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 as Pixar's 4th feature film. The film premiered on October 28, 2001, at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. It was theatrically released on November 2, 2001, in the United States, in Australia on December 26, 2001, and in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2002.
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. A prequel titled Monsters University, which was directed by Dan Scanlon, was released on June 21, 2013, while a television series/sequel titled Monsters at Work premiered on Disney+ on July 7, 2021.
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's Not A Monster (In a Good Way)
- 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. From having multiple eyes to sporting a slug-like bottom to drag themselves using rather than legs to walk with, each monster has their own creative, complex design.
- Pixar got its very first chance to animate fur in this film. While it certainly wouldn't be it's only time with films like Brave and Ratatouille coming out later, the fact that this film was the introduction to the concept of Pixar getting the chance to animate it in the first place is pretty nice.
- Likable characters, such as Mike (Sulley's best friend who's charming and generally the more organized of the two, but is prone to neurotics and his ego sometimes leads him astray) and Sulley (the arguable main focus of the film who's kind-hearted and caring in nature in spite of his expertise in scaring kids). 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.
- Sulley and Mike discover that laughter is more powerful than screams, and Mike helps Sulley reunite with Boo in the ending as well.
- Iconic opening sequence that is well animated and creative.
- Randall and Mr. Waternoose are both good villains, the former being incredibly witty and has a strong threatening presence and the latter being one of the best examples of a twist villain in a Disney film, having an actual established goal unlike most foes of this kind (That being keeping his company alive at any cost due to how much it means to him, something that was foreshadowed earlier in the film during a conversation with Sulley).
- Pete Docter's direction was not bad at all for his first attempt at a Pixar movie. In fact, it was an amazing debut for him.
- Mike's iconic scream.
- Memorable lines such as:
- "23-19! We have a 23-19!"
- "Hey hey, that's it! No one touches Little Mikey!"
- "Put that thing back where it came from, OR SO HELP ME!"
- "Mama, another gator got in the house!" "Another gator? Gimme that shovel!"
- "Where did she go? Did she turn invisible?"
- "Actually, that's my, uh, cousin's sister's daughter, sir."
- "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die."
- And of course: "Kitty!"
- There's a nice reference to A Bug's Life in the movie, where the same couple at the trailer park can be seen during the scene where Randall is banished.
- Billy Crystal and John Goodman do a fantastic job as Mike and Sulley respectively.
- Boo is a really sweet, adorable character, in spite of the fact that she can become annoying at times (see BQ# 1).
- The scene where Sulley learns that scaring kids isn't very nice after scaring Boo by accident is considered emotional and gives him some more character development.
- The plot twist at the second act is quite surprising, as it turns out that Henry J. Waternoose was working with Randall all along, who plan to kidnap children and extract their screams to stop the energy crisis. It also actually has quite a bit of substantial back-up and foreshadowing to it prior to the twist's actual occurrence unlike most twists in movies.
- 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, "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From or So Help Me," is awesome. It also happens to contribute to the film's incredible soundtrack that was already mentioned in the previous point.
- Boo can get a bit annoying at times, like that one infamous scene where she cries really loudly.
- The animation, while great first, can be a bit dated nowadays.
- Unexplained plot hole: The film ends with Randall being sent to the human world by Mike and Sully after his crimes of wanting to suck the screams out of kids are revealed. But considering Mike and Sulley were once banished only to find a way back to the monster world via a closet door, that means technically Randall could return to the monster world as well. And even if a monster opening the door's required for the process to work, Randall can just turn invisible. So basically, the chances of Randall not being truly defeated and coming back for revenge someday are far from zero.
- However, in the Monsters Inc. comic book "Laugh Factory", Randall has found his way back into the monster world, and both he and Waternoose plotted revenge on Mike and Sulley with the help of Sid Phillips, the main antagonist of Pixar's first film Toy Story (there's a chance that this story isn't canon, though).
- It also doesn't explain how the rumor of kids literally being toxic got to all the monsters in the movie.
Monsters, Inc. received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, grossing over $577 million worldwide to become the third highest-grossing film of 2001. 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 79 based on 35 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").
- Bill Murray was considered for the voice role of James P. "Sulley" Sullivan. He screen-tested for the role and was interested, but when Pete Docter was unable to make contact with him, he took it as a "no". The voice role of Sulley went to John Goodman, the longtime co-star of the comedy series Roseanne and a regular in the films of the Coen brothers. Goodman interpreted the character to himself as the monster equivalent of a National Football League player. "He's like a seasoned lineman in the tenth year of his career," he said at the time. "He is totally dedicated and a total pro." Billy Crystal, having regretted turning down the part of Buzz Lightyear years prior, accepted that of Mike Wazowski, Sulley's one-eyed best friend and scare assistant. The casting of Steve Buscemi as Randall, Sulley's rival, saw a reunion between himself and John Goodman; they had previously worked together on The Big Lebowski and Barton Fink.
- The music varies at the tail end of Monsters, Inc.; the widescreen version on DVD, Blu-ray and TV airings of said movie have the closing music ("Walk to Work", an excerpt from Randy Newman's score), but on the 2002 VHS release, the 2002 Australian DVD and the fullscreen version on DVD, the music uses one of the songs ("If I Didn't Have You", sung by Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski and John Goodman as Sulley) from earlier in the credits reel due to bloopers and a conclusion short being shown earlier on.
- This film is the most popular Pixar movie in Japan, possibly because Japan has a lot of monsters in their folklore.
- The first Pixar film not to have the normal Disney logo music.
- It makes the first Pixar film to be released in the 2000s as well as original film since A Bug's Life in 1998.
- Compared to the rest of Pixar movies, this marks the only Pixar film to use the short opening logo.
- This is the final Pixar film to feature the outtakes. All Pixar movies would not feature the outtakes in the end credits. The Incredibles does have the outtakes for the 2-disc Collector's Edition featured a segment called "Incredi-Blunders", which were accidental animation mistakes from the making of the film, but it was not present in the final cut.
|Pixar Animation Studios|
Toy Story - A Bug's Life - Toy Story 2 - Monsters, Inc. - Finding Nemo - The Incredibles - Cars - Ratatouille - WALL-E - Up - Toy Story 3 - Cars 2 - Brave - Monsters University - Inside Out - The Good Dinosaur - Finding Dory - Cars 3 - Coco - Incredibles 2 - Toy Story 4 - Onward - Soul - Luca - Turning Red - Lightyear - Elemental - Elio - Inside Out 2
Theatrical short films:
The Adventures of André and Wally B. - Luxo Jr. - Red's Dream - Tin Toy - Knick Knack - Geri's Game - For the Birds - Boundin' - One Man Band - Lifted - Presto - Partly Cloudy - Day & Night - La Luna - The Blue Umbrella - Lava - Sanjay's Super Team - Piper - Lou - Bao
Purl - Smash and Grab - Kitbull - Float - Wind - Loop - Out - Burrow - Twenty Something - Nona
Mike's New Car - Jack-Jack Attack - Mr. Incredible and Pals - Mater and the Ghostlight - Your Friend the Rat - BURN-E - Dug's Special Mission - George and A.J. - The Legend of Mor'du - Party Central - Riley's First Date? - Marine Life Interviews - Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool - Auntie Edna - Lamp Life - 22 vs. Earth - Ciao Alberto
Mater's Tall Tales:
Rescue Squad Mater - Mater the Greater - El Materdor - Tokyo Mater - Unidentified Flying Mater - Monster Truck Mater - Heavy Metal Mater - Moon Mater - Mater Private Eye - Air Mater - Time Travel Mater
Tales from Radiator Springs:
Hiccups - Bugged - Spinning - The Radiator Springs 500½
Toy Story Toons:
Hawaiian Vacation - Small Fry - Partysaurus Rex
Forky Asks a Question:
What Is Money? - What Is a Friend? - What Is Art? - What Is Time - What Is Love? - What Is a Computer? - What Is a Leader? - What Is a Pet? - What Is Cheese? - What Is Reading?
To Fitness and Beyond - Unparalleled Parking - Dory Finding - Soul of the City - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love - Chore Day the Incredibles Way - A Day in the Life of the Dead - Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads - Dancing with the Cars - Cookie Num Num
Squirrel! - Puppies - Flowers - Smell - Science