Now here’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while…
While Monster High has made the ‘Monsters in High School’ and ‘Monsters are actually good guys’ concepts extremely popular, bolstered by the popularity of vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures in books, movies and other media, it’s not the first series to do so. Many other series have also created stories and worlds where monsters and the supernatural are not the evil entities they usually are, but are heroic, nice, or generally just ordinary folks, despite their otherworldly nature. It’s fair to say that many of these inspired aspects of Monster High, and there are dozens of examples out there, some more popular than most. So I thought it would be fun to remind all the MH fans here of these series, to show where Monster High came from , how others did it, and just so show off some interesting series, some of which would fit in perfectly in the universe of Monster High. Many of these characters would make excellent custom dolls…
And what better place to start than the animated series that was considered the Monster High of it’s time, Gravedale High.
Created in 1990 and lasting only 14 episodes, Gravedale High is pretty much what it says on the cover: It’s about a school populated by teenage monsters. Think Saved by the Bell, but with more undead people, and you have an idea of the wacky shenanigans that occur in each episode.
Rick Moranis (aka the nerdy guy from Ghostbusters) lends his voice as Max Scheinder, a teacher and the only human at Gravedale, who is tasked with teaching the unruliest class in school. His students include Duzer, a mean girl gorgon, Blanche the Southern bell zombie, Bart Simpson wannabe Frankentyke, Gill the surfer dude water monster, nerdy werewolf Reggie, and Vinnie Stoker, the vampire Fonz wannabe. Each episode sees the students get into some bizarre situation, and it falls to Max to help them out and teach them a few things along the way.
It’s not certain if Gravedale High was a direct influence on Monster High , but there are definitely some similarities. The character designs are great, giving the classic monsters a high school redesign, there are lots of different background characters, (Plus the main cast is really varied in body shape and appearance, far more than even Monster High’s cast) and of course, there are plenty of monster puns and visual gags to be had. It may be a bit dated, but anyone who loves Monster High’s webisodes are sure to have plenty of fun with Gravedale High.
I hope you enjoyed this little essay, there will be more to come in the future.