Monday, September 10, 2007

Monsters Inc. (Classic) (2001)

Every so often a chance comes up to see again a movie that you have fond memories of. Others get shoved to the background to never be seen again, often unfairly. If you have not seen Monsters Inc. (2001) since it was in the theatres then you have done yourself a disservice.

Monsters Inc. takes its inspiration from the childhood fears of monsters hiding in the closet. This time it tells the story from their point of view...namely, why would monsters want to hide in closets? What is in it for them?

Seems Monster City needs power. Screams provide the power to light their city, fuel their cars, power their they send out Scarers to carefully selected children to draw forth the screams they need to power their city.

Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) are the top scare team for Monsters Inc., the third generation company of Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn). Production has been slow overall, though apparently not for Sully or Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi) who are neck and neck in their race to break the all-time screams record.

On the side, however, Randall and Waternoose are working a malevolent scheme to illegally kidnap kids and raise the number of screams they can get from any given child. Their plan goes astray when Sulley inadvertently lets Boo (Mary Gibbs) into Monster World...a strictly forbidden act that, if discovered, will consign Sulley and Wazowski to banishment just as happened to banished monsters Loch Ness, Bigfoot, and The Abominable Snowman (John Ratzenberger). This is a terrifying fate, so Sulley and Wazowski cannot go to the authorities.

The plot is nothing spectacular...but it does not need to be. The graphics and animation are magnificent, the gags hilarious, and the chase scene is one of the best chases in cinematic history. The trail through door after door, location after location is entertaining and original.

The characters are likable, including Randall the villain of the piece, and the resolution is a good one for all the good guys with a humorous but not cruel end for the villains. This is a movie that will let you smile and laugh for a while and, if you are into the messages given by movies, it teaches that laughter and getting along with those who are different is a path to a more prosperous and enjoyable life than you can achieve through fear and disharmony.

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