Title: Monsters, Inc.

Release Date:  2001

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 85 Minutes

MPAA Rating:  G

Distributor and Production Company: Buena Vista; Walt Disney; Pixar

Director; Writer:



Technical: 1.6 to 1, animated  (the screen looked very small by contemporary standards)

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Review: Well, here is another Disney “gem” following upon the two Toy Story movies.. I never saw so many kids on pacifiers in an audience as when I saw this one. Maybe the animated Monsters are too scary for the youngest toddlers.  They are rather abstract and geometric, like the Cyclops-on-stilts hero—almost like Venn diagrams from a topology text  They could almost fit into South Park.  There is a female Jabba the Hutt, a crocodile, a few others almost too simple to be real aliens.  Maybe they provide good biology lessons in radial symmetry and bilateral symmetry.


But there is some adult satire, too.  Consider the possibility that Monsters, Inc. will have to give out earnings warnings, particularly if it makes kids laugh rather than cower in terror. (“We scare because we care.”) Or that the Monsters are on-call 24 x 7 – like computer programmers on Nightcall.


But this is no Monster Movie.  That honor goes to An American Werewolf in London (1982).


And a note about the Toy Stories.  ‘Nsync has a video where the “five boys” are toys purchased at a Wal-Mart (Store Wars), who come to life in the checkout line, and then fight the (heterosexual, of course) toy soldiers still on the shelves, for their freedom.  Rated G.  


There is a little short about – birds.  Not quite Bambi meets Godzilla.


Another super-animated film is a “remake” of Metropolis (2001) (originally a silent film by Fritz Lang in 1927, from Paramount, and then reissued colorized with a music score by Giorgio Moroder in 1984), released by Sony Tri-Star, directed by RinTaro (Japan) with voices of Toshio Furukawa and Scott Weinger. The story is a modern morality tale that maps onto current events. Industrialist Dike Red is about to dedicate the world’s biggest skyscraper, the Ziggurat, which will become a kind of “tower of Babel.” Underneath is the struggle between robot-humans (read: humans programmed by fundamentalist religions, perhaps) and real humans.  There is dialogue about transfer and meaning of identity. Eventually, a female robot takes over and threatens to destroy the world, and, well, does.  Everything peels and falls down into ruin.  This film was complete shortly before 9-11-2002/ One could read into this the kind of thinking that precipitated Chairman Mao's anti-intellectual "cultural revolution" in China in the 1960s.


And as far as destruction of society (almost in animation), there is Resident Evil (2002) from Sony Screen Gems (the special Columbia subsidiary for horror films), directed by Paul Anderson, with Milla Jovovich, Eric Mabius, Michelle Rodriguez and Pasquale Aleardi, based on the well known video game. Here the terrorists are corporations, “evil empires” (let’s not name names here), that in fiction incubate viruses and build underground hives of mutants (corpses resurrected to semi-like after infection with the virus), all for military research.  The movie has the usual straight-line plot, but when the heroine gets out, she finds that the virus has destroyed Raccoon City (San Francisco) and presumably all of liberal society. Evil does exist, and not just in natural caves.   

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