Monsters, Inc. (2001)


With Monsters, Inc., you can feel Pixar coming to grips with their identity. Whereas Flik was left partner-less, Sully and Mike are as much of a pair as Woody and Buzz were, establishing a tradition of partnerships that would serve Pixar well for an entire decade. Once again, Pixar decides to avoid featuring humans as central characters.

There are some subtle differences, though, that make Monsters Inc. unique. First, this is the only Pixar film based off of the abstract. Toys, bugs, fish, cars, rats, and robots all somewhat limit character designs since they are rather well-defined entities. This is the first problematic element of Monsters Inc.: I don’t think the monster designs are very creative. Maybe it was due to the lack of technology, as its sequel would improve on this aspect drastically.

Nonetheless, Monsters Inc. creatively uses its premise, tying in this abstract world with the familiar human world quite nicely. This tie would lead to the development of Boo, Pixar’s first human character who I really cared about. The fact that these monsters feared this tiny, harmless child made for some hysterical moments.
Moreover, Boo’s relationship with Sully made for one of Pixar’s more touching moments when Sully has to say goodbye to her. Not to mention, the action preceding this moment at the door factory is immensely entertaining.
It’s not quite the Pixar classic people claim this to be, largely because I would have liked to seen more out of this monster world, but there is no denying that Monsters Inc. is worth a watch. It’s funny, it’s creative, it’s entertaining, it’s unique, and most importantly, Monsters, Inc. is touching.

Verdict: Overrated

Favorite moment: Sully says goodbye to Boo.


I’ve always felt that Monsters Inc. has been a little bit lost in the shuffle of Pixar’s greatness. Let’s not underrate the innovation here: For the first time, Pixar was animating an entirely imagined world, and they made it a rich and scary one. This one is more overtly allegorical than Toy Story, and rehashes a few elements from that series, including its use of an odd couple friendship.

But I’ll contend that the third act of this movie is one of the most thrilling stretches of animation ever: From the moment Waternoose betrays Sulley and Mike, exiling them to the Himalayas with the Abominable Snowman, through the breathless chase in and out of doors, through the heart-tugging farewell between Sulley and Boo, it’s completely riveting.

The sense and pacing of the humor sometimes feels like it’s out of a classic Looney Tunes movie, and a manic Billy Crystal steals the show. Great movie.

Verdict: Properly Rated

Favorite moment: There are a lot of great ones but the first one that comes to mind is the bonus short on the DVD, “Mike’s New Car.” Makes me laugh hysterically every time.

Final Grade: 88% (B+)–Pixar-worthy delivery of its original story, but couldn’t ignore the lack of artistry.

For the full article: http://earnthis.net/animation-evaluation-pixar-1995-2006/


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