IMDb 250 – Monsters Inc.


Monsters Inc. (2001)

Starring Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, and James Coburn

Quick Synopsis

If you have kids, you have probably seen this movie.  It follows the best bud duo of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman), who are the Top Scarer duo at Monsters Inc, the power company of the city of Mostropolis.  They supply this energy to the city by going into the Earth world through children’s doors and collecting their screams.  While scaring children, the Monster world is deadly afraid of children, and when Sulley accidentally lets a child, “Boo”, into their world, they must figure out how to get her out as fast as possible.  They soon discover, however, that Boo is far from as terrifying as Monstropolis has made them out to be and Sulley begins to grow attached.  While trying to balance his growing attachment and getting her out of a world that hates her, they uncover a sneaky plot by Mike and Sulley’s rival, Randall (Steve Buscemi).  How they get out of this jam and return Boo home will strain Mike and Sulley’s friendship and lead them to make choices that will determine, not only their own fate, but the fate of Monstropolis.

Quick Take

Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite kids movies.  I feel bad that I constantly suggest that we watch this movie all the time when we have Family Movie Night, but I can’t help it!  Billy Crystal is hilarious and the interaction between Boo and Sulley is heart-warming and definitely has its tear-jerking moments.  This movie hits the right balance between being funny for kids and funny for adults (a mark that movies like Shrek miss).  Also, it addresses a tension in Sulley and Mike’s friendship and touches a lot on how Mike cares about appearances and selfishly desires recognition, and Sulley is obsessed with work until Boo completely changes his perspective.  Their relentless pursuit of the all-time scare record is put in jeopardy with the appearance of Boo, and both Sulley and Mike must work out what is more important to them, work and fame, or each other.

This is really a friendship and family tale and does a great job of exploring family, work, love, and cultural assumptions.  When Sulley takes on the company and their scared view of children, he is taking on his entire culture and the struggle is one of truth and love against assumptions and fear.  It’s all there in-between the jokes and hilarious gags.

Best Quote

Yeti, Abominable Snowman: “Abominable. Can you believe that? Do I look abominable to you? Why can’t they call me the Adorable Snowman, or the Agreeable Snowman, for crying out loud? I’m a nice guy.”

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