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Western Animation / Monster Family

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Monster Family is a 2017 British-German computer animated horror comedy film directed and produced by Holger Tappe, and co-written by David Safier.

Count Dracula, growing tired of his loneliness with his three bat servants. He receives a phone call from Emma Wishbone, a woman from a troubled family, who has mistakenly called him instead of a monster costume store. Dracula believes the call from Emma was fate and decides to make Emma his new bride, and persuades his witch servant Baba Yaga to curse her and turn her into a real vampire so she will stay with him. Unfortunately, the curse ends up affecting Emma's husband and children as well, and they all become monsters.

The voice cast includes Emily Watson, Nick Frost, Jessica Brown Findlay, Celia Imrie, Catherine Tate, and Jason Isaacs.

A sequel titled Monster Family 2 was released in 2021.

The film provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The chief and her supermodel crew is saved by Frank when stuck in the desert. They all quickly lie at his feet, but she (in buttuglyness only surpassed by Baba Yaga) is the worst lovestruck offender.
  • Action Girl: Emma to some degree, after her vampirization. Leaps even into Determinator area when she tries to catch Baba Yaga (who can teleport). Still, Dracula naturally is stronger than her, also psychologically.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Baba Yaga's magic comes from her amulet.
  • Becoming the Costume: After Emma dresses the family up for a Halloween party, and following a spell from Baba Yaga, each member of the family is transformed into the monster they were dressed as — Emma into a vampire, Frank into Frankenstein's Monster, Max into a werewolf and Fay into a mummy. Emma was the only intended target of this curse though, as this is how Dracula wanted to make her his bride. The others were collateral damage.
  • Big Bad: Dracula. When he sees that Emma loves her family more and won't become his eternal bride, he sets to wipe out the sun (and humanity by effect).
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Dracula's three bats are this.
  • Brainwashed: As a mummy, Fay can do this to people with her magic.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: Max starts the movie as a frequent victim of bullying, but after becoming a werewolf he gets back at his bully and frightens him. At the end of the film, Max's bully has realized the error of his ways and befriends him.
  • Character Development: The Wishbone Family has to learn to be a loving family once more, especially Emma who doesn't realize what she has until the end of the story.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: A school bully loses his pants while trying to jump through a fence. His heart-printed underwear is revealed.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Upon being turned into a vampire, Emma looks into a mirror. Since she has no reflection and Baba Yaga is standing behind her, Emma's response is...
    Emma: ...I'm an ugly old witch!
  • Curse Escape Clause: The reason Baba Yaga's spell affected the whole family instead of just Emma is because they were all unhappy with their lives. And only when they all find happiness will the curse be broken.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Wishbone family, even after being transformed into monsters, still have their humanity within them. This goes for Baba Yaga, Renfield, and the Bats after their Heel–Face Turn.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Once Emma rejects Dracula, he decides to unleash a giant magical snowball that will instantly freeze the sun, killing everything on Earth.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dracula, who really is a charming guy, but still would wipe out mankind if Emma doesn't become his bride.
  • Food Pills: Dracula has developed blood pills, which he gives to Emma whilst she's starving, in an attempt to win her favor and make her dependent on him. He also developed a pill that immediately induces overwhelming hunger, just in case she betrayed him.
  • Gasshole: Frank. For the first half of the film he is prone to unleashing a powerful and rancid fart whenever he's stressed.
  • Gentle Giant: As Frankenstein's Monster, Frank has an abundance of both height and humanity.
  • Granola Girl: Cheyenne. If her flower style costume isn't a hint, her VW bus should settle it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Baba Yaga, Renfield and the bat trio all eventually turn on Dracual and side with the Wishbones.
  • Hollywood Mirage: While wandering throug the desert after Baba Yaga teleported them there, the Wishbones think they have found an oasis, but it is just a mirage.
  • Horror Hunger: Emma's transformation to a vampire makes her hunger for human blood. Twice she comes dangerously close to biting an innocent person, with Dracula interfering just in time by easing her hunger with one of his blood pills. Dracula even warns her that, if given time, her hunger for blood will get so big she will even try to feed on her own family. When Emma betrays him, he uses another pill to make her hungry again and she indeed comes close to biting Frank, but her love for him eventually wins and they kiss instead.
  • Human Popsicle: A lot of accidental and not so accidental victims of Draculas super-freezer. In the end, he gets Hoist by His Own Petard and a family-friendly death.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Dracula has a case of this. Seeing how Emma rejects him even after he has transformed her into a vampire, he decides to destroy the human world.
  • In a Single Bound: As a vampire, Emma can do this.
  • I Owe You My Life: Baba Yaga's Heel–Face Turn begins when, in her attempt to escape Cheyenne, she accidentally teleports herself onto a flagpole and falls off, but Cheyenne saves her.
  • Ironic Name: The family's name is Wishbone, an item symbolizing wish fulfillment with a side of luck (whoever gets the larger bone when snapping it), but they all suffer greatly in their day to day lives. Max is bullied for being smart, Fay is a typical Bratty Teenage Daughter desperate to be an adult with a better life, Frank is stuck in an office job constantly smothered in extra work, and Emma's bookstore apparently gets no significant business and she has cursed-by-a-leprechaun levels of bad luck/clumsiness causing havoc from merely trying to walk down the street.
  • Logical Weakness: Dracula tends to activate most of his powers by snapping his fingers. Thus, when his fingers are injured, he is incapacitated. The bat trio, upon turning on their boss, bite his fingers for exactly this reason.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: Dracula is the Big Bad of the movie and most of the other monsters work directly for him, but Imhotep is a standalone villain who has no ties to Dracula and follows his own agenda instead. He teaches Fay how to use her mummy powers, but she rejects him when he reveals he wants to Take Over the World. He is eventually defeated in a fight by Frank, after which he is not seen again and the Wishbones can focus on Dracula again.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: When Imhotep transforms into a giant beetle, Frank proceeds to keep him from hurting his kids by grabbing his legs and swatting him back and forth.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The bat trio decide to help the Wishbones escape captivity and join the final battle after Dracula messes with them one too many times.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Since he's been turned into a werewolf, Max is prone to wolf-like behavior, such as running on all fours and licking to show his affection.
    • Frank also counts. After becoming a monster, he speaks by starting every word with an "Mmm" and generally acts pretty ditzy.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Cheyenne is a very literal example of this, still wearing hippie-style clothing in her old age.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The movie is obviously set in the US, as evidenced by the fact that they drive on the right side of the road instead of the left and that the titular family bears American passports, yet not a single one of them ever attempts to downplay their English accents. This goes for minor characters too.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Imhotep can transform into a giant beetle, and does so to fight Frank.
    • Dracula can transform into a huge batmonster, and does so in the final fight with the Wishbones.
  • I Owe You My Life: Cheyenne saves Baba Yaga from falling to her death, after which the two become friends.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Specifically..."There are stories where vampires who have a soul can walk in the sun", as Max researched. Conveniently for Emma, this is true. Unconveniently, the thirst remains.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Dracula may be a centuries old vampire, but he has clearly adapted to modern times as he posesses a great amount of high tech gadgets. Including a suit to protect him from the sun, a jetpack, drones to spy on the Wishbone family, and his own plane.
  • Public Domain Character: Dracula and Imhotep are the only Universal Public Domain Monsters to make an appearance (not counting Frank becoming Frankenstein's Monster) and we have a non monster example with Renfield. Baba Yaga also appears from Russian folklore.
  • Sentient Sands: Fellow mummy Imhotep appears to Fay as a whirlwind of sand initially, and teaches her how to do the same.
  • Shout-Out: Draculas sun block suit immediately rings "Magneto", including his cool X Jet.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Dracula, Renfield and Imhotep died in their original stories, but are alive and well in here.
  • The Team Normal: Cheyenne is just a regular human amid the Wishbones' new superhuman abilities
  • Time Stands Still: One of Dracula's superpowers.


Frank Wishbone

When he gets stressed, watch out...

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Example of:

Main / Gasshole

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