Friday, 5 July 2013

Monsters, Inc. (2001)




















This was only Pixar's fourth film but you wouldn't think it, the visuals on display here are pretty much top of their game even by today's standards. What is so perfect about this particular film is like 'Toy Story' the premise is incredibly simple and derives from everybody's childhood. This is what makes 'Monsters' and the Buzz Lightyear adventures so utterly perfect, they touch on everybody's memories, no one can say they can't relate.

Think about it, the plot is so damn simple its genius! monsters that supposedly live in your closet, that's it! Everybody knows of those deep dark places that brought a sense of dread when you were a sprog, under the bed, behind the curtains, in the cupboard, the closet, in the attic or cellar etc...

The way this simple idea is fleshed out I like very much, admittedly I may have gone a different route by not using such a factory line based company idea for the monster setup. That's the one thing I didn't really get on with here, I didn't really enjoy the harsh metal surroundings the monsters live in, seemed to cold and sterile, almost alien not monster, kinda too me out of the moment.

Visually its epic, in some aspects, others its more standard, the character of Sulley easily being the most impressive thing going with that blue fur of his (mega merchandise planning of plush toy sales there methinks). I only wish they had stayed a bit more spooky n kooky with the monster world instead of that rather bland clean direction, and Monstropolis which merely looked like a regular US city! what a waste! man I had some ideas for that.












Likewise the characters went from excellent to meh for me. Of course the main two guys are perfect and their voices are pitch perfectly performed by Crystal and Goodman. Other monster creations are nice but lacked the same kind of horror element. Randall (brilliantly voiced by Buscemi) for instance is just a lizard/chameleon whilst Celia Mae seemed to merely be Medusa which was rather unimaginative. There also seemed to be too many generic looking characters if you ask me, blobs and tentacles etc...I would of loved Tim Burton's angle on this.















Gotta be honest I also felt like I was shoved out of the moment when the plot introduced Boo the human child. Now I know this is the basis for the entire plot and it is for the younger generation of course but I just thought the whole thing went way too schmaltzy. The little kid was disgustingly cute to point where I really disliked the character and wanted to vomit.

Towards the end as we hit the finale the film does tend to go into a frenzy of fast paced action, it does get a wee bit too frenetic and hysterical as the characters are bounding through door after door. Again its a nice idea but kinda goes a bit too far and takes you out of the moment, you feel tired just watching it.

I think this film is definitely aimed more for the kids, sounds dumb I know but some of these CGI flicks are more universal and can be enjoyed by all ages. This film is the same in that sense but I think its much more kiddie orientated especially with the sweet relationship that builds between Boo and Sulley and the heartfelt ending. I did expect a bit more sarcasm from Crystal with his character but he seemed reigned in a bit to me, clearly a sign its more for the kids this time.

6.5/10