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Monster House - animated DVD review
MONSTER HOUSE rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Director: Gil Kenan   Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD release: 24 Oct. 2006   Runtime: 91 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English, French), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1), Filmmaker Commentary, Seven Featurettes, Evolution of a Scene: Eliza vs. Nebbercracker, The Art of Monster House - Photo Gallery, DVD-ROM Link to Games, Downloads & Activities

D.J. (Mitchel Musso) lives across the street from the creepiest house in the neighborhood. Within the creepiest house lives the world's most bitter and angry old man, Mr. Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi). When balls and other toys drift into his yard, Nebbercracker keeps them forever and does his best to make the children cry for the offense - you know the type. To make matters worse, Nebbercracker's house tends to... well... eat people and things that happen into the yard when he isn't around. This might well be overlooked, but for the fact that it's Halloween and Nebbercracker is gone - maybe for good.

D.J. and his friends Chowder (Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke) take it upon themselves to stop the house from gorging itself on neighborhood children when the police prove to be no help. They enlist the aid of local video game hero Reginald "Skull" Skulinski (Jon Heder), who once played a marathon gaming session wearing an adult diaper. I guess you gotta have someone to look up to.

Monster House may be a bit scary for sensitive and younger children; watch it first yourself to judge whether it's right for your kids. It won't be much of a chore, as it is a lot of fun. While some of its early scenes may seem a bit extreme, their blow is muted at the end (though I won't go into more detail and spoil it for you).

The DVD's extra features include seven behind-the-scenes featurettes, pre-production artwork galleries, and feature commentary. There were also some bonus features on the DVD for PC - and Mac! Mac features on a DVD are a rarity, and oddly here they are features that work in OS 9 and Classic mode only; no native support for OS X. Too bad the producers just missed the mark on this feature, but at least they tried.

Monster House is a fun movie that will hold its own through repeated viewings, the mark of a good kid film.
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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