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Jul 20, 2008 (Updated Aug 10, 2012)
Review by Mark Baker
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Funny and heartwarming with great animation
Cons:A couple scenes might scare young kids, but not for long.
The Bottom Line: I recommend this movie because I care.
Pixar has yet to release a true stinker of a movie. Every one they've done has been not only a huge financial success, but also a wonderful film. As much as I love some of the others, Monsters Inc. is still by far my favorite.
Recommend this product?
Remember how, when you were a kid, you were convinced that there was a monster in your closet waiting to scare you as soon as the lights were turned out? Well, it turns out you were right. But it was never personal. They just needed the energy from your screams to power their city.
It's in the parallel monster world that our story is set. Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) are best friends, roommates, and partners at Monsters Inc., the power company. Sulley's job is to use the portal of a child's closet to scare them so the scream can be captured and refined into energy. And he's good at it. In fact, he's about the set the all time scare record in the company.
One night, however, Sulley discovers a door left out after hours. Investigating further, he accidentally lets a little girl into the monster world. Nicknaming her Boo (Mary Gibbs), Sulley sets out to get Mike to help him return her to her room.
But there's one minor complication. Every monster has been taught that children are toxic. Yes, they scare us, but they are more afraid of us than we are of them.
But Boo's presence represents the tip of the iceberg. Will Mike and Sulley learn the truth about what is happening? If so, what can they do about it?
So what makes this film so great? Everything. Oh, you want more specifics? Okay, here goes.
First, there's the story. It starts out simple enough but grows more complex as it develops. And every step along the way, we get all the information we need to follow along. Even the opening scenes give us the background we need while being highly entertaining.
But what really makes it work for me are the characters. Mike is a little selfish and a lot stubborn, but he has a good heart. And Sulley really is a teddy bear, or as Boo calls him, a kitty. The villains are evil and menacing while still being funny at times. And all the voice actors are perfectly cast to voice the animation we see on the screen.
And did I mention that these monsters really are cute? Okay, so some of them are cute in an ugly sort of way. But still, there are no truly scary critters.
And let's not forget the laughs. We've got the laughs from the story, such as two big monsters being scared by a toddler. But, as always, the guys and gals at Pixar have covered every detail when creating this new world. We've got the chair with the hole for Sulley's tail. And the cross walk signs say "Stalk" and "Don't Stalk." It's a movie rich with detail. Every time I watch it, I spot something new and get a fresh laugh.
While this movie might not be quite up to today's computer animation standards (it is seven years old, after all), the richness and detail is astonishing. This is especially true of Sulley's fur. It is so detailed and looks completely real.
But what absolutely makes this movie for me is Boo. This toddler will steal your heart. She was voiced by a real toddler, which makes her lines limited, but it just adds to the appeal. Without a full compliment of lines, they make her a real character. Everything really revolves around her once she shows up.
Since this movie deals with monsters, I'm sure it is no surprise that there might be a couple scenes that will scare kids. Most of them don't last for more then a minute or two and always end with laugh. Still, you might want to watch it with the younger set the first time until they see there is nothing to fear.
Monsters Inc. is funny and heart warming. This is a movie the entire family will enjoy together over and over again.
Pixar's Other Movies:
A Bug's Life
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 3
And don't miss my ranking of Pixar's First 10 Movies.
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