Halloween may very well be some kids’ favorite holiday, but when you’ve got young children, that’s not usually the case. Sure, kindergarteners love treats, but not all of them love tricks ⏤ and they certainly don’t love masks covered in blood or skeletons emerging from tombs. It’s common for young children to be freaked out around Halloween, which makes finding a solid Halloween kids movie for your preschoolers or kindergarteners tricky.
The streaming series Super Monsters on Netflix is trying to fill that void with a new holiday special; Super Monsters Save Halloween. In an independent survey conducted this September, two in three parents said their preschoolers have been spooked by some part of the Halloween tradition. Over half of those surveyed also said masks, monsters, and scary decorations are why Halloween presents such a problem. If you’ve got a very small kiddo, this data probably resonates. I’ve got a 16-month-old and am already swerving my stroller away from certain houses with full-on ghouls hanging in the yard. According to this same survey, 85 percent of parents of small children are interested in celebrating Halloween in less spooky ways.
Netflix is using these facts as a marketing ploy to get you to watch Super Monsters. But, the thing is, there’s a very serious point to be made here: small children and Halloween often don’t mix, even if can be fun when kids get a little bit older. Super Monsters is trying to bridge that gap with the new special Super Monsters Save Halloween. It’s not exactly Dickens, or even How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but by employing sympathetic monsters, Super Monsters Save Halloween isn’t the worst thing for a preschooler to watch leading up to the Halloween season. In fact, it’s pretty adorable.
The premise is relatively simple: all of the small children are ware-monsters of a kind; they look human in the day and become “super monsters!” at night. You can guess what the children named “Frank” and “Drac” look like in monster mode, but what about “Cleo?” Well, she’s like a ghostly Cleopatra, which, I guess is a vague reference to the Mummy or perhaps just a cool way to get kids interested in the real Cleopatra. (Who was not actually an Egyptian by the way, she was a Greek ruler of Egypt, but whatever.) In any case, the idea of the kids becoming monsters at night is a nice hyperbolic nod to the idea of dressing up as a monster. Instead of dressing up, these kids just have Halloween costumes built into their biology. Like the essential premise of The Munsters, it’s best not to think about the biology of the monsters in Super Monsters, actually works. Really.
The point is, the Super Monsters are cute and their effort to save Haloween from obscurity is even cuter, even if it is a little odd. And, in terms of brand-new cartoons appropriate for kids who haven’t hit grade school, Super Monsters allows them to enjoy the treats without being freaked out by the tricks. And, outside of reruns of The Munsters, or just watching YouTube videos of the Count from Sesame Street on repeat, the monsters plus innocence is what makes Super Monsters unique, and, also, kind of useful.
In a few years, your just-barely-not-toddlers-anymore might be ready for the big leagues; like the original 1933 Boris Karloff version of The Mummy (complete with even more incorrect Epygina history) or the 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi (which will confuse them forever about what part of the world Transylvania is actually in) but until then, Super Monster Party can let kids dig their fangs into Halloween fun on TV, without drawing any blood.
–Super Monsters Save Halloween is streaming now on Netflix.-
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