It's almost a safe bet that a movie with a science fair will have a bit of fun in it.
Science, acceptance, peer pressure and a many of things exploding in Gordon Crum's "A Monster's Holiday." Andy (Drake Bell) is a budding middle school scientist. He's got a potato powered clock, a robotic dog, and a propensity to make things go boom. With the science fair around the corner and twins rivals out to get him, he's going to need to come up with something fast. When his mom (Brooke Shields) tells him that he just needs inspiration, he decides to visit an incredibly inspiring scientist, Dr. Frankenstein.
Luckily, he lives nearby. Upon entering the good doctor's abode, he realizes that the doctor is out, but left behind is his monster, Frank (Jon Heder), who in fact hates the M word. Frank's not a monster and hates when people freak out over his appearance. When Andy's dad (Kyle Chandler) tries to get the slight of build son on to the team he coaches, Frank and Andy concoct a scheme where both set out to get what they want and then some.
"A Monster's Holiday" is a welcome arrival at just the right time. Halloween can be a tough time for parents not knowing what they should pop in the DVD player that wont cause nightmares for kids. In quality, tone, and storytelling, it could almost be considered a companion to 2012's "Frankenweenie" by Tim Burton, which also dealt with a misunderstood kid with an eye for the scientific with often unexpected results. Although it won't be nominated for an Oscar, it's just as entertaining and not likely to scare the little ones.
The animation is bright, fast moving and fun. . Despite his youth, Drake Bell is quickly turning into a voice veteran of this kind of animated fare. There's a reason kids are enthralled with his characters, whether it's as a boy with a 5 gallon haircut or a certain web-slinger. Kudos to making a contemporary kid Frankenstein that embodies the misunderstood tween in all of us. "A Monsterous Holiday" isn't preachy, but you'd be an ogre not to have fun while learning a lesson or two.
"A Monsterous Holiday" Not Rated. Currently on VOD and DVD. Running time: 48 minutes.