My Pet Monster

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My Pet Monster
Format Animated series
Starring Sunny Besen Thrasher
Stuart Stone
Jeff McGibbon
Alyson Court
Dan Hennessey
Country of origin United States
Canada
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10
Production
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Broadcast
Original channel ABC (USA)
Global (Canada)
ITV (UK)
Picture format NTSC
Audio format Mono
Original run September 12, 1987 – December 19, 1987

My Pet Monster is a plush doll first produced by American Greetings in 1986. As one of the few plush dolls marketed to boys at the time, My Pet Monster would prove popular throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. The doll has blue fur, horns and a fanged smile, and is recognizable by its orange plastic handcuffs. The handcuffs could also be worn by children and came with a breakaway link so that the child could simulate breaking the chain. Several versions of the doll have been released ranging in size and other attributes. Other characters were also created with brightly colored fur and unorthodox names like Gwonk, Wogster and Rark. Their popularity allowed a wealth of merchandise including coloring books, Golden Look-Look books, frame-tray puzzles and various other items.

The My Pet Monster franchise has offered a fond sense of nostalgia for many children of the '80s, and in commemoration of this, a 22" tall, talking My Pet Monster doll was released by Toymax in 2001.

It spawned a live-action direct to video film in 1986 about a boy who becomes the Pet Monster after being exposed to a statue and changes Incredible Hulk-style when hunger strikes, how a man tries to kidnap him for experimentation, and how his sister helps her brother out of this crisis.

Animated series[edit]

My Pet Monster also spawned a children's cartoon series that ran for one season on ABC, produced by Ellipse (France), Nelvana (Canada), Hanna-Barbera, and Hi Tops Video in association with Golden Books. The show follows Monster who lives with a boy named Max. When Monster wears his handcuffs, they turn him into a stuffed animal. Max often does this as a way to maintain the secret of Monster’s existence from others. Max's sister, Jill (Voiced by Alyson Court), and his friend, Chuckie, are the only ones that know this secret.[1]

The two main adversaries in the show are Mr. Hinkle, a neighbor who always thinks Max is up to something, but is not quite sure what, and Beastur, a large monster who hates light and tries to bring Monster back to Monster Land. Beastur, though immense and fierce, is sadly quite incompetent. He can be stopped by the magic cuffs—which reduce him to a smaller, though still "alive" monster—or by his own bungling, and sent back through the warp portal to his own world. He wears dark glasses to protect his sensitive eyes, which he can use to see in the dark.

Beastur appears in nearly every episode as either a primary or secondary foe. On one notable occasion, he was scared back through the portal to Monsterland not by light or the cuffs, but by the affections of a smitten female gorilla. In the final episode, it is also shown that Beastur hates to be hugged, even more so than being exposed to light.

Much of the voice cast of My Pet Monster returned several years later for Beetlejuice, another cartoon show with a surreal theme and a supernatural world populated by fantastic monsters.

Reruns of all 13 half-hour episodes aired on Teletoon Retro in Canada from September 5, 2011.[2]

Characters[edit]

  • "Monzie" (the Monster, Max's friend in series, as opposed to being Max in special)
  • Max (becomes a Monster in special, finds him as separate character in TV series). When he wins the surfing competition he is referred to as Max Smith.
  • Chuckie (Max's friend)
  • Jill Smith (Max's sister in TV series)
  • Beastur (giant version of Monzie who pursues him through a portal)
  • Mr. Hinkle (neighbour)
  • Princess (Hinkle's dog)
  • Dr. Snyder (Mad Scientist)
  • Melanie (Max's sister in special)
  • Hinkle's niece Jenny
  • Wolfmen (musicians)
  • Leo (school bully)
  • Jumbo Jim (ringer)
  • Mrs. Smith (Max and Jill's mother)
  • Rex Stalker (monster hunter)

Episodes[edit]

Direct-to-video special (1986)[edit]

Title Running time Directed by: Written by: Release date
"My Pet Monster" 60 minutes Timothy Bond J.D. Smith 1986
A boy named Max (Voiced by Sunny Besen Thrasher) and his sister Melanie (Voiced by Alyson Court) go to a museum and see a monster-like statue that Dr. Snyder (Voiced by Colin Fox) had brought back from the Middle East. After being exposed to the statue and sunlight simultaneously, Max finds himself turning into a furry blue monster whenever he gets hungry. Dr. Snyder tries to hold him captive, but Max escapes and eludes him.

Series (1987)[edit]

No. Title Airdate Prod. code
1 "Goodbye Cuffs, Goodbye Monster" September 12, 1987 (1987-09-12) 001
Max purchases Monster and brings him home, only to discover that once his shackles are removed, he comes to life! Unfortunately for Monster, Beastur has escaped from Monsterland and is determined to find Monster and stop at nothing to bring him back with him.
2 "The Wolfmen Are Coming!" September 19, 1987 (1987-09-19) 002
When the hard rock group The Wolfmen hold a concert in town, Jill's costumes for her fan club members make Mr. Hinkle accidentally believe there are real wolfmen lurking in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Max's attempts to find tickets for the concert lead to Monster becoming the guest singer.
3 "Boogie Board Blues" September 26, 1987 (1987-09-26) 003
Max is psyched about the Junior Boogie Board Competition, but a snooty competitor and a bad wipeout may make him lose all hope unless his friends can help.
4 "The Masked Muncher!" October 17, 1987 (1987-10-17) 005
Leo, the school bully, puts Monster's fate at stake in the upcoming pie-eating contest, so the gang enters Monster, as "The Masked Muncher", in the competition against Leo's ringer, Jumbo Jim, the "supermarket terminator."
5 "Runaway Monster" October 24, 1987 (1987-10-24) 006
It is Monster's birthday and apparently his close friends have not remembered his special day. Feeling lonely and forgotten, Monster decides to run away.
6 "Escape from Monsterland!" November 7, 1987 (1987-11-07) 008
Max, Monster and the rest of the gang are trapped in Monsterland and must find a way to escape the dangerous and frightening place.
7 "Little Bigfoot" November 14, 1987 (1987-11-14) 009
Max, Monster and the gang join Mr. Hinkle on a camping trip, pursuing the legend and mystery of Bigfoot.
8 "Monster Makes the Grade!" November 21, 1987 (1987-11-21) 010
School elections are coming up, and Monster is intrigued by this process. Monster decides to pose undercover as an exchange student in order to liven up the political process.
9 "Gorill'a My Dreams" December 12, 1987 (1987-12-12) 012
While enjoying a trip to the zoo, Monster and the gang encounter a lonely gorilla. Through Beastur's meddling, more than just a few hearts may end up broken.
10 "The Monster Hunter!" December 19, 1987 (1987-12-19) 013
A Monster Hunter called Rex Stalker appears in search of Monster. Beastur makes one last attempt to drag him back into Monsterland but chaos soon ensues.

DVD releases[edit]

  • On October 28, 2008, KaBoom! Entertainment released My Pet Monster- The Complete Series, featuring all 13 episodes, on DVD exclusively in Canada.[3]
  • On October 6, 2009, Trinity Home Entertainment released My Pet Monster- The Complete Series on DVD in the USA.[4]
  • The live-action film has yet to be released on DVD.

References[edit]

  1. ^ CHARLES SOLOMON (1987-10-09). "Kidvid Reviews : Cartoon Debuts Are All Drawn Out - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^ "TELETOON Retro Fall 2011 – New & Returning Series". Retrieved 2011-07-25. "Premieres Monday, September 5 at 2 p.m. ET ... 13 x 30 mins" 
  3. ^ News item (2008-9-30) on TV Shows on DVD.com
  4. ^ DVD set info at TV Shows on DVD.com

External links[edit]