The folks at Pixar can do no wrong with Monsters, Inc.
, the studio's fourth feature film, which stretches the computer animation format in terms of both technical complexity and emotional impact. The giant, blue-furred James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (wonderfully voiced by John Goodman) is a scare-monster extraordinaire in the hidden world of Monstropolis, where scaring kids is an imperative in order to keep the entire city running. Beyond the competition to be the best at the business, Sullivan and his assistant, the one-eyed Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), discover what happens when the real world interacts with theirs in the form of a 2-year-old baby girl dubbed "Boo," who accidentally sneaks into the monster world with Sulley one night. Director Pete Doctor and codirectors David Silverman and Lee Unkrich follow the Pixar (Toy Story
) blueprint with an imaginative scenario, fun characters, and ace comic timing. By the last heart-tugging shot, kids may never look at monsters the same, nor artists at what computer animation can do in the hands of magicians. --Doug Thomas
The all-new animated short "Mike's New Car" is the promoted highlight of the DVD release of Pixar's hilarious film. However, this short--as good as it is--is far from the only new footage here. If you saw Monsters, Inc.
early in its theatrical run, you missed the outtakes included here. Bits seen or heard about in the movie--commercials, guided tours, the "Company Play"--are shown uninterrupted and are a delight. The easily navigated extras are broken into two parts. The Monster World should interest kids and fans, giving viewers a you-are-there tour of the fantasyland, including games and funky odds and ends. The Human World provides all the usual making-of background, albeit with Pixar's normal air of lunacy and completeness. The film can be seen in its theatrical widescreen aspect, or in a new, reformatted full-screen aspect. Also, watch the movie with the effects-only audio track for a new way to enjoy the film. --Doug Thomas