How do I feel about Pixar? I’m not sure I know now, it feels like the magic in our relationship is disappearing, and we are reduced to re-living old glories with a slew of sequels and 3D re-issues. Maybe not a slew (that doesn’t sound like a word, the more I read it), at the moment we’ve only had sequels to Cars (who on Earth wanted more of that shit!?) and of course Toy Story.
Just as Toy Story’s first two films received a 3D re-furb in the buildup to the third film, Monsters Inc. is getting a sequel this summer, and a 3D re-issue to remind us how good the original was. And it really was.
After seeing the 3D Lion King re-release I was a little dismayed at it not having the same magic it used to. But fortunately seeing Monsters Inc. again only served to reinforce my fondness for it, and for Pixar at its absolute peak.
I won’t summarise the plot as I tend to do in reviews, by this point you either already know it, or you have wilfully avoided it. If you are the latter and still reading this, then go and watch the damn thing already!
The plot still moved along at an unhurried but regular pace, introducing Sully and Mike and their contrasting personalities, their universe, and their relationships with other major characters. Then we get Boo. I’m not fond of children really, grasping greedy little creatures, shamelessly manipulating their dead-eyed parents. And that’s just the audience of the Saturday morning showing I ridiculously decided to come to. But Boo was different.
Young enough not to have that calculating instinct, reasonable enough to understand, good-tempered and largely oblivious to her perilous surroundings. They just got her portrayal totally right, to the point of forcing me almost to tears in the film’s last few scenes. That bond with Sully was so tangible and heartbreaking, and a great example of how Pixar really knows to go for those emotional moments. I’ve had them in “Finding Nemo”, “Wall-E”, “Toy Story 3” and “Up!”. Maybe it’s just manipulation, but it’s so well done I can’t tell the difference.
Interestingly, where a lot of films these days have mostly pointless 3D, or worse, 3D effects shoe-horned in, Monsters Inc. – not made with 3D in mind – lends itself rather well to the transition. Scenes like the door storage hangar really looked great in 3D.
It’s so well-observed too, loads of little details I picked up on for the first time because it’s on the big screen. Endlessly quotable (“Wheeere’s your paaaperwork?”), full of manic energy – particularly the paranoid hysteria around toxic children. I guess for me it’s just one of those films where the planets lined up and made something special for me. A nostalgic point in time to look back fondly on. Other people have other films, indeed other Pixar films, but this one is mine.