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Critical Film Essay on Monsters, Inc

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Recently, I got a chance to watch the film ‘Monsters, Inc’ which gave me some precious moments of sheer fun and amusement. It was the break of autumn when my two little cousins, Doyle and Ritchie, had come to our house to spend their holidays. Both of them were very cute and extremely naughty as well as restless. At the insistence of my mother, I took them to the AMC Lennox Theatre in my mother’s car. I was very happy at this, because I do not get the chance to drive this new car too often. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and the weather was fairly pleasant. After having reached the theatre, I caught a glimpse of the crowd. People thronged in large numbers and that impressed me. Everybody seemed happy and relaxed. Most of them included colourfully dressed kids escorted by their parents. There were people of all age groups with the kid’s population playing the dominant part. So, while I may not have been the perfect kind of viewer, I still did not feel uncomfortable.

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 All through the journey and at the theatre, my cousins were constantly yelling and fighting. I was having a tough time managing them. I had already booked our tickets online, so I straight away went inside the hall. We took our respective seats; all the lights were switched off so that just the theatre screen gleamed. “Monsters Inc”, the name of the movie, sounded interesting yet initially, I was a bit worried about its horror aspect.

The movie “Monsters, Inc” was released by the Walt Disney Pictures first in the year 2001 and again in December 2012. Its genre is 3-D animation crafted beautifully by the Pixar Animation Studios. This hour movie has been written and directed by Pete Docter. The film has been designed using Sun Microsystems (sun.systemnews.com). The movie gained immense success and popularity worldwide. It was awarded Academy Award for Best Song.

I have tabulated the essential elements of the movie as shown below.

The casting takes place in an imaginary place inhabited by monsters which is called Monstropolis. James P. Sullivan or Sulley is the lead character in the story. He is covered all over with blue firs with purple patches. His friend and assistant, Mike, is a funny, green-coloured monster having just one eye (see fig.1).

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All other monsters looked equally queer with multiple detachable eyes, snake-like expressive hairs, disparate body forms and colours, jelly-like bodies and so on. Their voices suit their personalities. 

Though there is no narration taking place at the background, the story is conveniently conveyed to the audience by the means of the actions, conversations between the characters, and other gestures. For instance, an advertisement which Sulley and Mike watch gives us an introduction of the company for which they work i.e. Monsters, Inc.

The company had a big and impressive office building where plenty of monsters work. Their role is to scare young kids and tap their screams which can then be converted to electricity. There were several doors that opened to the bedrooms of kids. Through the doors, the monsters entered their rooms and would shout, scream, make characteristic expressions and sounds to scare them. Sullivan was the scariest of them all and had been consistently securing the highest position much to the envy of other monsters especially Randall. The story takes a turn when a little girl accidently lands right into the office of Monsters, Inc.

Initially, Sullivan and Mike are scared and annoyed of the kid since the monsters find human kids to be very toxic. The child detection agency (CDA) was especially vigilant about human kids. However, Sullivan begins to feel affectionate towards the little kid. He enjoys being with the kid whom he named Boo. However, at the same time, he fulfils his duty of safety sending the child to her home despite all the difficulty that he faces. Later, Sullivan gets rid of the selfish CEO of Monsters Inc, Henry J. Waternoose, and takes on the responsibility on his own shoulders. He changes the entire system radically. The scare-floors were changed to laughter-floors. The kids were no longer made to scream for electricity generation; instead, monsters tried to amuse them, and the laughter was then recorded and used to fulfil the purpose. It was found that as much as ten percent enhancement in efficiency was achieved with the help of this new method.

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The movie revolves around Boo and the monsters, especially Sulley and Mike who try to save Boo as well as Waternoose and Randall who act villainously. A lot of kids’ stories are based on ghosts, spirits, monsters, etc. Also, some parents have a habit of scaring their kids in the name of monsters to make them abide by their rules. The movie intends to eliminate fear of ghosts and monsters from these young minds. In the movie, we see how monsters get scared of little Boo which acts as a source of great amusement. The theme of the movie is that love and affection can arise in the hearts of even the scariest monsters and that the traits of goodness and sacrifice are not just limited to the humans. It is not necessary that every ghost or monster means harm. For example, Sullivan who is a monster in the movie takes every risk just to save Boo and send her home. Therefore, we do not need to be afraid of them. Every child who watches the movie is sure to feel more confident and fearless about ghosts and monsters.

The director tries to keep hold of the attention of the audience by incorporating a lot of unusual activities of the monsters. For example, in the restaurant, the menu is comprised of octopus-meat and eyeballs. There also exist certain elements of surprises such as when Waternoose is taken away by CDA, and Roz reveals her true personality as a CDA. These attempts have surely succeeded in their efforts, and the movie provides thorough and non-stop entertainment.

I loved the simple and emotional side of the monster Sullivan. The moving comedy and its innocence touched my heart. Most of the things in the film are mere fantasies and unrealistic, but I got carried away with the story and found wholesome entertainment. I also liked the finesse with which the cartoons were created that brought them to life. Nevertheless, I found the story to be too simple and the duration to be too short. I would have preferred to find some more issues and complexities to keep me interested.

Quite apparently, my two cousins had thoroughly enjoyed the movie. When I was moving out of the theatre after having watched the movie, I could hear laughers, giggles, and lots of noise. The people were in a happy and chirpy mood. Someone standing not far from me was saying the lines from the movie, “We scare, because we care”, in a naughty and amused tone. Certainly, we all had great enjoyment and fun watching the movie while its delicate rendition had touched our hearts.

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