Movie #84 2020: Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Surprise, surprise. Disney+ came to the UK and I felt I had no choice but to pay for a whole damn year of it.

But this works in everyone’s favour. Not only does it mean I can review more children’s movies/animated movies to help out parents who need to entertain their kids through isolation, but it means that I can catch up on all of the classics that I missed in my childhood.

This time I went all the way back to Monsters, Inc., which was Pixar’s fourth full-length animated feature. And I have to say, it’s great. Not Toy Story great, but it’s pretty close.

What really captured my heart was the score. There’s something in the way Randy Newman writes music that is so whimsical and pure that it’s hard not to love his work. Not only does he write extremely well for film, but he writes all music in a way in which you can just feel the love coming out of it. (I Think It’s Going To Rain Today is one of my all-time favourite songs, so there’s no wonder I feel so strongly about his music). His scores are so perfect for feel-good Pixar movies that it’s basically a match made in heaven. (Also have to give him a shout out for his work on Marriage Story, which was magic yet again).

Parts of this were extremely funny too! What I really took note of was how much better than A Bug’s Life this was. It almost feels as if the guys at Pixar were scrambling to think of a new concept too quickly, so Bug’s was too rushed. Like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. saw the rebirth of originality within the Pixar brand. I mean, talking toys and a factory where monsters gain merit on how much they make kids scream? Much more unique than a story of ants collecting food, right? Regardless, it is clear why this movie got a sequel and its predecessor didn’t.

It is honestly so interesting to delve back in to older Pixar animation. Of course it is largely the same today, but there is definitely more nuance to it now and it is clear to see the advancements that the studio has made since Monsters, Inc. first hit theatres. Doing this in such a short space of time shows us as viewers just how talented these animators are.

This is definitely a feel-good family movie that I would definitely recommend for adults too. Perfect for these trying times with a deliciously Pixar-style message behind it, and not so childish that you feel the need to roll your eyes every five minutes.

If you have any Disney recommendations – they don’t have to be animated, they just have to be on Disney+ – please let me know. I need to get the most out of their streaming service for an entire year!

Monsters, Inc. is available to stream on Disney+, NowTV and Sky Cinema in the UK.

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