Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monster High

I try to be a good uncle to my 4 year old niece Bella, as such when she’s into something I check it out, that way I can be the cool uncle who knows who Flynn Ryder and Diego are. That being said, here’s the latest thing she’s into, Monster High.
In the 1930’s Universal Studios made a series of movies that brought a bunch of monsters into the popular limelight. It combined Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolf, and others into the same world where they’d fight or occasionally work together to mess with normal people. After that they’ve revisited the idea about a billion times with stuff like the Munsters and that Van Hellsing movie. That’s what Monster High basically is. The relatives of all the big famous monsters are going to high school together where they can be themselves without angry mobs coming after them.
The main characters have names like Draculaura, Frankie Stein, and Howleen Wolf, and the puns go from there. The girls are part of a fear squad, go to home eek, and play casketball. It’s like a monster version of the Flintstones. They never end up being too painful, and can even be relatively clever, which the same can be said for the writing. Monster High is a series of 5-7 minute web cartoons about the spooky pre-teens as they deal with pre-teen problems, like throwing parties and friendship. As cheesy as the whole thing sounds it’s actually pretty harmless, and some of the jokes you can only get if you were a fan of the source material. The Twilight episode was pretty funny, since it both made fun of the teen mentality and the vampire/werewolf concept.
What I find cool too is the design work put into the Monster High characters. Usually American cartoons give each character one stock personality trait and a single color scheme and just leave it at that. Here though the characters each have unique styles, interests and personality flaws. This is miles above most other cartoons running around out there that are trying to teach tolerance and acceptance between people who look and act exactly alike.
Okay so it’s probably weird for a 26 year old guy to talk about a show targeted towards preteen girls, but geekiness is for all ages. Plus I thought it might be helpful for parents to know what’s out there. And no, we’re probably not going to be doing a Brony post anytime soon, though here’s an awesome Dora the Explorer thing. J

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