Musicals are always a hit or miss for me -- they either invoke an uncontrollable cringe response, or completely engulf me in magical melodies. Monster High: The Movie is the latter. Imagine a colossal witch caldron filled with teen drama, hidden secrets, a monster with a vendetta, and true friendship. This film brews a mystical potion, enchanting the audience from beginning to end.
Unable to find her place in the "normal" world, Clwdeen Wolf (Miia Harris) applies to Monster High, a hidden school for monsters. There's only one problem, Clawdeen is half wolf and half human, and Monster High is strictly for full-blooded monsters. Armed with a deadly secret, Clawdeen attends Monster High determined to keep her skeleton in the closet. When her humanness begins to present itself, Clawdeen fears she will be shunned, or worse. Clawdeen will stop at nothing to rid herself of human half. With the help of true friends Frankie Stein (Ceci Balagot) and Draculaura (Nayah Damasen), Clawdeen finds comfort in being her true self.
Monster High: The Movie transports viewers into a fantasy adventure world. This film captures the essence of a typical high school, but is way more exciting. You cannot watch this movie without secretly wishing you could enroll as a student. Eager to find her place in the world, Clawdeen Wolf settles into her new high school and quickly makes friends with roommates Frankie Stein, who is also struggling to fit in. They later befriend a third dorm partner, Draculaura, only after realizing she too has a secret she does not want revealed. The trio has a mission to help Calwdeen rid herself of any humanness, and uncover a devious plan to destroy Monster High. The director, Todd Holland, uses well-choreographed dance scenes and catchy songs to tell a story of acceptance and perseverance. Monster High: The Movie models its characters after the infamous Mattel Monster High dolls. The characters' costumes capture the essence of these dolls; bringing a favorite toy to life. My favorite scene is when Frankie Stein, who is only 15 days old, struggles to understand what a "high five" is. I also love the scene where Draculaura magically makes a hideous pimple appear on the nose of the Monster High mean girl, Cleo De Nile (Jy Prishjulnik).
Self-acceptance is a strong message in this film. Many students in Monster High struggle to embrace their true selves. In the real world, teens grapple with fitting in, bullying, parental disappointment, academic pressures and identity issues. Monster High: The Movie highlights the everyday emotional battles of young people and does it in a way that empowers teens to love who they are, no matter how different. You should be aware that there is an LGBTQ marriage and same-sex kissing scene. Also, note that the movie is full of magic, sorcery, evil monsters and witchcraft.
I give Monster High: The Movie gets 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 16, plus adults. This is a fun family-friendly film that everyone can enjoy. It releases on both Nickelodeon and Paramount on October 6, 2022. By Hanadie K., KIDS FIRST!