Monster High

Monster High: Transmedia Education

Whole_monster_high_crewIndividuals learn in a variety of ways (Felder & Spurlin, 2005). One method for educating is storytelling. Storytelling is a way of communicating and processing events and information; taking away the lessons that life has to offer (McKee, 1997). Understanding that people learn in a variety of ways, and that storytelling is tradition of humankind, it makes sense to tell stories using a variety of media. Hence, transmedia storytelling (Jenkins, 2007).

An example of how transmedia storytelling can teach children is Monster High. Monster High began as a web series; short 3 minute videos which tell the story of a group of students in high school. The catch is that they are all the children of famous monsters (e.g., Dracula, the werewolf, zombies, the Mummy, etc.). From there, Mattel created dolls, games on both computer and DS, art projects on their website, teen paranormal novels, kits to create your own dolls, a wiki, and a whole host of other media telling different parts of the Monster High story. Tim Kring (2008) notes that transmedia includes a central world (he calls in the ‘mothership’) from which all other media branch and to which all other media reconnect. Part of the educational aspects inherent in Monster High come not only from the facilitation of media literacy development, but from the history which is included in the creation of its world. If a child wants to know more about Cleo de Nile’s background, personality traits, habits, and interests, they must research her father (aka the Mummy) and his origins (i.e., Egypt). The same goes for every character. Children who are immersed in this story are guided to topics such as steampunk, French cathedrals, musical theatre, and mythology.

Monster HighAnother aspect of transmedia storytelling which Monster High accounts for is collective intelligence and user-generated content. Countless YouTube videos feature tutorials on recreating the makeup looks of the characters, creating custom dolls, and fan fiction. Monster High has also supported pre-teen focused social marketing content, allowing social issues to be addressed first via web video, then via wiki.

Because of the expansive ways in which transmedia storytelling reaches its audience, it can be harnassed for education as well as entertainment. Monster High is an example of that combination, though many other examples may be found throughout history (MIT, 2006).


Felder, R. M., & Spurlin, J. (2005). Applications, reliability and validity of the index of learning styles. International Journal of Engineering Education, 21(1), 103–112.
Jenkins, H. (2007, March 22). Transmedia storytelling 101. Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of HenryJenkins. Retrieved from:
McKee, R. (1997). Story : substance, structure, style, and the principles of screenwriting. New York: ReganBooks.

9 comments on “Monster High: Transmedia Education

  1. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | #transmediascoop |

  2. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education (short! academic blog post) | Tracking Transmedia |

  3. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education (short! academic blog post) « Transmedia Camp 101

  4. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | Digital Archeology |

  5. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | Transmedia: Storytelling for the Digital Age |

  6. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | Narration transmedia et éducation |

  7. Transmedia storytelling seems as though it is employed as an afterthought in many cases… What if it were a central component to a narrative, actually woven into the story itself?

  8. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | Stories - an experience for your audience - |

  9. Pingback: Monster High: Transmedia Education | Eloisa Branco |

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