13th Oct2017

‘Monster Island’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Features the voices of: Fiona Hardingham, Roger Jackson, Jenifer Beth Kaplan, Eric Larsen, Katie Leigh, Michael Robles, Johnny Rose, Nancy Sullivan, Phillip Vasquez | Written by Billy Frolick, Alicia Núñez Puerto | Directed by Leopoldo Aguilar


When young Lucas finds out he’s not really a human; the news changes his whole world. Especially since his first monster transformation happened in front of the most popular kids at school! After unreasonably blaming his Dad for keeping his identity a secret, the angry and embarrassed Lucas runs away from home. His search for Monster Island and his real roots takes him on a fabulously scary journey that puts him face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky – it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family you can proudly call your own.

Awwwww. Doesn’t that synopsis sound great? Yeah… Don’t believe everything you read. Essentially a poor mans Teen Wolf meets Hotel Transylvania, Monster Island is the latest animated feature from “the producers of Top Cat Begins” – which should tell you everything you need to know about this movie! Both films suffer from what you would call, in live-action terms, DTV budgetary constraints.

Which means that much like the Top Cat movie, the animation here looks and feels at about TV production levels – it does the job, as many kids cartoons do, but there’s no real life to the animation and everything just feels, and falls, flat. Which is a shame as there is actually some great character design buried within: from the titular character and his father to the fantastic “skull-faced” police officer, who is in fact one of the real standouts in the film, both in terms of design and script – he certainly gets all the best laughs!

Of course you can’t expect high drama from what is a family-friendly animation yet, unlike Pixar and Disney’s efforts, Monster Island forgets the “family” aspect and is aimed squarely at younger kids (well those who arent’t terrified of any kind of monsters!) As such the story really suffers – particularly in the final third of the movie. Until that point, the film plays out very much like a typical “kid finds himself and gets closer with his family” film that you’ve seen a myriad times before in, better, movies. But when the finale gets underway even kids might end up underwhelmed…

Thankfully, with a short sub-80 minutes runtime that actually passes quite quickly, Monster Island doesn’t outstay its welcome. And that’s probably for the best – there’s not even enough story to keep the momentum going, never mind support a longer movie!

Monster Island is available on DVD now from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.


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