Singing Monsters Are The New High School Musical

By Katey Rich 2009-06-01 08:08:14discussion comments
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Did you know that singing monsters extended well beyond "The Monster Mash" and the plant's big number "Feed Me" from Little Shop of Horrors? Apparently singing and dancing monsters are what the kids really want these days, and Mattel is just the company to bring it to them. The toy company has partnered with Universal to make a feature film based on a toy they haven't even introduced or spoke of publicly. That's right: the mania to make movies out of beloved toys has extended to toys that don't even exist yet.

The oddest part of all this is at the film will be a musical, I guess because kids are really into High School Musical and therefore are more into the idea than older generations have been. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers who brought us Chicago and Hairspray among others, will produce this film, and have brought on Hairspray composers and lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman to handle the music. Zadan told Variety, "Neil and I have been looking for an original movie musical franchise for several years, and we feel this one is it. It really has long-term potential, and it will spin the monster genre on its ear."

On the one hand, hooray for original movie musicals! The current fit of adapting Broadway shows to the screen is only intermittently successful, and some smart people handling a musical property intended for film could really have great results. On the other hand... does every movie really have to be specifically crafted to sell toys? I love Dug from Up as much as any five-year-old, but if I were a parent, you'd bet I'd be bitter about having to buy all the tie-ins. I'm guessing this untitled monster project will bring us friendly, conflicted Draculas and a big dopey Frankenstein, or maybe some slightly more original take on the genre. It sounds like fun. I wish it just also didn't sound like a giant advertisement.
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