The beloved 2002 film, Monsters, Inc, has been give the 3D treatment by the folks at Disney Pixar, just in time to refresh our collective memories before Monsters University is released later this year. Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) are hardworking monsters, scaring kids at night for the screams that will power the city of Monstropolis. When a human child creeps into their world, however, she causes chaos and ensures that the city will never be the same again.
Honestly, if you haven’t seen Monsters, Inc in its entirety before now, it is clear that you are wrong. When the film was released in 2002, it was met with almost universal acclaim, and still holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. See? Wrong.
It would be easy to say that most of the charm of the film comes from the vocal cast, but it truly is Pixar’s attention to detail that makes the film work. Billy Crystal and John Goodman are perfectly cast as the two monsters at the heart of the story and OK, so Mary Gibbs’s performance as Boo wasn’t necessarily a performance – Pixarians followed her around with a Dictaphone – but she is no less fantastic.
The story is stunningly clever in its simplicity; the monsters that lurk under our beds are doing their jobs and are more scared of us than we are of them. Not only does this give room for the creators to show us a whole new world (sorry!) through the film, but it gives them the scope to create this world, while turning the fear of the bogeyman on its head. Again, this is where the attention to detail comes into play. Pixar have made Monstropolis a living, breathing city and this is evident through the background action. Honestly. Take a look at the monster kids playing in the streets, the food the monsters eat or the deodorant they use. They are just the same as us, but entirely different. This is what makes the universe feel real and, combined with the talent of the voice cast, allows the audience to relate to the film.
At the time the film was made, Pixar used the most modern technology to create stunning visuals. For the most part, this has held up, but technology has moved so fast in the last 11 years that parts of the film look as though they are unfinished. Again, this is made up for in the details, like Sully’s fur, and it does not detract from the film as a whole. It’s just there.
The same goes for the 3D. As always, the first few moments of Monsters, Inc 3D – as with any 3D film – are spent looking at the 3D, which quickly fades into the background. With Toy Story, the technology allowed the plastic toys to feel a little more three dimensional, but other than wearing 3D glasses, there is barely any impact on Monsters, Inc. Happily, it doesn’t but a barrier between the audience and the story, but that’s simply because the story is so strong.
Monsters, Inc 3D is exactly what you think it is; a beloved Pixar film retro fitted in 3D. It is definitely a film to watch, but only because it is great to see it on the big screen again, and you may find yourself crying nostalgic tears at the closing line of the film.