With the original Disney+ show ‘Monsters At Work’ coming to the streaming service on the 7th July, I thought it would be a nice idea to revisit the original Pixar animated classic. ‘Monsters Inc.’ was a film that I remember seeing with my family and loved it at the time of release. Not only was it a unique and fantastic film, but it was also a technological achievement for the animation studio, when it came to creating realistic fur. But this is a film that I haven’t watched in a long time, so I wonder if it has stood the test of time?
‘Monsters Inc’ follows James. P. Sullivan, or Sully for short (John Goodman – Kong Skull Island, 10 Cloverfield), and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal – When Harry Met Sally) as scarers at the titular company. In the world of monsters, children screams are the energy source for their city. However, when a human child named Boo accidentally wanders into their world, it’s up to Sully and Mike to get Boo back into her world.
Despite the film being ten years old, it’s still a classic. While it has aged a little, specifically in close up shots, the animation still looks fantastic. The detailing in the fur, like on Sully’s body, is great but the various textures of the monsters are all different and are of the same visual quality. Whether this is fur or scales, this film proves that Pixar knew what they were doing in terms of improving their animation skills. It also demonstrated that, with each new film, they were learning to animate a new environment or detail and achieving that goal with outstanding results.
And it isn’t just the animation that’s fantastic; the cast is also perfect. There isn’t a bad voice performance featured, and Billy Crystal and John Goodman worked beautifully as Mike and Sully. While they are an odd casting choice, the two leads have amazing chemistry with each other, which is essential for making the audience believe that Mike and Sully have known each other for years. But their friendship with the human child Boo is what makes this film even more special. The leads’ development, from thinking that human children are toxic, to learning to accept and befriend Boo is sweet and heart-warming. But the film does have a villain in the form of the lizard-like Randall Boggs. Voiced by Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams), Randall is a cunning creature, rival to Sully and has one goal in mind: to beat the company’s scare record and become the best scarer. Buscemi’s performance here is also fantastic (also personal confession: Randall was my favourite character in the film. While other children owned Sully Toys, I had a Randall toy that I still own).
‘Monsters Inc.’ still earns the title of a Pixar classic. Turning the ‘monsters in the closet’ concept on its head, as well as being a commentary on company corruption and how far it would go to stay afloat, this film is still enjoyable. The animation is amazing, even a decade later, and demonstrated that Pixar were constantly improving upon their animation skills. The voice cast is great and is perfect for the film and the story it’s telling. If, for some reason, you have not seen ‘Monsters Inc’, then add this to your Disney+ watchlist.
Happy 10th Birthday ‘Monsters Inc.’!
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