Site Guide

The DVDwolf Forum
What's New?
New In Theatres
New to DVD
Film Books
Recent Reviews
Comic Book Movies
A.F.I. Lists
British Pages
Women In Film
Top Ten Film Lists

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Please note, prices listed are subject to change at the whim of the vendor. If you see a price different from our site to the one's listed, please let us know.
Amazon (US$)
DVD Empire (US$)
CD Now (US$)
DVD Express (US$)
Videoflicks (US$)
Monsters, Inc.
Monsters, Inc. (Soundtrack)
Monsters, Inc. Babblin' Boo Doll...couldn't resist this one.
Monsters, Inc.: Scream Team - Playstation Videogame

Monsters, Inc. Review

Directed By: David Silverman, Peter Docter
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, and Jennifer Tilly.

Nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Check out our Academy Award 2002 Nomination Page here!

Monsters, Inc. is one of those rare times I have avoided the pre-hype (save for the movie trailer itself) and just hoped that the film would rock. I was afraid of another repeat of Pixar's A Bug's Life Experience. While I liked Bug's Life I thought it to be very safe, McDonald Happy Meal oriented and surprisingly not very inventive. To be fair, Pixar has yet to make a bad movie and their shorts are still great.

I mention their shorts mainly because Pixar still seems (and rightly so) devoted to the short films that gave them their start. At the beginning of Monsters, Inc. is one of most obvious but still hysterical gags I have seen in a long while and the audience seemed to laugh right along with me on it.

After the movie was finished though as the crowd, my friends and I shuffled out that theatre door, no one was talking about the Star Wars trailer before it, nor the Harry Potter trailer, nor the little short because they had just seen what is to be one of the top 5 grossing films of the year without a doubt. I know Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter will be huge. Shrek has already proven itself in theatres and just this weekend has come onto DVD (nice timing Dreamworks.) But there is not a doubt in my mind that this film will easily carve a place in the top 5 for itself.

Quickly, the premise. Sully (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) are two monsters who work for Monsters, Inc. Their job? To scare children, or harvest their screams if you will, and use them to power their city. The problem is, the Monsters are all sure that children are toxic and dangerous, so the monsters are truly more afraid of the children than the children are of them. However, one child does escape from the human world and ends up with our two favourite monsters who do their best to return her before being caught.

A lot of elements make this film as solid as it is. For one, Pixar is great at making the unbelievable seem possible with their stellar computer animation. Two, John Goodman can convey so much with his voice which really sells his bravado at his job and his fear of the child he ends up calling 'Boo'. Finally the story elements of the first hour build to a very unique and fun chase sequence which is slightly reminiscent of Warner Bros. Duck Amuck.

In fact, this film owes more in the tradition of Warner Brothers than it does by Executive Producer Walt Disney Pictures. Another sequence in which Sully believes Boo is crushed to death and leaves him with a garbage cube he carries with him strikes flashbacks to the old Antony (Bulldog) and Cleopatra (kitten) cartoons as Antony carries a cookie he believes to be fashioned from the kitten, crying as he does so.

However, as my friend Melanie Maddix (read her Toronto Film Festival Coverage Here) pointed out, I have to find something about the movie I was disappointed in. I have a couple of nit-picky (and when I say nit-picky believe it) moments I want to point out.

The voice work in Pixar films is almost always top-notch. I didn't care for the annoying shrill laugh of Dave Foley's character in Bug's Life but that's being super petty. In this case, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn and Jennifer Tilly are all right on the nose, but Billy Crystal (who turned down the Woody role in Toy Story) actually varies between truly funny and downright insipid. The character designs and motions carry off his weaker moments though and most people won't really care, the true stars of the flick are Sully and Boo.

Another oddity, though it clocks in at 90 minutes (with another half hour of trailers and the short film added on) the middle sags slightly. It becomes a series of the two monsters running from finding Boo, to losing boo, to finding Boo to losing Boo. More like a loose series of gags before it gets back on track. Fortunately, as mentioned before, when it does get back on track it really shines.

All in all a solid film, not quite Toy Story 1 & 2 but way above A Bug's Life and at least on par with Shrek. If forced to give a number out of 5, how does a 4 on the Cinema Scale sound?

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Audio Commentary
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
A New Pixar-Animated Short: Mike's New Car
Music Featurette of Randy Newman's Oscar®-Nominated "If I Didn't Have You"

The DVD Review:
Ah, Pixar and their good ol' double disc set. Gotta love them. In fact, if you don't own all of their disc sets of Toy Story 1 and 2 (The Toy Box) as well as the double disc set of Bug's Life you simply are not a fan. Monsters, Inc. should be the addition to every responsible animation fan set.

Evil Ash

[ Contact Us! | | Links | ]