Monsters Inc.
Dir: Peter Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich
Star: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly
Cert / Year: U - G /2001
Format: DVD R2

Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children and the primary energy provider is the company Monsters Inc. The way it works is that the monsters open doorways into children's closets and jump out to scare them. It is highly specialised and dangerous work as all monsters know children are highly toxic. The number one scarer in the company is Sulley (John Goodman), who along with his technician Mike (Billy Crystal) are about to set a new record. That is until his arch rival Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi) leaves a door open and a child gets into the factory, which quickly becomes attached to Sulley. Can Sulley and Mike deal with this toxic menace?

Pixar are the godfathers of the computer generated cartoon so a new film from them is always going to be something special. Both Toy Story and A Bugs Life were superb so a lineage like that Monsters Inc. has a lot to live upto. Of course it stands up very well. The quality of animation and script are very good and the voice talent is top notch.

It is he animation that is the real star of the show. In short it is brilliant. Despite advances in the quality of computer animated films Pixar remain one of the front runners. The sledge ride and chase on the doors is simply breathtaking. Forgoing the realism of films like Shrek and Final Fantasy Pixar have retained their cartoon like style which suits this sort of film perfectly. The characters are beautifully constructed, packing with personality, and fluidly animated. All in all an animation master class.

The script is a good mix of action and comedy. It's appeal spans children and adults alike. Never quite as funny as A Bugs Life never the less Monsters Inc. certainly has its moments. The initial panic inspired by the "toxic" little girl Boo is hilarious. It's only towards the end of the film that the comedy wears a little thin. But don't worry things are never dull for long and more action and humour is always just around the corner (or should that be through the next door). The biggest bonus of all though is the avoidance of any kind off sickly smaltz or cutesy songs that are so prevalent in Disney's own animated films.

The vocal casting is another high point for the film, with Billy Crystal stealing the show. He turns a top comic performance of the sort he only seems capable of once every five years. John Goodman is perfect as his straight monster Sulley. Steve Buscemi provides another creepy and nasty performance as Randall, and special mention is deserved by James Coburn as the boss of Monsters Inc. Henry J. Waternoose. Lastly Jennifer Tilly provides one of her stock ditzy performances as Celia Mike's girlfriend.

There is no doubt that kids will love this film the bright colours, loveable characters and comedy will all appeal to them (in fact it has provided a major merchandising boom). However there is a lot for the adults to like here as well. There is some fine jokes which aimed at the older audience, a couple nods towards other movies (the Armageddon entrance of the scarers), and the fantastic quality of animation. Pixar have done it again, and given us one of the best animated features of the year, irrespective of age of the audience.


Monsters Inc. - We Scare Because We Care


(Mike comes up with a plan to get rid of Boo)
Mike: I think I have a plan here: using mainly spoons, we dig a tunnel under the city and release it into the wild.
Sulley: Spoons?
Mike: That's it, I'm out of ideas. We're closed. Hot air balloon? Too expensive. Giant slingshot? Too conspicuous. Enormous wooden horse? Too Greek!

Mike: Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Perfect direct digital transfer
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Brilliant
Features The Main Feature
Audio commentary by filmmakers
Trailer for next Pixar release
Effects Mix
Features For the birds animated short
Hilarious Mike's new car animated short
Behind the scenes featurettes
Basically tonnes of other stuff. There really is too much to mention.
Verdict Flawless picture and sound and more extras than you could ever want. Stuff for kids and adults alike. Disc's don't come much better than this.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home