My Pet Monster
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The My Pet Monster character began as 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 was popular in 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 in various sizes 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.
|My Pet Monster|
|Starring||Sunny Besen Thrasher
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||22 minutes per episode|
|Original network||ABC (US)
|Original release||September 12 – December 19, 1987|
The character's popularity spawned a live-action direct-to-video film in 1986 about a boy who becomes the Pet Monster after being exposed to a statue, changing when hungry. A man tries to kidnap him for experimentation while his sister helps her brother out of the crisis. My Pet Monster also spawned a children's cartoon series that ran for one season on ABC, produced by Ellipse (France), Nelvana (Canada), 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 to keep Monster's existence secret from others. Max's sister, Jill (Voiced by Alyson Court), and his friend, Chuckie, are the only ones that know this secret.
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 MonsterLand. Beastur, though immense and fierce, is 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.
- "Monster" (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 Monster who pursues him through a portal)
- Mr. Hinkle (neighbor)
- Princess (Hinkle's dog)
- Dr. Snyder (Mad Scientist)
- Melanie (Max's sister in special)
- Hinkle's niece Jenny
- Wolfmen (musicians)
- Leo (school bully)
- Annie (neighbour/Jill's friend)
- Jumbo Jim (ringer)
- Mrs. Smith (Max and Jill's mother)
- Rex Stalker (monster hunter)
Direct-to-video special (1986)
|Title||Running time||Directed by:||Written by:||Release date|
|"My Pet Monster"||60 minutes||Timothy Bond||J.D. Smith||1986|
|A boy named Max (Sunny Besen Thrasher) and his sister Melanie (Alyson Court) go to a museum and see a monster-like statue that Dr. Snyder (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.|
|1||"Goodbye Cuffs, Goodbye Monster"||September 12, 1987||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||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||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||"Rock-a-bye Babysitters / Monster Cookie Mix-Up!"||October 2, 1987||004|
|Monster discovers the cookies that Jill has baked for a charity drive and proceeds to devour them. The gang attempts to make a new batch, which may be more disastrous than it looks.|
|5||"The Masked Muncher!"||October 17, 1987||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."|
|6||"Runaway Monster"||October 24, 1987||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, not knowing they have been planning a surprise party.|
|7||"Finders Keepers / My Poet Monster"||October 31, 1987||007|
|Monster stumbles onto a stash of stolen jewels and decides to keep them for himself. Soon after he takes them, the thieves, police, Max and Chuckie all set off in search of him.|
|8||"Escape from Monsterland!"||November 7, 1987||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.|
|9||"Little Bigfoot"||November 14, 1987||009|
|Max, Monster and the gang join Mr. Hinkle on a camping trip, pursuing the legend and mystery of Bigfoot.|
|10||"Monster Makes the Grade!"||November 21, 1987||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.|
|11||"Monster Movie Mayhem! / Superhero for Hire!"||December 5, 1987||011|
|A videotape of Monster is accidentally switched with that of a show dog, and Max and the gang journey in search of it before it's viewed and Monster's secret existence is revealed.|
|12||"Gorill'a My Dreams"||December 12, 1987||012|
|While enjoying a trip to the zoo, Monster and the gang encounter a lonely gorilla. Beastur shows up.|
|13||"The Monster Hunter"||December 19, 1987||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.|
- On October 28, 2008, KaBoom! Entertainment released My Pet Monster- The Complete Series, featuring all 13 episodes, on DVD exclusively in Canada.
- On October 6, 2009, Trinity Home Entertainment released My Pet Monster- The Complete Series on DVD in the USA.
- The live-action film has yet to be released on DVD.
- CHARLES SOLOMON (1987-10-09). "Kidvid Reviews : Cartoon Debuts Are All Drawn Out - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- "TELETOON Retro Fall 2011 – New & Returning Series". Retrieved 2011-07-25.
Premieres Monday, September 5 at 2 p.m. ET ... 13 x 30 mins
- News item (2008-9-30) on TV Shows on DVD.com
- DVD set info at TV Shows on DVD.com