A surprise online phenomenon with some 80 million registered players worldwide, the lurid world of the Moshi Monsters allows children to ‘adopt’ a cartoon character and explore Monstro City. That simple narrative also plays out in this big-screen spin-off – the latest component in a marketing extravaganza including toys, magazines and music. Boyishly self-centred Katsuma, his understanding girly playmate Poppet and the pint-sized sniffly-whistly porcine dynamo that is Mr Snoodles must save their fellow Moshlings from the evil scheming of top-hatted miscreant Dr Strangeglove.
Brighter than a fistful of magic markers, its design influenced by cutie Japanese anime, the result certainly lacks the richness of Pixar, since there’s scant authentic emotion in the rudimentary story progression. And the animation favours blocky colours and simple lines over sophisticated dimensionality. That said, while it’s obviously targeted at the already-converted junior demographic, accompanying parents might be slightly surprised at the sheer sugar-rush giddiness of it all, and the fun the writers were obviously having with the pun-packed, thesaurus-assisted dialogue. When was the last time anyone said ‘asinine’ in a kids’ movie?