After I posted about the dismal representation of females in a trio of new Halloween movies, I got this comment from MonsterLibrarian.com:
What do you recommend as far as monster movies intended for kids, then? As the editor for MonsterLibrarian.com and the mother of a monster-loving boy with a sister willing to go along for the ride I’d be interested in what you DO think are good choices. We held Monster Movie Month in July, which, while mostly at choices for adults, was inspired by my son’s love of the classic movies, and the three of us picked some movie choices parents could share with their kids, but I’d love to know what you think. Halloween is our busiest month of the year and our children’s section is one of the most popular parts of our site and that’s something I would love to share there.
I do think there are a lot of interesting influences on girls that come from both media and unwitting family members. My daughter, after watching Scooby Doo with my enthusiastic son, said she wanted to be a ballerina zombie for his Halloween birthday party, but on her own she wanted to be a princess, for the third year running.
I told MonsterLibrarian that I do not know of many monster movies starring females, and that I would put the question out to the Reel Girl community. When I think of monster movies, I think of screaming girl victims. I do like Scooby Doo and my three daughters ages 3 – 9 also like it. There are often monsters in Scooby Doo and sometimes those are female. The problem is, obviously, the star of the series is male as is his best friend Shaggy. There are two females to three males in the crew, which is not a bad ratio. Though, super annoying is that Velma is the “smart” one with glasses and Daphne is the “pretty” one who always wants to shop and do her hair.
I loved “Coraline,” the book and the movie. I think that would qualify as a monster movie. The Other Mother is a monster. That movie is my only real suggestion so far. Please write in yours! I will add suggestions to this post.
Suggestions for monster movies starring females:
Synposis from Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals:
It takes place in the early 1900’s, so you have to put women’s place in history at that time into perspective. But we love it. It is about being true to yourself and good to the people you love. It is a love story, but nothing like Disney. The music and art is incredible. It is kind of dark and creepy (Tim Burton,hello!) but my kids love it.
Story: Victor is set to marry Victoria, but neither feels ready to wed. During rehearsal Victor gets nervous and messes everything up, and gets booted out of the church. He is out in the woods practicing his vows, and unbeknownst to him he is in the presence of a dead woman who rises from the grave and assumes they are married. There are a a bunch of twists and turns as Victor tries to figure out his fate, and the Corpse Bride tries to figure out where fate led her. Victoria has a smaller role. In the end, the Corpse Bride is the shero of the day, and sets everything the way it should be. In the end, the truth inside everyone’s heart is honored.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Monsters and Aliens I just thought of this one. It stars Reese Witherspoon. I saw it pre-Reel Girl and think I had some issues with it, but I also liked it. I’ll watch it again.
Hocus Pocus stars three witches, and a gang of kids who try to stop them. The kids are two girls and a boy.
Kiki’s Delivery Service About a witch, I’ve seen this and agree, its GREAT
My Neighbor Totoro Also seen, monster is male but stars two sisters, also really great
Fun Size tells the story of a teenage girl who gets saddled with the responsibility of taking her younger brother trick-or-treating before attending a Halloween party. She goes to the party and loses her brother, and (presumably) hilarity ensues as she attempts to find him.
Wizard of Oz
Journey to the Center of the Earth not technically a monster movie, has a great female character who pretty much rolls her eyes and walks away when the hero (Brendan Fraser) states his intention to go back into the crazy falling apart underworld to find his teenage nephew. She coincidentally ends up rescuing them both, but only when they’ve actually made it back to where she left him.