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4.7 out of 5 stars
Monsters, Inc.
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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2002
Summary:
Great movie for kids and adults with lovable characters and side splitting laughter. Great Pixar quality animation, great and imaginative script, great acting voices (Billy Crystal as Mike, John Goodman as Sully) that really fit their parts, high quality comedy (some slapstick) great directing, great music.
Review:
This hilarious movie delivers side-splitting laughter! Everything fits together and is just great! Should be animated movie of the year!
Story:
Monsters work for a Corporation (Monsters, Inc.) That supplies energy for their city, Monsteropolis, by capturing the screams (scream energy) of children and monsters compete for the best screams with blue-furred cuddly Sully (Goodman) leading the competition. Somehow, a charming infant sneaks into Monsteropolis and hooks onto Sully; and whoever gets caught with her will get "cleaned" by the "authorities" - not a good thing! This throws Sully and one-eyed Mike into a panic as they stumble against all odds to send the child back without getting caught.
Scare Factor:
While the Monsters may be afraid of the children, there is no need for your kids to be afraid of them. The movie seems pretty harmless and young children seem to have no problem with the movie concept and scenes.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2002
Monsters Inc. looked like a really good animation movie when the commerical's were playing and when it finally came out in the theatres I had to see it the day it came out.The theatre was packed and I was looking forward to the movie.
When the movie started I was very happy and by the time it was over I was sad.The movie was extremly entertaining and it was funyn and it was touching and it was all perfectly combined to make one hell of a movie.I loved it so much about a month later I saw it for a second time with the "outtakes" and "deleted scene"which was very funny.
The plot was simple like all G rated movies.Mike and Sculley are two monsters living in Monstropolis and work for Monsters Inc.Monsters Inc. is a company filled with the doors to kid's bedrooms where the monsters go when there sleeping,scare them,and then collect there screams so they could get power in the town.Scully is Monsters Inc's top scarer and his rival Randell(voiced by Ghost World's Steve Buscemi)wants to take Scully down and become top scarer.One night Randell decides to do some late night scaring without anybody knowing.Scully stays late to to do some of Mike's paperwork and discovers the door.Scully goes inside the door and the little girl behind the door ends up into Monstropolis by accendent.Since monsters are afriad of children Scully runs in fear and Randell is left wondering where the kid behind the door is.Now Scully and Mike have to keep the little girl(who Scully named Boo)a secret or all of Monstropois will be in a panic.
The movie has humor for children and adults alike and the DVD adds to the fun.The DVD is supposed to have a short created just for the videa called "Mike's New Car".So see Monster's Inc if you already have not.It's a great movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Disney/Pixar has created a homerun with their latest animated film. They turn the world of monsters on its head, with hilarious results.
Monsters James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) work for Monsters, Inc. - a company that collects children's screams and turns them into electricity.
All is well until a child makes it through the closet door into the monster world. Then it's up to Sulley and Wazowski to try to get her back, and save her from the evil plans of Randall, the lizard.
The wise-cracks are almost constant in the film, making it enjoyable for both children and adults.
Parents do not need to worry about the monsters in the film. They are, almost entirely, humorous and non-threatening. There is little to be frightened by. However, I would caution parents that the characters frequently use the words: "stupid", "idiot", and "shut up".
The collector's edition 2-disc DVD contains a plethora of never-before seen footage on a separate 207-minute bonus CD.
It includes the animated shorts of "Mike's New Car," and "For the Birds", the filmmaker's audio commentary, a sneak peak at Disney/Pixar's summer 2003 film, "Finding Nemo," the Outtakes from Monster's Inc. and much, much more.
The amount of material on the bonus CD is unimaginable. It includes a tour of Pixar's animation studies, never-before-seen deleted scenes, a 3D location flyaround, hundreds of images from the Monstropolis Art Gallery, animation gags and a guide to "in" jokes from the film, an interactive game, and material about being an employee at Monsters, Inc.
If you're debating between the video and the DVD, definitely purchase the DVD. The picture and sound quality is superb, and the additional footage is worth the price.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2002
I am basing my review on the movie, so I hope the DVD will be added fun!
My husband is not always thrilled to sit through kids' movies. We took my daughter, who was 6, and my son, who was 2. We all loved the movie. The graphics were great, the story was interesting and fun, and the music was fabulous. The movie is not a 'babyish' movie, and it appeals to a wide age range. Great family viewing!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Monster's Inc is the factory that supplies all the energy for Monstropolis, a city that humans never heard of and cannot see. The energy is derived from the screams of children who are tormented during the night by monsters who work for the company. The monsters enter through a fabricated bedroom (closet)door, scare the child, and the child's screams are bottled up and saved as an energy source. Immoral but ingenious!
John Goodman is the voice of James Sullivan (Sulley), the best "scarer" of the lot, revered by his fellow associates. His sidekick Mike (Billy Crystal) is a one-eyed "lover boy" and jokester. Randall is a nemesis who desperately wants to unseat Sulley as the number one scarer and devises a plot to cheat his way to the top. The plot backfires when Sulley accidentally discovers Randall's plan and ends up bringing an adorable little child into the Monster-World unexpectedly. That's when the real fun starts and it doesn't let up until the closing credits roll across the screen at the end.
The Collector's Edition 2-Disc DVD has several enteratining bonus features: Mike's New Car (animated short), For The Birds (Academy Award winning animated short), A preview of Disney/Pixar's "Finding Nemo" (slated for Summer 2003 release), and outtakes and bloopers from Monster's Inc. There are also 2 additional interactive features: Monster World lets you go through first day training as an employee at the Monster's Inc factory (and also includes a history of the Monster's Inc world and a few games). The Human World takes you behind the scenes at the Pixar animation studios and also gives us a peek at deleted scenes.
Overall, this is a spectacular collection of entertainment from Disney/Pixar which is destined to become an all-time classic.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2002
I loved this movie in the theaters (saw it 3 times in one week) and I love it even more on DVD. How is that possible you ask? Well, this 2-disc set is simply jammed packed with monsterously good information and entertainment for the entire family.
Disc 1 - A smile immediately came to my face when the widesceen version played as a default (you can select the fullscreen version from the menu). But the widescreen issue isn't as big a deal with PIXAR films since they restructure each frame of the film for a fullscreen presentation. I haven't read any cooberating info but this seems to be the case with Monsters, Inc. too. The only other options on this disc are a directors commentary (quite good, with minimal pauses) and an option to watch the film with an isolated sound effects track (very cool).
Disc 2 - After you've watched the movie it's time to delve into the worlds of PIXAR and Monsters, Inc. The disc is separated into the Monster World which is aimed at kids and the young at heart and the Human World which offers much more depth and insight into the creation of the film. The games offered in Monster World are fun and easy to learn. Slowly but surely, games offered on DVD are getting better every day. And lest I forget the Monster Handbook is a laugh riot! There is a terrific tour of the new PIXAR studios as well as fly-throughs of some key sets created for the film in The Human World section. This is also where you will see production art, deleted scenes, the original story treatment as well as a guide to the "in" jokes, original trailers, and much much more. It will take a truly dedicated fan (and most of your day) to sit through it all in one sitting.
All of PIXAR'S DVD releases have been stellar and Monster, Inc. pushes the bar even higher. By keeping the fun level high (keep an eye out for a wacky monkey) as well as separating the features into a fun and games section and a making-of section they have created a flawless DVD presentation and proved the old addage, "monsters lead such interesting lives."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
***This review may contain spoilers***

When "Monsters, Inc."first came out, some perceived a rivalry with "Shrek". I simply want to conclude that I enjoyed both heartily and own both DVDS, and that both are highly accomplished animated features. On the old "Ebert and Roeper" TV show, I remember that critic Richard Roeper somewhat dismissed the film as something the kids would enjoy, but something where the adults would be glancing at their watches every few minutes. I can assure Mr. Roeper that my eyes did not stray ONCE during the film; the poor fellow must have been jaded by so-called sophisticated movies.

I will not rehash the plot. I will say that all elements that constitute a movie, from background to characterization, were dazzling, convincing, and comprehensive. Monstropolis emerges as a fully fleshed out dimension uncannily mirroring our own - even up to the minute, with the simultaneously uproarious but sobering scene where a monster returns from the human dimension with a child's sock stuck to his back and he is manhandled (monster-handled) by decontamination crew members. Mike Waslowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. ("Sully") Sullivan (Goodman) move easily through this world. While the "Odd Couple" pairing is obviously not new (as admittedly, the plot - BUT WHO CARES?), Crystal and Goodman add spicy spin to their camaraderie. Despite Crystal's comedic presence, Goodman anchors this movie with his hulking and massive but ultimately sensitive and caring character, well, at least a good part of the time. Boo gives Sully a run for his money in the presence department.

Despite superficial plot similarities to Toy Story (especially in the climactic dimensional door pursuit - yes, a potential Disney theme ride) and yes, even a smidgen of "King Kong), "Monsters, Inc." stands on its own as a fascinating, well-rendered, multi-faceted piece of work. It is NOT a sickeningly cloying, sweet movie. Its moments of tenderness are balanced with some unsettling moments (e.g., Sully's scare demonstration (scared me, too) which terrifies Boo, Boo's restraint in the "Scream Suction" device by the unctuously reptilian Randall, and Sully's/Randall's fight, where Sully is being strangled by his invisible enemy). Sully's and Boo's developing relationship mixed in both laughter and tears. The dialogue and presence of the supporting characters was natural, matter-of-fact, and all the more funny for it.

In short, "Monster, Inc."'s plan came wonderfully together. Despite some commentators' views, the movie DOES have messages, not only of love and devotion and self-acceptance, but also about having the courage to risk altering a lifetime of conditioned thinking and behavior when it proves to be misguided. Pixar, you've done it again. Keep doing it...please!

ONE QUIBBLE: Boo spends a considerable amount of time in the Monstropolis dimension. I wonder what her parents were thinking when she went missing. Perhaps the Monstropolis dimension is on a different time line, where hours there are the equivalent of minutes in our dimension (time relativity and all).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2002
I'll have to give this the nod as Pixar's best movie yet. Why? Quite simply, the created almost everything from scratch. Very little human/our world to base these models on. It's all monsters and their world, so they had to work overtime to create a believable and realistic world all their own. They succeeded!
The voice work on this film is superb. Many of the voices you'll get right away, others might not be as noticeable until you see the credits roll and you'll go "Yeah, it WAS Xxxxx!" Billy Crystal is Mah-velous once again, injecting humor into nearly every scene he's in. John Goodman gives a warm performance as well. You just want to cuddle that monster! And Boo, quite possibly, the cutest kid I've ever seen in a movie.
However, Steve Buscemi plays his character to the hilt, and my 2 1/2 year old, much like Boo, didn't like him too much. He's that good at being creepy!
The story itself is heartwarming and fun, tinged with just enough sentimentality that most likely you'll love the ending, whether you need the Kleenex with you or not. :) Me, I needed it. Shhh...don't tell. The kids will laugh at Dad!
The second disc is jammed with extras to keep you entertained for hours. You even get a couple of mini sequels that are not to be missed. Now that I've seen both, I can't believe this lost to Shrek for Best Animated Feature. Shrek, while a fun movie, just doesn't have the heart that Monster's Inc. brings to the table, and for me, that tips the scales in Pixar's favor!
So, if you've made it this far, and are on the fence about the movie, let's see:
1) If you have kids, they'll want this movie.
2) You'll enjoy watching this movie with your kids.
3) You might even enjoy watching this movie WITHOUT your kids.
4) If you don't have kids, you'll enjoy this movie anyway.
So, come down off that fence, and add this great disc to your collection! You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2002
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this DVD, and I highly recommend it. The extras will take you through a plethora of Monster info, including behind the scenes "flubs" and "outtakes", an Academy Award winning short by Pixar, and even an extra Monster Inc. short for good measure.
The film itself was one I missed in the theater, and I'm glad I got the chance to see it on DVD. From the opening segment, I was hooked. The title sequence is a wonderful throwback to the 1960's, with colorful collages of doors and monsters playing with the titles. Hollywood was always doing that sort of thing in the past for their musicals or comedies, using models, sculptures, and even cartoons for animated title sequences. There's a quaintness about it that is sorely missing from today's movies.
The animation is flawless, and far better than Pixar's breakthrough feature, "Toy Story". The monsters are all quite cleverly designed, and there are a wealth of subtle visual gags and jokes that will keep you in stitches. Best of all, adults will enjoy the feature just as much as kids if not more. The creators leaned away from saccharine syrupy sap and went right for the funny bone.
There are quite a few interesting elements, from the closet door storage system and "launch" center, to different facets of daily monster life. The idea of monsters collecting the screams of scared kids as an energy source is pretty clever.
The performances are perfect. John Goodman as Sulley and Billy Crystal as Mike play off one another as if they were an old comedy team still bantering after a long and successful career together. Steve Buscemi is suitably slimy as Randall, the evil chameleon, and James Coburn lends his voice as the boss of Monsters, Inc. John Ratzenberger pops up as a strikingly Bumble-esque Yeti, and Frank Oz and Bonnie Hunt round out the team.
This is a great animated feature, and you'll love it even more on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2002
I wouldn't think it's necessary to say much about the story of this film -- to avoid boring people who have seen it, and to avoid possible spoilers for people who haven't (few as there may be). Of course it's a five-star film.
And what could i say that hasn't been said already by someone, anyway? I could say this film is wonderful. That it's genuinely heart-warming, and that it legitimately earns every single tear it jerks... and that the last shot is one of the most wonderful moments i've ever seen in this sort of film. That the characterisations are spot on -- John Goodman's Sully and Billy Crystal's Mike are absolutely believable as roommate/buddies. The computer animation is, as usual with Pixar, state-of-the-art (and, by this time, i think we can safely say that the technique is *not* just a passing fad).
The script is excellent, and the basic concept, that little childrens' screams, captured by appropriate machinery, power Monsteropolis, making scream collection of paramount importance (at least, until one big-hearted monster actually comes to *know* a child), is a very nice conceit on which to hang the story.
And that last shot...
But the DVD set -- ah, THERE is something to talk about... and that earns another five star rating.
I have had this set in my hands for a bit over a week, and i still haven't exhausted all of its possibilities. (I have found one easter egg, by the way; i'm sure there are more.)
DISC ONE:
Trailers, of course, for older films coming out on video/DVD, newer direct-to-video releases, and upcoming theatrical releases, at least one of which looks Impressive.
The movie, available in either widescreen or standard TV format. The nice part here is that, unlike conventional films, shot widescreen, it was not necessary to cut off parts of the screen image to make the film fill the screen. Instead, it was quite simple to merely have the computer make two versions of each image, the same width but to show *extra* space at the top and bottom of the frame to fill up the full height of the TV screen without having to cut anything from the width of the image. I'd still watch it in widescreen, since that is the way the shots were actually planned, and the extra at top and bottom might alter the composition. (I found it a bit annoying tohave to select widescreen or full;screen format every time i played the film.)
Sound is impeccable (there is a THX Optimiser on the disc), and, in addition to the regular track and the commentary track, there is a third track of nothjing but sound effects. (I would have liked another track or two -- say, one with commentary by Goodman and Crystal and other voice actors, and another with nothing but the music cues, maybe, but what there is is excellent.)
The commentary, by director Pete Docter, co-director Lee Unkrich and executive producers John Lassiter and Andrew Stanton covers a lot of odds and ends, including explaining places in the film where they had originally planned to something differently and why they changed it, explaining some of the tricky bits of the animation and some of the problems they encountered and had to solve during production -- standard enough stuff for such a commentary, but interesting.
DISC TWO:
Here's the good stuff.
More than i can describe, actually, though certainly i have to mention the two short films -- "Mike's New Car", created especially for this release, and "For the Birds", an absolutely hilarious short wich won the "Animated Short Film" Oscar for 2001, and richly deserved it. One has the impression that its makers had carefully watched and absorbed every single Roadrunner cartoon.
There are "Outtakes", which are hilarious, even funnier than the outtakes at the end of a Jackie Chan film, which lead into the Monsters Inc employee play.
The main part of the disc is divided between "Humans Only" and "Monsters Only" segments:
Under "Humans Only", there are multiple sections:
One about Pixar, itself.
"Story", about how the film's story developed, compared to the form it finally took, with storyboards and "Banished Concepts".
A "Monster File" with cast, concepts and a piece on "What Makes a Great Monster?".
A "Design" section (which includes a "Guide to 'In' Jokes")
An "Animation" section, which walks us through the entire animation process, as well as showing "Early Tests" and "Hard Parts" and finishes with a "Production Demonstration", in which the viewer can switch on the fly between several views of the production process from storyboards to finished scene (using the "Angle" button on their remote).
There is a "Music & Sound" section, which includes commentary on the sound design process and a demonstration of bunaural recording (have headphones handy). I could have wished for a segment here on Randy Newman, his music for the film, and how he works with the Pixar people to produce such perfect music... well, maybe next time.
And, finally, a section on the film's original release, including a visit to thepremiere, trailers and TV spots, and samples of things that had to be changed for other-language versions (there is, for instance, one sequence which had to be completely changed, because it involved a bit of pantomime which visually punned on an English-only word sound) and then gives us a really neet clip in which the action plays smoothly along with the soundtrack switching languages every few seconds.
The "Monsters Only" menu gives us a few things:
"New Monster Adventures", which includes "Mike's New Car" , a music video and material featuring "Monsters Inc" characters created for a Japanese TV program (I haven't watched this section yet, i believe it's an interactive game), and two interactive games created for this disc.
"Behind the Screams" is a section representing primarily the "Outtakes" and the "Company Play", also found on Disc One.
and, finally, "Orientation" is your welcome as a new employee of Monsters Inc.
I understand that this disc has some enhanced features for use in a computer DVD ROM drive, but i haven't experimented with that yet.
All in all, this is a Very Classy Package; well worth the price just for the film, and containing simply an incredible array of Good Stuff as well.
You Should Buy It.
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