Monster High

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Monster High
Monster High logo.png
Created byGarrett Sander
Original workToys
OwnerMattel
Print publications
Book(s)see list of books
Films and television
Film(s)15 (list of films)
Television series2 (list of series)
Games
TraditionalMonster High
Audio
Soundtrack(s)20
Miscellaneous
Toy(s)Monster High
Spin-off(s)

Monster High is an American fashion doll franchise created by Mattel and launched on June 11, 2010.[1] The characters are inspired by monster movies, sci-fi horror, thriller fiction, and various other creatures. Monster High was created by Garrett Sander, with illustrations by Kellee Riley and illustrator Glen Hanson.[2][3] The franchise includes consumer products such as stationery dolls, bags, key chains, various toys, play sets and print/book series.

Just months after launch, an animated web series was developed and released on YouTube. It resulted in the production and release of a number of direct-to-video television specials and films which were distributed on home video formats by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and broadcast in the United States on cable TV channel Nickelodeon. The audiovisual media was touted as the modern-day motive to launch new doll characters in the digital era. In 2016, Mattel released a reboot and origin story called Welcome to Monster High, using revamped face molds, upgraded animation technologies and techniques, a slogan ("How Do You Boo?") and the song "This Is How We Boo", performed by Jordin Sparks.

On February 23, 2021, Mattel announced the return of the Monster High brand, promising new content and products for the following year. Its television division announced a new animated series and a live-action film based on the franchise. Both projects will air on Nickelodeon in the United States in 2022.[4]

Premise[edit]

Monster High
Monster High dolls.jpg
The original Monster High dolls from its 2010 launch. From Left to Right: Clawdeen Wolf, Lagoona Blue, Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Frankie Stein, and Draculaura.
TypeFashion doll
Inventor(s)Garrett Sander
CompanyMattel
CountryUnited States
Availability2010–2018; 2020–present
Slogan
  • "(Where) Freaky Just Got Fabulous!" (2010–2011)
  • "Be yourself, be unique, be a monster!" (2011–2016)
  • "How Do You Boo (Be Out Of The Ordinary)?" (2016–2019)
  • "Everyone Is Welcome!" (2020–present)
Official website

In the town of New Salem, the teenage children of famous monsters attend school for monsters called Monster High. Their stories were told through the TV series, web series & films, as well as through diaries included with the dolls.

Characters[edit]

Monster High features a variety of fictional characters, many of them are students at the titular high school. The female characters are classified as "ghouls" & the male characters are classified as "mansters". The characters are generally the sons & daughters or related to monsters that have been popularized in fiction. The franchise's official website identifies six of the characters as Original Ghouls:[5]

  • Frankie Stein (voiced by Kate Higgins from 2010–2016, Cassandra Lee Morris since 2016)[6] is the daughter of Frankenstein's monster and his bride. She has white hair with black streaks and light, mint-green skin. Frankie is a simulacrum, meaning that her body is made of many different parts. She is clumsy, sweet, and always kind to others. She has a crush on Neighthan Rot. In the series, she used to date Jackson Jekyll and Holt Hyde, but this is different in the diaries, where both characters are in a relationship with Draculaura instead.
  • Draculaura (voiced by Debi Derryberry[7]) is a vampire who is the daughter of Dracula. She is in a relationship with Clawdeen's older brother, Clawd Wolf. She is a vegetarian who faints at the sight of blood.[8] The diaries show that she used to date Jackson Jekyll and Holt Hyde. She has fangs and typically dresses in pink, black and white.
  • Clawdeen Wolf (voiced by Salli Saffioti[7]) is the daughter of a werewolf. She is described as outgoing and sweet. She likes fashion. She has a bit of a temper at times when messed with, but can easily control it when coaxed properly. Her wolf ears are pierced in multiple places. In the 2016 reboot of Monster High, she develops mutual feelings for Raythe.
  • Lagoona Blue (voiced by Laura Bailey from 2010–2015,[7] Larissa Gallagher since 2016) is the daughter of a sea monster. Lagoona is from "Down Under" and speaks with an Australian accent. She can talk with water animals. She is in a relationship with Gillington "Gil" Webber, although their relationship status is unknown in the reboot.
  • Cleo de Nile (voiced by Salli Saffioti[9]) is the daughter of the mummy pharaoh Ramses de Nile, and is 5842 years old at the start of the series. She is the captain of the fearleading squad. Cleo prefers to accessorize with light-gold bandages or mummy wrappings. She is based on Cleopatra. She is also the queen of the social scene, and has a boyfriend named Deuce Gorgon.
  • Ghoulia Yelps (vocal effects provided by Audu Paden[7]) is the daughter of a zombie and is Cleo de Nile's personal assistant. She is very smart, but can only speak a zombie language which consists of moans and groans. She wears white glasses. She is absent from the 2016 reboot.

Conception and development[edit]

The initial characters were created by Garrett Sander and his twin brother Darren.[10] In researching the look, the Sander brothers went shopping with girls and noted they were buying Goth fashion items such as skulls, chains, and black apparels. They remarked that because the characters are monsters, they had more freedom to do things that ordinary kids could not do.[11] Other inspirations include children's interests in Tim Burton and Lady Gaga.[12] Kiyomi Haverly, Mattel's design vice president at the time, said "Honestly, it was very surprising to us. We just noticed girls were into darker Goth fashion." The dolls were created by Garrett Sander and illustrated by Kellee Riley.[12][13]

Production[edit]

The main Monster High products are playscale fashion dolls, approximately 10.5 inch (27 cm) tall. Over 700 million have been produced.[14] Their bodies are made from ABS plastic and their heads are made from soft PVC. The dolls have many skin tones, including blue, green, orange, and pink, in addition to human skin tones. Each character has a unique head mold, except for C. A. Cupid (Daughter of Eros), Ghoulia (Daughter of the Zombies), and Meowlody/Purrsephone (Werecat twins).[citation needed] All-female dolls have rooted saran or[clarification needed] hair, but male dolls may have flocked or hard, colored plastic hair. Each doll has its own fashion style and personality, and each has attributes of the monsters to which it is related (i.e., fangs, stitches, wolf ears, fins, bandages, snakes, etc.). While they are mainly marketed to children, collectors' edition dolls have also been produced.[14] They are also particularly popular with 'OOAK' (one of a kind) doll artists - artists who repaint and modify commercially available dolls. In 2016, the doll series was 'rebooted' with cuter faces rather than the 'fierce' look of the original. They also changed their slogan from "Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster" to "How Do You Boo?" [15] The product line was discontinued in 2018, due to low sales. In 2020 the brand returns with the release of three dolls called "Skullector" with the It doll and The Shining twins, as well as a second slogan change to "Everyone Is Welcome!" (referencing a line from The Adventures of the Ghoul Squad).[16] On the day of release on the brand-new Mattel Creations website, the dolls were sold out after a few seconds. In 2021, the Skullector dolls returned with dolls of Beetlejuice and Lydia, released on August 13 and the second one is Greta Gremlin from Gremlins 2: The New Batch, was released on October 29, through/via the Mattel Creations website.

Other Monster High merchandise includes vinyl figurines, plushies, costumes and Mega Brands toys.[17]

Media[edit]

Animation[edit]

There have been several Monster High-branded animated shorts, television specials and films just months after launch, beginning with the release of "New Ghoul @ School" on October 30, 2010, and continues with "Fright On!", "Why Do Ghouls Fall in Love", "Escape from Skull Shores", "Friday Night Frights", "Scaris: City of Frights" and "Boo York, Boo York". These specials and films were broadcast on Nickelodeon in the United States. Starting with Fright On! in 2011, the specials films were released in direct-to-video home video formats by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The films ranked Monster High as the second in the list of children's direct-to-video franchises that year, according to online magazines and publications.[18] The films and specials have also appeared on streaming services/platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Video games[edit]

Monster High has several video games based on the franchise. The first video game released was Monster High: Ghoul Spirit which was released on October 25, 2011. It is available for Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii with a special "Ghoulify" feature for the Nintendo DSi. The game revolves around the player being the new 'ghoul' in school and must work their way through activities and social situations to finally be crowned 'Scream Queen'. Another video game for Nintendo DS and Wii titled Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze was released in November 2012. The third video game for Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS titled Monster High: 13 Wishes was released in October 2013. In this game, players take on the role of Frankie Stein who must free her friends from a magical lantern by collecting thirteen shards of a magic mirror. A couple of apps titled Ghoul Box and Sweet 1600 are available on iTunes for the iPad and iPhone devices. The Monster High website has also released a series of catacomb-themed web games: "trick or trance", "phantom roller" and "scary sweet memories". In November 2015, Monster High: New Ghoul in School was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Wii.[19]

Books[edit]

Monster High book series[edit]

The Monster High young adult novels are written by Lisi Harrison, who previously wrote the book series The Clique and The Alphas. The books take place in a different fictional universe than the webisodes and deal with the Regular-Attribute Dodgers (RADs) and their struggles with love, social life, school and not to be outed as monsters to humans. Mattel released Harrison's first Monster High novel on September 26, 2010. The book revolves around Frankie Stein and Melody Carver. The second book in the series, The Ghoul Next Door, was released at the end of March 2011[20] and features chapters on Cleo de Nile. The third book featuring Clawdeen Wolf is titled Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way and was released on September 29, 2011. The fourth novel titled Back And Deader Than Ever was released on May 1, 2012[21] and features Draculaura. Another Monster High book called Drop Dead Diary was released on January 19, 2011; it was written by a pseudonymous author Abaghoul Harris.[22]

Monster High by Lisi Harrison
No. Title Date ISBN
1Monster High[23]September 1, 2010ISBN 978-0316099189
2The Ghoul Next Door[24]April 5, 2011ISBN 978-0316099110
3Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way[25]September 20, 2011ISBN 978-0316099196
4Back and Deader Than Ever[26]May 1, 2012ISBN 978-0316099172

Ghoulfriends book series[edit]

Author Gitty Daneshvari has written a Ghoulfriends series focusing on Monster High characters Venus McFlytrap, Robecca Steam, and Rochelle Goyle. The four books include: Ghoulfriends Forever, Ghoulfriends Just Want To Have Fun, Who's That Ghoulfriend? and Ghoulfriends 'Til the End .

Monster High Ghoulfriends by Gitty Daneshvari
No. Title Date ISBN
1Ghoulfriends Forever[27]September 5, 2012ISBN 978-0316222495
2Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun[28]April 2, 2013ISBN 978-0316222532
3Who's That Ghoulfriend?[29]September 10, 2013ISBN 978-0316222549
4Ghoulfriends 'til the End[30]April 8, 2014ISBN 978-0316222518
N–AThe Ghoul-It-Yourself Book[31]September 2, 2014ISBN 978-0316282222
This is an activity book featuring the Ghoulfriends, and also includes a short story by Daneshvari

Monster High Diaries book series[edit]

A book series by Nessi Monstrata was released covering five of the main characters.

Monster High Diaries by Nessi Monstrata
No. Title Date ISBN
1Draculaura and the New Stepmomster[32]August 4, 2015ISBN 978-0316300841
2Frankie Stein and the New Ghoul at School[33]November 3, 2015ISBN 978-0316300940
Frankie shows new student Isi Dawndancer around.
3Lagoona Blue and the Big Sea Scarecation[34]February 1, 2016ISBN 978-0316300803
4Clawdeen Wolf and the Freaky-Fabulous Fashion Show[35]May 3, 2016ISBN 978-0316300780
5Cleo and the Creeperific Mummy Makeover[36]August 2, 2016ISBN 978-0316266369

Discography[edit]

Two songs titled "Fright Song" and "We Are Monster High" have been released digitally along with live-action music videos on YouTube.[37][38][39]

Spin-offs[edit]

In July 2013, a new spin-off line launched as a companion line to Monster High called Ever After High. Ever After High is based on the children of fairy tale characters. The show stars Apple White, daughter of Snow White and Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen from the Snow White tale. The two are representative of the main conflict in the show, Royals (students like Apple White who want to follow their predetermined fairytale story) versus Rebels (students like Raven Queen who wish to “rewrite” their tale). Monster High's C. A. Cupid character is featured in the Ever After High webisodes where she is an exchange student there. In the 2015 film "Boo York, Boo York", a character by name Astranova makes contact with Apple White and Raven Queen suggesting a crossover in the future.[40] However, the 2016 reboot resulted in the cancellation of those plans; brief storyboard animatics were released during summer 2016 on the official Monster High YouTube channel under the title The Lost Movie,[41] and early designs for the EAH characters intended for the crossover have been released online.[42]

in 2017, Mattel released another spin-off, named Enchantimals.

Reception[edit]

In response to the creation of these dolls, rival toy company MGA Entertainment released a witch-themed line of dolls known as Bratzillaz (House of Witchez) which were launched in 2012 and are a spin-off from MGA's Bratz toy line. Many other horror-themed fashion dolls, such as Playhut's Mystixx vampire dolls, WowWee's Once Upon a Zombie dolls and Jakks Pacific's Zombie Girls dolls have been released (all with varying degrees of success) as a result of Monster High's success, in attempts to cash in on the trend. Likewise, rival Hasbro announced in early 2013 the creation of the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls toy line as a spin-off of the 2010 reboot of My Little Pony franchise.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicholasi, Paul (2010-06-11). "Mattel Launches Monster High". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-07-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Hanson, Glen. "Glen Hanson :: Kids". Glen Hanson. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ Tse, Andrea (2010-06-04). "'Monster High': Mattel's Big, Bold Move". TheStreet. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  4. ^ "Mattel Television and Nickelodeon Announce Plans to Produce an Animated Series and Live-Action Television Movie Musical Based on Iconic Monster High Franchise" (Press release). Nickelodeon. February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021 – via The Futon Critic.
  5. ^ "Monster High - Characters!". Monster High. Mattel. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Frankie Stein Voice - Monster High franchise". Behind The Voice Actors.
  7. ^ a b c d Terrace 2014, p. 144
  8. ^ "Draculaura". Monster High. Mattel. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Voice Of Cleo de Nile - Monster High | Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved September 5, 2017. Check-marks indicate the role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  10. ^ Mogan, Kenyth; Tovey, Russell (July 18, 2016). "Mattel Brings the Girl Power to Comic-Con - Huffington Post". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Behind the Design of Monster High". Mattel Shop. November 5, 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ a b Vultaggiourl, Maria (July 17, 2013). "Goth Barbie Dolls Are Best Sellers: Mattel's Monster High Line Includes 'Draculaura,' 'Frankie Stein' And 'Clawdeen Wolf' [PHOTO]". IB Times. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "Goth Barbie Doll Becomes 2nd Bestselling Doll in the World - Behind Only Barbie Herself (PHOTO, VIDEO)". Christian Post. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "MH Dolls Database - MH Merch". TornadoTwist. MH-Merch. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Monster High Reboot?!". Culture Honey. 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  16. ^ "Monster High Official Website". Monster High. Mattel. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  17. ^ "MH Merch Databases - MH Merch". TornadoTwist. MH-Merch.com. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "Monster High Reboot How Do You Boo?". NataliezWorld. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  19. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (November 12, 2015). "Nintendo Download: 12th November (North America)". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  20. ^ Harrisson, Lisi. "Lisi Harrison". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Back and Deader Than Ever (Monster High Series #4)". Lisi Harrison. Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Monster High Drop Dead Diary". Abigail Harris (as Abaghoul Harris). Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  23. ^ Harrison, Lisi (1 September 2010). Monster High. Poppy. ISBN 978-0316099189.
  24. ^ Harrison, Lisi (5 April 2011). The Ghoul Next Door. Poppy. ISBN 978-0316099110.
  25. ^ Harrison, Lisi (20 September 2011). Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way. Poppy. ISBN 978-0316099196.
  26. ^ Harrison, Lisi (1 May 2012). Monster High: Back and Deader Than Ever. Poppy. ISBN 978-0316099172.
  27. ^ Daneshvari, Gitty (5 September 2012). Monster High: Ghoulfriends Forever. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316222495.
  28. ^ Daneshvari, Gitty (2 April 2013). Monster High: Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316222532.
  29. ^ Daneshvari, Gitty (10 September 2013). Monster High: Who's That Ghoulfriend?. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316222549.
  30. ^ Daneshvari, Gitty (8 April 2014). Monster High: Ghoulfriends 'til the End. ISBN 978-0316222518.
  31. ^ Daneshvari, Gitty (2 September 2014). Monster High: Ghoulfriends The Ghoul-It-Yourself Book. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316282222.
  32. ^ Monstrata, Nessi (4 August 2015). Monster High Diaries: Draculaura and the New Stepmomster. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316300841.
  33. ^ Monstrata, Nessi (3 November 2015). Monster High Diaries: Frankie Stein and the New Ghoul at School. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316300940.
  34. ^ Monstrata, Nessi (2 February 2016). Monster High Diaries: Lagoona Blue and the Big Sea Scarecation. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316300803.
  35. ^ Monstrata, Nessi (3 May 2016). Monster High Diaries: Clawdeen Wolf and the Freaky-Fabulous Fashion Show. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316300780.
  36. ^ Monstrata, Nessi (2 August 2016). Monster High Diaries: Cleo and the Creeperific Mummy Makeover. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316266369.
  37. ^ "Fright Song - Monster High". Monster High. Mattel. 9 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 13 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  38. ^ "Fright Song - Behind The Scenes - Monster High". Monster High. Mattel. 8 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 13 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  39. ^ ""We Are Monster High"™ - Madison Beer Music Video - Monster High". Monster High. Mattel. 16 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 13 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ "Escena De Astranova". DC Super Hero Girls, Monster High y Ever After High. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  41. ^ "The Lost Movie - Monster High". Monster High. Mattel. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 26 November 2016 – via YouTube.
  42. ^ "Ever After High Dolls". Ever After High. Mattel. Retrieved 26 November 2016 – via Facebook.

Book references

External links[edit]