When a film is converted into 3D and set for a cinematic re-release, there are inevitably going to be questions raised over the necessity of the entire project; one that appears to be a mere cash cow for Disney and Pixar. However, if this is what it takes to bring a film of the brilliance and magnitude of Monsters, Inc. back to the big screen, then so be it.
Set in Monstropolis; a city that is generated solely by the power of a child’s scream, we follow monsters Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal), a professional scarer and his trainer, respectively. The triumphant pair work at Monsters Incorporated, run by the aging yet demanding Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn), whereby they go into random children’s bedrooms and scare them, collecting their screams for electricity.
However, Sulley accidentally allows a young child, affectionately named Boo, into Monstropolis, a place where monsters are petrified of human beings, convinced they will contaminate their environment. Sulley and Mike then have a task on their hands – to return Boo back home safely without getting caught, particularly under the watchful eye of rival scarer Randall (Steve Buscemi), hoping to avoid any emotional attachment to the young child in the process.
Monsters, Inc. is quite simply a timeless classic – a film that bears a brilliantly innovative and creative concept, yet one that remains accessible and simplistic. It has been roughly 12 years since this picture – directed by the trio Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich – first saw the light of day, but it hasn’t aged in the slightest, as a film that will be as enjoyable and heartwarming to the generation of kids who are witnessing it now for the first time, as it was for those who saw it upon it’s original release.
In what is arguably Pixar’s finest production yet, Monsters, Inc. just strikes this perfect balance between having a strong, engaging story, while being emotional and moving within its conviction, making you laugh as much as you cry. When you get these two aspects to collaborate, you are left with the perfect family movie, one that appeals to adults and children in equal measure.
Pixar just have this incredible ability to be able to depict love and friendship so sincerely and poignantly in their productions, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. In Wall-E it’s between two robots who don’t even talk for crying out loud – yet it’s a relationship we believe in, and fully accept. In this case, it’s between a young girl and a big blue monster. That’s the power of animation.
But when analysing what has changed in this newly converted version with the use of 3D technology – to be completely honest, you barely even notice it, which, in effect, deems it somewhat of a success. 3D doesn’t appear to enhance this too dramatically, yet it doesn’t cheapen it either. Mind you, the memorable scene where Sulley and Mike are chasing Randall on a host of swinging, colourful doors (you know the one) looks brilliant in 3D and up on the big screen.
Whether you have seen this film before or not, going to see it again is pretty much essential, simply as an excuse to indulge yourself in this brilliant tale once more. And as for being in 3D, well it certainly does have its benefits, mostly in that you can wear the glasses until you leave the cinema, allowing your eyes more time to dry, and to cover up the shame of crying. Throughout.