sleep deprivation over the light-hearted scares.
More than likely what your kids will get out of Girl vs. Monster -- especially with some help from you -- is a fun-filled lesson in the joys of conquering your fears. Skylar and her friends have to do just that to save Skylar's family from Deimata's clutches, and kids will recognize that while it's not an easy thing to do, it has long-lasting benefits for those who manage to see it through. While you're at it, don't miss the opportunity to remind your kids that your family rules exist for a reason, and that breaking them can have serious -- and less humorous -- consequences as well.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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