Monsters, Inc., considered by many to be one of the best animated movies of all time was released 15 years ago today on 2nd November 2001.
The idea of the movie was first conceived by Pete Docter, John Lassester, Joe Ranft, and Andrew Staton in 1994, during the production of Toy Story (1995). Released seven years later, in 2001, the film would become the sixth high-grossing animated film of all time.
To briefly summarize the plot, Monstropolis, a city in a parallel world inhabited by monsters; the main source of power is a child’s scream collected by monsters working at the firm Monster, Inc. To gather this enegy, the monster will visit the child during bedtime and scare him/her. However, children are known to be toxic to monsters. One day, Sulley (John Goodman) finds a little girl on the Scare Floor, whom he christens Boo, and with the help of his friend Mike (Billy Crystal), he tries to bring her back home, while protecting her from the evil Randall.
It is unsurprising that the film was such a success. There is simply nothing to change in it. The plot is brilliant, the story is moving, and the idea of a parallel world full of monsters scaring children at night, touches kids as well as grown-ups. The movie nuances and parodies a lot of our daily life, from our childhood nightmares, to the corporation life of employees. The question of ethics is also central to the movie, as we see the different reactions to the child issue in the company including the scary, but unfortunately not that surprising, reaction of Waternoose (James Corbun).
One of the most unforgettable scene is when Sulley thinks Boo is gone in the compressing machinery and goes from an anxiety to a nearly fainted state. As a result, Sulley has become one of the most popular kid character to impersonate during Halloween. Mike Wazowski also became one of the best animated characters ever being created, despite not being the camera’s favourite. In addition, Randall (Steve Buscemi) shines as the obvious old-fashioned villain that everyone likes, and hates at the same time.
Even fifteen years later the movie is still good fun, full of wit and does not have an old-fashioned air that some animated films suffer from. Due to its huge success, Pixar released a sequel, twelve years after the original movie, Monster University (2013) in which the audience follow Mike, Sulley and Randall back at their time at Monster University, and how a life-time friendship was born between the two main characters. Monsters, Inc. definitely stays one of the best choices for family time, or a throwback childhood memory night.
Watch the trailer for the film below: