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Monsters Inc.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // November 2, 2001
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Loren Halek | posted November 29, 2001 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

Monsters Inc. is the latest movie from the dynamos at Pixar known for such great films as Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life. So, how great is the movie? Pretty darn good, but not as good storywise as the Toy Story movies.

Monsters Inc. stars the voices of John Goodman as John P. "Sully" Sullivan, a giant blue-hued monster and Billy Crystal as Michael "Mikey" Wazowski. They work for a company called Monsters Inc. that specializes in scaring little children. You see, the screams collected are the only way the city that Monsters Inc. is in can survive. Without screams, there would be no power.

Sully is the leading monster in the company and Mikey is his sidekick. One day someone accidentaly leaves a child's room door open and the child named Boo (Mary Gibbs) comes into the monster world. Problem is the monsters have grown up thinking that a single touch by a human will kill them, so they are all scared. Sully runs across Boo and the rest of the movie is spent trying to get Boo back to her room and keep her away from the human liquidation team.

Of course there are people standing in Sully's way though. Randall Boggs (Steve Buschemi), a chameleon-like monster, wants to be the top monster and he will do anything to be that. In fact, he's built a machine that will just suck all the screams out of a human and he in fact was the monster assigned to young Boo. There may be other forces at work here as well.

Sully at first does not like Boo, but in the end he cares for her and loves her. Mikey is a little more apprehensive about doing that, but he comes around eventually. Boo is quite easy to associate with in this movie. Toward the end when the sad moments came, I actually cried. Disney movies have a habit of doing that to me, but I'm a man and I'm not afraid of crying.

So, how are the visuals? In a word: fantastic. I really disliked Shrek and find that Monsters Inc. story, graphics and attention to detail are miles above Shrek. There is one scene where Sully is in a windy environment and you see his fur move along with the wind. I was absolutely aghast by that...the first time I'd ever seen CGI do that outside of Final Fantasy and the hair. Monsters Inc. did it much better. This whole movie was very vibrant and felt more alive than Pixar's previous works and brings computer animated movies that much closer to copying the real life even though there are monsters in this movie.

The story is based far more toward children than some other Disney or Pixar movies have. There are still adult pieces in it, but not as much as other movies. This film is very funny and Crystal was obviously given a lot of chance to ad-lib in the movie. His ad-libbing is where the movie goes slightly wrong and makes the story less tight than it could be.

This is the first Pixar movie not headed by John Lassiter, but a very good job has been done. The advances in computer animation are amazing in this movie compared to the last Pixar movie, Toy Story 2. The sets are not as stoic in this movie, they seem more vibrant and busy.

I would also recommend this movie for the Pixar short at the beginning that involves birds. It is a hilarious short and goes along the lines of Pixar's other shorts such as Luxo Jr. and the old man playing chess. Pixar has a gift that Disney was smart enough to latch onto.

Final Thoughts: Take your children and, if you're an adult, take yourself to this wonderful movie. Pixar has done it again and topped Shrek by miles in my opinion. Disney also continues to produce quality children's animation that can be enjoyed by adults as well. This title is highly recommended and will easily be a great DVD when it comes out.
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Highly Recommended

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