I know it's probably not a good idea to start a review with resounding praise, but if there's one Disney * Pixar film that you absolutely must have in your collection, it's Monster's Inc. Now out on Blu-ray in a 4-disc pack that includes the Blu-ray movie, Blu-ray extras, DVD, and DisneyFile Digital Copy Monster's, Inc. provides a sensational (and now classic) animation experience that both children and adults will enjoy.
Monsters, Inc. The Movie
If you haven't already seen the film
the story begins by providing an explanation for the old "monster in the closet" fear that we hear from young kids. It turns out to be true! Actual monsters live in another dimension and they can enter our world through children's closet doors. They even have a good reason too they need screams to provide power for Monstropolis, and Monsters, Inc. (the scream-processing factory) is where it all happens.
Enter Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), the top scream-gathering team at Monsters, Inc. They have held the record for the most screams for a long time, but now Randall (another monster at the factory) wants the top spot and he's prepared to do some very bad things to get it. Then along comes Boo, a little girl who finds her way into the world of the monsters and that's when things start to get crazy. You see
children are not allowed in Monstropolis because they're believed to be contaminated and monsters are actually afraid of them. So now it's up to Sulley and Mike to keep Boo hidden and find a way to return her to our world. At the same time, they have to stop Randall from getting away with his evil plan. The whole story is a fun and fantastic, animated adventure, but you'll have to watch the movie for more.
Monsters, Inc. The Blu-ray
Being one of Pixar's earlier films, I'm surprised at the almost perfect quality of the video. The colors are brilliant, the animation is smooth, and everything is clearly defined without even a hint of digital compression. Those of you with a very sharp eye might spot a small amount of aliasing when examining some of the finer parts of the characters (like monster hairs), but you actually have to look for it to see it.
The surround sound (provided as 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) presents a completely immersive auditory experience. The environments are excellently represented via the surround channels making you feel like you are right there in the movie, which is how all movie soundtracks should work. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Sulley, Mike, and Boo are flying around in the factory, jumping from door to door trying to get away from Randall. You can hear the doors flying by and almost feel the wind in your face.
Monsters, Inc. The Extras
As if the movie itself isn't good enough, Disney * Pixar has gone above and beyond when providing bonus features for this title. Trailers provides previews for the movies Toy Story 3, Up, and Dumbo. The great Audio Commentary by Lee Unkrich, Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton, and John Lasseter gives some wonderful insight into the making of the film. There are two oldie but goodie Shorts from Pixar called For the Birds and Mike's New Car. The Pixar Fun Factory Tour provides a tour of Pixar studios back when it was brand new. Banished Concepts are five deleted scenes from the movie. Storyboard to Film Comparison lets you see a split screen of parts of the movie with the storyboard and the final film side-by-side for comparison. Designing Monstropolis is a quick, 3-minute featurette on the making of the monster's world.
Set Dressing talks about the design of some of the indoor sets like Boo's room and Sulley's apartment. Location Flyarounds shows some cool tours of the different animated sets without any characters in them. Monster File discusses the cast of monster characters how they were created, designed, and voiced. Animation is 26-minutes of content divided into six featurettes: Animation Process, Early Tests, Title Animation, Hard Parts, Shot Department, and Production Demonstration. Music & Sound provides some insight into the music and sound effects for the film. Release is some promotional coverage for the film. Monsters Only shows some fun short videos with Mike and Sulley about what it's like to be a monster. Wrap Up is a quick 1-minute goodbye from the crew. Art Gallery provides no less than 900 still images related to the film.
For Blu-ray exclusive bonuses, there are: Director's Introduction, which is a brief 1-minute intro from director Pete Docter at the beginning of the film. Filmmakers Round Table is a great discussion about the film between Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Darla Anderson, and Bob Peterson. Monsters, Inc. Ride and Go Seek: Building Monstropolis in Japan provides an 8 minute peek at the new Monsters, Inc. ride at Disneyland, Tokyo. Looks fun! And finally, there is Roz's 100 Door Challenge, which is something like an employee recruitment game that shows you what kind of job you might get when applying at the Monsters, Inc. factory. Whew! That's a lot of bonus content. Of course, you also get the film on DVD and DisneyFile Digital Copy.
Monsters, Inc. The Must Own
As you can see, this title is loaded to the hilt with content. Not only do you get a great movie with spectacular animation and sound, but also a huge number of bonus features that will keep you entertained for hours. As I mentioned earlier, Monsters, Inc. can easily be considered one of the best Pixar films and an animation classic. This Blu-ray release brings Monsters, Inc. to life like never before and it definitely deserves a place in your movie library.
For more information:
* Disney Pixar Monster's, Inc. (Blu-ray)
* Disney Pixar Monster's, Inc. (DVD)