Have You Really Seen Monsters, Inc.?
Have you really seen Monsters, Inc.? Silly question, you might think. However, there's more to the movie than meets the eye. I know, it's a Pixar Disney animated film aimed at children. The key is "aimed" at children. Though that is the case much of the humor is written for adults. As in other children's animated movies so many of the jokes and comments are way over a child's head and truly meant for adults. The Boston Herald raved that MONSTERS, INC. is "visually dazzling, action-packed and hilarious." I don't think they meant hilarious for kids.
First, the premise of Monsters,Inc. I don't think children today believe in or are afraid of monsters under their bed or monsters in their closet but there was a time when children were and that is the premise that started Monsters, Inc. Monsters, Inc. revolves around monsters in the closet. These monsters are in the closet - though really they're on their own planet and working through their door into the child's closet, trying to generate screams from children to use as power on their own 'planet' Monstropolis. All of the doors are distributed to the monsters on the 'scare floor'. There is currently a power shortage on Monstropolis and they need more screams. They all work at Monsters Incorporated and Mr. Waternoose is their boss. He is driven and will go to any lengths to preserve the company and keep a good record at the company. At one point he says about the shortage: "Kids these days. They just don't get scared like the used to." Monsters are trained at MI to do their job before they are sent through a door. They are given a different door each time that leads to a child's bedroom and it is their job to scare the child to generate enough screams to fill at least one canister. Not exactly something a child would be interested in and not a particularly interesting set up as read here. Their fear of touching a child is really exacerbated when a little girl named Boo comes through her door to Monstropolis. However, this is so bare bones.
The characters themselves are what make the movie. First there is James P. Sullivan, played by John Goodman and known as Sulley. A big blue monster with big teeth, a quick smile and a heart of gold, but also the scare champion of MI. His best friend and co-worker is Mike Wazowski, a little green cyclops with short hair. Mike is not only Sulley's best friend but a lot of the comic relief of the movie as played by Billy Crystal. As they arrive at work Mike asks Sulley if he has any "odorant" Mike can borrow.
Sulley: Yeah, I got, uh, Smelly Garbage or Old Dumpster.
Mike: You got, uh, Low Tide?
Mike: How about Wet Dog?
Sulley: Yep. Stink it up.
Mike has a 'thing' for a monster named Celia who has snakes for hair and is played by Jennifer Tilly. Her nickname for Mike is Googlie Bear. On her birthday Mike is taking her to the best restaurant in town thanks to Sulley getting them reservations.
Rozz is the secretary/administrative assistant at MI. Though she isn't in a lot of scenes the ones she is in are noteworthy. She gives Mike a hard time for not handing in his paperwork another issue kids wouldn't really understand.
No one is allowed contact with the children. Mr. Waternoose played by James Coburn has trained everyone to believe any contact with a child would contaminate them and their world.
The scare floor at Monsters, Inc.
Once Boo enters the movie things center around her, the human child that has infiltrated Monstropolis. Sulley of course finds Boo and tries to keep her secret. As he tries to hide Boo he starts to realize she won't hurt the monsters and starts to form an attachment to her. She calls Sulley "Kitty." As Sulley tries to return Boo to her door another monster, Randall played by Steve Buscemi, finds out that Sulley has Boo and tries to get her back. Randall is responsible for Boo being in Monstropolis as par of an evil plot to extract every scream from a child. Little Boo (a two year old girl) isn't the least bit afraid of any monsters, except Randall. Sulley soon finds out that Randall was her monster. What follows Boos arrivals are major public problems, Sulley and Mike trying to hide Boo, and Sulley beginning to realize a human child is really harmless. He tries to talk to Mr. Waternoose about it only to find out Mr. Waternoose is in cahoots with Randall. Waternoose pushes Sulley and Mike through a door that lands them in the Himilayas with the Abominable Snowman. They continue to attempt to return to Monstropolis. Sulley's goal is to save Boo at any cost. Mike becomes totally disenchanted with Sulley's devotion to Boo. They go through several escapades trying to return to Monstropolis and when they do they manage to set up a ploy that exposes Waternoose. After they expose Waternoose the CDA (Child Detection Agency) shows up and tells them Number One wants a word. Number One turns out to be Roz, the secretary/Administrative Assistant who asked Mike for his paperwork in two earlier scenes. She allows Sulley to return Boo to her world then destroys Boo's door so she can never return. Her door is shredded but Mike manages to save one piece.
During the movie Sulley had realized the children's laughter generates more electricity than their screams. After Waternoose is exposed Sulley winds up running MI as the monsters extract laughs. Mike approaches Sulley one day saying he has a surprise and blindfolds Sulley. He leads him to Boo's door and explains it will only work if it is all together. Sulley had taped the piece of Boo's door together with a drawing Boo did, to the back of his clipboard. He places the remaining piece in the door, opens it, says "Boo" and you hear her say Kitty.
Okay, so you've read through this whole thing and seen a quote or two but aren't convinced an adult would appreciate the film. Well, first of all the animation is incredible. Sulley has 2, 320,413 hairs on his body - specially generated to give it the real look you see in the movie. No detail has been overlooked to make this animation look real. The opening scene shows toys on a shelf that look so real you almost think you can touch them.
Then, there's Boo. Any adult woman would immediately fall in love with Boo and most men would think she's cute if they really admit it. Boo likes the name Mike Wazowski and walks around saying it to the point when she catches up with a school group of monster children and teacher asks her name she says "Mike Wazowski."
Mike tells Sculley at one point that Sculley's been jealous of his looks since fourth grade. In another scene Mike tells Sculley he's going to let Sculley teach Randall a lesson!
When Sulley discovers Boo he brings her to the restaurant where Mike and Celia are dining to get Mike's help. Boo gets loose and runs around the restaurant wreaking havoc before Sulley and Mike can get her out. She just laughs at the monster, they make the mess. The next day the news report goes as follows:
TV Anchorman: If witnesses are to be believed, there has been a child security breach for the first time in monster history.
CDA Agent: We can neither confirm nor deny the presence of a human child here tonight.
Witness #1: Well the kid flew right over me and blasted a car with its laser vision.
Witness #2: I tried to get away from it, but he picked me up with his mind powers and shook me like a doll.
Witness #3: [has many eyes] It's true! I saw the whole thing!
Professor on TV: It is my professional opinion that now it's the time to *panic*!
Of course a child wouldn't notice but an adult would. This is a perfect example of mob hysteria. No one picked the monster up so it follows no one saw it with his own eyes.
When Sculley tells Mike he needs to walk to work because he needs the exercise, Mike replies that Scully has his own climate, how would he know about Mike needing exercise?
When Sculley is trying to get Boo to sleep in his bed, she points to the closet because she's afraid Randall may come out. Sculley stands in the closet and tells her there's no monster there, then says that well there is a monster (meaning himself) but no one will hurt you.
[Randall is threatening Mike while holding him prisoner and mispronounces cretin]
Mike: First of all, it's cretin. If you're going to threaten me do it properly!
The point is you really have to watch this movie and pay attention. The quotes and innuendos make it fun to watch!
Have you seen Monsters University? If you've seen Monsters Inc. don't miss Monsters University. We saw it in the theater and my four year old grandson was mesmerized. This prequel has Sculley and Mike attending college. Again, their antics are relate-able to children and adults alike.
Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved
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