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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

“Monsters, Inc” is a Real Gem

Released this past weekend, the newest Pixar/Disney delight, “Monsters, Inc.” is a real gem! Starring the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, James Coburn and Jennifer Tilly, this computer-animated story delves deep into our earliest fears of closet monsters and things that go bump in the night.

The story begins with a clarification of sorts. There really are monsters in your closet, big ones, ones with googly eyes and enormous teeth. Each child has a particular fear and the monster in their closet is handpicked to deliver the biggest scare for that child. The spin is this: the monsters scare because “they care.” They have to frighten children in order to collect their screams, which act as energy to power the monster world.

The two main characters are Sully and Mike, a scaring team whose scream quota is the highest. They amuse us with their banter and silly gags while we become accustomed to Monsteropolis. The city itself is a hoot with landmarks, transportation and services tailor-made to monsterish specifications. Pixar leaves nothing to the imagination, colorfully spreading out a believable landscape and populating it with just the sort of creatures we can love for their scariness.

The plot takes off when the heroes’ arch nemesis, a smarmy chameleon named Randall tries to up his scare quota and leaves a door open on the factory floor. When Sully investigates, he unwittingly lets the little girl whose door it is into the monster world.

It’s all laughs and near sugar-shock sweetness when we meet little Boo, a wide- eyed sprite of a girl who decides Sully is a “kitty” and she’s in love. Now, monsters have been told that children are toxic and can kill you, so we embark on a series of dodges and feints as Sully and Mike struggle to avoid touching this incredibly precious little slip of a girl.

To tie it up, bad monsters with an evil plan to suck the scare out of children try to kidnap Boo and do terrible things to her. However, Sully and Mike come to the rescue and everyone learns that children’s laughs are the key to solving the energy crisis on Monstropolis.

The best scene by far is a riotous roller coaster ride through the door warehouse in search of little Boo’s closet door. Pixar shows off its real talent with convincingly lifelike flying fur as Sully and Mike swoop down on Randall and reclaim the little imp Boo from his clutches.

Best of all this enterprise, unlike “Shrek,” offers wholesome, innocent fun to moviegoers young and old, sans the all-too-prevalent flatulence, sexual innuendo and poop. We get clean jokes, delivered by our best-loved comic actors with a storyboard that dreams are made of. I wonder where Pixar comes up with all those colors!

Check out “Monsters…” no matter what your friends say. You’ll be glad you did.