Animation and Anime

MONSTERS INC review

Published at: Nov. 2, 2001, 9:05 a.m. CST

Pixar is the most dangerous company on the face of planet Earth. They create icons and classic film on a semi regular schedule. I remember falling in love with their short films.

There was a purity to those films, a purity in the very nature of what animation is. The understanding of movement, and through that movement the creation of sentient life. Everything that makes PIXAR PIXAR is right there in their logo. That hopping LUXO Jr. Watch that Logo.

Notice how in the scant 5 seconds or less... they have created an endearing character. A precocious inquisitive lamp... Giddy and excitable. Curious and devilish. And finally, caught and ashamed. All of that in a little 5 second package. PURE ANIMATION. There is no face, no eyes or mouth to smile. It isn't a cute design, it is simply an engineers table lamp. Absolutely no anthropormorphizing. It is simply a lamp. But through its motion they imbue that lamp with life. Not just life, but a infectious vitality. They give that lamp EMOTIONAL WELL BEING. This is just a LAMP!!! But I'm terrified it's gonna get unplugged.

Like I said, that's just the logo.

Now sure, you have people that are hyping up going to see MONSTERS INC this morning because it is showing the ATTACK OF THE CLONES trailer, but lets face it folks... Pixar is actively making films on the quality level of the best two STAR WARS movies (A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK). These are not glories from a long time ago and a galaxy far away from the here and now. TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 are absolute perfect films. Films with stories and characters and themes and imagery that captures and brands the imagination with its startlingly fresh and awe-inspiring heart.

TOY STORY 2 is one of the greatest films ever made. That was the last film out. To even pretend to go see this movie to see a stifilingly short trailer, when you should be running to see this film for the most amazing filmic chase scene in history... Well, you would be an insult to the form of film itself to not go with the direct intention of seeing a great film that happens to have the bonus of having a trailer for a film that we all hope may be great.

Before MONSTERS INC started I was doubtful. You see, when I very first heard about the film I was in awe... I couldn't wait to see a PIXAR film populated by the scariest monsters that their brilliant 5 times the normal operating capacity of the human brain conciousness would come up with. When I saw MIKE and SULLY for the first time... I was disappointed.

Mike had that huge big eye... that slim mouth... stringy arms and a pleasant happy (ready for the toy market) green. I thought... They'll never get me to associate with that character.

Sully was wonderful in form... but the colors... what sort of self-respecting monster would be baby blue with pink spots? That is quite frankly really really really stupid. Ya can't be scared of a big fuzzy wuzzy baby blue and pink creature.

My feelings were that the Monsters were too cute. Too cute, therefore they were no longer monsters.

Ya know. I'm an idiot. I can't believe I forgot the cardinal rule of monsters according to Ray Harryhausen. An eon ago when I was a comic book and movie poster dealer at a DALLAS FANTASY FAIR, Harryhausen told me that the secret to great monsters is that their natural state is not being a monster. You see. Monsters are actually just animals, creatures, beings. They all want to live peacefully in tranquility, to reproduce and raise their creature cubs, to eat, sleep and be happy. Just like you or me. And just like you and me… there is a time in their lives when they must become ugly. They do this to protect one of the basic things they exist to do. To keep from starving, to protect their young, to remain happy and finally to survive.

These are the rules according to Ray Harryhausen, the god of animated monster creation.

And unlike me, the folks at PIXAR know those rules and didn’t forget them. You see, in MONSTERS, INC. the monsters are not evil amoral creatures bent upon destruction at all costs. They are, very much like you and me in every way save for form. They are fantastical creatures with a civilization that has grown more and more dependent upon an energy source that has been being depleted and exploited without innovation for years.

You see, Monsters exist in a parallel dimension just on the other side of the transcendental plane of your closet door’s existence. They discovered, that in creating a great deal of fear in a child that is released in a scream, that there is a harvestable crop of energy that can be stored and used for a great many functions in their universe.

The problem is that over the centuries that they have been exploiting this once seemingly endless resource they have come to find that the screams and the fears of children have become harder and harder to get. It seems that more and more children have become sophisticated and unafraid. That some of these children may even be fascinated by them.

Now in the Monsters’ universe, children are deadly and toxic creatures. We don’t learn where this belief comes from, but inevitably when the industrialists that discovered the other plane of existence and the source of power found there, they inevitably put into motion a propaganda campaign to convince the populace of their world that the ‘beings’ that they needed to harvest fear from were in fact deadly ignorant monstrous creations bent upon destruction and empowered with the ability to destroy all life as we know it. This inevitable Monster Propaganda was seen as being needed in two ways. 1) It would reduce any and all guilt in the harvesting of fear and screams. And 2) It would instantly diminish any desire by the populace in wanting to learn more about ‘the natural resource’ and any possible alternative fuel resources.

The energy crisis causes a need in the chief energy company of their universe to pursue harder and tougher means of extracting fear. Well…

I won’t go any further into the plotline, but suffice to say the lesson of the film is to question authority, explore new thoughts, learn about your alleged enemy and ultimately befriend them.

Ultimately I see this as a very timely message for more than the children of the world. As intelligent beings we should all question the motivations and reasonings behind the things we are told by our leaderships. We should learn more about our ‘enemy’ and ultimately learn if it is possible to communicate and befriend them.

Like TOY STORY 2, there are some fairly deep emotional and philosophical issues being dealt with very non-preachy in the form of "Children’s Entertainment". The film fosters a desire for understanding and innovation and invention. Very powerful root ideas and thoughts for a kid’s flick.

Now, putting aside all deep readings into the material, the film is extremely entertaining, moving and creative. To your kids and many of the adults, the messages will be lost entirely, save for some subconcious gathering… It is messaging through osmosis… penetrating the skull in a natural and flowing manner. Distracting the audience by being so damn entertaining. So damn perfect as a film that it is only with great contemplation and consideration and afterthought that you can begin to see the deeper meanings.

Ok, now as for just the surface level coolnesses. The imagination and brilliance in the creation of these monsters was without question… and at all times… PERFECT. The richness of detail and form has never been better for PIXAR. The environments and settings are universally gorgeous and rich. The film is a pure visual piece of German Chocolate Cake. Rich and cavity-inducing.

On another level the character animation is quite possibly the best they have ever done. The key scene takes place between Mike and Sully when they are at odds in a frozen tundra type of situation. Mike can not believe the change in Sully and is expressing to him why, even though he is his best friend, he is against everything he has become, how Sully has abandoned everything that he believed in... that they believed in and that is sacred to their way of life. And how he will no longer be aligning himself with the likes of Sully again. It is the emotional lynchpin of the film. The speech couldn’t be delivered by anything less than a fully developed and emotionally charged being that you could associate with, believe in and empathize with. I swear, during this speech, Mike became a living breathing human being with all the depth and feeling of you or me. It was an astonishing work of character animation… as good as we have ever seen in the history of the form. Brilliant.

Having said that, that may be the greatest character accomplishment in the film, but the dead on best achievement is something I will refer to as the CLOSET CHASE. This scene is like something evolved from the collective twisted psyches of Max Fleischer’s animators, Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher, but with the energy and creativity of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. PURE GENIUS! It is not often that I shed tears during an action sequence, but this is quite simply perfection. The tears come in the form of unbelievable joy. Joy at watching something so profoundly perfect that you barely wish to breathe. I found myself dazzled and delirious from this.

Is this film a full equal to TOY STORY 2? No, not because this film has flaws, it doesn’t…. but because TOY STORY 2 had the emotional development of the previous film… It used that character development from the previous film and the familiarity that we the audience had with those characters and used it as a jumping off point for the further progression of the characters. I will say, however, that this film is one that I do favor to TOY STORY, and I crave and desire a sequel, as I love these characters and would love to further explore this universe.

The film has more pure imagination and creation than perhaps any film we’ll see this year and for that it should be applauded and seen repeatedly. Again, I hail PIXAR. It is truly the wonder of cinema creation at the moment. Now, if only they were to give the Brizzi Brothers a home.

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 2, 2001, 9:09 a.m. CST

    SPROING!!!!

    by L.B. Jefferies

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 9:10 a.m. CST

    wheres the review?

    by donner

    If it's in here could someone let me know because I'm still looking for it

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Monsters Inc.? - A must see flick?

    by Matt

    mhhhhhhh Harry it seems to be, that u r very very pleased about Monsters Inc. i don

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Pixar shorts on the website!!

    by rkhalloran

    Pixar's website now has the famous short features available on their website. You can now go back and see Luxo Jr or Geri's Game. Yee-hah!!

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Personally, I would consider the part about the kid's screa

    by Capt FUBAR

    Dammit, when you have spoiler parts, CALL IT SPOILER. Otherwise, yep, I'm gonna try to catch this one after work tonight. The AOTC teaser is just the frosting on the cake I was gonna eat anyway.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Yeah, nice, whatever...

    by KevBell

    .... but how was the Star Wars trailer? (This is some sad stuff, having to pay full price to watch a trailer. Here's hoping Monsters is better than Meet Joe Black)

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Harry "Easily Excitable" Knowles

    by MPG

    'Nuff said. ;)

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:39 a.m. CST

    First off...

    by kiki370

    For all of you who are claiming that this review was submitted by a plant...go back and read it. It was done by HARRY...jeez. Second of all, I went to a screening last night and totally agree...this film is amazing. It IS the best animation I have ever seen - Pixar continues to strive for perfection. There are parts in the movie that don't even feel animated...they feel REAL even though you are sitting there looking at a big blue furry monster and his green sidekick. Finally, there was no AOTC trailer in front of the screening I went to and I suspect that was the case across the country - was I disappointed? Yes, I was looking forward to the trailer. Was I surprised? No, because if Lucas wanted the first trailer to be released in front of Monsters, Inc. on Nov. 2nd, why would he/they allow for it to slip out during advance screenings... I'll be heading back to the theater over the weekend to see it again and to check out the trailer...

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:46 a.m. CST

    who cares about the star wars trailer

    by pogo on my own

    This was a review of a movie that will more than likely be much better than AOTC. I swear some fanboys get on my last nerve...you are just going to hype the trailer and then rip the movie appart when it hits the theaters....

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Fucking A, Harry...

    by KneelBeforeZod

    NOT ONE MENTION ON YOUR BEHALF OF THE AOTC TRAILER! I know you've seen it. Comment on it! You know what that might be? An interesting headline, instead of the Africa/Asia/Antarctica AICN crapola you have normally. Jesus Christ man, take advantage of this opportunity! Get some web site hits! And change the animation in the upper left corner!

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I'm now covered in Harry's gush...ugh.

    by rabid_republican

    If this film is even half as good as Harry says it is, I suspect it'll be worth my while. I have enjoyed what Pixar has offered thus far and look forward to whatever else they may have in mind. This aside, let it never be said that Harry doesn't know what it's like to be a fan or that he's grown out of touch with the fanboy mantality. The man's excited about a lamp for cryin' out loud! You just can't fake that.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Yeah, but Harryhausen's monsters were never cute or adorable

    by Klam Bake

    These Monster Inc. things are specifically designed to be Kid friendly and any self respecting monster, no matter how sweet and gentle it is inside, wouldn't be caught dead in baby blue and pink spots. They are beautiful to look at but the designs are still too tame. I think Harryhausen's point was that Monsters are horrible looking on the outside but just like you and me on the inside.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 11:53 a.m. CST

    No AOTC trailer? Weird...

    by MPG

    I thought the AOTC trailer was supposed to be attached to the movie reel for Monsters itself, i.e. there would be no way to show the movie without showing the AOTC trailer. ----------------------- In any case, I think this movie will be good. Not that I have to care much, because I got the tickets for free. ;)

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 12:27 p.m. CST

    No Surrender, No Retreat, No Sequels (Disney Inc.)

    by Recognizer

    Ever wish we could see Toy Story 3? I see Harry wishing that we could get something of its impact with these characters and this setting. Well I'm sure everyone here has read the quotes from Jobs, Lasseter and Eisner about the contract between Disney and Pixar (who it seems, understandably, want desperately to be free from the shackles of their murine oppressors). They have to deliver THREE MORE NON-SEQUEL FILMS first (Disney doesn't believe that Toy Story 2 was "original"). Because of this, Pixar is holding firm to their ground that they are going to make the films they need to make to be set free, and maybe work for Dreamworks or something (though it seems that SKG already has a CG unit... which, though it rocks, I miss a little bit the rising action of Pixar). Ack. Anyway, that's definitely kiboshing (ack! I verbed a noun!) any sequels to Toy Story, A Bug's Life or Monsters Incorporated, unless our F(r)iend Eisner bends, like a willow (instead of breaks like the code of ethics). Ah, and I don't know if it's a slap in the face or a tribute to their artistry, but I was listening to MP3s of "Damage, Inc." when reading Harry's review (rockin' little song there) and "Master of Puppets" when writing about Disney. Read into that what you will.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Here's your teaser to the Star Wars teaser...

    by Tom Veil

    I saw it this week and must say, the words of Lord Vader, "Most impressive!" The trailer begins with the Lucasfilm logo and no sound. The first sound you hear is the unmistakable breathing of Darth Vader, which continues throughout the preview without any music. Also, curiously missing from the preview is, our most loved to be hated, Jar Jar. Stunning images from Episode II fade in and out with Darth's breath, including a bearded Obi Wan, a very pissed off looking Yoda, an older, and much cooler Anakin Skywalker, the majestic scenery we love so much about Star Wars, as well as fight scenes snippet

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:13 p.m. CST

    oscars

    by twan_deeth_ree

    I was so pissed that the original Toy Story didn't receive any Oscar nominations (besides technical ones) when it originally came out. I thought that it had some of the deepest characters of any movie we had seen in a long time. Characters with real flaws: selfishness, fear of being different, fear of the unknown. All things that define us as human beings. And it was all wrapped up in such a visually amazing package. Toy Story was my vote for picture of the year that year (I believe it was the same year as Forest Gump and Pulp Fiction, both of which I also loved). Sounds like they've done it again with Monsters, Inc. and I for one am going to be seeing it tonight. Great review, Harry. I love the lamp also.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:18 p.m. CST

    "Emotional lynchpin?"

    by Cheezdanish

    Bwa-hahahahaha! Yeah, ok, fine. I'm seeing it, but I'll be goldanged if I'm gonna be looking for any kind of emotional subtext. It's a cartoon! The mind absolutely boggles.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:20 p.m. CST

    AOTC Trailer is awesome...

    by agentcooper

    ...Okay, my wife and I are going to see Monsters, Inc. tonight, but I couldn't wait to see the AOTC trailer, so I sprinted up to the theatre on my lunch break and was not disappointed. It is very dark. Literally. You know how ESB was lit? Deep shadows and rich colors? It looks like that. The whole tone of the thing is a bit eerie and it really is a teaser. By this I mean we just get tiny glimpses of things. But they look amazing. A quick run down: Fox and Lucasfilm Logos/Black with Vader breathing...Quick flashes: Padme and Anakin, Yoda, Padme and Anakin embracing as the Twin Suns set on Tatooine, Obi Wan floating in some kind of force field, Threepio (now with coverings), Artoo in a dark room, Mace Windu, Watto (wearing a funny hat)... Strings begin underneath the breathing...Jango Fett Blasts past a building on with his jetpack...The sound of lightsabers snapping through the air: Anakin and Obi Wan swinging their sabers/The water planet (Geonisis?)/ Slave One whooshing toward us through a starfield/Masses of Clonetroopers headed up the ramp of a collossal ship, then the EpII logo. May 2002...It is really short. Shorter than the Ep I teaser. Anyway, I thought it looked great. Also playing: the new Harry Potter trailer, and the Reissue of ET trailer. Both looked terrific. I haven't seen ET in years and the trailer made me want to go home and pop it in the player. Anyway, Pixar is going to get my money twice today. Looking forward to seeing the actual feature tonight.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Meet Joe Black was a great flick.

    by L.B. Jefferies

    As was Wing Commander.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:48 p.m. CST

    I get home from work,

    by Ben fong Torres

    log on to AICN expecting to find a harry/moriarty review of the trailer, and its not there. Please update the Monsters Inc. report to say 'Hi Harry here, i can't find the words just yet to describe what i saw this morning etc.' - Just let us poor souls in england know that you are planning to write about the trailer very soon.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Outtakes over credits?

    by Kent Allard

    Do they put the hilarious "bloopers" in the closing credits of this film like they did for Bug's Life and TS2? I love those...

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 2:10 p.m. CST

    "Breathing"

    by killaklone

    I am lucky enough to get paid to build these movies. So after I built 4 Monsters Inc. prints last night I threaded em all, and only watched the trailers. I'm sorry but I got giddie like a little girl watching the AOTC trailer. IT is titled Breathing, and its exactly what some dude said in his message. You even see Jesus, ummm, Obi-Wan hanging in mid air in these thingies.... so im thinken that the beginning of the movie rumor that was postd here is true.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Just got back from Monsters Inc.... and the AOTC trailer ROCKS!!

    by Bar Bar Drinkz

    Fuck you Harry you fat fucking retard. Monsters Inc sucked. Just saw it..... REALLY nice animation & graphics, REALLY lame story... nowhere near Toy Story 2 territory, not even as good as Toy Story. The short cartoon with the birds before the show was better.... ...which brings me to the Star Wars Ep2 Trailer... holy fuck. creepy, moody, amazing lighting, dark atmospheric color palette, and some hella cool, very short glimpses of major characters and scenery.... wow! from the trailer you can tell that AOTC will have a distinctive look and feel, and it seems to be very 'star warsy.' I cannot wait to see this movie. the ep2 trailer alone w3as 10 more entertaining than that Monsters Inc tripe. Ya, thats right, tripe. anyone got a bootleg yet out online? been looking on kazaa since i got back home... dang!

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Ok, Druegy. Reel in your intusasum.

    by McCormic

    The people at Pixar are not Gods in the form of men ok.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 3:13 p.m. CST

    One More thing: Digital Camera.... Beautiful!

    by Bar Bar Drinkz

    One more thing you fat fucking nerd: you also didn't mention how NOCE the images captured by the digtal camera in the ep2 trailer... there's been alot of debate and speculation about the quality of the digitally captured image vs. film.... its obvious in the AOTC trailer that the images, the lighting, the depth of filed... all there, all beautiful. Thanks for mentioning that to your readers, Harry, you dipshit.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 3:45 p.m. CST

    AOTC Trailer - who cares?

    by MikeSal222

    The trailer may rock, or it may not rock, but even if it is better than sex, it will tell us NOTHING about the quality of AOTC. TPM had one of the best trailers of all time, and the film stunk worse than Jar-Jar's mangled corpse. So don't give me this "The AOTC trailer rocked -- all of you LOTR fanboys will be crying come May 2002" nonsense. I can tell you right now what AOTC will be like: it will be better than TPM, but not as good as Empire Strikes Back. The F/X will be stunning, but the dialogue and love story will be hackneyed. Enjoy Star Wars for what it is, and stop trying to re-capture your childhood (which wasn't that wonderful to begin with) through these movies.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Funny thing is, when Harry likes a film, I generally don't..

    by the_pissboy1

    He's got the taste of a 13 year old boy, so forgive me for not being too pleased with his positive review of Monsters, Inc. I wanted to see the movie, but Harry's glowing review makes me think of such painfully abusive things as Titanic and Armageddon. Maybe I should wait for DVD now.

  • I intend to take my daughter to this tonight, and I intend to have fun. The haters, on the other hand, will spend their Friday night mastubating. Just calling them like I see 'em.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Nordling

    by Masturbator

    Do you still call me a hater if I spend my Saturday night masturbating with your daughter? Just calling it like I see it.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Speaking as someone who loves the shit out of Star Wars

    by MCVamp

    ENOUGH ABOUT THE F'N TRAILER!!! When Harry reviews it, he will make a separate posting for it so he can dissect it, not throw it away offhandedly while he's (rightfully, I expect) creaming over a movie that may make the entire shitfest of 2001 worth sitting through (LOTR notwithstanding.) Of course I want to see the trailer. Of course Monsters, Inc has me jazzed that I should get to see it. But I've been waiting for Monsters Inc... for Monsters Inc alone... for about a year now and had been planning on seeing it first chance I get for just as long. And you know, you KNOW that if Harry HAD seen and reviewed the trailer in the same post, some putzes would be complaining about how Harry will put up anything short of George Lucas's used condoms regarding Star Wars. Enjoy Monsters Inc, and for that matter, enjoy Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings when they come out. Star Wars comes out in MAY, and I expect, despite any bullshitting about how George Lucas raped your childhood that he wasn't responsible for to begin with, that you'll go see it. And even if you're entertained, you'll bitch about it because it's not the original trilogy and you just aren't as easily impressed as you were when you were 12, and heaven forbid you AOTC bashers would ever admit you were wrong if you saw it and ended up liking it Geeks can NEVER own up to their mistakes, look at Bill Gates. Sigh. Can't we all just go to the movies, like what we like, and fucking get along?

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Re: Nosferatu Jones on the ET trailer

    by agentcooper

    I saw the ET trailer this afternoon during my lunch break (see above description of AOTC trailer)and have to respectfully disagree with you. The only CGI changes I saw were 1) CG ET running toward the leaving ship, 2) The Leaving Ship, 3)The much talked about replacement of Walkie-Talkies for guns in the hands of the G-men at the movie's end. The scene where Gertie walks in and sees ET for the first time looked exactly the same as it has the 100 times I've seen the movie previously, as did the flight across the moon and the little blue lines around the balls of clay spinning in the air as ET levitates them...Not that anyone cares, but for the record I a)Think that the CG running ET is a good idea, as before it was rather obvious they were pulling a dolly with a glowing heart light behind the bushes, b) Thought that the "terrorist" line they are re-dubbing was funny 20 years ago and totally, completely inappropriate now, and c) don't care that Greedo shot first because it really doesn't matter anyway. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong. I wanna know what you think America.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Re: agentcoop

    by MCVamp

    I don&#39;t really care that Greedo shot first, character-wise. It&#39;s just that the "revised" shot looked like what it was, hastily thrown together crap. At least Han saying "Yes, I&#39;ll bet you have," and then...>BOOM< had good timing and flow. The new scene looked cheesy.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 4:39 p.m. CST

    1982 edition of E.T. will be on the DVD as well.

    by MikeSal222

    According to USA Today and DVDFile.com, both versions of E.T. (the 1982 edition and the new CGI atrocity edition) will be included on the upcoming DVD. Hopefully all of our favorites - penis-breath, FBI agents with guns, and the infamous "terrorist" line - will be included. Kudos to Spielberg for coming to his senses (somewhat).

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 5:33 p.m. CST

    masturbating han solo

    by twan_deeth_ree

    First, it does make a huge difference in the development of Han Solo&#39;s character as to whether or not he shot first. Shooting first shows what a cynical, heartless, greedy bastard he was at the beginning of the series, and gives further meaning to his overall change in character when he aligns himself with something that he can believe in and fight for. Second, whoever said they were going to masturbate with the previous poster&#39;s daughter needs to fucking get a life. Just because the whole internet medium affords you to be anonymous, doesn&#39;t give you the right to treat people like shit. I&#39;d like to see any of your pimply little asses say the things you say about your fellow talkbackers, Harry, or George Lucas to their face. That whole kicking the talk-backers asses thing was the best part of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Wow....

    by Fitzy Funk

    I say this not because of the "trailer," which was essentially the reason I came to see Monsters Inc., but because of Monsters Inc. itself. What a tight, fun, gloriously executed piece of entertainment this is. Better than Shrek? F*ck yes, it is. It&#39;s on the level with Toy Story 2, in my opinion, and it might even be better than that, simply because the premise is among THE most creative I&#39;ve encountered in the past 10 years of animation (that&#39;s a lot of quality Disney!). Oh, and the AOTC trailer is fine, too, of course...it just seems to go by so quickly. It will be interesting to see how (and more importantly, IF!) Lucas recoups from the very mediocre (all considered) Episode 1. I must reserve my personal judgment. Like a previous poster said, the Episode 1 Teaser was (is?) one of the greatest movie trailers of all time.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 7:32 p.m. CST

    here here! to the poster above, nosferatu....

    by Captain Katanga

    ... couldnt have put it better myself. cgi characters look WORSE. The fact is that with ET and Yoda, the only little thing that gives the game away is the lip synching, but other than that, they look TOTALLY REAL. cgi characters are, for the most part, cartoon characters.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 7:34 p.m. CST

    I wonder how much this rave review cost Disney

    by The guy

    Probably about the same as Godzilla.

  • Everybody here has been comparing LOTR to Harry Potter. I think Potter will have its real compitition from Monsters, which will stick around til Christmas I think.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 9:42 p.m. CST

    I soooo hope PIXAR dumps disney on it&#39;s as once their contra

    by SethShandor

    I agree with everything Harry said about Pixar. They are simply, THE BEST. I hope they drop Disney like a bad habit when the contract is up. Imagine a PIXAR film with out any kinds of disney confines to it? Pixar could still do kids films and move on to more Adult fair with something that looks better than final fantasy but with a STORY and a HEART. Leaving the evil disney empire crumbling being left in the dust by Pixar and PDI with nothing but Dinosaur on their hands.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Monsters Inc

    by carebear

    Excellent! My kids were standing, jumping up and down, clapping and really enjoying themselves. The chase scene was genius! This is a must buy when it comes out.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Harry you site is an oxymoron

    by zenith1226

    As a longer reader of your reviews and other pertinent info you post on your website, I have come to the realization that your site is everything I love and hate about the internet all rolled into one URL. I love the intelligent and positive things about movies and their reviews. I absolutely abhor your neophytes,the white trash mental midgets who think anyone cares about what ever they feel like BANTERING about and their typical "you suck you fat ass" post...PLEASE CONSIDERING banning all of these monosyllabic morons.

  • Nov. 2, 2001, 11:31 p.m. CST

    AOTC Trailor..Blink and its gone!

    by lordbrockula

    If you see Monsters INC. this weekend, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the Attack of the Clones Trailor. Its 30 seconds. If you drop your popcorn dont look down when you go to pick it up or you&#39;ll miss it.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 12:15 a.m. CST

    spielbergian

    by Ard-Rian

    This fim reminded me of classic Spielberg. The spirit of ET was definately there, and the chase scene reminded me of Raiders. I loved it. But would you please shut up about the EpII trailer? He was reviewing the film!!! There is another talkback if you want to obsess out the trailer.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 12:17 a.m. CST

    the difference...

    by whiteboyrage

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 12:18 a.m. CST

    the difference...

    by whiteboyrage

    I know that I am going to be lost in this talkback but the people who criticize the use of CG instead of whoever&#39;s brilliant puppet are confusing the process with the end result. It&#39;s just one way of doing something... Something that I think the good fellows at Pixar know.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 1:04 a.m. CST

    can I vomit now please?

    by chillzatl

    christ every review is like being in church except with an overweight homo-erotic feel to it. Is there anywhere in the fucking free world to get movie info without being subjected to a bunch of "I am a fan I know what&#39;s good for movies" tripe?

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Get off the AOTC already

    by Chaka

    Jesus, most of you people are outright retarded. Why, in a review of Monsters Inc, are so many people posting, "Who cares about the movie, what about the Star Wars teaser?" Fuck off. Who gives a shit about a 30 second teaser? The bottom line: The header here says, "Monsters Inc Review." Read it for that alone ... looking for "thoughts" on the teaser? Here&#39;s a fucking clue: Go see it, and post your own damn thoughts .... fucking losers.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 10:22 a.m. CST

    What about the short?

    by Batguy

    Harry, I can&#39;t believe you didn&#39;t mention "For The Birds," Pixar&#39;s funniest short yet! I won&#39;t spoil it here, but it is damn funny! And it lasts barely three minutes! About the EpII teaser, it is exactly that. A teaser. Many quick images. I thought it was kinda mean, because you don&#39;t learn anything about the film. It&#39;s kinda cool, but every one of the Fellowship trailers has been better. And Monsters, Inc. is definitely good. I think the Mike character gets old. In fact, he is one of the least interesting Pixar characters. I think both of the Toy Stories were better but not by much. This movie is defintely on par with the other three. It&#39;s worth your time and money! I predict that it is going to do great box office, because the theater I saw it at was totally sold out last night. And there are no outtakes yet.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Ross&#39;s Voice Acting hurt anyone elses ears?

    by Filmjester

    Okay, I don&#39;t know if it was because I knew it was a guy doing the voice for the Character Ross, or it just really hurt, but was anyone else bothered by the voice? It hurt my ears and I couldn&#39;t wait for the scene to go over. If it wasn&#39;t just me, then pixar finally made a mistake. Granted the audience was supposed to feel the character was nasty and had a horrible voice, but EUGHAHH!! It was horrible voice acting. The voice actor should be beat with a spoon!

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 2:04 p.m. CST

    If You Passed The Review To Skim The Talkback, DON&#39;T READ IT

    by jollydwarf

    You don&#39;t want to read Harry&#39;s review for two reasons (at least). One, you&#39;ll get sick, much in the same way you&#39;d get sick if you downed a whole economy-sized bag of Pixy Stix. Ech. (Insert &#39;Beetlejuice from Stern barfing&#39; soundbite here) Two, there is NO WAY that you could read that review and not have it diminish your enjoyment of the film. It&#39;s Harry&#39;s opinion, but you&#39;d have thought that he saw the face of God in every frame while Jessica Alba and Tara Reid went Alanis on him (you know what I mean) in the theater. It&#39;s a good film. Maybe even a very good film. But Jeezie-peezie, I just saw "From Hell" and (finally) "Ghost World" a week ago, and both of those resonated far more for me than this did. And no, I&#39;m not a jaded, heartless motherfucker who can&#39;t embrace the benevolence. Just don&#39;t expect something equal to the "Toy Story" films. Oh, and a couple other things. For a lot of people, the AOTC teaser WILL be a distraction. Your mind will be trying to replay and replay it well into the first reel. Not only is it extremely cool, it&#39;s also extremely short. It&#39;s not quite the same as a &#39;sixteen-year-drought-ending&#39; trailer is, but it should give even the most cynical, TPM-loathing Lucas bashers at least a moment of pause. But a rush nonetheless. Also, finally (!), I wish that "Monsters, Inc." would&#39;ve included a least a handful of harmless renditions of classic Hollywood monsters, a la a Mummy or vampire or even an Alien. Maybe show them in a retirement home, watching the reports about &#39;rolling blackouts&#39;, talking about how they could still do a better job. I don&#39;t know, copyright issues? P.S. Is it true that in a deleted scene a Monster goes through a beat-up door into New Jersey and lets Beetlejuice (from Stern) into Monstropolis where he goes around telling everyone and everything "I bury his ass, so hard he be on the ground for fuckin&#39; life! I beat the shit outta him in like one hour, dude. He ain&#39; even tough enough!" Those crazy Internet rumors....

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Monters Inc. head and shoulders above Shrek

    by jimmy_009

    Shrek felt incomplete somehow. The animation looked about %80 there. The script felt about %90. All of the characters and environments felt like they were all parts of different movies assembled into one to save money. There was no solid "look". Not to mention they had to throw in trendy pop songs to ruin it for you when you watch it five years from now. Monsters Inc was the real deal. It was a solid %100 throughout. The story was good, the characters great, the animation a million times better than Shrek. Pixar is the shining example of animation done to perfection. I must have laughed out loud a couple of dozen times and it had my attention every second it was on screen. Not once did I grow bored, unlike with Shrek. Monsters Inc. will win the Oscar not only because it&#39;s a far better animated film, but because the academy knows Pixar has it coming.

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Monsters, Inc. worth twice the price!

    by CrazyCactus

    Couldn&#39;t agree with Harry more. Monsters, Inc. kicks major animated booty. Just checking out the detail of the hair on the first "kids" head and the fur on Sully left me in awe. The "roller coaster" chase scene was spectacular. And the film never seems to slack at all. The opening short was very entertaining and was a great comic "warm-up" for the rest of the film. What&#39;s not to love about this film? That&#39;s it, nothing! Definitely in the Toy Story 1 & 2 league, though where it falls amongst the three is a judgement call. As for the much ballyhooed AOTC "trailer", save your breath. I was giddy with anticipation as the Lucasfilm logo appeared, but it takes more than 12 or so 2-3 second clips to excite me. What a deflating moment. I&#39;ll take a LOTR:FOTR trailer anyday over that kind of clap trap anyday. As a matter of fact MI had a FOTR trailer in front and it finally has a bit of Gollum in it: a fantastic "Preciousssssss", Dec. 19th cannot come soon enough for me!

  • Nov. 3, 2001, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Overrated

    by ikillkenny

    I just got back from seeing Monsters Inc. and I have to say I&#39;m not impressed at all. The animation wasn&#39;t anything better than I saw in Shrek, and the story slacked majorly after about 20 minutes. How many times can you do the same decontamination joke? Speaking of jokes, I think I stopped laughing half of the way through the movie. I don&#39;t see how people are saying this movie is better than sex. I don&#39;t even want to get started on this movie&#39;s terribly predictable plot. After watching the Shrek DVD this morning, I&#39;ve come to appreciate well written CG animated films, and this wasn&#39;t one of them. By the way, I really like most of Pixar&#39;s work, especially the Toy Story movies.

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 2:28 a.m. CST

    jollydwarf - there WAS a "classic" monster in there

    by MilSF1

    Go see it again :-) Didn&#39;t the Abominable Snowman look just a bit familiar? Hint: think holiday specials; Santa; flying; and a glowing appendage. Not an exact copy of course, but close enough very recognizable.

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Filmjester re: Roz&#39; voice

    by Toonimator

    Roz&#39; voice was Bob Peterson, one of Pixar&#39;s storyboard guys. Pixar likes giving their staff the limelight a bit, since voice actors seem to get all the credit for bringing an animated character to life... in A Bug&#39;s Life, Joe Ranft, one of their top story men, voiced Heimlich! He voiced Wheezy the Penguin in TS2, and him, Lasseter, and several others do additional voices in all their films. Anyway, back to Roz, I didn&#39;t discover the origins of her voice till after the film, but it pained me to hear it. It sounded like someone was doing a bad impression of Florence Stanley (who voiced Mrs. Packard in Disney&#39;s Atlantis). You&#39;re not the only one who felt pain there... as for the outtakes, hopefully those&#39;ll be saved for the DVD. IF they made them. It&#39;ll be sad if Pixar&#39;s expected to do them for EVERY film; they&#39;ll lose their magic. However, I&#39;d love to see the song animated; but I can almost guarantee it&#39;s Disney, not Pixar, calling the shots about when to release additional material. So far Pixar hasn&#39;t demonstrated any underhanded attempts to bring audiences into their films and away from potential competition... the DVDs prove that two full sets of outtakes can be run together during the credits of ABL or TS2. Maybe I&#39;m just being optimistic about Pixar&#39;s business practices... I hope not! When this contract is up, Disney should seriously consider trying to get Lasseter to take over their animation department. Not that I want him to leave Pixar, but maybe he can bring some order, inspiration, and cohesion to Feature Animation; they&#39;ve already got talent, but the stories have been lacking. Oh yeah, I loved Monsters, Inc. It&#39;s not the end-all be-all, but it&#39;s par for the course, and that&#39;s still saying a lot!!!

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Filmjester is right

    by memyself

    The guy doing Roz&#39; voice was awful. Completely destroyed the feel of the movie for a few minutes. And, yes, "For the Birds" rocked.

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Monsters, Inc. made over $60 million this weekend!

    by Micmac

    Wow...people are finally going back to the movies. Well, if any film in the past 6 months has deserved that kind of money, it&#39;s this one. Now if only it can hold onto that #1 spot for another week...and eventually make more money than "Shrek" so we can finally stop hearing about that extremely mediocre piece of CGI. And since the Academy Awards will just give the first animation Oscar to whichever film they think America liked better, Monsters, Inc. will receive it and justice will have been served.

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Shrek: most overrated movie of the year

    by UnChienAndalou

    Shrek wasn&#39;t BAD by any stretch of the imagination, but the amount of elaborate praise it received from critics was absolutely confounding. I thought it was predictable, overly smug, and lacking the charm and aplomb that has become a requisite of Pixar films. Monsters, Inc is blatantly superior to this year&#39;s Hollywood critical darling. I think praising Shrek for being such a great film was this year&#39;s fashionable trend that was blown hopelessly out of proportion. Fuck, it&#39;ll probably get nominated for best picture. I hope MI outgrosses Shrek by at least fifty mil. Disney blows, but Pixar is the shit. Lasseter is a genius.

  • Nov. 4, 2001, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Better than Toy Story 2 and as good as Shrek

    by corvette63

    If you were like me and thought Toy Story 2 was a complete rehash of Toy Story (Toys go in rescue of fellow toy), then you&#39;ll be glad to know Monsters Inc has a better story and isn&#39;t so heavy handed and sappy as TS 2.

  • that&#39;s the damn truth. Pixar did it. they actually continued their streak. each and every movie is better than the last. Toy Story, very good. A Bug&#39;s Life, wonderful. Toy Story 2, absolutely incredible. Monster&#39;s Inc., practically perfect. and that may be an understatement. i mean, i&#39;ve never been as moved by an animated movie as i was during the film i saw today. it&#39;s not just the animation and the characters. it was everything. story, characters, relationships, the writing, the brilliant score, the brilliant pacing, the scope of the picture, the ending, the beginning, the "closet chase," as Harry put it. all those things i just mentioned. that&#39;s why this is the best movie thus far this year. and i&#39;ve LOVED this year so far. A.I. and Riding In Cars With Boys and Moulin Rouge. those are GREAT movies. and there have been numerous other great movies released this year. so Monsters, Inc. certainly had, for me, some serious competition. i did NOT expect to come out hailing this as the best movie of the year. but i did. i had tears streaming down my face by the end of it. an amazing motion picture that truly has to be seen to be believed.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Isn&#39;t this a cartoon?

    by Scaught

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Inside jokes

    by Thelma Scumm

    Let&#39;s not forget to mention the most blatant and obvious inside joke: the fancy restaurant where Mike takes his date is called "Harryhausen&#39;s"

  • Nov. 12, 2001, 8:27 p.m. CST

    This Movie Lacked Something

    by ~JJ~

    This movie was had a very creative story line ~ and I fell in love with the characters but something was missing. I had almost totally forgotten about the movie an hour later. It did not rock my world for a little while ~ a PERFECT movie does that, and this one didn&#39;t. _-:)}pnp*

  • Nov. 22, 2001, 3:45 p.m. CST

    good movie but ripped off something..

    by 81666

    i actually liked this movie a lot more than shrek (although shrek was good in its&#39; own right but lacked something) didn&#39;t anyone notice there is a *complete* scene lifted off (or should i say ripped off) from a warner brother&#39;s cartoon... (SPOILER***************)the one where it&#39;s about a giant dog that takes care of a baby kitten that keeps getting in trouble in one sequence the dog thinks the kitten falls into a blender or something, and it&#39;s getting chopped up, the dog keeps fainting when he sees the state of the blender. **it&#39;s exactly almost scene for scene in the movie with something else!? (not a spoiler!) other than that, fun movie.******************SPOILER ROOM.

  • Nov. 24, 2001, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Nobody got this in-joke??

    by 81666

    anyone notice towards the end, Sully is in Boo&#39;s room he picks up a doll from toy story 2 (the cow-girl doll) -81666

  • Nov. 30, 2001, 7:30 p.m. CST

    toy story 2 was boring

    by arouet

    I don&#39;t get it- Harry is always talking about Toy Story 2- I tried to watch it, but cut it off halfway through the film because it was so boring. I mean, 1 and 2 basically had the same plot- the only magic I heard was silence after I hit the off button. It wasn&#39;t exciting, funny, or even remotely interesting. I saw Monsters, Inc.- it&#39;s an okay film but it drags really bad in the middle- the two guys are in almost every scene and it gets dull- there&#39;s a huge stretch of them trying to find a baby- that at first annoyingly never speaks- but in the end- it&#39;s okay. I&#39;d recommend i, though- but it&#39;s far from a masterpiece- but at least I didn&#39;t walk out in the middle.