Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Crazy animated runaround about two monsters who are permanently employed to scare little children.

Well, this is a Pixar film, so of course they don't just create the two monsters. No, Pixar just have to go and create the entire monster society.

The level of thought and detail that goes into these things is probably why I've realised that I prefer this company's movies to Dreamworks'. Not to knock that other team - I've enjoyed lots of their films too - but the makers of the Toy Story trilogy really do seem to go the extra mile.

While the characters and situations in this are great fun as usual, it's the whole monster world that really gets my imagination going. In particular I was impressed by the diverse monster population, and their humungous machinery and process for scaring as many children as possible in the shortest amount of time. There's productivity for you.

Initially all the cars, restaurants etc. on this plane of existance look exactly like our own one. However by the time that Mike and Sulley are getting chased across ginormous automatic pullies that carry tens of thousands of kids' cupboard-doors, we've made the leap into a world wholly constructed out of the imagination. There are no attempts to make this part of the film an allegory for our own one.

Oh, and I forgot to mention - Monsters, Inc. is very funny too!

- Abominable Snowman: "'Abominable'. Can you believe that? Do I look abominable to you? Why can't they call me the Adorable Snowman, or the Agreeable Snowman, for crying out loud? I'm a nice guy."

- Roz: "Your stunned silence is very reassuring."

- Mike: "Hello, is this thing on? Hey, good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Nice to be here in... your room. Hi, where are you from?"
"You're in kindergarden, right? I used to love kindergarden. Best three years of my life."
"Of my life. But I love sports. Dodgeball was the best. I was the fastest one out there. Course, I was the ball."

There was also a moment when a character turned on a tap and some icky black gunge oozed out, with a sound effect that seemed to fill the very room that I was in, however this turned out to be because one of our cats chose that exact moment at which to cough up a hairball. The effects in Avatar had nothing on this.

Monsters, Inc. is not Pixar's greatest, but it is terrific fun, and has real heart.

Whether or not its characters do.

Available here. (cat not included)

With thanks to Herschel.


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