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Number of Reviews on MG: 1524
Monsters, Inc.
2002 - G - 92 Mins.
Director: David Silverman, Pete Docter
Producer: Darla K Anderson
Written By: Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson
Starring: voices of John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, James Coburn
Review by: John Ulmer
   
We were all, at one time, scared of monsters under the bed. Shadows of clothes in the closet. Weird sounds outside in the trees. I remember thinking there were all kinds of monsters in my room - not as much under my bed as in the closet. And once again, Pixar, who brought us "Toy Story" 1 & 2, plays on both adults' memories and children's dreams, making it equally enjoyable for both children and adults.

John Goodman voices James P. Sullivan, known as "Sulley" to friends. He is a big, blue, hairy monster with horns on his head and hands the size of a watermelon. Billy Crystal is Mike Wazowski, his wisecracking, one-eyed best friend. Both of these monsters live in Monstropolis, a world where monsters roam freely. Their city is powered by a rare source of power - children's screams. That is where Monsters, Incorporated comes in. At Monsters, Inc., monsters like Sulley and Mike open portals into children's rooms - through closet doors - and scare the children, capturing their scream in a little yellow bottle. Sulley is the top-scarer, bringing in the most scares. But Randall (the always enjoyable - even when animated - Steve Buscemi), a wormy, multiple-armed lizard-monster with the ability to change appearances to its surroundings, is jealous of Sulley, and will attempt anything to get more scares...even if it means taking a child from the real world and bringing it into Monstropolis. But after the child escapes, Sulley and Mike reluctantly look after it, all the while trying to get it back to the real world before Mr. Waternoose (the late James Coburn) and others find out about the incident...

"Monsters, Inc." does for monsters what "Toy Story" did for toys. Pixar once again not only expands our mind, but our very worlds. I respect their company and commitment values very much, as you can read in my "Toy Story" review. They stick to the values that made Disney films so family-friendly back in the fifties and sixties: Respect for the audience, respect for quality, and respect for the audience's INTELLIGENCE, something Disney, who has recently coughed up a bunch of lousy, thoughtless sequels, has forgotten. Now, I know that LEGALLY Disney is co-creator of "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc.," but they really are not. They just give Pixar the money and get their name branded on the front box of the film. And even then, I have heard multiple claims that Disney is very mean-spirited towards Pixar (read into sequel trouble for "Toy Story 3") and gives them the bare minimum.

But that is straying off the subject. "Monsters, Inc." is one of the most enjoyable animated films I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. I didn't enjoy it as much the first time, but I then bought it, and have since watched it many times. It is an instant classic. I will be watching it years from now, when I am old and frail and in a rocking chair. It ranks right up there with "Toy Story" 1 & 2, and all the OLDER Disney films from the 50's-70's. It has all the elements of a sweet, charming, emotional and pleasurably good-natured animated film. And, more coudos to Pixar: Thank you for not packing it full of the language and inappropriate content that Disney shoves into the dark recesses of their films nowadays.

Not only has Pixar brought back the "Family Film" genre to what it should be, but it also redefines it. Pixar's animated films are some of the most thoughtful, imaginative and enjoyable animated films ever - not to mention 100 % family safe. Thank you, Pixar, for getting back on track.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic. A masterpiece.  An Essential film.  A classic.
  5 out of 5 stars

 
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