Exclusive to Cineworld Cinemas in the UK (although I suspect the bidding wasn’t particularly fierce), “Monster Island” is running in their Movies For Juniors range as a school holiday time waster.
When young Lucas transforms into a monster in front of his entire class at the coolest party of the year, he suddenly has a lot more on his mind than girls and his grades. Angry at his father for hiding the truth from him, Lucas steals a secret map and sets off to find his roots on Monster Island.
‘From The Producers Of Top Cat Begins’ may not give you much confidence but it does adequately prepare your expectations for this cheap and occasionally cheerful Mexican animated production. It’s a Ratatwang-esque knock off of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” mashed together with a bit of “Teen Wolf” although it has to be said, the animation design goes a little bit darker than Pixar ever did and some of the imagery may be unsettling for very young children. The story itself isn’t too bad either, dealing with the issues of growing up different but it’s told in such a muddled and half-hearted way that nothing really sticks. There are one or two mildly amusing moments (mostly provided by a pair of Monster Island’s police force) but it kind of drifts from one plot point to the next with no real narrative flow. It feels like the first draft script is what they went with and just cut out anything which didn’t work. It’s the kind of film kids under 8 will enjoy well enough while they’re watching it and then instantly forget as soon as the lights come up. For anyone over the age of 8, it really is a horror movie.
With tickets only costing around £2.50 each, it’s probably still a little overpriced for something which is surely destined to end up in a dusty corner of Netflix or Amazon Prime but if you’re absolutely at a loose end during the holidays and you’ve already seen everything else on offer for kids as many times as you can stomach and it’s raining and the TV is broken, then sure, why not give this a go?