Tuesday, August 23, 2016
'Monster Beach' DVD: Animated Tween Horror Comedy Beach Movie
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This totally tubular animated beach movie satire from Australia will not play in a standard U.S. player; watching it requires a way radical international player.]
Spectacular Australia-based home video company Madman Entertainment once again awesomely ventures where American companies fear to tread regarding the June 2016 DVD release of the 2014 Cartoon Network animated movie "Monster Beach." The best way of thinking about this film is that it a cross between the young sibling-oriented supernatural-themed Disney Channel series "Gravity Falls" and the groovy '60s surfer movies.
Things get off to a great start on learning that the sister and the brother who are spending the summer with their uncle Woody at the titular surfers' paradise are named after the '60s Beach Boys clone Jan and Dean. We learn just as quickly that Jan is a stereotypical surly older sister who does not want to be there and Dean is a typically hyper-active and annoying positive younger brother who is having the time of his life.
After a few kid-friendly low-key scary moments that set the stage for the main action, the kids meet the fun-loving Groovy Ghoulies style surf-oriented creatures that are the basis for the name of the titular beach. This first contact soon leads to a performance of the rocking theme song set to awesomely frantic action.
Discovering the secret of their temporary home leads the kids to talk to Uncle Woody, who explains the unfortunate circumstances behind the present state of the beach. Suffice it to say that it involves a misuse of magical power fueled by both greed and revenge.
A new threat to the mellow vibe that still permeates the beach comes in the form of the efforts of surf-related theme parks developer Butterfield. This hybrid of Walt Disney and Donald Trump effectively makes a deal with devil to obtain Monster Beach as the site for his latest project. Whether he gets away with it depends on the success of the efforts of those meddling kids to stop him.
Of course, this would not be a mainstream kids' movie without a few lessons thrown in. A desire to keep spoilers to a minimum requires limiting the discussion of these morals to stating that they involve the classics of tolerance and not being uptight.
Om a larger level, the delay in posting this review prevents watching it at the beginning of the summer but allows getting in time for a bodacious end-of-the-summer viewing. Party on Dudes!
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Beach" is welcome to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.