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Monsters, Inc. (4-Disc set)
BLU-RAY disk
11.16.2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
Monsters, Inc. (4-Disc set) order
Director:
Various

Actors:
John Goodman
Billy Crystal
Mary Gibbs

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Sully and Mike are Monster Inc.ís top earners in the scare business, but when a little girl named Boo sneaks back into Monstropolis with them, the two scariest monsters suddenly begin to question the system as they try to get her back home.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
MONSTERS, INC. explores a new level for Disney and Pixar, and paints a distinctly different picture than A BUGíS LIFE. I was immediately captivated by the idea of monsters who venture out into our world via closet doors to gather the screams of children which they use as a power source for their technology. This thesis alone should be enough to capture the imagination of just about anyone. There is a distinct hierarchy noticeable within the string of films brought to us by this impressive duo (Disney and Pixar) and though they always do right by the kids, itís more than obvious here that they started taking proper care of the older audiences as well. I for one approve.

The jump to Blu-ray is phenomenal, often times making me wonder if the monsters were going to jump out of my TV screen as well as the closet (well, not really, but Iím sure you see what Iím getting at). The animation is crisp and vividly detailed (Sullyís fur), but in all honesty, I almost feel that it leveled out with this film and though they maintain this level of excellence as they go (all the way through UP), I donít feel that it has gotten or even will get any glossier than this. Iím not complaining mind you as thatís not a bad thing, I mean thereís only so far animation can go before it loses that cartoonish feel we all know and love (which is exactly what scares me about a potential ROGER RABBIT sequel).

The voice acting line-up is nothing short of stellar with John Goodman and Billy Crystal as the two top scare guys of Monstropolis. The camaraderie between the two is flawless and the laughs shared between them and because of them are hilarious (the ďone eyeĒ bit floors me every time). The fact that these monsters (who scare kids for a living) are ironically scared to death of children is also quite a hoot (the contamination hose-down is priceless). Steve Buscemi is a great villain and more than comical himself. Iím also a big fan of the Abominable Snowman voiced by John Ratzenburger.

Donít let the fact that MONSTERS, INC. revolves around children fool you, the overall premise of this film is very grown up and even sentimental at times. Watching this film back when it first came out made me start to pay close attention to Disney and Pixar and gave me a whole new respect for these types of films. Disney is far from perfect but there can be no denying that they evolved at an opportune time and have brought us (and continue to bring us) some fantastic animated features. Just when you think the next one wonít possibly live up to the last, most times it does and in some cases even tops it. This Blu-ray package is nothing short of phenomenal and a must have for fans. Bring on FINDING NEMO!
THE EXTRAS
Disc One: (Blu-ray)

Filmmakers Round Table: Some of the cast and crew reflect on how much fun it was making the film, as well as some of their favorite moments. The cast always seems to have a blast while making these.

Monsters, Inc. Ride and Go Seek: Building Monstropolis in Japan: Here we get a look at the Monsters, Inc. ride being made at a Disney Theme Park in Japan. The crew are extremely proud of it.

For the Birds: A three minute animated short about eight birds making fun of an outcast bird. Itís visually beautiful and pretty funny.

Mikeís New Car: Another animated short featuring our heroes Mike and Sully, where Mike shows off his new ride. More Goodman and Crystal is always welcome.

Audio Commentary: One of the more lighthearted commentaries Iíve seen as Pete, Lee, Andrew and John are all enjoying themselves quite a bit. Itís very interesting hearing just how difficult this world was to create.

Sneak Peeks: We get a handful of trailers, a Blu-ray commercial, BD-Live content and a Disney Theme Park commercial. This 4 disc collection also features a DVD copy of the film (disc 3) as well as a Digital Copy (disc 4).

Disc Two: (Blu-ray)

Rozís 100 Door Challenge: An interactive game set up as a placement exam to find out where youíd best fit in the Monsters, Inc. company. Fun for kids.

Pixar: A quick tour through the Pixar Studios. Looks like a fun place to work.

Story: Here we get a look at how the story department spitballs their ideas, what the cast and crew think of Monstropolis, how they pitch a scene and a different concept they had for the film. Glad they didnít go with the other concept, it made Sully and Mike look like pussies.

Banished Concepts: Ten minutes of deleted scenes/ideas that didnít make the final cut. They werenít cut because of time, rather these scenes took our characters in different directions that werenít nearly as good.

Storyboard to Film Comparison: Here we have three storyboard/movie comparisons of Booís bedtime scene. That kid could melt anyoneís heart, monster and human alike.

Art Gallery: Various sketches of character designs and other production artwork from the film. They did a fantastic job with variety as far as originality and details are concerned.

Designing Monstropolis: Hereís a look at the concept art and design of the monster city Monstropolis. Itíd be a fun place to visit on Halloween.

Set Dressing Intro: A quick glance at how they designed the sets and stages in the film. Again, not nearly as easy as they make it look.

Location Flyarounds: A look/display of the many areas and landscapes used in the film. This reminds me of The Price is Right display showcases.

Monsters File: A meet and greet with the cast who bring the monsters to life and an in depth look at the idea behind what makes a monster tick. I was always fond of the villainous chameleonís design.

Animation: A look at the animation process, some early tests, some of the harder shots and a production demo reel. These films almost seem like theyíre MORE difficult to make than live action movies.

Music & Sound: They reveal some of the tricks and secrets behind the filmís score, and John Goodman and Billy Crystal sing ďIf I Didnít Have YouĒ. Iíve heard far worse.

Trailers/TV Spots: Thereís a quick one minute shot of people at the premier, two trailers, four TV Spots, multi language clips and a five minute gag reel. Disney/Pixar make the best gag reels.

New Monster Adventures: A three minute highlight clip featuring TV Clips, a Japanese ďRock, Paper, ScissorsĒ bit, and pieces of the ďIf I Didnít Have YouĒ video. This oneís mostly a mesh of stuff weíve already seen.

Behind the Screams: A funny behind the scenes interview with Mike and Sully about their daily grind at Monsters, Inc. I remember watching this one on DVD, itís good stuff.

Orientation: A welcome video for new employees of Monsters, Inc. featuring an overview of the company and historical info about the monster world. Short but fun.

Scarer Cards: An interactive card collection featuring the characters from the film. Just like the good ol days when I was a kid.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Thereís no denying that Disney and Pixar are a winning team, and the hits just keep on coming. Iím particularly fond of them coming to Blu-ray as theyíre taken to the next level and shine like never before. Thereís more than enough to love here, whether you already own the film or not.

Extra Tidbit: MONSTERS, INC. reminds me of the Fred Savage flick LITTLE MONSTERS. I should watch that again soon.
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