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Monsters Inc. /

Rated: G

Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs, James Coburn, Steve Buscemi 

Directed by: David Silverman, Pete Docter 

Produced by: Darla K Anderson 

Written by: Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson 

Distributor: Disney/Pixar


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

     The latest Disney and Pixar team-up, Monsters Inc., tells a story where monsters are afraid of kids, and visa-versa, instead of just one side having control over the other. Though well done, and entertaining to watch, the storyline and quality of animation aren’t nearly up to that of Dreamworks’ Shrek.  The film is delightful, and at times heart wrenching; but doesn’t have the spunk of the fantastic Disney masterpieces. Because of its extremely entertaining cover, I will give it a strong recommendation; but if you haven’t seen some of the better animated pieces, like Shrek, than push this aside and rent one of them.

     The story: Mike and Sulley are business partners at Monsters Inc. in the monster world. Sulley is a big and scary monster whose job is to walk through doors that lead into children’s bedrooms, which slide into to his station on a conveyor belt in a rather large room located in the Monsters Inc. vicinity. He must scare the children and capture their screams, which act as electricity for the monster community. Mike, a one eyed lime green monster, is his spotter, who makes sure everything goes according to plan and that Sulley never is hurt by these dreaded children. There are hundreds of “scarers” in the monster corporation, but Sulley is the best.

     Mike and Sulley are excellent at what they do, and try their hardest. Except when Mike is tempted to open one of the doors passing through on the conveyor belt; everything goes wrong. A child hops into the monster world when his temptation exceeds his brain power, and he makes the mistake of opening up the door! Her name is Boo. This would all be fine if humans were accepted for what they are in the monster world. But when the company finds out they want to crush the little child to pieces, and send it back into any random spot in the regular world.

     The only person Mike tells is Sulley, and as both of their bonds grow with little Boo, they find that they must hide her from the rest of the population. In order to buy time to think up a plan to get her bedroom door back, they disguise her as a monster, and it works pretty well. Will they be able to send her back or will the other monsters find her? This is for you to find out, for you must watch this interesting and creative tale. The only real problem I had with the film is that it never really takes off, not to say that it was bland, but watching it was similar to riding a roller-coaster with corkscrews, but no giant loop-de-loop.

     The animation was different, not bad, but different. All of the colors were used in a very neutral way, even the brightest of pinks didn’t stand out amongst all of the other images in the full picture. This made it easier to watch, but never created any excitement. Though I did prefer this over the interesting way Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was done; as I said before, it was not up to the high quality of Shrek.

     One feature that stood out more than any other was the way that every creative little joke was done. To give you a small dose of the humor I will indirectly quote a clever conversation exchanged between Mike and Sully in the men’s room located at Monsters Inc. Sulley: “Can I borrow your oderant?” Mike: “Sure what kind you want?” Sulley: “You got any hairy dog?” Mike: “Nah. But I got some…” I won’t give any more of it away because its definitely one of the biggest highlights of the movie, you’ll love the funny names that come out of the next half of the line. The dialogue was deviously comical.

     The character voices, were some of the best I’ve heard in an animated movie in a long time. Billy Crystal was great as the full-of-it Mike Wizowski, and is only described by being an excellent match of face to voice. John Goodman also was great as Sulley, too; such an innocent voice for such a terrifying monster proved the “book shouldn’t be judged by its cover” theory. But the best of all was the youngling Marry Gibbs, who did the voice of Boo. I had no idea how a six or seven year old could create such an accurate infant voice so wonderfully. She has talent, and should be used by Disney in years to come for more animated features, if she can keep the same talent for the rest of her life.

     Upon reflection, I’m glad I saw Monsters Inc., and bought the DVD. Mike and Sulley’s ingenious pairing definitely keeps the Disney name alive, as most of their other films do. I will say again that its not up to the high quality of Shrek, but is still well worth a watch. Kids will enjoy the simple G-rated humor, and parents will definitely respect it for what it is. The “Monsters” make a heck of a great film!

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

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