YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYE.
Another well-made, good-looking film from Pixar, this time about a community of monsters in a city whose power supply consists of screams from children who have encountered the monsters in their bedrooms. When a human girl accidentally winds up in the city, two of the monsters try to bring her safely back home. Billy Crystal and John Goodman are hilarious as the easily scared monsters and there is a lot of warmth to the story. The filmmakers, who really succeed in triggering different emotions, have also included plenty of tension (someone in Monstropolis has an evil plan that will put the child in danger) as well as a terrific chase near the ending.
2001-U.S. Animated. 92 min. Color. Produced by Darla K. Anderson. Directed by Peter Docter. Screenplay: Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson. Song: “If I Didn’t Have You” (Randy Newman). Voices of John Goodman (James P. Sullivan), Billy Crystal (Mike Wazowski), Mary Gibbs (Boo), Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly… Frank Oz, Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger.
Trivia: Bill Murray was reportedly considered for the part of James Sullivan. Followed by Monsters University (2013) and a TV series, Monsters at Work (2021- ).
Oscar: Best Original Song.
Last word: “I worked a lot with Daniel [Gerson], Joe Ranft and Lee Unkrich. We cloistered ourselves away to figure out how we could ramp up the story. We were already in production: there were scenes being animated and we were throwing them out. It was a big gamble. But I was saying, ‘This could work if we redid this.’ I remember John Lasseter asking me, ‘How would Sullivan open the door and let the kid in?’ So I said, ‘He’d see the door there and he’d think, ‘Oh somebody’s scaring here? I’d better return this door.’ And he opens it up, saying, ‘Psst. Hey, anybody scaring in here? Anyone? Anyone?’ And then Boo would be outside, unbeknownst to him or the audience. Things like that, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe someone else who came up with that idea.” (Co-director David Silverman, Animated Films @Suite 101)