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Monster High: Freaky, No Longer Fabulous

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Vivian Nguyen

Monster High has long been a childhood staple: the multimedia Mattel franchise has garnered loyal fans since 2010. From the freaktastic dolls to the clawsome animated series, there’s no question of Monster High’s popularity. However, with vapid reboots and rebrandings, the franchise has departed from its glory days. The newest Monster High live-action movie musical, “Monster High: The Movie,” released Oct. 6 and directed by Todd Holland, is disappointingly absent of the original flair that drew in fans.

In “Monster High: The Movie,” Clawdeen Wolf (Miia Harris) is a werewolf who finally found a place where she fits in: Monster High. She makes friends with her classmates, the bubbly Frankie Stein (Ceci Balagot) and the fashion-forward Draculaura (Nayah Damasen). As a mad scientist plots to destroy Monster High and Clawdeen Wolf’s attempts to hide her human half, “Monster High: The Movie” circles back to the original franchise’s message: embrace yourself for who you are.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the only similarity between the movie and its source material.

While the character concepts remain the same, they lack their original designs and personalities. The stilted character dynamics and lack of defining traits — such as Clawdeen’s fierceness and Draculaura’s bubbly ditziness resemble none of the original media. Clawdeen’s clumsy and “out of the loop” persona and Draculaura’s cold demeanor are one of many disappointments for old fans. 

Departing from the trendy, teen-savvy front of their franchise, the new versions market to an even younger audience. In previous movies and animated series, main conflicts focused on dramatized high school problems such as a strict teacher or a hallway crush. The movie cuts out the fun, light-hearted high school shenanigans many enjoy as part of the franchise’s media.

Another defining feature of Monster High was the unique fashion: high heels with monster-themed accessories, miniskirts adorned with cobweb patterns, and various other supernatural motifs that hold up as timelessly chic.

The toned-down approach of the movie makes Monster High lose its appeal, as many children were initially drawn to the eccentric, edgy fashion choices. The outfits of the movie characters neon biker shorts, knee-high ‘mom fit’ skirts in garish patterns, and gaudy sneakers have replaced the prior mini skirts and crop tops. The immature styling in comparison to the trendy, unique style associated with Monster High is a major letdown to those who have always admired the creative character design.

While many may have packed away their Monster High dolls, the iconic franchise will remain fresh in this generation’s minds. An unimaginably dull movie, “Monster High: The Movie” lacks the flair so many before loved. Lamentably, it seems Monster High is set on moving past the fashionable monsters of the original franchise and in a new direction.

 

 

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About the Contributors
Sydnee Cho
Sydnee Cho, Staff Artist
Sydnee Cho, a junior on the Gamut, is serving her third year as an illustrator and writer. Despite her intimidating nature (so she thinks), she adores the color pink (hence her phone case), Monster High, The Devil Wears Prada, and talking to others. Sydnee claims that she is a fashionable person, which is obvious with her mindblowing total of 11 piercings and shining silver jewelry. Alongside, she has a dangerous addiction to making money and spending it on online shopping, working as a waiter in LA county. Not so surprisingly, her favorite thing in the world is money. She usually spends her time listening to 80s and 90s music, as well as Lana Del Rey, or playing Royal Match (she is currently on level 3945!). To the freshmen who are nervous about their new adventures in high school, Sydnee gives the advice, “Calm down and chill, life ain’t that deep.”
Vivian Nguyen
Vivian Nguyen, Senior Staff Artist
Entering her senior year at Oxford Academy, Vivian Nguyen is currently in her third year of illustrating for the Gamut. Her love for the comics and illustrations in the newspaper prior to her time on staff convinced her to become a contributor for the paper. Aside from drawing, Vivian enjoys creating HTML websites in various themes, as well as playing minesweeper and solitaire. Despite being a fan of a wide variety of items, ranging from 90s-esque things, Dr. Pepper Zero, raw salmon, and alkaline soap, Vivian also holds grudges against bitter melons and Myers-Briggs personality indicators. Vivian looks forward to spending her last year illustrating for new Gamut issues and helping with Gamut events — but most importantly, graduating.
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Monster High: Freaky, No Longer Fabulous