Tuesday, May 28, 2024


by Mark Warner
0 comment
Ages: 5-11
Sam Collins

A little girl interrupts the quiet life of a plant shop owner, looking for homes for her monsters.

Watch this video with your children, and then try some of our teaching and activity ideas below.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write the dialogue between the little girl and the old man at various points in the film (E.g. 0:48 – 2:08)
  • Compare the monsters with monsters in other films and books (Monsters Inc, Lilo and Stitch etc.). Where do you think the filmmakers got their ideas from?
  • Stop the film at various moments (for example, 03:45, 04:10, 04:22). What are the characters thinking?
  • Write a series of emails from the old man to someone else explaining what happened.
  • Write the story from the viewpoint of the bird.
  • Write a newspaper report about the damage done to the shop by the big monster.
  • Make a list of adjectives to describe the monsters.
  • Write character profiles of the little girl and the old man.
  • Write your own story about meeting a monster.
  • Stop the film at 01:34. Why does the old man accept payment in sweet wrappers?
  • Write the story of how the girl met the monsters.
  • Why do you think the little girl brings the little monster in first? Do you know any other stories which have a similar structure?
  • Write a poem describing the plant shop.
  • Write a review of the film. Would you recommend this film to others? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like?
  • Work with a partner to make a narration for the film and record it.
  • ‘Monsterbox’ is a compound word. Can you make a list of compound words? Could you make up a new compound word and use this as the title for a new story?
  • Watch the animated storyboard. How is it different from the final film? Why do you think that is?


  • Research bonsai trees. What are they, and how do people look after them to keep them small? Why does the old man spray it with water and stop the little girl from watering it with a can?


  • Make an animation of a box opening.
  • Design a poster for this film in a desktop publishing program.

Design Technology

  • Design your own monsterbox. What materials could you use? How would you make it open?
  • Create your own monster from junk modelling materials.
  • Design a tree house. Look at these for inspiration!


  • Look at the artist’s portfolio for the film. Scroll down to the characters and look at the different ideas for the characters. Why do you think the filmmakers settled on the final versions? Use one of the other ideas as the basis for designing a new character.
  • Design a comic strip of the story.


  • How does the music contribute to the story?
  • Compose a theme for each monster using tuned and untuned percussion. Which sounds would you use for each one?


  • This is a graduation film – the artist went on to spend 2 years working on “The Secret Life of Pets” and also worked on “Despicable Me 3”. He has worked hard and spent a long time learning how to make animated films. What have you had to spend a long time learning?
  • Describe the relationship between the old man and the little girl. Do you have a special relationship with an older person?
  • If you have broken something by accident, what can you do? What would you do if someone breaks something of yours?

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