Monsters, Inc. (2001)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Monsters, Inc.</strong> (2001)

(In theaters, November 2001) Computer-animation studio Pixar maintains their perfect track record with a fourth feature that will no one unsatisfied. Once again, the state-of-the-art in CGI is pushed even further, this time most impressively through a perfectly-animated furry protagonist. But Pixar’s biggest asset is to avoid letting technology become a crutch for a good story, and here too, Monsters, Inc. shines brightly. The premise is cool (a monstrous parallel universe whose energy comes from scaring “our” children), but what really makes the film compelling is the steady exploitation of this premise, seemingly wringing out every conceivable joke and gadget out of it. The voice animation is good (Billy Crystal fails to annoy) and so is directing; as Pixar acquires more experience, it gets more and more audacious in how it tells stories. The comic timing of the synthetic performers is better than most other comedies of the year. Even though aimed at the kids, Monsters, Inc. is a whole lot of fun for adults given the sharp pacing and numerous in-jokes (Harryhausen’s, anyone?) Cool scenes abound, most specially the end chase sequence, a marvel of originality that will leave you breathless. The epilogue contains a touch too much schmaltz, but it won’t matter a lot when you’re been enjoying the whole film this much.

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