Review Date: October 20, 2001
Director: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich
Writer: Dan Gerson, Andrew Stanton
Producers: Darla Anderson
John Goodman as Sully
Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski
Steve Buscemi as Randall Boggs
There is a whole world full of monsters that survives on the energy from children's screams. In order to function as a society, they must get into human kids' bedrooms and scare them into shrieking. When the kids scream, they bottle that energy and propel their society with it. But these monsters aren't really bad, in fact, they're actually pretty cool and as afraid of the children, as the kids are of them. So when a baby girl accidentally makes her way into their world, well...zaniness ensues.
This film is no SHREK or TOY STORY 2 but it delivers some laughs, some cool-looking monsters, lots of fun for the kids and a touching ending. It's not a movie that blew me away by any means, and certainly doesn't reach the overall entertainment value of the former flicks, but does offer a very original premise, a neat other-world filled with funky looking creatures with human-like qualities and some decent action during its last 20 minutes (the "door rollercoaster" sequence is pretty damn sweet!). But as an overall picture, I see this one as striking closer to the hearts of children, rather than adults, who have loved most of Pixar's films as much, or even more, than some children. The humor here seemed broader, not as sharp or consistent as the previous movies and certainly didn't provide for as many "in-jokes" or innuendos, which only adults could appreciate. Although the small "cameo" by Jessie from TOY STORY 2 during the film's denouement was definitely slick. More than anything, the film is "cute" but not much more. The plot was original to start off with, but once the little girl got caught inside their world, there seemed to be some redundancy (she's gone, let's find her, found her! she's gone again, let's find here, found her, etc...)
The film also doesn't provide for any massive laughs, just a few happy chuckles here and there, isn't the most rip-roaring action-packed movie, but is definitely fun enough to keep most entertained. There were some things in the film that did stick out for me in a good way, one of which included the ultra-adorable girl who gets trapped in the monster world. She was the cutest little thing and had one of the most addictive laughs. Nice job! I was also pretty impressed with many of the animated monsters (although I am starting to get used to this type of animation, and not as impressed as I once was), and especially the fur which adorned Sully's body. Very cool. And one of the funnier creatures in the entire movie, who doesn't get enough screen-time here, but should be given a film of his own, in my opinion, was the very mellow abominable snowman, who just couldn't understand why people called him that (he's really just a nice dude, as it turns out). The final shot in the movie is also pretty cool and the ending, quite touching, but I don't think that anyone is going to be re-writing record books for this one. A decent entry into Pixar's film portfolio and definitely an original piece, but not as high on the totempole of awesome animated pictures as the ones mentioned off the top of my review. Take the kids...they'll have a blast!
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian