Film Review: 'Monsters' organize to go bump in the night

The economy is declining and productivity is down. There’s an energy crisis going on and everybody is doing their part to conserve. Nevertheless, citizens go about their lives and everyday business as usual. Sound like California? Actually, it is the description of Monstropolis and its citizens, a diverse population of monsters of every sort.

Pixar has once again set the standard for computer animation with “”Monsters, Inc.”” From the variety of amorphous colors of a chameleon to the fine, cotton-like hairs of Yeti, the detail and artistry of computer animation is brilliantly clear and breathtaking. Similar to other Pixar films such as “”Toy Story”” and “”A Bug’s Life,”” the animation in “”Monsters, Inc.”” is the cornerstone of the film, but a comedic and witty plot carries it.

When energy company Monsters, Inc. starts to lose money, it is up to its top workers, James “”Sulley”” P. Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) to do their best to save the company. For Monsters, Inc., energy is acquired by monsters scaring human children and then capturing their screams.

However, as children become less and less scared of monsters, not enough energy can be produced. Sulley has to not only deal with this, but also has to ignore the harassment from his nemesis co-worker Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi), who seems to be hiding something up his sleeve.

Although the movie is less emotionally dramatic than “”Toy Story 2,”” “”Monster’s, Inc.”” still tackles the issues of fear, loneliness and hope. But at the same time, comedy abounds as Crystal’s comedic style is evident. Crystal delivers jokes that are intelligent and adult-oriented, but can at the same time evoke laughter from the youngest of viewers. Although some jokes fall flat, it is refreshing to see comedy that appeals to all ages without needing to resort to potty humor.

The imagination has no limit as the computer-generated animation captures all the emotions of the monsters perfectly. In fact, the only major flaw of the entire film is its lack of the hilarious, fabricated out-takes that normally roll during the end credits.

The only scary thing about this film is the quality of surreal yet amazingly detailed animation.

Monsters, Inc.

****

Voice talents of Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi

In theaters Nov. 2

Rated G

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