A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the streaming series Monster High, and its subsequent reboot, Welcome to Monster High, is about a group of spooky teen girls who bear resemblance to some famous monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc). The characters are featured as dolls, in books, movies, games, a website, and other merchandising opportunities for the wide-ranging brand. The earlier version of the series is tween-oriented, and the themes revolve around boy crushes, pop culture, trends, teen angst, and being popular, while later episodes have milder stories. The monsters featured, particularly in the older version, can appear a little creepy and may not sit well with very young viewers. Note that these short episodes are often streamed together as a single movie.
What's the story?
MONSTER HIGH is an animated streaming series about the fun and harrowing world of high school for the offspring of zombies, ghouls, and other undead creatures. Each episode follows the day-to-day antics of Frankie Stein (Kate Higgins, Cassandra Morris), who, along with friends Draculaura (Debi Derryberry), Clawdeen (Salli Saffioti), and Lagoona Blue (Laura Bailey, Larissa Gallagher), enjoy parties, gossip, and of course, crushes on "mansters" like Deuce Gorgon (Yuri Lowenthal, Cam Clarke, Evan Smith) and pop singers like Justin Biter and the Jaundice Brothers. Also adding to the fray is frenemy Cleo De Nile (also voiced by Saffioti) and her sidekick, Ghoulia Yelps (Audu Paden). There’s never a dull moment, especially when they are under pressure to fit in, look good, be popular, and find a date. But it's everything that high school should be.
Is it any good?
This clever, tween-oriented show is part of Mattel's Monster High franchise, which stars trendy teen characters inspired by the scary monsters of legends and literature. As they navigate their way through "fearleading" tryouts, popularity contests, and peer pressure, the young adults remain smart, self-confident, and of course, fashionable. The show also attempts to be musical with monster-themed pop songs, and inclusive with the appearance of "hybrid" students like zombie-unicorn Neighthan Rot (Josey Montana McCoy). It also parodies popular culture trends (Justin Biter!) to some comic effect.
The 2016 reboot of the series, Welcome to Monster High, changes the narrative by offering a backstory that places the monsters in the world of the living, and makes the characters responsible for establishing the school to help their community. The young women are still strong and self-empowered, but often seem more like princesses than average teenagers. The series also introduces a villain, Moanica D'Kay (Cristina Milizia), who has started a zombie army and wants to take over the human world. Earlier fans of the show may not care for the newer version of Monster High, but it might appeal to a younger generation of viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the themes explored in Monster High. What lessons do the characters learn about trying to fit in? Friendship?
Why do you think people like to see monsters, vampires, and other scary creatures in media? What stories can they tell that regular humans can't?
Why do you think the original series is updated the way it is? How does it compare to the original series?
Themes & Topics
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