The Monsters, Inc. Series
Monsters, Inc. (January 10/11)
A typically engrossing Pixar effort, Monsters, Inc. follows a pair of likeable monsters (John Goodman's Sulley and Billy Crystal's Mike Wazowski) as they inadvertently find themselves caring for a little girl (Mary Gibbs' Boo) - despite the fact that humans are thought to be toxic to the residents of Monstropolis. Filmmakers Pete Docter, David Silverman, and Lee Unkrich have infused Monsters, Inc. with an absolutely breathtaking animation style that effectively captures the viewer's interest and attention right from the get-go, with the impressively (and meticulously) conceived nature of the film's off-the-wall locale heightening the impact of the eye-popping visuals. It's just as clear that the movie benefits substantially from the palpable chemistry between Goodman and Crystal's respective characters, as their ongoing interaction with one another is rife with exactly the sort of back-and-forth charm that one has come to expect from Pixar (ie there are certainly echoes of Woody and Buzz in these guys). The almost pervasively lighthearted atmosphere admittedly does prevent Monsters, Inc. from packing the emotional punch of, say, an Up or a Toy Story, although, having said that, there's certainly no denying the strength of the movie's various chase sequences - with the propulsive finale, a jaw-dropping pursuit through an enormous space filled with suspended doors, standing as a high point, in terms of excitement, within Pixar's entire filmography. The end result is a captivating, thoroughly entertaining bit of kid-friendly filmmaking, and it's ultimately difficult to envision even the most jaded of moviegoers not finding something here worth embracing.