The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Monster High: The Movie

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Monster High: The Movie

I had no hopes for this “movie.”

And it delivered on that.

Here’s the background from a few months ago

From Nickelodeon and Paramount +, the one-two punch of suck comes Monster High – The Movie.  This is going to be a live-action version of the toy/video cross-over series from about ten years ago. 

I can’t fault the original business model as it handily had its way with my wallet whenever I made the financially ill-considered journey to Toys R’ Us.  The dolls were meant to be cute, girly versions of classic movie monsters and they all went to high school together at (of course) Monster High.  

However, what made these toy monsters such a terror to my checking account was that (a) they were cleverly marketed to young girls) and (b) all of the monsters conformed to known high school tropes and stereotypes, PLUS they were fashion dolls.  Monster High made epic bank by playing on girls’ social dynamics, one doll was the fashionista, the next was the sports chick, then there was the girly girl, and their leader was the generic girl.  Their antagonist was the minotaur bully girl.  There was also “cool boy.”  That was the starter pack.  It grew a lot from there.

What took Monster High to a new level was the use of webisodes on YouTube, which was new stuff back then. These were just cheap, quick, flash animation, first acts.  The very successful idea was to set up some basic stories like girly-girl is afraid she’s going to flunk a test or brainy girl dreams of making the cheerleader squad, with a lot of Crypt Keeper puns thrown in. The webisodes established the basic character of each doll and the nature of their interactions.  Girls would then beg Daddy to, “please, please, please buy Draculaura for me, I’ll die if I don’t have her! Oh! And Frankie!!!

“Why do you need Frankie too?”

“She’s Draculaura’s best friend.  I’ve got to have HER!”

“I’m glad you’re so focused on this. We shall now discuss how you are going to earn my money.”  

The webisodes created settings, the doll’s characters provided the setup, and little girls provided the story when they played with them.  Usually, it was a group of girls playing with them, and their playing mostly involved the dolls talking to each other and getting dressed for the prom.  Because fashion dolls don’t blow up tanks. 

But here is the big thing, (Darklings of long-standing can skip this paragraph), the human brain isn’t designed to understand the difference between fictional characters and real people.  There have been university studies where people have been wired up, and their brains show identical activity when thinking about either fictional or real people that they know.  Intellectually we know there is a difference but emotionally, not so much.

This is why I can understand the outrage of young women who were playing with their Monster High dolls a dozen years ago.

They don’t have anything against a live-action revival, but they are furious about a remake that butchers out the Monster High characters about as badly as The Last Jedi gutted Luke Skywalker.

This is a kid’s show that insults the average intelligence of kids.  It was made on the super cheap.  There are YouTube videos with higher production values.  The makeup on this show was just grease paint and furry-level glue-on prosthetics.  It truthfully looks like a junior college stage production. 

Who made this?

This “movie” has more writers than actors and the cast is pretty big for something like this.  A lot of these writers’ credits have pretty light resumes.  Not much in the way of kids’ shows on any of them.  I admit that’s kind of surprising as children’s programming is a bit of a ghetto in Hollywood.  If it’s not made by and for Disney, then it is always from a small production company that specializes in kids’ programming and I’m not seeing it. 

Apparently, the showrunners also ran the reboot of Dynasty(?).  Okay, not what I was Expecting.  But the Eldest Dark Spawn is correct, no one attached to this had anything to do with the original series of Monster High cartoons.  Kind of surprising, you’d think there would at least be a no-show producer credit from the original.  Possibly they didn’t want to be connected with it.

I think its primary attraction to Paramount was that it was new streaming content that cost very little to make.  This is Syd and Marty Kroft levels of production value.

The plot is tweener-oriented like the original series of cartoons.  Yet they are so much worse for being live actresses.  The original animated shows were diverse by twenty-teen standards but that is nowhere good enough now.

Lots of musical numbers, which you didn’t get that often in the original.

This is the part where I would dive deep into the plot but I kind of bounced off it.

The show starts with Clawdeen being a rebel or something.  Then she gets the Harry Potter-style invite to come to Monster High just like her Mom did.  But Clawdeen is a half-blood, her mother was a full monster but her father is a muggle. She can’t let anyone know she’s a half-blood monster princess.

Clawdeen goes to Monster High and is instantly popular, just like real high school.

Now the song and dance numbers start.

 They are all singing.  Please, please stop.  They won’t stop.  Okay, we are now getting a lot of tell don’t show regarding each character’s tweener angst.  All of the main characters are singing about what makes them tick.  Eldest Dark Spawn assures me that all of it is WRONG.

Draculaura practices witchcraft.  Her father regards this as an abomination as does the Eldest Dark Spawn because Draculaura was never a witch.

Frankie’s pronouns are They/Them which was potentially funny once but she kept doing it.

Cleo they clearly gave up on early.  No body makeup, no prosthetics.  They just gave her a dress.  That was it.  A Spirit Halloween, Cleo-themed dress, that is not even from the adult’s section.

Clawdeen’s problem is that she is part human as I said and… This is so hard to write…  And is afraid that Monster High is going to find out she is turning into a human.  

They did worse with the other characters.

Eldest Dark Spawn: Deuce is supposed to be cool.  That guy is a dork.  Cleo wouldn’t touch him.

Dark Herald: I suppose he’s cool in a different way.

Eldest Dark Spawn He is cool in no way.  No way is he cool.  And look at Lagoona!

Dark Herald: Must I?

Eldest Dark Spawn: She is supposed to be blue. It’s in her name Lagoona. BLUE.

Dark Herald: She wouldn’t look brown that way.  They’d lose diversity points. The actress is from Columbia.

Eldest Dark Spawn: SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE FROM AUSTRALIA! And Draculaura is NOT a witch, she’s a vampire and she is sixteen hundred years old.  And she’s from Transylvania!  How many Asians were in Transylvania sixteen hundred years ago?

Dark Herald: Technically everyone in Europe is an Asian. You can use the word Oriental in this house.

Eldest Dark Spawn (cups ears looks around as if listening in and then points to her iPhone)

Dark Herald: Good girl.

These writers have never watched a single episode of Monster High but have seen Harry Potter.  This is unbelievably sad.  This show is trying to use Monster High to ripoff Harry Potter.

The plot is that professor Hyde, who is also a half-blood is trying to destroy Monster High because they were mean to his father for being a half-blood but mostly I suspect for being Gamma.

The girls beat him through the power of I don’t care.

Like, I said, Paramount wanted cheap and fast content and this show basically delivered on that if nothing else, so it’s already greenlit for a sequel. Which I will watch under no circumstances whatsoever.

The Dark Herald and Eldest Dark Spawn Do Not Recommend.

Discuss on Social Galactic

Share this post