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Monsters, Inc.

2001 | 92 min | G | 1.85:1

Monsters, Inc.


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User reviews

1 user review

Movie appeal




Theatrical release date

 28 October, 2001
 08 February, 2002

Country of origin

 United States

Technical aspects

3D (native)

Box office




Overview Preview Cast & crew User reviews News Forum

Screenshots from Monsters, Inc. Blu-ray

Monsters, Inc. Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, December 19, 2012

The latest Disney film to receive a 3D makeover and a rerelease in theaters is Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” Coming mere months after the reissue of “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc.” continues a positive trend for the company, who appear to be selecting their upgraded titles wisely, choosing features that benefit from the additional depth. The 2001 movie is certainly less expansive than “Nemo,” but its vision of a parallel universe of ghouls working to purge fear out of human children lends itself to a comfortable visual experience, with a few sequences revealing some of the best work these conversion efforts have provided thus far.

In the heart of Monstropolis, the crew at Monsters, Inc. work tirelessly to provide power to the city, employing their scariest citizens to enter the bedrooms of human children via closet doors and frighten the marks, harvesting their screams as fuel. Top scarer Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) is aiming to break a company record, aided by longtime pal Mike (Billy Crystal), only to find the nefarious Randall (Steve Buscemi) out to claim the prize, while boss Waternoose (James Coburn) frets about the future of his company as kids grows more desensitized to terror. Working late one night, Sulley accidentally brings a 3-year-old human, nicknamed Boo (Mary Gibbs), though a door, panicking to disguise her presence in a city terrified of the very kids they’re looking to scare. Bonding with the child, while Mike frantically dreams up a scheme to return Boo to her bedroom before anyone notices, Sulley labors to protect his pint-sized troublemaking friend from the wrath of the CDA (Children Detection Agency), while Randall has more sinister plans for the invader, looking to solve Monstropolis’s scare crisis for good.

Perhaps this opinion won’t be shared by many, but I believe the premise of “Monsters, Inc.” is the freshest to come out of the Pixar factory, striking the right tone between fantasy and comedy, cleverly playing on traditional childhood fears and workday drudgery. It’s a smart feature disguised as a slapstick comedy, displaying a youthful side to Pixar creativity, with this effort only their fourth film (they’re now up to much more mature 13). Director Pete Docter isn’t afraid to arrange silly business, toying with the world of Monstropolis and its citizens, who are regular Joes out to make a living, facing commutes and job performance concerns just like us. Only they’re not us, they’re monsters, some with gelatinous bodies or multiple eyes, others with dense fur or a single eye. They’re macabre creations with a cartoon spin, turning the potential for terror into an “Office Space” environment to help lighten the mood.

Thankfully, the script is teeming with decent jokes and rich characterizations, while voicework is stellar from the entire ensemble, with Goodman a bassy, sensitive behemoth as Sulley and Buscemi working oily creepiness to satisfaction as Randall. Movie MVP goes to Crystal, delivering frenzied work as Mike, a nervous green orb trying to balance the Boo breakout with relationship demands from girlfriend Celia (Jennifer Tilly). Crystal is in top form here, uncharacteristically loose in the role, enjoying the animated view while stuffing some of his customary shtick in the pockets of the picture. The supporting cast of ghouls and goblins are crisply defined, though special attention must be paid to Pixar employee Bob Anderson, who plays Roz, a particularly droning Monsters, Inc. administrative clerk who isn’t a big fan of Mike. It’s difficult to get the nasal Roz voice out of your head. I mean that as a compliment.

The 3D conversion is smoothly executed but rarely show-offy, contained to sequences that involve the Monster, Inc. scare floor, where the cavernous workspace provides a feeling of depth to assist the enormity of the operation. A particular stand-out is the jaunty opening credits, where the collage of bustling, colorful doors is turned into layers of movement, accentuating Randy Newman’s snappy score. The finale is also a humdinger, where Mike, Sulley, and Boo navigate the “door vault,” riding the selection machine into a massive space of bedroom portal options. An image that was striking before is now awe-inspiring, with the added dimension making the journey into chaos immersive. Just about perfect.

There’s heart to “Monsters, Inc.” that doesn’t receive enough credit from film fans. Sure, laughs are steady, the animation is wonderfully detailed, and the idea is gold, but there’s an extra addition of sweetness to the picture, concentrated in the movie’s closing moment -- in my estimation, one of the finest final shots of all time. If you don’t tear up when Boo excitedly proclaims “Kitty!” to a beaming Sulley, maybe you are the real monster.

Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, John Ratzenberger
Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich

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