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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 15:14 GMT
Monsters is frightful fun
Monsters Inc
Sulley and Wazowski are the top child scarers in the business
By BBC News Online's Rebecca Thomas

If ever proof were needed of the brilliance of computer animation, Monsters, Inc provides it in spades.

Created by Pixar - the studio that brought us Toy Story and A Bug's Life - Monsters, Inc is both a technical and imaginative treat.

And, in the manner of all the best films in the computer animation genre, Monsters, Inc keeps adults and children fully engaged.

Monsters, Inc
There is incredible detail in the array of creatures

The fun is set in the city of Monstropolis, where power is generated by the screams of human children.

The spine-chilling shrieks are both incited and collected by the ace scaring team at the energy company Monsters, Inc.

The scarers clock in and out, just like in a stereotypical factory. And they reach the children through rotating bedroom doors into the human world.


They also have a scaring league table to keep the monsters on their toes and shriek levels at their highest.

At the top of chart is James P Sullivan, aka Sulley - an enormous blue furry ogre voiced by John Goodman.

Monsters, Inc
The inhabitants of Monstropolis believe humans to be full of germs

His work partner is his best friend Mike Wazowski - a curious boggle-eyed green "thing" voiced by Billy Crystal.

But while they look ferocious, Sulley and Wazowski are fun-loving softies with hearts of pure gold.

Humans are forbidden in the monster world because they are considered a major health risk. So, when a little girl called Boo follows Sulley - whom she finds cuddly rather than frightening - back into his land, all hell breaks loose.


The topsy-turvy reality at the heart of Monsters, Inc is a touch of pure genius. As embellishment, the scriptwriters have gone to town, developing the storyline and the monsters' characters with humour and detail.

Monsters Inc
Entertaining characterisation keeps everyone engaged

But where detail truly dazzles is in the creativity and technical achievement of the assorted monsters.

Wondering how Pixar dreamed up such a motley crew of tentacled, slithering, colourful oddballs will leave your mind boggling.

And prepare to be equally amazed by a quality of animation that can give Sulley a coat of individual, lustrous, strokable hairs.

Cinema-goers who have seen Dreamworks' computer animated masterpiece Shrek will find themselves almost unwittingly comparing one film with other.

Monsters, Inc does not have the biting sarcasm of Shrek and its animation is relatively cartoonesque.

But this a result of differing styles and temperament between the two studios and nothing to do with ability.

Indeed, the only fly in the ointment here is the character Boo.

Her resemblance to a real human child is only passing and her squeaks and yelps become plain irritating.

But it is a small point, and probably not worthy of criticism when the sum of the whole of Monsters, Inc is so hugely entertaining.

Monsters, Inc opens in cinemas across the UK from 8 February

See also:

08 Feb 02 | Reviews
Monsters, Inc: Your views
12 Nov 01 | Film
Monsters, Inc holds top slot
05 Nov 01 | Film
Monster hit at box office
19 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
The man behind the monsters
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