November 2, 2001
STARRING THE VOICES OF:
John Goodman, James
Coburn, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Frank Oz, Bonnie Hunt,
& John Ratzenberger
Andrew Stanton & Daniel Gerson
ORIGINAL STORY BY:
Pete Docter, Jill Culton,
Jeff Pidgeon, & Ralph Eggleston
Walt Disney Pictures
Ages 4 & above
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CBN.com -- Pixar does
it again! The only movie company that has produced a string of hits
that are all family oriented, including Toy Story I and II and
A Bug’s Life, now brings us another movie where fun triumphs
over fear. To those who love God’s word, we are called not to
be afraid, and that is exactly the message of Monsters, Inc.
It delivers this message with great joy, good characters and a fun script.
The bad guys get their comeuppance, and the good guys learn how to be
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Monsters, Inc. takes place
in Monstropolis, a thriving company town where monsters of all shapes
and sizes reside. John Goodman plays James P. Sullivan ("Just call me
Sulley," he says), the top child scarer for Monsters, Inc. Working with
his enthusiastic Scare Assistant, roommate and friend Mike (played by
Billy Crystal), Sulley’s job is to jump out of closets to scare
children so that Monsters, Inc. can collect the power of children’s
screams. The company converts that power into electrical energy, which
the townsmonsters of Monstropolis use to power their homes, businesses
and vehicles. Complicating matters is the fact that the monsters are
themselves scared of children because they think that human children
When a little girl accidentally follows Sulley back into his world,
he finds his career in jeopardy and his life in chaos. Assisted by Mike,
he schemes to put the little girl, whom he nicknames Boo, back into
her bedroom. He doesn’t realize that the evil, chameleon-like
Randall has other, insidious plans for the cute little human child.
There are two areas in Monsters, Inc. that bring some
Those who are engaged in cognitive development theory will say that,
although it is a very friendly film, they don’t want little children
in the imagination stage (from about age 3 to 6) to develop the fear
that things go bump in the night might actually exist. With a little
parental involvement, however, children in the imagination stage can
be guided through the scary parts of the imaginary scenario in Monsters,
Also, some theologians will be concerned that Monsters, Inc.
makes sub-natural creatures such as demons too friendly. In reality,
however, the movie avoids this issue and handles its story concept in
a redemptive, honest fashion. Furthermore, the movie will bring tears
to many eyes when Sulley realizes what terrible things fear can actually
do and how awful the face of fear truly looks. Again, parents are the
critical factor in helping their children understand this issue. They
are the best ones to lovingly explain truth and reality to their children.
As always, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE errs on the side of caution and advises
parents to exercise such caution with their youngest children in this
case. Thus, Monsters, Inc. may not be appropriate for every child
age 2-5. Children of that age may not be ready to fully understand,
or fully enjoy, the movie at that stage anyway. With their parents’
help, however, slightly older children will be better able to process
the information in Monsters, Inc. Also, they will be well rewarded
for their increased understanding and discernment, because Monsters,
Inc. is one of the most eye-popping, imaginative, heart-pounding,
and heart-warming fairy tales ever produced. Moreover, children of all
other ages from 6 to way beyond 60 and especially teenagers will love
this heart-warming, imaginative tale. In fact, it gave us tears of laughter!
John Goodman does a tremendous job as Sulley, the scary monster with
a heart of gold. Billy Crystal is superb as Sulley’s faithful
friend, Mike. They make a wonderful team. Little Mary Gibbs as the little
girl, Boo, also does a great job. She, in fact, provides the heart of
this masterpiece with her tiny, lovable voice. Her voice will melt your
heart just as it did Sulley’s. Last, but certainly not least,
John Ratzenberger (who has been in every Pixar feature) has a fabulous
cameo as the lonely abominable snowman.
Pixar continues to outdo itself in terms of animation history by creating
believable, fantastic new worlds and clever new characters. The door
warehouse chase sequence alone may be one of the greatest achievement
in all of animation history – it’s truly that good.
It’s the heart that comes out in this story that is truly most
amazing. Pixar’s team of writers, animators and actors, led by
Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Darla Anderson, and John Lasseter, have
proven, once again, that it’s story and characters that matter
most. Their message is full of love, laughter, fun, and friendship,
flavored with a dash of bravery and courage. This is a great message
to share in this upcoming holiday season. In fact, it’s a great
message for any season.
As one of the characters says in Monsters, Inc., "Laughter is
10 times more powerful than fear." More importantly, however, Monsters,
Inc. also shows that "love is infinitely more powerful than anything
else." After all, it’s Sulley’s love for Boo and Mike’s
love for his friend that ultimately save the day and defeat the villainous
plans of Randall. This is also true in our own lives, here on the far
side of Fantasyland.
Of course, the greatest love of all is the love that the Savior of
the Human Race, Jesus Christ, showed for all of us sinners by dying
on the Cross for our sins. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ and
His Story, the Greatest Story Ever Told. Furthermore, if Love is infinitely
more powerful than anything else, then Love must have an infinite Source,
or Creator. Surely, this is one way that each person can know that God
does indeed exist. And by so knowing, he will then join the host of
believers who are "more than conquerors" because nothing – not
even death, angels, demons, monsters, or fear – can separate them
"from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39)."
In the final analysis, Monsters, Inc is one of the most fun
and uplifting films in years. It is a delightful, powerful story that
teaches a basic principal: fear not.
Please address your comments to:
Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
The Walt Disney Company
(Buena Vista, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, & Touchstone Pictures)
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
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