apparently I have been a bit lack-sie-daisy on my Pixar series (which I will now have to change from Pixar’s 13 to Pixar’s 14 due to the impending release of Monsters University on July 12th woohoo!), but I assure you this wasn’t my fault! Well no technically it is my fault. I was just looking through to see what blog’s I had written and not yet posted and realised I never posted my Monsters Inc discussion (my bad, I really thought I had!). So here it is, hope you enjoy.
Director: Pete Docter
Monsters Inc is the fourth animated feature film from Pixar, which was released in 2001, and directed by Pete Docter. Docter began developing the film in 1996 and fellow Pixar director Andrew Stanton wrote the screenplay with screenwriter Daniel Gerson. The characters went through many incarnations over the film’s five-year production process.
This film depicts the story of two monsters named Sulley and Mike Wazowski, who work for a company named Monsters, Inc. The monsters obtain power by scaring children which they do by entering their doors (via closet) in the middle of the night. However we learn that monsters are actually terrified of being contaminated by said children, so when a little girl, who is nicknamed Boo by Sulley, enters the monster’s world, Sulley and Mike go through desperate measures to try to return her home.
John Goodman as James P. Sullivan aka Sulley
Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski
Mary Gibbs as Boo
Steve Buscemi as Randall Boggs
Jennifer Tilly as Celia Mae
– James P. Sullivan (aka Sulley)
I really love Sulley as a character, but then again who doesn’t?!
His relationship with Boo is just adorable and heartwarming. Definitely one of my favourite characters.
Mike Wasowski is also arguably a very lovable monster. He is essentially a green sphere with one eye, arms and legs. He works at Sulley’s station in Monsters Inc. and the two are also best friends.
Mike’s character spends a lot of his time in an anxious disposition which makes for great comic relief throughout the entire film.
He also has a love interest in the film, a monster named Celia Mae (who looks a lot like Medusa in monster-form).
Again Mike is an amazing character, what’s not to love?!
Boo (which is a nickname given to her by Sulley) is an adorable 2-year-old human who escapes into the monster world when her door is left behind at a station.
Boo isn’t afraid of any of the monsters, that is except for Randall who is in charge of scaring Boo.
She also nicknames Sulley “Kitty”, how freaking adorable!!
Randall is the main antagonist of this film as is voiced by Steve Buscemi (yes, crazy eyes (let me know if you know what film that is from!).
He has chameleon-esque qualities whereby he has the ability to transform his scales to match his surroundings thus acting as a camouflage.
Randy Newman strikes again! Indeed Mr. Newman returned to score yet another Pixar feature film. Newman wrote and composed all songs featured in the film.
The song featured in the end credits ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ is sung by John Goodman and Billy Crystal and actually won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
This is actually quite tough because compared to Toy Story, there really isn’t a lot of major characters in this film.
It is definitely a toss-up between the three major character; Sulley, Mike, and Boo.
If it were for favourite relationship Sulley and Boo would win hands down. But overall if push came to shove, I would probably say Mike Wasowski is my favourite character from this film.
Overall he provides great comic relief throughout the film and is just a great character. Simple as!
This is probably the most simple joke in the entire film, but it’s the one that made me laugh the most. It is within the first 10 minutes of the film where Sulley and Mike are on their way to work and they pass by a Blob monster who greets them and then falls through a grate, to which he retorts “Oh great!”…get it?…as in oh grate? Oh man, I laughed way more than I should have at that joke but when I was thinking of my favourite quote it is the only one I remember so it must have had an impact!
I spent a lot of time trying to decide my favourite scene of the entire movie. There were some great scenes such as; Sulley and Boo in the bathroom which is the scene where their relationship is really established, the scene in the restaurant with Mike where Boo is first unleashed, and the scene where Sulley and Mike try to rescue Boo from Randall.
However the scene which is my favourite is actually at the end of the movie where Boo and Sulley say goodbye. It is so full of emotion which I love seeing in an animated film because as an artist it is nice knowing that a drawing/animation can have such impact. Another reason I love this scene is because it gives a beautiful yet somewhat heart-wrenching end to Boo and Sulley’s relationship. Oh and also, almost all of Boo’s toys are from previous Pixar/Disney films! (Some not even previous, Boo even has a Nemo toy even though Finding Nemo was released 2 years after Monsters Inc!)
Does it not just break your heart when Sulley says “Kitty has to go”? 😥
- Disney/Pixar prepared a special trailer for Monsters Inc. to show before Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Mike and Sulley play a game of charades in their apartment, with Sulley acting out “Harry Potter.” Mike has difficulty solving the puzzle, some of his guesses being Dirty Harry, “Harry Flowerpot” and “When Hairy met Sulley,” (a reference to Billy Crystal’s starring role in When Harry Met Sally). Eventually Sulley puts on round spectacles, sticks a paper lightning bolt to his forehead and sits on a broom with an owl on his arm, to which Mike ecstatically guesses The Sound of Music. Sully gives up and walks offscreen as Mike finally guesses “Harry Potter” and the cut away to title cards noting that “Monsters Inc.” is “Now showing at a theater near you. Really near you. Like, maybe, right next door.” At the end of the trailer, it is Mike’s turn to act out a part, with a very bored looking Sully guessing it is Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope within seconds, much to Mike’s dismay.
- Boo’s real name is Mary, as shown briefly on one of the crayon drawings she shows to Sulley in the scene where Boo is going to sleep on Sulley’s bed. The actress who provided the voice of Boo is Mary Gibbs.
- At Harryhausen’s Sushi Restaurant, employees shout, “Get a paper bag!” whenever somebody walks through the door. In Japan, it is customary for employees of any store to shout “irasshaimase!” (pronounced ee-rah-shai-mah-seh”). The monsters shouting, “Get a paper bag!” is a phonetic reference to this fact. There’s a similar Japanese reference in Toy Story 2.
- John Goodman and Billy Crystal sometimes recorded their lines in the same room together, an unusual move for animated films, where actors more often work alone. Steve Buscemi and Frank Oz (Randall and his assistant Fungus) also recorded their lines together for the bathroom scene.
- In early drafts, the character of Boo was written to be six years old. The writers decided to make Boo younger because it would make her more dependent on Sulley.
- Sulley’s big armchair in his apartment has a hole in the back to let his tail through.
- It normally took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of Sulley because of his 2.3 million individually animated hair strands (Total number of hairs: 2,320,413).
- The animators considered giving Sulley tentacles instead of legs at one point, and glasses at another. However, they decided to use legs because they believed the audience would concentrate more on the tentacles than Sulley’s face. They also considered making Mike armless with only legs.
- Mary Gibbs was so young that it proved difficult to get her to stand in the recording studio and act her lines. Instead, they simply followed her around with a microphone and cut Boo’s lines together from the things she said while she played.
- Bob Peterson, the movie’s story supervisor, provided the temporary voice of Roz, the green secretary, during production. The nasal, sing-song voice proved to be such a success that they kept it in the final film.
- Jennifer Tilly, who plays Celia Mae, was married to Sam Simon who was one of the creators of The Simpsons. She raved to the Pixar crew about a script she read written by a Simpsons director for an animated film. The Director was Brad Bird and the script was for The Incredibles which became a Pixar film 3 years later.
- When Sully greets Ted (the monster so big we only see the lower half of his body), Ted was originally supposed to roar like Godzilla. The filmmakers asked permission from Toho (Godzilla’s film studio) to use a Godzilla roar, but Toho turned them down, so Ted responds with a chicken cluck instead.
- After Sulley says goodbye to Boo, he closes the closet door. When Boo jumps out of bed, she has grown 7% by the time she reaches the door. The programmers had to do this as she was too short.
I really love Monsters Inc. I have since it first came out. It is very original and takes the classic story of monsters hiding in your closet and takes it to a whole new level. Overall the characters are really well-developed and unique.
I am really excited to see Monsters University to see which film I like better!
As my parting gift, I will leave you with this image…
Next in this series: Finding Nemo