A Monster Formula
It's Susan Murphy's wedding day and as she prepares to say her vows she is struck by a meteorite and turned in to a silver haired giant. Before she can begin to comprehend what has happened to her she is kidnapped and taken to a top secret government facility run by General W.R. Monger where she finds herself being kept with a group of monster misfits which have been collected over the years. When Earth is put in danger by evil alien Gallaxhar, Susan and her new monster friends must find a way to prevent the end of the World.
Does "Monsters vs. Aliens" work as an animation? Yes it is entertainment for children which kind of has something to offer grown ups that end up having to watch this with their children. But does "Monsters vs. Aliens" stand out from the ever increasing crowd of animations? No, quite simply it doesn't and in truth felt like an animation made to a formula rather than an idea. Nothing wrong with that because as I said it fundamentally works but as I watched it I found myself drifting because it was all too typical.
So what do I mean? Well firstly we have a storyline which is essentially unimportant which is demonstrated by how slim it is but that is fine because for young children they don't need complex it is just us grown ups that need more. That more is supposed to come from the pop culture references such as when the Alien spaceship lands on Earth and first we have a "Close Encounters" reference thrown in, then some "Axel F" and I am pretty sure I heard a bit of "ET" music thrown in there as well. Yes these sorts of references are clever and dropping bits such as an "X Files" reference will make it work for grown ups but in a strange way it is so predictable.
What that leaves is what "Monsters vs. Aliens" is really all about which is the comical characters, the celebrity voice work, which at least this time is more recognizable than in other recent animations, and plenty of colours. But again all of this is only what you expect and whilst it is fine for a younger audience it left me as an adult wanting something more original. Of course I am asking for the impossible because in truth I wanted a more entertaining and interesting story which is never going to happen with an animation targeting children.
What this all boils down to is that "Monsters vs. Aliens" is enjoyable for both children and adults but it almost feels like an opportunity to be more original is once again ignored in favour of routine.