07/09/2013

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Film: Monsters, Inc.
Release: 2001, Theatrical
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi
Directed by: Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman
Next in the series: Monsters University
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window
Description: In the world of monsters, everything is powered by the screams of children. One day, the energy company Monsters, Inc. is invaded by the most dangerous force in the universe: A small child.

Hans' thoughts:

After the success of Toy Story, people were pretty psyched to see where Pixar would go next. The answer? A sweet little story. So okay, maybe Monsters, Inc. isn't the greatest or most ambitious tale by the movie magicians at Pixar. Not for lack of trying though.

In the movie we follow the tag-team of James P. Sullivan, the company's most efficient scarer and his engineer Mike Wazowski. Everything is going quite good for the team, Mike Wazowski has a sweet girlfriend and Sullivan is close to breaking the record of the company. As far as work-type comedies go, this has a pretty decent setup and you definitely feel the chemistry between the two characters. 

As for the villain side, while intimidating enough you would have expected something just a bit more sinister with a setup like this. Randall is creepy, sure, but not as imposing as I would've liked. He's played out more like a bitter math-teacher that takes out his issues at home at the kids. Kinda like Crocker from Fairly Oddparents I guess.

The thing that sells this movie for me is two things, first off is the visual style. This story is about monsters, and you can tell the character designers has had at least a little fun trying to come up with all sorts of different looking colorful characters. A wide-variety of colors on screen is always a plus in my book. Of course you can't talk about the visuals in this movie without mentioning the room where they keep all the doors to childrens bedrooms. Mike and Sullivan riding a door into a giant room full of doors with lord knows how many stories is a sight to see. 

The second thing I like about this movie is the music, in particular the opening. The opening music for the movie is upbeat happy jazz, which is really pleasure to listen to and it goes surprisingly well with the setup. Before Wall-E, Sully and Mike were the oldest Pixar characters (judging by their actions anyway). Which makes them someone who might feasibly listen to jazz. Of course, this movie does have a weak point. I'm sorry to say that the jokes in this one are some of the weakest that Pixar has been involved with, it does get the occasional giggle but one particular running-gag just fell flat for me every time.

Monsters, Inc. is one of the weaker Pixar movies, but we're still talking Pixar so it really isn't saying much. The movie is still heads and shoulders above a lot of others in the genre.
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