HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
OnTV Today's Date:

Monsters, Inc.
Release Date: September 17, 2002
Run Time: 93 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: Monsters feed off of children's terror to power Monstropolis, in one of the best (and strangely, cutest) movies of 2001.
Version: Collector's Edition Extras:

  • Audio commentary with Director Pete Docter, Co-Director Lee Unkrich, Executive Producers John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton
  • Outtakes and…The Company Play
  • Shorts: "Mike's New Car" and "For The Birds"
  • Behinds-the-scenes of every aspect of production
  • Selected Storyboards
  • Production Notes
  • Monster Biographies
  • Art Galleries
  • …and much, much more

    Choice Scene: A dizzying chase through a warehouse of doors -- somehow a scene right out of a videogame that isn't the least bit annoying.

    Tech Specs: THX Certified, Anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1). Specially reframed Fullscreen (1.33:1), Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX Soundtrack and Sound Effects only, English subtitles.

    All over the world tonight, children will wake up screaming that there's a monster in their room. Running with that universal constant, Pixar dared to ask "why?" By asking that simple question and working and working on the answer, the animation studio came up with one of the best movies of 2001. Forget about that big green ogre; Monsters, Inc. has such heart and depth that you will learn to love a big green eyeball.

    As has become par for the course when Disney has an animated hit on their hands, last week's DVD release is nothing less than stunning. Given THX certification, the wide-screen film transfer is flawless. Pixar also made sure that those who hate black bars would be satisfied, too. As they did with A Bug's Life, the studio digitally reformatted each scene for full frame. Ah, the advantages of having the whole film on computer…but don't say that too loudly around George Lucas.

    The sound, too, is crisp, and the studio has taken advantage of it even in the extras. In a look at the Top Scarer trading cards, the sound transfer is so full that it's easy to imagine the geeky Needleman dancing around in excitement behind you.

    To give the best viewing experience possible, Disney has kept Disc One free of distraction. Though it does feature the standard sneak previews (including for Pixar's next, Finding Nemo), the disc is mainly the film, in either viewing option. A commentary track also exists, and for those really interested, it's one of the best of its kind. Though all in the recording studio are having fun, they don't devolve into cracking each other up and pointless commentary. It all stays focused on how they ended up making the movie they did, and it provides a great lesson in how to tell a story.

    Many of the extras on Disc Two have the same devotion. In a tour of Pixar Studios, studio president John Lasseter stresses that the company is all about story, and it shows. (The tour will also make you hate your day job. Pixar looks too fun to be real.) Extra after extra reveals how much hard work went into creating the final story, and how much got thrown by the wayside. The original pitch has some resemblance to the movie we got, but it just doesn't seem nearly as clever. But they include every iteration, and even a backstory that explains the origin of the monsters. CrossGen's Saurians have a lot in common.

    Popping in that second disc, the extras may seem overwhelming. Helpfully, the studio has put the obvious "gotta watch" things right up front on three scream canisters. The "outtakes" from the film are a bit tired, but they end with highlights from the Monsters, Inc. company play, "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From." Paired with the new short, "Mike's New Car," this disc proves that Mike Wazowski is one of Billy Crystal's greatest comic creations, good-naturedly self-absorbed and extremely funny. Somewhere in his family tree lurks Daffy Duck, only fitting for a film which owes as much to Looney Tunes as it does to classic Disney storytelling. Also sitting on a scream canister is "For The Birds," an amusing short that played theatrically with Monsters, Inc.. But even if you're not interested in the technical side of things, you owe it to yourself to dig deeper into the disc.

    If behind-the-scenes interests you, enter the door marked "Humans Only." Everything you could possibly want to know about how this film was put together is here. Also buried behind a door is a guide to the inside jokes in the film. For pompous jerks like myself, this section is a must-see.

    The door marked "Monsters Only" will hold the attention of even younger kids. It opens onto the lobby for Monsters, Inc., and every choice has been placed there strictly for entertainment value. In addition to repeating a link for "Mike's New Car," Mike and Sully's outside appearances are all included. Some seem to be lifted out of promos for ABC (there's a Monday Night Football piece), and then there are a couple of bizarre sequences for a Japanese kids' show, Ponkickies 21. It's notable just to hear the Japanese voices for Mike and Sully.

    A direction you might not automatically take (but should) would be to enter Orientation, which includes the history of Monster World and the above-mentioned Scare Trading Cards. If you go into Behind The Screams, you can also take a look at the program for the company play, a too well thought-out tribute to the self-proclaimed genius of Mike Wazowsky.

    Clicking on the Monsters, Inc. logo in the lobby will take you to an Easter Egg, heralded, of course, by a chimpanzee dressed as a rabbit hunting easter eggs on the Pixar lawn. Strangely enough, this chimpanzee is ubiquitous throughout the disc, and thankfully, nobody ever explains him. They have plenty of chances, because director Pete Docter, Lasseter, and several other staff members pop up all over the place. Pixar will not be a faceless studio.

    The only personality problem is in the character of Roz. It's really clear that everybody at Pixar finds her really funny, as she's voiced by one of their own, story supervisor Bob Peterson. But she works best in small doses. Unfortunately, she too is everywhere, even narrating the storybook included for little kids.

    Hey, that's a minor quibble. This disc is a must-have, for both die-hard movie geeks and the families that put up with them.

    Monsters, Inc. at Amazon

    Derek McCaw


  • Our Friends:

    Official PayPal Seal

    Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
    "The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
    If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
    Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites