Moshi Monsters: The Movie (2013)

Moshi Monsters: The Movie (2013)

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So saccharine, you could vomit.
So saccharine, you could vomit.

Twitter Plot Summary: The Moshi Monsters have to save the Great Moshling Egg from the nefarious Dr Strangeglove.

Five Point Summary:

1. It’s… so… colourful… *head explodes*
2. Terrible songs do not a child-friendly movie make.
3. The evil Dr Strangegloves strikes!
4. In the mountains for no apparent reason.
5. Gladiator reference.

Moshi Monsters The Movie has three things working in its favour. The first is the animation style which is crisp, colourful and vibrant, albeit the kind of animation style that would be most unwelcome the morning after a heavy night of drinking or, indeed, pretty much any other time of the day. You certainly have to pay attention to it – it won’t allow for any alternative. The second is the gentle humour, which doesn’t go as far as it should to keep the grown-ups entertained, but does enough now and again to raise a smirk. You’re not going to get any belly laughs out of this one, unless you’re one of those “child” things you hear so much about. Finally there are the songs that are interspersed throughout, clearly padding the story out beyond what would otherwise be a very, very short film. They’re not brilliant and nowhere near the quality of those that frequently show up in big name animated features, but they’re sufficient to offer brief moments of distraction.

The story is nice and simple, and perfect for its target audience. The evil Dr Strangeglove is intent on stealing the recently discovered Great Moshling Egg, while simultaneously Katsuma and Poppet must tolerate each other’s company as they make a film about Moshi Monsters and the residents of Monstro City. Naturally the two plots intertwine very quickly, leading them all off on a colourful adventure that will, of course, result in everyone living happily ever after – you don’t want your young audience feeling too jaded with the world by throwing in a bleak ending. Not just yet, anyway.

On the other hand, the tone is likely to feel condescending to an adult or, indeed, anyone older than the age of five (which still might be pushing it). There are a couple of fun nods for the no doubt captive adult audience – the villainous Dr Strangeglove and his dialogue being the most obvious and the most entertaining – but everyone else’s real purpose for appearing is either a thinly veiled attempt at selling toys, or very, very slowly pushing the story onwards.

Best thing in the movie by a long distance.
Best thing in the movie by a long distance.

There happen to be a lot of characters in Monstro City, which given its online origins and expansion into toys, lunch boxes and other branded products, should come as no surprise. There will no doubt have been a number of parents who have found themselves well out of pocket thanks to products like this. Yet again it’s clear that the Moshi Monsters movie is designed to entertain its audience whilst at the same time dropping less than subtle hints that they would be better off with all of the various tie-in products. It would be more palatable if the film had more going for it. But it doesn’t.

Essentially, what we have in Moshi Monsters is an 85 minute toy advert for the A.D.D. generation, a constant bombardment of colour and noise no doubt cleverly designed by committee to provide moderate entertainment and increased chance of making money. Whilst that is to be expected, it doesn’t need to be as brazen about it as Moshi Monsters The Movie.

Score: 1/5

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