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John Goodman
Billy Crystal
Steve Buscemi
James Coburn
Mary Gibbs.
Peter Docter
David Silverman
Lee Unkrich.
Dan Gerson
Andrew Stanton.
Running Time
92 minutes

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Monsters, Inc.

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Sulley and Mike are the number one ‘scare team’ at Monsters, Inc. — they jump out of closets to frighten kids and collect the scare energy which powers Monstropolis. However, when a (highly toxic) little girl gets trapped on the wrong side of the closet door, things go very wrong.

If traditional animation has enjoyed a tricky 12 months, then 3-D computer animation — Final Fantasy apart — is on a roll. And if the inaugural Best Animated Feature Oscar doesn’t go to a digitised freak, then something will be seriously amiss. But don’t be surprised if Pixar’s big, blue monster steals the award from DreamWorks’ grumpy, green ogre.

In some ways Monsters, Inc. — co-directed by Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich, with Pixar guru John Lasseter serving as executive producer — is everything we’ve come to expect from the Disney/Pixar axis.

It has a delicious premise, sumptuous animation and a mouth-watering voice cast. And yet this is a very different beast from Lasseter’s Toy Story movies. Where Toy Story was knowing and occasionally arch, this is wide-eyed and innocent. (It is telling that the human child featured here is an impossibly cute two year-old, compared to the Toy Story kids who were just starting to put away childish things.)

The familiar Pixar themes of childhood worlds of imagination are revisited but, unlike Toy Story, this is not an examination of the various threats posed to ephemeral pleasures. Instead, it is a joyful celebration of the power (literally, the power, as screams are the raw fuel of Monstropolis) of make-believe.

Sulley and Mike — brilliantly improvised by John Goodman and Billy Crystal — are bickering buddies in the Eric and Ernie mould. Funny, loveable and, above all, inseparable. This makes them a team in a way that Woody and Buzz were not. Woody and Buzz represented polar points of view and generated a genuine thematic tension which adults could grasp. Mike and Sulley are a more straightforward double-act. And, despite the monster menagerie on show, Mike and Sulley lack the fully-realised supporting characters — the something-for-everyone approach — that so ably assisted Woody and Buzz.

On the plus side, technical leaps have definitely been made since Toy Story, and Sulley in particular is the most vivid and textured CGI character yet created.

Similarly, the climactic scramble through a labyrinth of closet doors — each one containing another world — is a breathless action-comedy set-piece that’s several leagues ahead of the airport chase in Toy Story 2. And although Monsters, Inc. deserves to be seen on the big screen, arguably the definitive viewing experience will have to wait until DVD; only then will you begin to process the volume of fabulous sight gags tucked away in every corner of the beautifully detailed backgrounds. In other words, a treat for the eyeball.

Brighter and more exuberant than Shrek, this would be a worthy winner of the first animation Oscar. However, minus John Lasseter’s distinctive sensibility, Monsters, Inc. skews slightly younger than the Toy Story movies. Adults may find the script two or three jokes short of classic status.

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Monsters, Inc.

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Average user rating for Monsters, Inc.
Empire Star Rating

A monster hit

A bright and sassy Pixar delight, this finds us in the delightful company of Mssrs Goodman and Crystal as a big turquoise monster hairball and a green eye with legs respectively. In the beautifully imagined world of Monstropolis, they work for the titular establishment, extracting screams from little children to power the city. The one cardinal rule is no interaction with human kids so all hell breaks loose when one of them lands in Monstropolis. Irresistibly funny, this not only abounds with gr... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 11:40, 31 January 2015 | Report This Post

Monsters, Inc. Review

Even though Monsters, Inc lacks the sophistication of the Toy Story series, it is a still delight for children of all ages. ... More

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Posted by the film man at 23:56, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post

This is my favourite pixar movie so far.

I know toy story is great and all but this is way better. ... More

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Posted by typewriter at 21:17, 19 July 2010 | Report This Post

Still one of my favorite Pixars. An original film and great characters who are perfectly voice-casted. Billy Crystal and John Goodman are superb. The so typical Pixar combination from a great script and excellent characters are present here again. The film on blu-ray looks better than it has ever done, maybe this is the best picture quality that I have seen so far on this format. Film and blu-ray release alike really should be a part of any collection. 8,5/10 ... More

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Posted by TheGodfather at 23:19, 08 December 2009 | Report This Post

Brilliant... The best animated film out

Fun for everyone in the family- very very funny ... More

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Posted by blaud at 15:07, 19 May 2008 | Report This Post

Brilliant... The best animated film out

Fun for everyone in the family- very very funny ... More

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Posted by blaud at 15:07, 19 May 2008 | Report This Post


I haven't seen cars yet, but i've seen all the other pixar films at the cinemas from toy story (the first movie i saw at the cinema when i was 4) to the incredibles when i was 13. And i was very disappointed with film when i saw it, the plot was bland and uninspired and it just wasn't all that funny. ... More

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Posted by kerz at 13:41, 19 October 2007 | Report This Post


A very, moving, funny film from pixar once again. Impressive how they do sullys fur, beautiful... ... More

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Posted by alexisreaver2132 at 13:58, 17 May 2006 | Report This Post


This film was brill! Boo is the most cute cartoon character that I have ever seen! However, Toy Story still has to be the best! ... More

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Posted by Empo at 09:25, 12 May 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Monsters, Inc.

Definately one of Pixar's best creations. Mike and Sully are fantastic characters, with an equally awesome supporting cast. Boo is the sweetest little thing ever, especially when she eventually overcomes her fear of Randall. Bless.p; I also have to agree that this is better than Toy Story. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 13:22, 20 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Monsters, Inc.

Obviously, since you sent it twice. Lol. No, I enjoyed it much more than Toy Story, which I thought was overrated to begin with - - but that's for another thread! Monsters Inc. was extremely funny and the kid in it was so adorable! Good plot, storyline, casting (of voices, of course), and generally all-round fun for the family. I don't know a kid that didn't like it ... More

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Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 11:23, 20 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Monsters, Inc.

great movie...i liked this way more than Toy Story. ... More

Posted by jor el180 at 14:23, 19 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Monsters, Inc.

I liked this way more than Toy Story. Its actually funny and the story's interesting and sad at the same time. ... More

Posted by jor el180 at 14:21, 19 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Monsters, Inc.

Pixar's most underrated: if anything it's more imaginative than Toy Story. ... More

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Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 14:18, 19 March 2006 | Report This Post

Monsters Inc

Great movie once again from pixar. ... More

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Posted by premierbaron at 21:42, 18 March 2006 | Report This Post

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