Monsters, Inc.

Rated: G
Stars:   voices of: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, James Coburn
Directors:    Lee Unkrich, Pete Doctor, David Silverman
Writers:   Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson – Based on an original story by Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, and Ralph Eggleston

Children will love the film because of its eye popping colors and characters. Parents and adults will enjoy it too because of its highly imaginative story. So, this truly is a film for everyone.

The story plays on every kid’s belief that there are monsters in the bedroom closet and that they only come out at night. But now we learn that these monsters are on an important mission to capture the screams of children which help provide energy to the monsters world of Monstropolis. And as frightened of monsters as kids are, monsters aren’t all that happy to be around the little tikes either. Kids are toxic and a single touch from them will kill you. Kids must never be allowed to see inside the creepy dark closets that serve as nighttime portals between worlds.

The sad state of Monstropolis is that the world is suffering severe power shortages because kids don’t scare so easily anymore. Scream jobs are becoming more difficult to fill and a good scream producer is worth his weight in gold.

Monsters vying for top scream producer at the power plant, “Monsters, Inc.”, include James P. “Sully” Sullivan (John Goodman), a big pink and blue furry thing with horns and Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi), a snaky purple lizard who’s bag of tricks includes a mean disappearing act. Some of the other characters at the plant are Sully’s best buddy and roommate Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a green eyeball with arms and legs, crazy Celia (Jennifer Tilly), an Olive Oyl look alike except for the snake appendages of her hair, who has a crush on Mike and plant CEO Mr. Waternoose (James Coburn), a cross between a crab and an octopus.

One night, Sully and Mike accidentally transport a little girl (Mary Gibbs) back to their world, an absolute no-no, and then they must find a way to return her without anyone else discovering what’s happened. In the process Sully, Mike and the little girl they name Boo come to realize that people and monsters can indeed coexist. It’s just going to take a little bit of rethinking on all their parts.

Lotta says: Sully proves to be a lovable oaf in the best of film traditions. And despite the limitations of presenting just an eyeball as a character, the filmmakers did a remarkable job in portraying an array of facial expressions for little Mike. There are some clever visual bits for adults: a restaurant named Harryhausen’s after the animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen, a corporate motto emblazoned at the plant “We scare because we care”. Monsters, Inc. has a wonderful look and some terrific scenes like the magical “roller coaster” styled chase sequence as Sully and Mike search for Boo’s closet door. This one’s a winner whose only drawback is that it falls a little flat at the ending. An enjoyable film overall.