Have you ever pictured John Goodman as a burly green and purple fur-covered monster? What about Billy Crystal as a short, Kermit-esque monster with one huge eye?
"Monsters, Inc." has placed the voices of these comedic actors into monster form and follows their madcap adventure of returning a lost child back into her home.
The movie tells the story of Sulley and Mike, two monsters working for "Monsters, Inc.," the biggest scream production factory in Monsteropolis. Screams are the power source for this world. James P. Sullivan, aka Sulley (Goodman), is the lead scarer of the factory. Mike (Crystal) is Sulley's best friend and assistant.
Amusingly, monsters fear children just as much as children fear monsters. When Sulley finds a child in the factory, his fright is not contained as he runs screaming with the child clinging to his tail.
The child, who Sulley affectionately calls "Boo," is another comedic source in the movie. She squeals, laughs and says incoherent phrases, but it's definitely clear that she calls Sulley "Kitty," which elicits laughter every time.
Mike is a monster whose fear of children is apparent. He even wields makeshift armor and weapons to protect himself from Boo.
The film's dialogue is sometimes too complex for children, but they will most likely enjoy the same things Boo finds funny in the film. But like most Disney films of late, there is an equal balance of adult-related and child-related humor that makes it enjoyable for all.
In addition to the humor, the vivid animation shows that the monster world is a sight to see.
Monsters slither and stalk across the make-believe world and eventually race through the cavernous factory. Both scenes make good use of Disney and Pixar's bag of animated tricks.
With a well-executed, fresh concept, "Monsters, Inc." is a fun and original departure from Disney's usual fare. There's not an embarrassing song within earshot, and it doesn't retell the fairy tales we've been hearing for years (yawn). It's a breath of fresh air.
The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at email@example.com.
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