Published on June 19th, 2008 | by simeon0
The ritual of putting children to bed has been something that parents and adults have had to deal with since the start of time. Who can ever forget the requests for a glass of water, a nightlight, or a story that children have issued for ages. In a way it is almost a ritual as once the checklist has been completed, then the children can go to sleep safe and sound.
Ah, but what of the old nemesis of children, the fabled monster under the bed or in the closet. The fear of the unknown where shadows take on sinister forms and play on the minds of young children is a powerful tool. Normally, a quick check of the closet, bed, and the use of a nightlight take care of this problem, and as the years pass, the notion of monsters in the closet fades in a young persons mind.
For a notion to remain after so many centuries and for it to cross so many cultural barriers there must be some basis to this legend. Sure some of it can be blamed on fear of the unknown and an overactive imagination fueled by television and video games, but there must be something more.
Thankfully, the creative team behind such classics as “Toy Story” “Toy Story 2” and “A Bugs Life” are up to the task and in the new film “Monsters Inc.” viewers get a look into that secret world where things go bump in the night.
According to the folks at Pixar, it seems that monsters have been coming from children’s closets for ages and will continue to do so as their very survival depends on it. In the world of the monsters, it is necessary to harness the screams of children in order to power their cities. Since children are becoming harder and harder to scare in modern times, the monsters are faced with a severe power crisis.
The monsters main source of energy is Monsters Inc. A factory that creates power from children’s screams. Transporting monsters through a doorway in the factory that lets them enter our world through a child’s closet and return to their world in no time at all.
The top scarer at Monsters Inc is James P Sullivan or Sulley( John Goodman), as he is known. Sulley that despite his 8ft height and his blue and purple fur is a gentle giant that takes pride in his work as the top scarer at the company. Sulley’s best friend and roommate is a small, one eyed, green ball of a monster named Mike Wazowski Billy Crystal, a loyal and devoted friend, who assists Sulley by bringing him new doors and processing the tanks of screams that he collects. Mike is also very proud of Sulley’s scare record and his ongoing relationship with Celia(Jennifer Tilly).
Despite the urgent need for power and the concerns that are uttered by the head of the factory, Waternoose, (James Coburn), and the sneaky dealings of the #2 scarer Randall (Steve Buscemi) things could not be better for Mike and Sulley.
Things take a turn for the unexpected when a little girl the two call “Boo” arrives through the doorway. This is a huge crisis for the monsters, as they believe children to be toxic and their touch deadly. A special decontamination unit is always on hand to eliminate any trace of a child’s presence be it a sock, toy, or crayon, and cleanse any monster affected by contact.
What follows is a funny serious of events where Mike and Sulley attempt to hide Boo and get her home all the while dealing with the politics at work, their social life, and the scheming Randall as their world has been tuned upside down by the little girl they are quickly becoming fond of.
The animation of the film is top notch as the computer-generated images bring the characters to life and show a wide range of emotions from their facial features and body language. The voice acting is top notch and the laughs are genuine. The story moved along at a brisk pace as was funny without being forced. I would highly suggest this film to anyone and lets hope that we get to take a return trip to the land of Mike and Sulley in the not do distant future.
4.5 stars out of 5