With stories of bullying in schools across the country seemingly at an all-time peak, children's films that focus on acceptance are high on my priority list. Which is why I was particularly pumped to catch the trailer for the new Monster High movie Freaky Fusion.
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In the roughly three-minute trailer, it's evident that the animated film is about much more than the clothes these fashion-forward monster kids sport. Early in the trailer, the show's classic characters — from Frankie Stein to Lagoona Blue — chat around the lockers about the new kids at Monster High.

"So you ghouls haven't met the new transfer students yet? They're hybrid monsters," points out Lagoona.

"You mean like two different monsters in one?" asks Draculaura, to which Lagoona replies, "Exactly."

What's nice about this intro is that Monster High takes a classic, catty high school situation that is very relatable — girls talking about other girls behind their backs. While the ghouls aren't outright "mean girls," they make a snapshot judgment about the transfer students without getting to know them.

It also turns out to be a fun bit of foreshadowing, as we soon see the main characters fall down some strange wormhole. Upon landing, they discover they've been fused together. Surprise! They're hybrids now, too.

This gives Frankie Stein and the other ghouls the opportunity to move into a place of acceptance and understanding. They're literally forced to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, which ultimately helps them to appreciate the differences of a clique outside of their own. They're now able to start a dialogue that will likely bloom into friendship in the film.

How refreshing!

What's so great about this is that it gives the film a chance to explore another incredibly important adolescent topic that goes hand-in-hand with acceptance, and that is dealing with changing bodies. Girls today are barraged daily by such a wide variety of confusing images and context about body image (hello, Photoshop controversies!), so a film that encourages them to learn to adapt to their changing bodies and accept them as they are is a welcome change of pace.

Girls today are barraged daily by such a wide variety of confusing images and context about body image (hello, Photoshop controversies!), so a film that encourages them to learn to adapt to their changing bodies and accept them as they are is a welcome change of pace.

Besides, the Freaky Friday-style changes the Monster High ghouls undergo are fun and entertaining. It's an important social message in a pretty, palatable package.

Draculaura and Robecca Steam now share one body as Dracubecca; Clawdeen Wolf and Venus McFlytrap struggle to figure out how to co-exist as Clawvenus; and so on and so forth. The girls, despite the changes they're trying to adapt to, manage to work together to help save Frankie when she passes out.

As they gather together around the recharge chamber, hoisting their feeble friend into it, they chant, "Save Frankie!" Which just goes to show that regardless of color, creed — even species — we can achieve great things if we practice acceptance and simply work together.

And that, well — that's an excellent message for kids and adults alike.

This post was sponsored by "Monster High Freaky Fusion," available Sept. 30 on Blu-Ray™ and DVD. Now on Digital HD.

More positive messages for young girls

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