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:: Monsters Inc.

Animated films in the last few years have been getting better and better, often outdoing live action films in the story and character development departments as well as visual innovation and appeal to adults as well as children. Monsters Inc is no exception, and is probably the best of the recent animated offerings, including Shrek.

Featuring John Goodman as the voice of James P Sullivan, a big, blue furred monster in Monstropolis, and head scarer at Monsters Inc, where monsters go through the closet doors of children’s bedrooms in order to scare screams out of them and thereby power the city. His loyal sidekick, as there is always a loyal sidekick, is a small, green eyeball with arms and legs, voiced by Billy Crystal, gets many of the films best lines, but it is Boo, the small human child who finds her way into Monstropolis and is too young to speak, who really steals the show. The relationship between Boo and Sully is sweet without being cloying and culminates in a heartfelt, touching ending.

Trying hard to think of a criticism, the film perhaps gets repetitive in the middle, as Boo disappears, is looked for, is found, and disappears again, but it is all done with such lightness and charm, that it is only a minor quibble.

Monsters Inc has something for everyone. Peppered with in jokes for the observant, with many references to previous Pixar films as well as the more obscure, Ray Harryhausen, an innovator in early animation, responsible for classics like Jason and the Argonauts, it still has plenty of laughs for the kids. A thrilling sequence of chair riding (it makes sense when you see it), is as edge of your seat exciting as any action film. Brilliantly executed, with Sully’s fur, over three million individual hairs, that are lit and move faultlessly, being the most outstanding.

The world that Pixar has created is exuberant in its detail and overflowing with visual gags. It would be well worth repeat viewings. And whatever you do, do not leave the cinema as the credits roll, as the outtakes sequences provide some of the film’s biggest laughs.

Screening on general release