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dir Pete Docter
prd Darla K Anderson
scr Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson
voices John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Bob Peterson, Mary Gibbs, John Ratzenberger, Frank Oz, Bonnie Hunt, Daniel Gerson, Steve Susskind
release US 2.Nov.01, UK 8.Feb.02
3D reissue US 19.Dec.12,
Champion scarers: Mike and Sulley
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
One of Pixar's most fully realised, original films returns to the big screen with added 3D. Well, the third dimension doesn't really add anything to the movie beyond letting the wonderfully foghorn-voiced Roz (Peterson) lean out of the frame into our faces. But the animation looks spectacular, and the film is undimmed by age: it's still fresh, funny and resonant. Here's my original 2001 review...
It's set in Monstropolis, where the monsters live and draw their energy from the screams of the children they scare at night. The top scarer is Sulley (voiced by Goodman), a woolly giant who with his one-eyed partner Mike (Crystal) sneaks through closet doors at night. His main competition for the top spot is the slithery Randall (Buscemi), who's obviously up to no good. Then a little girl (Gibbs) gets into Monstopolis and all manner of chaos ensues. It turns out the monsters are mortally terrified of children.
The barrage of sharp wit and hilarious gags is so dense that we barely get our breath between laughing fits - every frame is jammed with tiny details that are both eye-poppingly clever and gut-wrenchingly funny (I especially loved the relentless efforts of the "Child Detection Agency" to rid Monstropolis from even the tiniest whiff of a human). The story is fiendishly intelligent and involving, made even more fun by characters that are both animated and voiced with talent and heart.
We very quickly grow to love these creatures, and as a result we thoroughly enjoy every second of their adventures, from the wacky comedy to the subtle references to children's classics (including Sendak and Rankin/Bass) to the adrenaline-pumping action sequences. OK, so the ending is a bit sweet and sticky. But this is magical filmmaking that viewers of any age can't help but love.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
|Meg Rosenfeld, Santa Rosa CA: "I thoroughly enjoyed the film, which was pressed upon me by my grown-up daughter with the admonition to watch for the little girl. Daughter certainly has my number, because Boo is the image of a toddler I babysit and adore. Has anyone else noticed that Boo is apparently Hispanic? It's the first time I can remember ever seeing a child--well, an invented child--who wasn't white. If these people don't get Boo dolls onto the market, they're missing a great opportunity. I, for one, would buy two: one for my little Hispanic charge, and one for myself!" (16.Dec.02)|
© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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