Monsters, Inc.

Rating:

The Business of Fright

Main Voice Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly

Director: Peter Docter

Highly amusing and just plain fun, this little tale focuses on the “other side of the wardrobe”: the life of your typical monster. It’s a business, after all, collecting screams and harnessing the energy of frightened human children. And Sully (Goodman) is one of the best. Unfortunately, however, things happening in the real world have eclipsed your standard “boogeyman in the closet”, and kids are tougher and less afraid. What to do?

That’s a problem. And an even bigger problem is a kid named Boo, who follows Sully through the closet door and into his world. Ironically enough the monsters are terrified of children, except for Sully and his friend Mike (Crystal). They don’t want anything bad to happen to her, and want to bring her back, but things just keep coming up.

Goodman and Crystal are golden as the main monsters.  Goodman does cuddly to a T and we understand why Boo falls in love with him.  Crystal’s acerbic, exasperated and usually distracted Mike is a great foil for the gentle Sully and the two make a terrific team.  You can tell when voice actors are having fun – these guys definitely are.

The animated world created for Monsters, Inc. is creative and detailed.  The machinations of collecting those all-important screams are fun to watch in a Rube Goldberg way.  Mike and Sully are nicely rendered as a little creepy (Mike) and a big teddy-monster (Sully).  This isn’t realistic animation – it’s playtime and thoroughly delightful.

It’s all sweet fun and slapstick comedy. I loved the premise and the monster’s world is a mirror of our own (hmmm. yeah, I guess that is a message, eh?). The two (a big blue bear-like dude and a small green eyeball) are likeable and play off each other, while Boo is just innocent and adorable.

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