came first, the monster or the egg? That question is a little too deep for a
little monster like Molly, but she understands where baby monsters come from.
Momma monsters give birth to eggs that poppa monsters then hatch. The hatching
takes place on Egg Island, where monster children are not typically allowed.
However, Molly is not the sort to be intimidated by tradition in Matthias
Bruhn, Michael Ekbladh & Ted Sieger’s Molly
Monster (sometimes billed as Ted
Sieger’s Molly Monster, trailer here), which screens (in an English dub) during
the 2016 Miami International Children’s Film Festival.
if you did not grow up with the beloved German cartoon series created by
Sieger, it will not take long to get the gist of Molly’s world. She is a sweet
kid, who spends most of her agreeable days playing with her best friend Edison,
a sentient wind-up rodent toy. However, the little monster on the way threatens
to disrupt their equilibrium. Ironically, it is not Molly who is jealous at the
prospect of losing the attention of her parents, Popo and Etna. It is Edison
who worries Molly will lose interest in him.
was excited to make the journey to Egg Island, so she is crestfallen to learn
she will have to stay at home with her goofball Uncles, Alfredo and Santiago.
However, when she realizes the baby’s hat has been left behind, she gives her
idiot uncles the slip and heads off towards Egg Island, with the reluctant
Edison in tow.
Molly Monster the character and
the film are both very sweet, but they definitely skew towards younger viewers.
Still, there is nothing wrong with a little sweetness in a film like this. It
shouldn’t be much of a spoiler to assure parents eventually the family gets
back together again and everyone learns a few lessons along the way. There is absolutely
no subtext for adults to pick up on, but the animation is pleasingly bright and
can also appreciate the virtues Molly Monster demonstrates: filial love,
loyalty, determination, and just enough rebelliousness to be interesting. It is
also healthy to introduce kids to animated characters that do not come with their
own line of merchandising, at least in this country.
Monster is well-intentioned and
nicely executed. It has a lot of merit as a family film, but it will probably not
reward animation connoisseurs like GKIDS’s more sophisticated releases. Regardless,
it is good to see Molly Monster has
more screenings ahead of it, including her Florida premiere today at noon (12/26)
and this Thursday morning (12/29), during the Miami International Children’s
Labels: Animated films, MICFF '16, Molly Monster