Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Nickelodeon’s live-action Monster High features a nonbinary ghoul

Nickelodeon’s new live-action Monster High movie features a nonbinary monster amongst the cast. Frankie Stein (played by trans actor Ceci Balagot) is an awkward, nonbinary genius who was cobbled together with a bunch of famous parts from history (including some of Marie Curie) and uses they/them pronouns. They become best friends with the movie’s protagonist, half-werewolf Clawdeen Wolf (played by Miia Harris).

Clawdeen has dreamed of attending Monster High for her whole life, and now her dream is finally coming true. Her mother is a famous alumnus of the school and full werewolf who went on to marry a human, producing the young half-werewolf who feels like she’s at an impasse with the two halves of her identity. Monsters consider humans to be their greatest enemy, so Clawdeen goes to school planning to keep her human half a secret.

There, she meets Frankie – who introduces themselves with “Frankie Stein, pronouns they/them,” – and the two immediately hit it off. Frankie does this every time they meet someone new, and the other person always replies with their own pronouns without any fuss. A third member of the ghoul group arrives in the form of vampire Draculaura (Nayah Damasen). Though she comes from one of the most prestigious monster families around, Draculaura is actually really into the kind of witchcraft humans use, which is a big no-no in their supernatural world.

The principal of Monster High, Headmistress Bloodgood, realizes that there seems to be a human in their midst, so she begins a search to find the “impure monster heart” in her school. This, of course, scares the girls, but they’re determined to do what it takes to keep Clawdeen at Monster High with them, where she belongs.

“My goal in life is to be the person that I needed to see on TV,” Balagot told TikTok dancer Conrad Rocha during an interview about the movie for Nickelodeon.