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Monster High (web series)

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Monster High
Monster High.png
"We are monsters we are proud, We are monsters say it loud!"🎤
Genre: Comedy
Fantasy
Romance
Running Time: 1-3 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: May 5, 2010 – October 30, 2015
Network(s): YouTube
Created by: Garrett Sander
Distributed by: Mattel Television
Starring: Debi Derryberry, Kate Higgins, Salli Saffioti, Laura Bailey
Episodes: 186


Monster High is a American fashion doll franchise created by Mattel, it was adapted into an animated web series released on YouTube. Along with its feature-length direct-to-video films, the animated series serves as a platform to launch new doll characters. The web series finished its first run in 2015 with Volume 6, and began a reboot run with the Adventures of the Ghoul Squad series.

Plot

The series follows a group of teenage characters who are the children of famous monsters in media and film as they attend high school.

Why It's Fangtastic

  1. Colorful art style and animation.
  2. Great voice acting by Debi Derryberry, Kate Higgins, Salli Saffioti, Laura Bailey, and others.
  3. The show has a great soundtrack and catchy theme songs like "Fright Song" (used as opening for most of the series) and "We Are Monster High" (used for the opening of the last season).
  4. The comedy in several of the episodes is really good and fun to watch.
  5. Many of the characters are likeable.
    • Frankie Stein is the sweetest and kindest girl at Monster High, believing strongly that everyone's flaws make them unique.
    • Draculaura is described as bright, optimistic and ambitious, as well as a positive depiction of Eastern Europeans, which is rare in American media.
    • Lagoona Blue, an Australian sea monster who gives advice to people when they're upset.
    • Abbey Bominable, similarly, a positive depiction of Eastern Europeans (specifically Russians), who isn't afraid to speak her mind and has many funny jokes.
  6. The character designs are decent and cool (even though many of the characters don't look like monsters like they're supposed to).
  7. The use of puns involving words like horror, scary and ghoul to define the characters' slang (since they're teenage monsters) is clever.
  8. The season 2 start to shows an improvement in the show with the episodes having continuity, character development (such as Cleo becoming definitively friends with Frankie, Draculaura and Frankie starting to date and Clawdeen dealing with her friend dating her brother) and a animation superior than the first season (although the animation is still not very great).
  9. Lagoona develops a good romance plot with Gil, including having to deal with their differences and Gil's parents' prejudice.
  10. Toralei has a better role as a villain in season 2 than Cleo in season 1.
  11. Some of the new characters introduced over the seasons of the series had a good development like: Toralei Strife, Jackson Jekyll/Holt Hyde and Abbey Bominable.
    • Iris Clops, a character who was originally created only as a background character in the first 3 seasons received a development in season 4 into Manny Taur's girlfriend.
  12. Many of the characters introduced in the series later were adapted into the doll franchise.
  13. The show derived CGI-animated decent movies released directly to video. The CGI in movies released directly to video animated by Nerd Corps Entertainment is really amazing as it's visual style for the TV specials lies closer to the way the dolls look, compared to the regular webisodes which only loosely take artistic cues from the profile art.
  14. The show derived good video games released between 2011 and 2015.

Bad Qualities

  1. Although this is a show about monsters, many of the characters (mostly the girls) don't look like monsters, looking more like drag queens with colored skins, the worst examples being Cleo de Nile (supposedly a mummy, but she looks more like Egyptian Queen Cleopatra who has almost no bandages), Clawdeen Wolf (supposedly a werewolf, but she looks more like a okamimimi with fangs), Ghoulia (supposedly a zombie, but she looks more like a ghost), Abbey (supposedly a abominable snowman monster, but she looks like a human girl with blue skin and fangs).
  2. The animation in season 1 doesn't look great. The same can also be said about the opening that is very rushed.
  3. Cleo's villainous role is written poorly in season 1, with a few moments of inconsistency where she is shown being friends with Frankie and her friends rather than a rival.
  4. There are some bad episodes, for example:
    • Substitute Creature
    • Photo Finish
    • Bad Zituation
    • Shock and Awesome
    • Fur Will Fly
    • Horrorscope
    • HooDoo You Like?
    • Nefera Again
    • Dodgeskull
    • Uncommon Cold
    • Sibling Rivalry
  5. The early episodes make terrible references to pop culture like Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and the Twilight Saga (the first movie based on the series: "Fright On!" was even made trying to catch the success of the movie Eclipse).
  6. Sometimes the show portrays boys being stupid, mean-spirited or just like butt-monkeys, the main examples being Heath Burns, Manny Taur, Clawd Wolf, Slo Mo and Hoodude Voodoo.
  7. Teachers are also often portrayed as being mean-spirited and antagonistic towards the students, as is the case with Mr. Rotter, Mr. Hackington, Lou Zarr and Igor.
  8. Many of the characters introduced during the episodes are poorly developed and even disappear over the course of the episodes, like Operetta, Rochelle, Venus, Robecca, Romulus, Dee O'Gee, Gory, Bram, Andy Beast, CA Cupid and several others.
  9. In fact the reason for such an abrupt introduction of so many characters (mentioned above) can be explained: it's because the series similar to other children's shows like PAW Patrol, often does this for the sole purpose of promoting new toys (which is not surprising, as the series is pratically a creation by Mattel which is more a toy manufacturer). Hell, the webseries even debuted in the exact year the Monster High franchise began!
  10. The show wastes a lot of potential, such as: the characters' parents never show up (even the legendary Dracula who is the father of Draculaura), Deuce who is supposed to be the main male character has hardly any focus on the show (even Heath, who is supposed to be a minor character, has more prominence than him on the show), many of the new characters having too little focus or being forgetful as mentioned above...
  11. Some continuity errors like for example Draculaura having a 1600th birthday in one of the first season episodes, but turning 1600 years old again in the movie "Why Do Ghouls Fall in Love?", or Gil being moved to another school during early episodes of season two, but returning to appear normally in later episodes of the same season. Would've made more sense if Draculaura turned 1599 years in one of the first season episodes and then turning 1600 in "Why Do Ghouls Fall in Love?".
  12. Some bad or average characters, like for example:
    • Cleo, Toralei and Nefera, although being supposed to be villains on several occasions they just follow the stereotype of mean popular girls. By the way, Cleo still retains some of her old bratty behavior even after redeeming herself in season two.
      • Speaking of Toralei, she and her accomplices follow the terrible stereotype that cats are mean animals that only exist to make other people's lives miserable.
    • The teachers as mentioned above.
    • Heath Burns who can be considered the main buttmonkey of the show.
    • Manny Taur who is usually shown as a bully with no personality.
    • Gory Fangtell and Bram Devein (the latter by the way being an Edward Cullen rip-off)
    • Depending on your point of view: Slo Moe and Hoodude Voodoo.
  13. Plotholes like for example:
    • Manny tends to attack everything that's red (joking at the fact that he's a half-bull creature), but his shirt IS RED.
    • Frankie is presented as being only 15 days old (as a joke based on Frankenstein's Monter's short life). But in the season one episode "Party Planners" she has her 16th birthday, which doesn't make sense because in "New Ghoul @ School" (which is the special where she shows Frankie's arrival at school) she spends a week starting to make friends at Monster High. Also in later seasons she is mentioned again as being 15 days old which doesn't make sense, as several days and even the new year were seen occurring throughout the series.

Trivia

  • In 2021, Mattel announced the return of the Monster High brand, promising new content and products in 2022. Mattel Television announced a new animated series and a live-action movie based on the franchise. Both projects will air on Nickelodeon in the United States in 2022. On November 9, 2021, The new live-action Monster High movie was announched with Todd Holland (who directed 50 episodes of The Larry Sanders Show, 26 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and the movie The Wizard) directing and starring Miia Harris as Clawdeen Wolf, Ceci Balagot as Frankie Stein, and Nayah Damasen as Draculaura. Sadly, this version has changed the characters severely, with non-binary Frankie, Lagoona now being Colombian with a totally different design and personality, Ghoulia now talking, and Draculaura and Abbey not only being racebent to Filipino (or Taiwanese in the new cartoon) and Indian, but their Slavic backgrounds erased in exchange for making them Americans, which while SJWs have welcomed, have not been recieved well by many fans.
  • This series served as inspiration for other animations based on Mattel doll lines in the 2010s such as Ever After High, Enchantimals and Cave Club.

Reception

The show along with the toyline has a considerable fanbase and collectors on a similar to the My Little Pony G4, but in a much smaller scale. The show (along with the movies released directly on video) was even one of the main reasons for helping the franchise in sales and favoring Mattel to create other doll franchises in the 2010s.

This show currently holds a 7.2/10 rating on IMDb.

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