Review by Michael Jacobson
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn
Director: Pete Docter
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Walt Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 93 Minutes
Release Date: September 17, 2002
Inc. We scare because we care."
key ingredients to creating a successfully entertaining story?
Take a well established premise, give it fresh motivation, and throw in a
surprise twist. Monsters Inc. does all of that, and in the space of
maybe ten minutes or less. That
left a lot of room for the dual studios of Disney and Pixar to flex their
creative muscles, and boy, did they ever.
premise behind this computer animated offering? The monsters in the closets and under the beds that every
little kid knows about. The fresh
motivation? That there is in fact a
thriving business on the other side of that closet door, where the monsters
collect the kids' screams and use them for power. The twist? The
monsters are in fact deathly afraid of the children.
wild as kids' imaginations can be, it's nothing compared to the residents of
Monstropolis, where they actually believe children to be toxic and deadly!
They even have an entire government department dedicated to child
prevention and decontamination.
up scares, therefore, is risky business, and there's none better at it than
Sully (Goodman), a big blue furball with the personality of someone who
wouldn't hurt a mouse. He and his
best friend, Mike Wazowski (Crystal), who is a big green one-eyed sphere, are
the top scream producing team at Monsters Inc.
one thing the monsters fear most is a kid accidentally making its way through
that closet door and into their world, and of course, that's exactly what
happens. When the snakey Randall (Buscemi)
tries to cheat his way to better numbers, he leaves a door out, and Sully
accidentally (gasp!) lets the child in!
the city erupts in panic, he and Mike try their best to contain the "danger", with the object of getting the little girl back into the human
world and keeping their bottoms out of the sling as well!
the premise in a nutshell, but there's so much to Monsters Inc. that
keeps it rollicking with entertainment. It's
fast, funny, visually stunning (arguably Pixar's masterpiece to date), and
ceaselessly surprising. Just when
you think you've gotten a handle of everything the movie has to offer, it
comes at you with one of the most exciting action sequences in recent memory as
Mike and Sully make their way through a fast moving door factory!
Then, the picture surprises again, when you find you have a lump in your
throat and a tear in your eye that isn't laughter induced.
picture was nominated for Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Sound
Effects Editing, and took home a statuette for Randy Newman's song "If I
Didn't Have You", but even those accolades don't come close to expressing
what a marvelous, imaginative romp this movie is.
As technology has improved, computer animation has opened up doors of
endless possibilities. If you can
dream it, it can be done.
thankful a few creative geniuses dreamed up Monsters Inc.
a word, flawless. In two words,
reference quality. Every Disney/Pixar
DVD offering has been of such top quality that you think it can't be improved
upon, but each new catalog entry is better than the one before.
Monster's Inc. was transferred directly from the original
digital source to disc with no film step in between, and the results are
breathtaking. The colors are
beautiful and limitless, the images are sharp, detailed and crystal clear, and
there's nothing, I mean NOTHING to interfere with the picture's impressive
looks. You get a choice of
anamorphic widescreen and "reformatted" full frame, meaning simple image
manipulation keeps you from losing so much of the picture when you view it that
way (widescreen is still the better way to go). If I could go higher than four stars, this disc would deserve
5.1 EX soundtrack is phenomenal. There's
action galore in the Monsters Inc. factory, with people and machinery buzzing
every which way...you'll feel right in the middle of it all.
The musical score is an added plus, while dialogue is clean and clear
every step of the way and the dynamic range is humorously potent.
Disney pulls out all the stops on a DVD, few can touch them.
This double disc set is a pristine example.
Disc One, which includes the film, also includes an in-depth
filmmakers' commentary track, a 5.1 EX sound effects mix track, and previews
for coming attractions, which I mention because the trailer for Lilo and
Stitch is a must-see...hysterical!
Two contains two divisions for easier exploring. "Monster World" is something the kids will like.
You get to train for your first day on the job at Monsters Inc., peruse
the employee handbook, learn the history of the monster world, play games, learn
trivia, and more. "Human World" is more for the adult fans. You
can see deleted scenes, experience 3D location fly-arounds, enjoy an extensive
art gallery, a guide to gags and in-jokes, watch extensive featurettes on the
production and animation, and go behind the scenes of the Oscar winning theme
also an all new animated film created for the DVD release, Mike's New Car.
Plus, there's the Academy Award winning Pixar short For the
Birds, a sneak peek at their next feature Finding Nemo, "outtakes",
the Monsters Inc. company play, trailers galore, storyboards and more.
The disc comes with a fold-out navigational menu...you just might need