Animation Features Movies

Monsters, Inc.

Directors – Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich – 2001 – US – Cert. U – 92m

The eponymous corporation employs one-eyed, green Mike Wazowski (voice: Billy Crystal) and big, all-over blue hairy James P. Sullivan (voice: John Goodman) to terrify kids, processing their screams into energy for use in the monster world’s power plants. Human touch being deadly to monsters, chaos ensues when little girl Boo (voice: Mary Gibbs) gets into monster world, exteriors of which owe much to New York.

The first Pixar feature to manage convincing hair has an opening minute recalling stop-frame short The Sandman (Paul Berry, 1991), a bar named Harryhausen’s, a fight with an invisible adversary straight out of Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995) and a much better integrated interdimensional door plot device than anime Urusei Yatsura Video 1 Inaba the Dreammaker (Satoshi Dezaki, 1987). Minor details aside, the inventive and original narrative runs true to form, though the directorial team’s leanings prove unexpectedly closer to Disney’s fast-paced, gag-orientated The Emperor’s New Groove (Mark Dindal, 2000) than to Pixar’s heart-warming Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995).

(Notes written at the time of release; previously unpublished.)

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