Pixar didn’t screen the 3D version of Monsters, Inc. Too bad. I loved it in two dimensions, and when I eventually see it, I no doubt will love it in three.
All parents have coped with the problem of monsters under the bed and in the closet. Years ago, the 4-year-old child of a friend was convinced that monsters lurked in his closet. After weeks of sleepless nights, my friend developed a plan. He left his tow-headed, blue-eyed boy outside of his room and carefully closed the door.
An enormous racquet came from within as dad banged on the walls and threw toys all over the floor. He loudly yelled in his own voice and in the “voice” of the monster and thoroughly trounced the supposed beast.
As suddenly as the ruckus started, it ended and my friend slowly opened the door. Wiping off his hands and the sweat from his soaked brow, my friend proudly announced to the boy that the fiend would never bother him again.
That led to another long battle. This was to get the kid back into his bedroom because dad finally proved what the boy knew all along: monsters do live in closets.
What those monsters are doing is the subject of Monsters, Inc.
Tearing a page out of today’s headlines, Monsters, Inc. involves rolling electrical blackouts in the city of Monstropolis. The main industry is a scare factory. There, creatures large, small and hideous slide through closet doors to frighten children. Their fear generates power.
The problem is that today’s kids are so spook savvy that they have a high fear factor.
Ironically, the monsters find children and anything associated with them, toxic. They’re actually more afraid of children than children are of them. So when a little girl slips through the door at the work station of the hulking, sharp-toothed, shaggy-haired Sulley Sullivan, chaos ensues.
John Goodman and Billy Crystal lead a marvelous vocal talent team that includes James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Bonnie Hunt, Steve Buscemi, Frank Oz and animated featuredom’s ubiquitous John Ratzenberger.
The highlight of Monsters, Inc. is the chemistry between Goodman and Crystal’s characters and the little girl named Boo. She’s one of the most lovable film kids in animated movie history, and I wanted to bundle her up and take her home.
I’ve seen all of the year’s holiday films. Monsters, Inc. is the only true family movie of the bunch.
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich
Stars: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, John Ratzenberger, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Bonnie Hunt, Steve Buscemi, Frank Oz
Rated G. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.