Saturday, March 11, 2017

Movie Review: Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef

Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef
Mattel Playground Productions, USA, 2016.

Thirteen is a number of ill omen and with the thirteenth film the original run of Monster High series also ended and the next one was a reboot. 

The ghoul friends are practising a dance number under direction of Toralei(!). Toralei's choreography resembles what I look like when I'm dancing. Lagoona Blue is a great dancer but she has a serious stage fright making her freeze when there is an audience. After Toralei makes Lagoona's misfortune a meme, the feud between them intensifies. 
Dancing lesson
Usually friendly Lagoona gets angry and does the unthinkable. Lagoona uninvites Toralei from her own aftershow party. The energy of the fight opens a portal in the swimming pool and a group of ghouls get sucked in. Draculaura, Toralei, Lagoona, Clawdeen and Gil wake up as mermaids. Poseidon's daughter Posey invited them to help Lagoona to overcome her fears.
Party Party!
Fish friends
Kala Mer'ri
Lagoona's former friend and nowadays nemesis Kala Mer'ri humiliates Lagoona again in a dance contest. (In addition to the obvious Calamari-pun, the name is funny for the Finnish: kala means fish and meri means sea so her name would be "Fish Sea") Kala has a two-headed friend Peri (nice) / Pearl (naughty) and the nicer head feels sympathy for Lagoona. In the undersea town the fish ghouls meet Lagoona's family and her dad, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. For some weird reason Lagoona's accent sounds more Scottish than Australian.
Peri and Pearl
Lagoona's dad Wade
Posey likes dramatic announcements
Lagoona must meet her deepest fear to be able to return home. Does it mean facing the scariest monster of the deep,  the Kraken, is enough? (Hint: no).
What is interesting is that the first trailer had a completely different premise. The original trailer had Lagoona getting a driver's licence and the friends going for a submarine ride. It feels that the script went through some serious rewrites.
After "Boo York" this seems to have had a lower budget and the reboot was already looming. As Audu Paden was increasingly more involved with Ever After High series, his involvement with this story was probably minor. This one has some inconsistencies compared to previous films or webseries and Lagoona's stage fright seems out of character. The lack of Audu Paden begins to show how much his ideas contributed to the original Monster High series. With the new people in charge the story doesn't flow so smoothly and the ending leaves quite a many loose ends and plot holes. For this film also Lagoona's voice actor was changed from Laura Bailey to Larissa Gallagher and the new voice actress continued with the reboot.

The story has a message of anti-bullying (common theme in the series) and message of accepting one's flaws so it is more of the same and that's ok. It has some entertaining parts and it is not totally bad but lacks something compared to the previous episodes.

There is an edited episode of Ever After High included.

Way Too Wonderland
There is something wrong in  Wonderland and Ever After Highers try to find a way to get there.


Voice actors: Larissa Gallagher, Kate Higgins, Debi Derryberry, Salli Saffioti, America Young, Evan Smith, Lyndsy Kail, Rachel Staman, Cherami Leigh, Paula Rhodes, Piotr Michael, Erin Fitzgerald, Cam Clarke, Marcus Griffin, Audu Paden, Cindy Robinson, Julie Maddalena
Directors: William Lau, Jun Falkenstein

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