Monster’s Inc. – 4-Disc Combo Pack with DVD and Digital Copy – Blu-ray

imageBlu-ray Review

Monster’s Inc.

Directed by: Pete Docter
Cast: (Voices) Billy Crystal, John Goodman, James Coburn
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Rating: G
Due Out: November 10, 2009

PLOT: In the world of bedtime monsters, the screams of children are a valuable source of energy. At the same time, kids are also considered toxic beings. All heck breaks loose when an innocent child named Boo crosses into the monster world, causing two professional frighteners, Mike (Crystal) and Sully (Goodman), to do anything necessary to protect her and return her to her bedroom.

WHO’S IT FOR? The closet and under the bed may still be points of terrifying uncertainty for younger children, but the monsters in this film are nothing to stay away from. Young kids and very old kids alike will able to enjoy this funny and thoughtful film.

MOVIE:

It takes a certain type of imagination to turn “things that go bump in the night” into warming slapstick, a type of visioning that seems exclusive to the almighty Pixar animation company. Monster’s Inc. is one of their more basic films, it could be argued – the film is strong on concept, but still secedes to a cutesy air that is usually the suffocating death of other, less thought out animated movies.

Regardless of the character Boo and the baby talk she sometimes reduces the movie’s dialogue too, Up director Peter Docter’s first movie is still a haven for top-notch creativity. The movie’s blueprint may be simple, but the story is filled with exciting sequences of great detail. A cast of humorous characters is rounded off by the natural comedic chemistry of Crystal and Goodman.

In its own world, Monster’s Inc. is a very good film, one with the particular imagination that has made Pixar so prominent in all of cinema. But when considering the animation company’s entire universe of work, this rather cutesy movie is only a stepping-stone towards Pixar’s full potential as brilliant, heart-warming filmmakers.

MOVIE SCORE: 8/10

EXTRAS

Monster’s Inc. Ride and Go Seek: Building Monstropolis in Japan – The city of Monstropolis, as seen in the film, has been re-created to life-size at Tokyo Disney, featuring an exclusive ride that is nowhere to be seen stateside. A brief behind the scenes look at the ride is given, including discussions with its creative engineers and even Monster’s Inc. director Pete Docter himself. This feature also works as a brief ad for Tokyo Disney.

Filmmaker’s Roundtable – We have sat with top Pixar people at a roundtable before, (at least on the A Bug’s Life Blu-Ray from a few month’s back), but this still proves to be one of the more personal tactics to share the stories behind a particular film’s creation. This time, the filmmakers are at the Hidden City Café, a favorite Pixar location that has a cameo in Monster’s Inc. and also the original teaser for Wall-E.

Mike’s New Car Short – After the success of saving Monster’s Inc., Mike treats himself to a car that has more knick-knacks and button than he can handle. Slapstick comedy ensues as Mike attempts to operate the darn thing. There’s an optional commentary by the filmmaker’s children, which is as unbearable or as wonderful as it sounds, depending on what you think is adorable.

OTHER EXTRAS:

For the Birds Short
Audio Commentary
All New Roz’s 100-Door Challenge Game
Pixar Fun Factory Tour
Story, Banished Concepts Storyboard to Film Comparison, Art Gallery, Designing Monstropolis, Set Designing Intro, Location Flyarounds, Monster File, Animation, Music & Sound, Release, Wrap-Up
New Monster Adventures
Behind the Screams
Monsters Inc. Orientation
DVD copy of the film
Digital Copy of the film

EXTRAS SCORE: 10/10

OVERALL

No matter how great you consider Monster’s Inc. to be, its Blu-Ray should be celebrated for its overflow of extras. This four-disc combo pack will stuff the interest of those who want to see more of their favorite monsters and their acclaimed creators. The second disc in particular is an oasis for those who want to understand the film’s creation down to the finest detail, with each step of the process elaborated on to some extent. Along with a copy of the original DVD and the ability to put it on digital devices, this would make for a fulfilling buy, especially for those who already have some sort of affection for Monster’s Inc.

FINAL SCORE: 9/10

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