In 2022, Monster High rebooted its animated series with a full-fledged TV show at Nickelodeon. Like any reboot, there have been significant changes. One of the best changes is the heightened diverse representation in the series. Here are seven ways the reboot is excelling at representation and inclusion.
Characters With Eyeglasses
As a retired teacher/former glasses wearer, I know eyeglasses are a big deal for kids. I’ve seen plenty of children transition to wearing them, and having a character they like with glasses is a big help. It is also great for children of any age to see themselves when they have vision differences.
Monster High G3 has several characters with glasses. The two most notable are Clawdeen, voiced by Gabrielle Nevaeh Green and Ghoulia, voiced by Felicia Day. While Ghoulia had glasses before, it is great to see her joined by fan-favorite Clawdeen.
Variety of Bodies and Weights
In the doll world, and doll-inspired animation world, there is a serious problem with body representation. Many dolls and TV shows portray their characters with only one body type.
When the animation reboot first came out, fans were understandably excited to see changes in many character designs. We went from having nearly every character with the same body type to having characters with varying heights, weights, builds and complexions. Some fantastic examples of these different body types in the show are Draculaura and Iris Clops, voiced by Courtney Lin; Manny, voiced by Jordan R. Coleman and Abbey Bominable, voiced by Aishwarya Pillai, to name just a few.
Truthfully, almost every character in this show portrays a different body type, making this supernatural show about fashionable monsters more realistic than other shows in some ways.
Lagoona Is From Honduras
Valerie Rodriguez voices Lagoona in the show. Raised in Honduras in a castle, her character is the fiercest monster in school, but she has a secret. She has a soft spot for dramas, telenovelas and her rubber fish that her mom got her when she was a tadpole. Wanting to maintain her image as a fierce monster, Lagoona starts as a bully who later becomes a friend.
While many fans were upset that they changed the previously Australian’s ethnicity, many were more involved in discussions of whether she was a good representation of Latinos. Many fans were displeased, claiming that her liking telenovelas or use of the word “spicy” made her too stereotypical. While other fans, like YouTuber Mafriend, appreciated the representation.
Despite the initial release, Lagoona hasn’t stirred up controversy since the announcement. The only thing she is sparking is the inspiration for fan art on Reddit and Twitter.
Twyla’s Unapologetically Autistic
Twyla, voiced by Kayla Cromer, has been with the franchise since G1. She has always been a shy character, but G3 digs deeper. She’s autistic; she fidgets with a bracelet, loud noises bother her, and she is just going to straight up say it. I was so touched that the writers weren’t afraid of officially making Twyla autistic in the episode “Creepy Party.” In the episode, Twyla has to explain to Frankie and the gang that the loud noises they were making bothered her and that she preferred quiet environments. She credits her autism to her noise intolerance, and the ghouls are instantly understanding.
Before this episode, fans had been headcanoning her as autistic for a while. When a musical ad for her doll recently dropped, people started to think she would be autistic in G3 for real. We saw her get overstimulated by loud noises and fidget with her bracelet as she does in the show and hand-flapping when many people approached her with books. Since Twyla loves books, we can infer that she is stimming out of excitement.
But now, we don’t have to pick apart ads because it is finally confirmed and canon. Woohoo!
Skelly Vonderbone – The Spooky Drag Queen
Skelly Vonderbone, voiced by THE Trixie Mattel, is a performer and drag queen in the new Monster High show. She has appeared in one episode, “Flaunt Your Skeleton,” but has the potential to become a recurring character.
I’m sorry. But is anyone else finding it hilarious that Trixie Mattel is voicing a character in Monster High, a Mattel-owned IP? I wonder if that made a difference in casting choices.
Frankie’s Limb Difference
G3 Frankie Stein, voiced by Iris Menas, uses a prosthetic leg throughout the show. Not only that, but some of their latest dolls also display artificial limbs. This is super exciting to see in the show as well as the doll universe because the 1 in 1,900 people born with a limb difference in the US deserve representation in all forms and rarely get it. I hope many more series see this success of having a main character with a limb difference and incorporate it into more children’s shows.
Frankie Stein Is Nonbinary Now
Last year, before the series’ release, Monster High released the song “Sparked to Life,” introducing the new Frankie. In the song, we learn about Frankie’s hobbies and that they’re excited to learn everything as they are new to life. The song also talks about what makes Frankie unique. For example, they talk about how they are made of new and old parts, just like their inventions. Not only do they talk about their “bionic limbs” in the song, but also their feelings on labels. Frankie states that they don’t like things black and white and use they/them pronouns. And they are proud of it.
Finnegan Wake Is Back and Voiced by Cole Massie
Finnegan was first introduced in 2013 with the cartoon short “Ready, Wheeling and Able,” which highlighted how we should trust disabled people’s opinions on their abilities and not assume what they can/can’t do.
In the G3 show, Finnegan reappears as a minor character in episodes three and eight of the first season. While we haven’t seen much of him, fans are pleased to see he is once again using his wheelchair. In episode three, he is just as active as ever as we see him dancing with a fellow sea creature, Lagoona.
One change I’m glad they made is the new casting choice. It is essential to me and many other fans that disabled actors portray characters using mobility aids. While we don’t know who did Finnegan’s voice in G1, it is excellent to know who is voicing him now.
Was there something we missed that you love? Sound off in the comments!