Review: Monster Family

Simon Harris and family check out the new animated family film from Sky Cinema, Monster Family...

This was our first outing at the cinema as a family of four, so the excitement and anticipation was high. Our five-year-old little girl was very keen to introduce her baby sister to the combined delights of the-big-screen-plus-popcorn. Previous attempts had failed due to sleepy time or the loud surround system noise just blowing her tiny baby brain. We were hoping this was a mission 18-months-old Maggie would choose to accept. And, hey, she smashed it.  

Monster Family was a total success for our (mostly non-monster-like) family. The kids loved it because it’s the flicks. Mum loved it because she got to hang out in the dark and ‘rest her eyes’ occasionally (but still keep up with the story line), and I loved it because I love all things cinema – especially animation.  

Based on David Safier’s best-selling novel, Monster Family has a fantastic voice cast (Jason Isaacs, Nick Frost, Catherine Tate, Emma Watson) and a fun storyline. The Wishbone clan – Frank, Emma and their kids Max and Fay – are a stereotyplcal family, dragging themselves through the drudgery of life and at each others' throats much of the time. Mum feels undervalued; dad is doing his best to keep it all together; kids are annoying. What they need is a family adventure with challenges, scares, highs and lows to get all their frustrations out in the open, have their tantrums, walk away from each other… and then (spoiler alert!) unite to triumph over adversity and realise how much they really do love each other and live happily ever after. The End. 

The challenge comes in the form of an evil witch who transforms them into monsters, leaving them to battle real-life beasts and find a way to reverse the curse, with plenty of scary, silly and sweet episodes along the way. 

It is what it is: a simple, fun film that's great for kids and not too painful for adults. Perfect for a wet afternoon to sit back, recognise parts of yourself in some of the characters and then rejoice at love conquering all. Dads: don't be offended at how hopeless the dad is. Mums: don't be offended at how uptight and frustrated the mum is. Kids: don't be offended at what total pains in the bum they are. It’s not real, so just smile and enjoy the film-plus-popcorn combo.

Monster Family is in cinemas and on Sky Cinema now. Watch the trailer below. 

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