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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> October 2002 >> Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
October 2002
IMDB Name:
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Pete Docter
David Silverman (co-director)
Lee Unkrich (co-director)
animated-feature, comedy
MPAA Rating:

Technological Wonders

When the folks at Pixar sit down to make another movie, there's no question that they'll crank out imagery that puts to shame everything that came before it. They're canny in their casting choices, which give them big opportunities to have semi-real characters in real settings. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 starred toys, most of whom were plastic. That lessened the animation difficulty significantly, but they made up for it elsewhere. A Bug's Life used bugs, which works well because most of us try not to think too hard about exactly what texture bugs have. Monsters, Inc. has Sully and Boo. Sully is the fluffiest critter ever to come out of Pixar, and he's amazing. He's covered in a few million hairs, which typically represents a nightmare for the computer, but here, looks perfect. Boo doesn't look so difficult to animate, but she's definitely the best animated human I've seen thus far. As if the characters weren't already enough, MI has a scene set in a warehouse big enough to hold tens of millions of doors. This is one heck of a set, and they stage an exhilerating chase scene in it.

For me, Monsters, Inc. falls short in the writing. Given the extraordinary effort required to animate, it's doubly critical that the writing be absolutely top notch. MI has excellent scenes, very clever dialogue, and good voice performances, but the overall plot doesn't rise to their level. The sentimentality of Sully may be more advanced than the usual emotions for a Pixar audience, but I found the execution lacking. I hope they'll give more consideration to the story the next time around so the visuals aren't the only attraction.

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Copyright 2002-2003 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.