Pixar Animation Studios review: Monsters, Inc.

Pixar Studio's 4th film.
Pixar Studio’s 4th film.

http://putlocker.is/watch-monsters-inc-online-free-putlocker.html

My opinion right after watching film

Just to give some insight, this is the first movie I remember watching in the theaters, so this film will forever hold a special place in my heart. My overall opinion right after watching the film is that it is a good time. I like the atmosphere, the two main characters are some of my favourite in Pixar, and the story was pretty fast-paced, though I think the story could have been handled a bit better. I will note that you get a new perspective watching this after watching Monsters University.

Production

The idea for this film (as well as A Bug’s Life) was conceived at a lunch in 1994, since children often believed that monsters came out of their closet when they were little. While A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2 continued into production in 1996, Pete Docter started his focus on this film, and a pitch that was similar to the final film was given to Disney in February of 1997, where it was then decided to title the film Monsters, Inc.

The initial concept of the film involved a 30 year old man having a lot of fears, which was represented in the monsters that would come out of his closet, even after his childhood ended.  That idea was obviously scrapped, and was changed to a budding friendship between a monster and a child. Up until 2000, the child and monster went through countless changes in appearance and purpose, which finally lead to the child being a little girl barely out of toddlerhood, and an 8-foot monster.

A monster buddy would eventually become Mike was idealized in April 6th, 1998 at a story summit. They soon wanted the buddy to be smaller in appearance, and made him a one-eyed monster. Apparently Bill Murray made some screen tests for Sullivan, but when there was no contact, the role was given to John Goodman. Billy Crystal was approached in the early 1990s to voice Buzz Lightyear, which he turned down, only to regret it soon after, so he accepted the role of Mike. There was a lot of trouble to animate fur in the film, which was an issue because the main character consisted of a lot of fur.

Story 

The film starts in an alternative world, which consists of monsters living in a society like ours. We soon learn that monsters have these doors that teleport to children’s bedrooms in the human world, and they scare them to gain power for Monstropolis; there is an entire business based on it. The new scarers are apparently crap, and we are taken to the main character, and the best scarer in Monstropolis; James “Sully” Sullivan (John Goodman), and his best friend/worker assistant Michael “Mike” Wazowski (Billy Crystal). As they are walking to work, we quickly learn that Sully gets all of the attention, and barely anyone recognizes Mike, but it seems like he does not mind. The one person that does give Mike attention is his receptionist girlfriend Celia (Jennifer Tilly), who he plans to take out to dinner for her birthday after their shift.

monsters-inc
We are introduced to Sully’s rival named Randall (Steve Buscemi), who wants to beat the company record, and wants to be seen as the best monster, instead of the second-best. They would go back-and-forth in regards to scaring the most human children, and we learn that the company is losing business, since the children are becoming more immune to the monster scaring.

Their shift at work has ended, and it is time for Mike to go on a date with his girlfriend, though he has some leftover paperwork to do. Sully covers for him, and while trying to find the papers, he ends up going into a door (that Randall put there so he could get more screams while off the clock), and a child nicknamed Boo (Mary Gibbs) enters their world. He tries to put her back to her room, but she continuously escapes, and refuses to stay still. Sully runs to the diner where Mike and Celia are, and forces him to come with her to solve the predicament he ended up being put into. Boo escapes in the restaurant, causing everyone to panic and having the Child Detection Agency, as they are soon evacuated, leaving a very angry girlfriend.

The duo end up beginning the child to Sully’s apartment, and her laughter ends up blowing out all of the power circuits in the entire neighborhood. I forgot to mention that monsters treat humans like they are epidemics, and are even more scared of them than humans are of monsters. I wish that there was a bit more explanation as to how this monster universe came to be, or how it has this connection with the human world, which might not even be in the same universe. It is like some aspects of the world are explained, but a lot of others are not. It is the next morning, and the Monsters, Inc. company has become the new hell.

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Everyone in the factory is looking for the girl, while the two try to bring her back to her door without being detected. Too bad for Mike, Randall sees him, and kidnaps Mike to get answers out of him. There are some filler scenes, which consists of Sully thinking she got crushed in the garbage shoot, and her joining a bunch of monster kids, who are on a field trip to the factory. That is the thing with this film; I do there there are quite a bit of scenes that are filler, and just drags the situation longer than needed. Boo and Sully see Mike attached to a machine called “The Scream Extractor” by Randall, which forces all the screams that can be mustered by someone. The two helps Mike escape, and the CEO of the company named Waternoose (James Coburn) forces Sully to help the crappy new workers to show them how to scare a human, and just so conveniently, Boo walks up to the prototype, and sees Sully become a scarer, which scares her. Apparently no one else noticed her running to the prototype, and when she is revealed, Waternoose reveals that he does not care about what Randall did, and banished Mike and Sully because they know too much.

monsters-inc
So the two of them end up in the Himalayas, and Mike is furious. This is the part where their friendship is fractured, but I cannot really feel anything since Sully is too focused on Boo to care or retaliate. The more I watch this film, the more I realize how flawed it is. There is literally no payoff to this scene, and I am confused if I am supposed to feel bad for them. And to be fair, NONE of this would have happened if Mike just finished his paperwork on time, so he should blame himself as well.

Sully goes to the village, and I am assuming he finds a door to get back to the factory.  Waternoose is bitter because he had to ban his best scarer so Randall can have his plan go through, and because Randall is sloppy with how he handled the plan. Randall and Sully ends up fighting, and Mike shows up (HOW IN THE HELL DID HE GET THERE? HE WAS LAST SEEN IN THE CAVE) to apologize for his actions.

After escaping from Randall, Celia pounces on that ass, demanding an explanation for his weird behavior, or else they are going to break up. He tells her everything, which causes her to help them slow down by Randall by telling the factory he broke the scare record, causing a bunch of fans to swarm him. There are of course a long chase scene, which involves them travelling through a bunch of doors, but they end up getting Randall thrown through a door, and knocking out its circuitry, meaning that he is trapped in the world forever. I also believe that the trailer he ends up in as the same one that was in A Bug’s Life. Waternoose chases after them, and is caught being recorded on saying that he will kidnap a thousand children to maintain their power. He gets arrested, and the head agent named Roz (Bob Peterson), who has been under disguise for two years (and whom Mike was supposed to hand his paperwork to) to investigate what was happening at the factory.

After saying goodbye to Boo, we see the factory completely revamped months later, and the monsters are trying to make the kids laugh, giving them a lot more power than a scream ever could. Sully is in charge, and Mike shows him a surprise, which is Boo’s door put back together, except for one piece. After Sully puts the last piece into the door, the film ends with him deciding to visit her.

To be honest, I was very disappointed with the film.
To be honest, I was very disappointed with the film. There was a lack of payoff in a lot of the scenes and scenarios, and I wish they took more time to let the film become more emotional. I wish the dynamic between Mike and Sully was developed a bit more, and it is saddening for me to say this. It is a good feature, but nowhere close to being the best Pixar film.

Characters 

For the characters we received in this film, they seem to be self-realized, at least somewhat.

He is definitely the sweeter, more down-to-earth one out of the two, which is further exemplified when he is with Boo. I guess he changes his opinions on humans, and he is a strong enough main character, but that is all I can really say.
He is definitely the sweeter, more down-to-earth one out of the two, which is further exemplified when he is with Boo. I guess he changes his opinions on humans, and he is a strong enough main character, but that is all I can really say.
Maybe it is because I am more of a sourpuss in general, but I preferred Mike. I like that instead of focusing on the fact that he is always cropped out of stuff, he likes just being there to support his friend, and to even be in the picture. His relationship with Celia reminded me of young adults dating and trying to figure it out. He was more relatable to me.
Maybe it is because I am more of a sourpuss in general, but I preferred Mike. I like that instead of focusing on the fact that he is always cropped out of stuff, he likes just being there to support his friend, and to even be in the picture. His relationship with Celia reminded me of young adults dating and trying to figure it out. He was more relatable to me.
Randall is just the typical jealous villain who is constantly outshined by the protagonist, and will do anything to be the best and first.
Randall is just the typical jealous villain who is constantly outshined by the protagonist, and will do anything to be the best and first.
I gushed over her when I was a 4 year old, and liked her a lot, but now that I am older, I do see people's complaints about her. I do not HATE or LOATHE her, but she does exist for sympathy and to tug on our emotions because she is so cute, instead of being a character. It works for the film, so I don't really mind.
I gushed over her when I was a 4 year old, and liked her a lot, but now that I am older, I do see people’s complaints about her. I do not HATE or LOATHE her, but she does exist for sympathy and to tug on our emotions because she is so cute, instead of being a character. It works for the film, so I don’t really mind.
She does have more personality than being just the satellite interest. She has quirkiness, rage, and can be quite witty when she wants to be.
She does have more personality than being just the satellite interest. She has quirkiness, rage, and can be quite witty when she wants to be.
I understand where Waternoose is coming from. This company has been in his family for generations, and to see something that your life and family heritage has been defined by go down the drain is tough for anyone. I like that they did not make him evil for the sake of it, but gave a legitimate and strong reason.
I understand where Waternoose is coming from. This company has been in his family for generations, and to see something that your life and family heritage has been defined by go down the drain is tough for anyone. I like that they did not make him evil for the sake of it, but gave a legitimate and strong reason.

Animation

The animation did not age as well as I thought it did, but it is by no means bad. I have to say that some of the textures on the monsters were a bit weird, but there was such a high variety of monsters to animate, so it makes sense. I really like the world building in the animation, and overall, the film is just really pleasing to look at.

Music

I do not recall any songs per say, but the score is done by the regular Randy Newman. There are a lot more jazz influences on this score, and it works well I guess, despite the film having nothing to do with jazz. Otherwise, it doesn’t stand out too much, but jazz is always nice to listen to.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on November 2nd, 2001, it made $289,916,256 in North America, and $287,509,478 elsewhere, which lead to a worldwide total of  $577,425,734. It was the highest-grossing Pixar film at the tine, second highest-grossing animated film at the time, and completely stole the attention from Walt Disney Animation Studios, though received a lot of competition with DreamWorks’ Shrek. It is the third highest-grossing film of 2001.

It gave Pixar another critically acclaimed film under its belt, as people called it clever, funny, engaging, and set the bars once again for animated films. It showed that Pixar can do well outside of the Toy Story franchise, and this was during the time where traditionally animated films really started to under-perform and flop. WDAS’ Atlantis: The Lost Empire barely made back its budget, and lost money in marketing earlier that summer, and this was after a series of underperforming films within the last year and a half. People were really starting to question whether traditional animation could last, especially with the success of Shrek earlier that summer, and Ice Age the year afterwards. I remember seeing all of the Pixar films, while not even knowing the WDAS films existed at the time.

The film was nominated for, and won countless awards, but lost the Best Animated Film Academy Award (this was the first year the award was in place) to Shrek, which proved to be controversial then, and is still controversial today.

Reception Today

It managed to get a prequel called Monsters University in 2013, and I do feel like the prequel put an effect on the current reception of this film. People still see it as a brilliant film, but I do not see many considering it one of the best films in the canon. People know that this film is one of the main reasons why Pixar is such a strong force in animation today.

Final Score

Story: 7.5/10

Characters: 8/10

Animation: 7.5/10

Music: 7/10

= 30/40 = 75%

Next time…

Review: October 9th, 2016.
Review: October 9th, 2016.
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18 thoughts on “Pixar Animation Studios review: Monsters, Inc.

  1. I really enjoy this movie. I think it’s one of Pixar’s more creative films. Maybe the idea has been done before, but Pixar added their own touch to it by having the factory and the screams powering the monster world. I don’t think any other movie has done that sort of thing. I could be wrong.

    I’ve got two favorite scenes in the movie. One is the garbage chute scene. When you mentioned it in the review, I went back and watched it and forgot how hilarious it is. I just love the facial expressions and actions Sully does in that scene. I don’t care if it’s filler, it’s really funny! My other favorite scene is the door chase scene towards the end. Great fun to see them going from door to door and from place to place. I myself wouldn’t mind a whole movie like that. Sort of like a chase-through-time story, except with doors, the way they work in this movie. I think it’d be kinda fun.

    As for Monsters University, well, we’ll get to that eventually.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Those scenes were definitely great in action and humour; I guess I was sustainable shocked with how much filler was in the movie. I do believe the addition of the doors connecting the world’s was a new edition to the “monsters hiding in our closets”.

  2. I really enjoy this film. It’s cool it was your first movie in a theater. I dont know how much character a baby can really have. I mean she cant talk so she’s there to just be a cute baby.
    There’s actually a song If I Didnt Have You. In fact it was Randy Newman’s first Oscar win after I believe 18 nominations

    1. That’s it. I just didn’t remember the name, and then I just lost focus on the music for a bit. I don’t know if it is the no character thing that bothers people about Boo, or it is the fact that they made her so young for the emotional manipulation for the audience.

      1. Yeah it’s true. I was thinking that about Storks. You see those adorable babies and you forgive a lot in the plot because they are so cute. I feel Ice Age is very similar with that baby.

  3. It’s interesting to know that this is first film you watched in cinemas. The first film I remember watching in cinemas was Finding Nemo. What a coincidence that the first films me and you remember watching are Pixar films.

    As for the whole Shrek vs Monsters, Inc. debate. I think both films are equally good. So I’m not upset that Shrek won the Oscar like some people are.

    Speaking of Shrek, I think this film is a major reason why we don’t see many hand drawn films nowadays. When Shrek was released it was different from all of the animated films at the time. The film was one big middle finger to Disney and everyone loved it. I think Shrek did some permanent damage to Disney, as it became common to make fun of Disney. It spawned a ton of movies that tried to spoof fairy tales, but failed miserably.

    I think a lot of people now see hand drawn animation as kids stuff. I think that’s one of the reasons why The Princess and The Frog wasn’t a big of success as Disney hoped it would be. They advertised it like as a princess film which made the general public think it was for little girls only. When Tangled and Frozen were advertised, they were advertised as action adventure films with a lot of modern humour.

    1. Finding Nemo was also one of the very first I remember watching in theaters, same with Shrek. We are probably around the same age.

      After reviewing both films, I agree that Shrek and Monsters Inc are around the same in quality (which I didn’t think was going to be the case when reviewing Shrek 3 years ago). Shrek was definitely the first film to give a middle finger to Disney (though there were implications of that in the earlier films too), and spoofing classics in many genres were starting to become popular during this time. DreamWorks would not have been competition so soon without Shrek.

      Animation changed forever since the early mid 2000s, and the spoofiness in animation is still present today.

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