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Recap / Welcome To Monster High

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The monsters are coming!
Welcome to Monster High:The Origin Story is Monster High's Continuity Reboot film (or Prequel, according to Word of God) to initiate a new generation of fans, with a one-day theatrical release on August 27, 2016, and the DVD release on September 27. It reintroduces the school, the characters, and the world they exist in.

Here, humans and monsters coexist, but monsters live isolated from each other and in secret—for they believe humanity would fear them. Draculaura, 1599 year old vampire, lives alone with her strict and doting father Dracula, but yearns for "age-adjacent" monster friends and a safe place for them to be themselves. So, with Dracula's help and the help of Frankie Stein and Clawdeen Wolf (and their families) she opens Monster High! While searching for monsters worldwide to attend, she also meets sporty sea monster Lagoona Blue, regal mummy Cleo de Nile, world-famous popstar ghost Ari Hauntington, aspiring world dominator zombie Moanica D'Kay (our antagonist), and other kooky creeps.


Welcome to Tropester High!

  • Adults Are Useless: The ghoul who tried to kill your daughters just came back with the extremely high-priority celebrity they were looking for in her clutches, and then tries to kill them and all of their new friends. Where would you be? If you're Clawdeen's mom and Dracula, the answer is... refilling the punch bowl.
  • All-Ghouls School: The story centers around the creation of one.
  • Arc Words: "Not impossible, just challenging."
  • Art Evolution: The CGI here is leaps and bounds more advanced in lighting, detail, and atmosphere than the pre-reboot specials, and Electrified confirms that'll stick. This also results in a Cosmetically Advanced Prequel.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The ghouls in the cemetery when Moanica turns on them.
  • Ballroom Blitz: At the school dance, it's Moanica and the zomboys versus Draculaura and the Monster High students. Draculaura wins.
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  • Banister Slide: Lagoona and her skate-surfboard, which also counts as a Precision-Guided Boomerang in how it takes out a group of zomboys.
  • Bubblegum Popping: Happens to Clawdeen when Raythe appreciates her new look.
  • Butt-Monkey: During the Ghouls' Travel Montage, misfortune keeps befalling Cleo. She gets soaked by a tidal wave, caught in the maw of one of Venus' Man-Eating Plants, slimed by Gob, Taken for Granite by Deuce's stare, and is given a Bear Hug by Woolie the Yeti.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: Frankie and Draculaura first look for monsters in a dark alley, and shine a flashlight on something scuttling about. It casts a large and intimidating shadow, which they're excited about until it's revealed to be a normal mouse. Disappointed, they both leave—but after they do, an actual monster mouse pops up next to the normal one.
    • Later in the moors, this happens again: a gigantic shadow with many eyes seems to be a monster with bad intentions, and falls upon the ghouls—only to actually be a group of wolf pups, which the ghouls coo at. The really scary one is their big sister.
  • Blob Monster: Gob, who is a great source of in-universe Squick.
  • Boarding School: Monster High is still portrayed as a public school, but it has dorm rooms for students like Cleo, whose homes are too far away to make the trip everyday.
  • Coordinated Clothes: The ghouls (Cleo, Frankie, Clawdeen, Draculaura and Lagoona) all wear helmets while using the Monster Mapalogue. This is necessary, because the teleportation process literally drops them off at the monster's location.
  • Crowd Surfing: Frankie and Draculaura.
  • Darker and Edgier: Oh, yeah. To the point of having a pair of actual battle scenes between the girls and Moanica and her "zomboys".
  • Daylight Horror: Moanica and her zomboys approaching the school.
  • Disney Villain Death: Downplayed—Moanica doesn't die, she's just blown off the stage by Draculaura (in dramatic slow motion) and falls into a pile of chairs. Draculaura even melodramatically tries to save her last minute!
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: Draculaura just screamed Moanica into a pile of chairs, Tash is safe, the zomboys have all been taken out, and everyone starts cheering for her. And then Moanica's hand pops up.
  • The Dead Can Dance: And throw bitchin' welcome parties. Crosses with Monster Mash.
  • Dem Bones: The two skeleton rockers.
  • Double-Meaning Title: In-show, it means "welcome to our new school". Out-of-show, it means "welcome to our new vision for the franchise".
  • Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us: Moanica's ultimate ambition is to subjugate the normies, on the basis that if monsterkind does not strike first, they will be struck down.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: After Frankie finds Draculaura (like the Plucky Girl she is), she and her get the idea to make a school! Since monsters live isolated from even each other to maximize secrecy—Draculaura has to seek them out to fill out the school. This is how we get our cast.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Moanica, and her army of preppy zomboys.
  • Fantastic Light Source: Frankie Stein, back at it again with the Mundane Utility use of her Shock and Awe.
  • Food as Bribe: Frankie and Draculaura use chocolate lollipops and cookies to bolster their campaign—facing stiff competition from Moanica's pins.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: Draculaura, and Clawdeen.
  • Free-Fall Fight: Moanica vs. Draculaura.
  • Gaussian Girl: Clawdeen in her formalwear, from Raythe's point of view.
  • Gilded Cage: Dracula essentially made the mansion this for Draculaura.
  • Glass Smack and Slide: Draculaura flies into a pole in bat form, and transforms back to normal before sliding down.
  • Grand Staircase Entrance: Cleo de Nile, not one to pass up the chance for a dynastic first impression, meets Draculaura, Frankie and Clawdeen by descending down steps that rise to meet her, along with theme music, dramatic fog, and a light show.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Draculaura gets to learn this firsthand during flying lessons. Multiple times.
    • This is also how the Monster Mapalogue works.
  • Hippie Teacher: Clawdeen's mom, working as the school's art teacher.
    Mom Wolf: Art is your soul, flowing onto the canvas.
    Clawdeen: -rolls eyes-
  • Hollywood Darkness: Often.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Used by Frankie to get Draculaura on the Monsternet.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Clawdeen's wolf form has this effect on the zomboys.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: The prevalent motivation for most of Monster High's student body. Draculaura immediately accepts Frankie and Clawdeen into her household because she has never had friends her own (mental) age and neither have they. The very reason to create the school was a way to bring similarly lonely monster kids together, such as Cleo and Lagoona, and their ultimate goal is too someday come together with humanity in peace.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Tash grabs a mike stand as a last resort against Moanica. Doesn't get to use it, though.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: The focus of the school's Humanology class.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: All five of the main ghouls qualify.
  • Lighter and Softer: Only in appearance.
  • Lightning Reveal: Crosses with Face Framed in Shadow. This is how we meet Frankie, watching Draculaura's flying lessons from a window.
  • Loud of War: Used on the zomboys. By the lunch lady.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Frankie's stitches and Frankenstein's Monster ability to bloodlessly take off her arm, Draculaura's vampiric Voluntary Shapeshifting, and Clawdeen's amulet (in wolf form) and wolflike look (in ghoul form) mark them as monsters. These characteristics are kind of used as their proof of monsterdom.
  • Masquerade Ball: The tie-in "Dance the Fright Away" dolls feature masks and gowns in this theme.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Tash appears to be this when she screams for security after realizing Draculaura's a vampire. This is actually to keep up her human ruse; as Tash is actually the ghost Ari, who is just as sweet as her public persona.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: A lot of the later conflicts of the movie might have been avoided if Draculaura had told any of the adults about the murderous zombie.
  • Not Worth Killing: After Moanica initially slinks off leaving her defeated zomboys behind:
    Clawdeen: Where's Moanica? I'd like to finish our conversation.
    Lagoona: She's not worth it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gob the Blob Monster has a subdued reaction like this when a news channel covers how he stole all the food from a convenience store. Despite Moanica's praise for his actions, Gob looks ashamed rather than proud, and he later returns the snacks.
  • My Nayme Is: Raythe. And due to his minor character status, you would never guess his name was spelled that way unless you checked the credits.
  • No Flow in CGI: Looking closely at Draculaura's large pet spider, Webby (no relation to the awards), reveals that only the lowest main pair of his six eyes are actually animated.
  • No Name Given: Clawdeen's mom.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Draculaura's age is back to 1599 years. And of course, there's Dracula—looks like a middle-aged guy, certainly isn't one.
    • Cleo's age is now 3357 years.
  • Palette Swap: Clawdeen's little brothers, and it's very obvious.
  • Photo Montage: The discovery of most new students after Cleo and Lagoona is summed up with this. Also, the ghouls strike an Angels Pose with hairdryers when they find Woolee.
    • Photo Booth Montage: With Cleo and Deuce in the movie, and throughout the credits with all the characters.
  • Pink Heroine: Draculaura, of course.
  • Power Trio: Although the original ghouls make five, our main focus is on Draculaura, Frankie, and Clawdeen.
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Draculaura's (mostly) pink hair makes her the redhead, Frankie's (mostly) platinum white makes her the blonde, and Clawdeen's (mostly) dark brown hair makes her the brunette.
    • Freudian Trio: Clawdeen (most animalistic combat style, most assertive especially in interactions with Raythe) is the Id, Frankie (rational and prodigal, gives Draculaura motivation to start the school) is the Superego, and Draculaura (bright and thoughtful, but prone to acting on impulse without guidance and with a power dependent on concentrated emotion) is the Ego.
    • Town Girls: Draculaura, with a love for pink and a kind and feminine attitude, is the femme (rich, with a really big house—uptown). Frankie, with intellect, pluck, and charisma, is neither (implied to come from a place a bit less wild than Clawdeen's—downtown). Clawdeen, with her big bad wolf form and fierce attitude, is the butch (she's also from the moors—out of town).
  • Public Exposure: Skelly poses for art class in the way a nude model would. The ironic part is that he does not wear anything besides a knit cap and bangles.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Draculaura, Frankie, and Clawdeen are mad skilled at this... and use it on Dracula.
  • Retcon: Word of God mysteriously started stressing that this wasn't a reboot, just a prequel after a lot of fandom backlash. The subtitle "The Origin Story" was also added in trailers, marketing and DVDboxart around that time.
  • The Rival: Moanica to Draculaura.
  • Ship Tease: Dracula, and Clawdeen's mom. This edges on Squick, because Clawdeen's older brother Clawd was Draculaura's boyfriend in Generation 1.
    • Also, Clawdeen and Raythe.
  • Spy Speak: Used by the ghouls before intercepting Tash's bus.
  • Stalker Shrine: Draculaura kind of has one to Tash/Ari—and Moanica uses this against her in her Bastardly Speech.
  • Student Council President: Draculaura runs for this against Moanica, with Frankie as her running mate. She wins.
  • Taken for Granite: By Deuce. Cleo, a zomboy, and (prior to the movie's events) some unfortunate tourists.
  • Title Drop: For the actual movie title, and the franchise title—which makes sense.
  • Toilet Humor: Clawdeen whines about the crowded single bathroom at her old den, and we see a picture of one of the wolf pups piddling on a tree in a scrapbook... that's put down right when another's about to try the same thing on a table. He doesn't as soon as he's caught, though.
  • Wham Line:
    Frankie: I saw you turn into a bat.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After failing to complete her plan Moanica storms out of the party and into the forest (zomboys in tow), letting the ghouls have their fiesta.
  • Villain Has a Point: Moanica isn't wrong about the monsters of the school are just hiding from the humans, and she's also right that simply attacking the humans and taking over would probably be quicker and easier than trying to gain their acceptance. Both of these points are actually what her election campaign is built on, and even Draculaura and her dad have to admit that she has a point. However, while her ideas are sound, it's not the right thing to do.
  • Younger Than They Look: Frankie is now 115 days old—not even a year, but still way younger than how she looks.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Light version through Draculaura's affirmation that she and her father are daywalkers: she says that the sun only kills vampires in movies.

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