Based on the American fashion doll franchise, by Mattel, with characters inspired by monster movies, science fiction horror and some thriller fiction, the various characters appear in their very own origin movie, Welcome To Monster High.
Draculaura (Debi Derryberry) is a monster, living in a large abandoned house with her father, Dracula (Michael Sorich). She longs to connect with the ‘normal’ world When she has a chance encounter with Frankie Stein (Cassandra Morris), a fellow monster, her life turns in a new direction. Together the two friends have a dream of creating a place where monsters can live and learn, side-by-side. They create Monster High.
A school needs students, and Monster High is no different, so Draculaura and Frankie set about the task of finding other monsters, near and far. Recruitment is not without its trials and tribulations. While most monsters they encounter are friendly, and love the idea of Monster High, when the students encounter Moanica D’kay (Cristina Milizia), they soon learn not everyone has the same positive outlook, and desire to mingle with ‘normies’ or humans. Moanica has plans to take what she wants, and she has a zombie army to help do her bidding.
Monster High is a film for younger viewers. The simplistic animation, while detailed, with vibrant colours and lively characters, will ensure that the monsters portrayed are not frightening to the little ones. The story is straightforward, and easy to follow, with a lesson on friendship and working together. Interspersed with some funny, cute antics, and some musical numbers, the story and characters are sure to keep children enthralled. The film is also not too long in length, so that more easily distracted, or restless children should become bored sitting too long.
While not much of the story is aimed at adults, it is not excruciating to watch. Short in length, and not needing too much thought to follow the plot, this is a wholesome story, so older viewers will be saved when sitting at watching the film with the younger generation. The film does carry a PG rating, but a bit of context and supervision are always a good idea.
Monster High is a story with a good dose of entertainment, a light helping of music, and a lesson to boot. Sure to be loved by younger children, and those who have ever seen the show on TV.
Though lacking in any additional features of note, technically the disc is of decent quality.
Monster High is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, and owing to the nature of the film animation, there are lots of bright pinks and greens throughout.
Viewers with the relevant hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.
Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, with ample use of the surrounds. There are a few sections with musical numbers, pushing this through the front speakers. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel.
Navigation is basic, with static menu screens. However, there are buttons on the main menu that are merely symbols, and technophobic or younger viewers will likely struggle with these. Simply put, the triangle is to play the main feature. The others allow you to choose, in order, between, chapters, bonus feature, audio selection and subtitle collection.
Ever After High: Dragon Games – The Ever After High fashion dolls appear in this feature, based on characters from fairy and fantasy stories. The short is not the same computer animation as Monster High, but relies more on the old hand drawn look. Part of the greater Ever After High series, this special sees the return of dragons and the Evil Queen to Ever After High, and leading to the most epic competition and evil scheme yet, with Raven and Apple needing to let go of any conflict between them, in order to save their beloved school.