Monsters, Inc. : We Scare Because We Care

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“Since the very first bedtime, all around the world, children have known that once their mothers and fathers tuck them in, and shut off the light, that there are MONSTERS hiding in their closets, waiting to emerge! What they don’t know is: it’s nothing personal. It’s just their job.” What a great way to advertise such a great movie. There are many wonderful family movies out there, and with films like these filling the genre, it’s no wonder that this is my favourite kind. In this movie, the are many kinds of monsters, but this story focuses on three. The big, lovable, furry blue, James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) “Sulley”, his wise-cracking best friend, the cyclopic, little green Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), and the evil chameleon-like Russell Boggs (Steve Buscemi).

The city of Monstropolis is facing an energy crisis, and it is run on the screams of children. Sully and Mike are the team to beat when it comes to gathering screams, and Russell is tired of being number two. Even though Sulley has the talent to cause screams, he is really a likeable guy, and has a heart as big as his furry blue body. The president of Monsters, Inc., Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn) is desperate not to lose business. Kids on the alternate world are not as easy to scare as they once were. They are bombarded by media stimuli, and are too curious. If a monster gets too close to one, he might be contaminated by a child’s touch. One such incident takes place on the scare floor when a big orange monster comes back from a scare assignment with a small sock attached to his fuzzy back. The monster world version of the CDC comes in, shaves him down, and disinfects him. This is a very embarrassing moment, not only for the monster, but the company as well.

One night, as Mike is prepping for his afterhours date with his girlfriend, the sweet, medusa-like Celia (Jennifer Tilly), Mike and Sully are confronted by Roz (Bob Peterson), an old hag of a paperpusher that is a real stickler about getting paperwork filed properly. Roz confronts Mike, and gets on him about his paperwork being filed, but Mike is running late for his date, so Sully offers to do it for him. As Sully goes back to the scare floor, he notices a white door with pink flowers setup for a monster to go through. He inspects the door, and goes through it to find the room empty. He hears a noise behind him, and gets a great startle by a cute little raven-haired, two-year-old girl in pigtails. He trips over several toys, and runs out, with some toys attached to him. When he gets back out to the scare floor, he finds the little girl has followed him, and this starts the wildest adventure any monster or little kid can have.

Along the way, Sully and “Boo” (Mary Gibbs) have to deal with Russell’s evil plans, Waternoose’s desperate motives, and a town gone crazy over an idea that little kids are toxic. All in the while, trying to keep secrets from their friends while trying to get Boo back to her home. Boo has issues with Russel, and even gets a good scare from Sulley while he is doing a demonstration for some scare trainees. The chase to keep Boo safe goes through doors that lead to exotic places, and one place that is not so desirable for Russell when it is all said and done.

For those of you whom own the DVD, an extra special treat has been added with a Pixar short, “For The Birds”, which will keep you laughing very loudly for its duration, even though it is only five minutes long. You never can really go wrong with a Pixar movie, and they just keep getting better and better. You young indie film-makers out there, this is what you need to aspire to. Study all these films closely, and you will have success! As for the rest of us, just enjoy them for what they are, because they never get old, no matter how old you are.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★★