Monsters, Inc. (or simply said as Monsters, Incorporated) is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Featuring the voices of John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, and Jennifer Tilly, the film was directed by Pete Docter in his directorial debut, and executive produced by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.
Docter began developing the film in 1996, and wrote the story with Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon and Ralph Eggleston. Stanton wrote the screenplay with screenwriter Dan Gerson. The characters went through many incarnations over the film's five-year production process. The technical team and animators found new ways to render fur and cloth realistically for the film. Randy Newman, who composed the music for Pixar's three prior films, returned to compose its fourth.
Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a green, opinionated, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo (Mary Gibbs), a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.
Why It Rocks
- It has a unique premise of monsters scaring kids in order to generate power for their city, and how they work in an office environment.
- Great animation, especially with the monster designs, which are really creative.
- Likable characters, such as Mike and Sulley. The movie also has really good humor.
- While the movie is a comedy, it has some heartwarming moments, such as Sulley's relationship with Boo. The ending is also really heartwarming.
- Iconic opening sequence that is well animated and creative.
- Mike's ironic scream.
- Memorable lines such as "2319"
- There's a reference to A Bug's Life in the movie, where the same couple at the trailer park can be seen during the chase scene.
- Billy Crystal and John Goodman do a fantastic job as Mike and Sulley respectively.
- Boo is a really sweet, adorable character.
- The plot twist at the end is quite surprising, as it turns out that Waternoose was working with Randall all along.
- A great soundtrack composed by Randy Newman of Toy Story fame, especially the ending theme "If I Didn't Have You".
- During the credits, after the events of the film, the musical dedicated to the film by Mike is awesome.
The Only Bad Qualities
- The animation, while great, looks a bit dated nowadays.
- It's never explained how Mike came back to the human world when Mr. Waternoose banished Sulley and Mike there.
Monsters, Inc. was praised Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a score of 96% based on a total of 194 reviews, with an average score of 8/10. The critical consensus was, "Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation." Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 78 based on 34 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade, becoming the second Pixar film to gain an "A+" grade, after Toy Story 2.
Awards and Nominations
Monsters, Inc was nominated for an Academy award for Best Animated Feature, but losing it to Shrek but it has won an Academy Award for Best Original Song ("If I Didn't Have you" by Randy Newman").