Projections - Movie Reviews

Monsters, Inc. Monsters, Inc.

It's easy for all of us to remember our childhood fears: the monster under the bed, the ghost in the closet, even evil broccoli.  Our parents assured us that there are no monsters and the bumps in the night all had plausible explanations.  Monsters, Inc. throws all of Mom & Dad's explanations right out the window!

It seems that monsters do actually exist and live in an alternative universe in a city called Monstropolis.  This city contains every type of monster that a child or even adult could fear.  It is this fear that powers the city.  Monsters, Inc. is the company responsible for securing power for the city and does so by the use of doors that lead to children's bedrooms and sending in monsters to collect the frightened children's screams for use as a power supply.

The top team of scream collectors at Monsters, Inc. are an unlikely duo named Sulley Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) who looks like a cross between a bear, a dinosaur, and shag carpeting and Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) who is basically a walking and talking eyeball.  This combination is closing in on the all time record for screams collected and the second place team will do anything to make sure their scarer Randall Boggs (voice of Steve Buscemi) becomes top scarer.

Randall, in his zeal to dethrone Sulley, devises an evil plan and as a result, a child enters Monstropolis.  It is believed that children are deadly to touch and filled with germs.  Fortunately for our heroes of Sulley and Mike, this is a falsehood.  Discovering Randall's plan causes our comic duo to try and “make things right” by putting the child back into its own world.

The child becomes almost pet like and is named Boo (voice of Mary Gibbs).  Adorable is the only word one can use to describe this little girl.  The bedlam that Boo causes while Mike and Sulley try to expose the evil plot of Randall is precious.

Unfortunately, this is where the good ends.  While billed as a family film, the jokes, gags and images are geared more toward adults and there are long runs of time where nothing is happening on screen but motion.  Compared to regular cartoons, Monsters, Inc. is a true step above.  Compared to Shrek, there is no comparison.  The animation is fair, the story basic and the humor sparse.  I do expect to see Disney continue in this Toy Story format of animation even though it has shown much greater capabilities in Dinosaur.  But Dreamworks has the animation world by the ear and continues to push the envelope.

If you are looking for an OK film to take the kids to, Monsters, Inc. will do.  If you are looking to treat yourself and your family to a great film, rent or buy Shrek.

Monsters, Inc.

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