Monsters Inc. (2001)

Directed by Pete Docter, with David Silverman & Lee Unkrich
Written by Dan Gerson & Andrew Stanton
Starring John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Mary Gibbs

My Advice: Don't Miss It.

John P. Sullivan (voiced by Goodman), his friends call him Sulley, is the top scarer at Monsters Inc., the company that harvests the screams of children to convert them into power for monsters to use. He and his assistant, Mike (voiced by Crystal) are best friends and consistently are on top, despite the efforts of Randall (voiced by Buscemi), Sulley's workplace nemesis. Life is pretty good, even though they're in what is essentially a high-risk job. Children are where monsters get their power, yes, but children are always extremely toxic to monsters--one touch and you've got a problem on your hands. So when a little girl (voiced by Gibbs) accidentally crosses over to Monstropolis--who will survive the child terror?

Pixar does not disappoint, as though anyone expected them to. Everything works in the film's favor. The story and concept are original and clever. There is something that I would not go so far as to call a plot hole, rather a plot question. But regardless. The vocal casting is great, with both Buscemi and Crystal giving really amazing interps. I've always thought that Coburn had an amazing voice, and it's proven here. Aong the cast, the standout is Goodman, who is able to give a huge range of emotion to the hulking and blue hairy monster, Sulley. The level of technology has increased considerably. Just watch Sulley's hair as he moves--it was everything I could do to keep the hair from stealing each scene Sulley was in. But hey, I'm a techgeek, I'm allowed.

The film, as a whole, has something for everybody. There's just enough action and suspense to keep people of all ages wondering, "Now what?" In fact, the climactic action sequence (which I won't discuss at all here to keep the surprise intact) is just dizzying in its brilliance. The emotional hook of the film is probably the best that Pixar has ever done, and towards the end the tears feel like they want to flow.

The film is a gem, and worth at least one trip to the cinema--but do make sure you bring the whole family.

Buy the book The Essential Guide from Amazon!
Buy the book The Art of Monsters Inc. from Amazon!
Buy the sountrack from Amazon!

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