Monsters, Inc.

| November 4, 2001

When you have a crew of people who know how to take a story and adapt it to the type of product you manufacture, you get them together and keep doing it. It works for dozens of industries and especially in the motion picture business. Within Pixar Films, there is a solid group of folk who put together funny films for children that are probably “drawn” beyond any expectation of the first people who made animated films. The computer has helped. Vision in how to use the computer has made magic. Add to that a cast of very talented actors and you come up with the latest Pixar/Walt Disney collaboration: Monsters, Inc. It is directed by Peter Docter who, along with writer Andrew Stanton, brought us both Toy Story movies and A Bug’s Life.
Maybe I am a victim of the millions and millions of dollars of marketing hype generated by the Disney marketing machine (their half of the collaboration) but Monsters, Inc. has become the latest in a series of animated movies that can almost be enjoyed just for the visual eye candy. It started with Toy Story and continued through this summer with Dreamwork’s Shrek
I mention Toy Story because it was the premier of a new advanced animation that Pixar developed. It was a new standard. That makes Pixar’s subsequent films harder to promote because we have now seen several examples of the “style” and they must now rely on STORY to carry the ball. Monsters, Inc. has the story to go along with the candy. I liked the story and am so glad it was done in animation instead of some sort of computer enhanced live action. I loved Men In Black, but the monsters in Monsters, Inc. were able to be scarier or softer when they needed to be.
Remember when you were little and couldn’t wait to fall asleep because if you were asleep the monsters in your closet couldn’t get you? Ah, for the innocence of being 12 again. Well, Monsters is here to tell you were not imagining. Those monsters are REAL. And what’s more, they come out of your closet because they need the energy of your screams to power their city on the other side. They’re having a bit of a power shortage and the monsters have to work extra hard. But the main rule not to be broken (like not feeding Gremlins after midnight) is that kids can’t touch the monsters or they could die.
Monsters, Inc. is about a little child who followed her monster back through the door.
It is SO cute. Little Boo, played by Mary Gibbs, who is the 5-year-old-daughter of a Pixar animator, is about as cuddly as a cartoon kid can be. John Goodman plays James “Sully” Sullivan, the best scarer in Monstropolis and Billy Crystal plays Mike Wazowski, his assistant.
They find Boo and have to get her back to the real world before they are found out and banished to that same real world like several of their friends: Abominable Snowman, Loch Ness Monster, etc. But the inevitable bad guy (Randall Boggs, played by Steve Buscemi of Armageddon, Con Air, Fargo) stands in their way.
All are wonderful, as is one of my favorite actresses, Jennifer Tilly, who plays Crystal’s girlfriend Celia.
Monsters, Inc. is going to become an instant classic. It’s funny, it’s serious, it shows the better side of monsters and people. And most importantly, it has a happy Disney ending.

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