Monsters, Inc. film poster
|Directed by||Pete Docter
|Produced by||Darla K. Anderson
|Written by||Andrew Stanton
Robert L. Baird
|Music by||Randy Newman|
|Studio||Pixar Animation Studios|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Release date(s)||November 2, 2001|
|Running time||94 minutes|
Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 computer-animated film and the fourth feature-length film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It was directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Lee Unkrich and David Silverman, and was written by Jack W. Bunting, Jill Culton, Peter Docter, Ralph Eggleston, Dan Gerson, Jeff Pidgeon, Rhett Reese, Jonathan Roberts and Andrew Stanton.
The film was released to theaters by Walt Disney Pictures in the United States on November 2, 2001, in Australia on December 26, 2001, and in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2002. It was a commercial and critical success, grossing over $525,366,597 worldwide. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes also reported extremely positive reviews with a fresh 95% approval rating.
Monsters, Inc. is the power utility in Monstropolis, a city populated by monsters; the company uses the power of human children screams when scared by its employees, entering their rooms via closets linked to special doors on the company's "scare floor", to generate the city's power. However, due to children becoming desensitized, the company finds itself struggling to meet power needs. One day, while turning in paperwork to the dispachment manager Roz (Bob Peterson), the company's top scarer, James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) ("Sulley") finds a door left unattended and powered, but looking inside, finds the room empty. However, he quickly discovers its child, a toddler girl (Mary Gibbs), has followed him back to the monster world, thinking him to be a giant kitty. Fearing human contact, Sulley collects the girl and gets in touch with his partner Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) to determine what to do. Dressing the girl up as a monster, and giving her the nickname "Boo", the two attempt to return her the next day but instead discover that Sulley's competitor for top scarer, Randall (Steve Buscemi), has created a device to extract screams from children, whom he brings into the monster world for this purpose.
Sulley and Mike, carrying Boo, attempt to alert Monsters, Inc.'s president, Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn), while he is attending a training session for new monsters. However, Waternoose asks Sulley to demonstrate his scare tactics, and when Sulley growls loudly, Boo reveals herself as a human child. Waternoose, taking Boo, promised to set things right, but instead reveals he is in on Randall's scheme, worried for the future of the company, and exiles Sulley and Mike to the Himalayas in Nepal. Sulley and Mike have a falling out. Sulley, only concerned about getting to Boo quickly scavenges parts from stockpiles from the Abominable Snowman (John Ratzenberger), another exiled monster, and returns to the nearest village to use a door and return to Monsters, Inc. He arrives in time to rescue Boo, shortly followed by Mike who helps them to escape from Randall. The three go into the company's door vaults in search of Boo's door, which quickly becomes like a roller coaster ride. Boo's laughter powers the millions of doors in storage. After a chase through numerous doors, Randall catches them and he nearly destroys Sulley. His gloating makes Boo angry; she overcomes her fear of Randall, jumps on his back and beats him into submission with a baseball bat. Sulley throws him through a door. On the other side of the door (in a caravan), a mother beats Randall senseless with a shovel after mistaking him for an alligator. Meanwhile, Sulley and Mike destroy the door. The three turn and trick Waternoose into stating the purpose of Randall's scare machine on tape. Roz reveals herself as the lead agent of the Child Detection Agency, a group that deals with human contact, and takes Waternoose away. Roz then forces Sulley and Mike to return Boo home, and after a tearful goodbye, her door is "shredded", though Sulley keeps one of the wood splinters as a reminder.
Sometime later, Sulley becomes president of Monsters, Inc., and changes the company approach; as they found with Boo, children's laughter is several times more effective than their screams, so they now send monsters in to make children laugh. Mike himself and others like Randall's former assistant Fungus (Frank Oz) enjoy themselves by doing stand-up and dressing up in silly costumes. Mike reveals to Sulley a secret project he was working on, recreating Boo's door piece by piece, and with the final piece Sulley kept, the door is able to work again. As the movie closes, Sulley peeks into Boo's room (unseen by the audience), where a voice says "Kitty!" showing she still remembers him.
The idea for Monsters, Inc. started with a lunch in 1994. At this lunch was John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Joe Ranft. One of the ideas that came out of the brainstorming session was a film about monsters. Docter's original idea revolved around a 30-year old man dealing with monsters, which he drew in a book as a child, coming back to bother him as an adult. Each monster represented a fear he had and conquering those fears caused the monsters to eventually disappear.
Docter started working on the script in 1996 and with Harley Jessup, Jill Culton and Jeff Pidgeon completed a draft treatment in February 1997. The initial story did not have the character of Mike Wazowski. He wasn't added until a story review meeting between Pixar and Disney in April 1998. The film went into production in 2000.
The release of Monsters, Inc. was almost delayed by a lawsuit brought by Lori Madrid against Pixar, Disney and Chronicle Books. The suit alleged the defendants had stolen her story There's a Boy in My Closet, which she had mailed out in October 1999 to a number of publishers, including Chronicle Books. The plaintiffs had requested a temporary injunction against the release of the film. Judge Clarence Brimmer, Jr. had a hearing on the injunction on November 1, 2001, the day before the film was to be released. He judged against the injunction, and the entire suit was thrown out on June 26, 2002.
Monsters, Inc. won the Academy Award for Best Song (Randy Newman, after 15 previous nominations, for If I Didn't Have You). It was also nominated for Best Animated Feature (lost to Shrek), and Best Music, Original Score (lost to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).
There are numerous references to other Pixar films to be found in Monsters, Inc.; one example is that near the end of the film, Boo hands Sully a Jessie doll from Toy Story 2, the Luxo ball, and a plush of Nemo from Finding Nemo. Since Finding Nemo was the Pixar film that followed Monsters, Inc., it was presumably a sneak peek to the upcoming film. Another is when Randall arrives in the trailer, it is the trailer from A Bug's Life, and the pizza delivery truck from Toy Story is seen sitting next to it.
One month after the movie's theatrical release (on December 7th, 2001) a version with alternative end credits was brought into theatres. There, the credits are accompanied by a "blooper reel", followed by the musical "Put That Thing Back Where it Came From or So Help Me", performed by the cast. This version can be found as a separate feature on the collector's Edition DVD and in the credits of the 4:3 fullscreen DVD version as well as the end credits of the R2-R5 widescreen version for Eastern Europe.
As is common for Pixar movies, international versions differ in the contents. Many English inscriptions are either removed, or replaced by more generic symbols, especially in Monstropolis and at the Scarefloor. For instance, the "Stalk/Don't Stalk" traffic light is replaced by a green two-headed monster (for "Stalk") and a forbidding red hand (for "Don't Stalk"). Additionally, an animation of Sully telling Boo to go to sleep was changed for Non-English version, as in the US version, he holds up two fingers to illustrate "to" in "You - go - to - sleep". Several European DVDs contain only the "international" version, whereas the US DVDs and US/UK BluRay contain the "US" version. Some of the examples for alternative angles can be seen in the bonus material of the 2-Disc DVD and Blu-Ray of the film.
A short was made by Pixar in 2002 named Mike's New Car, in which the two main characters have assorted misadventures with a car Mike has just bought. This film was not screened in theaters, but is included with all home video releases of Monsters, Inc.
A manga version of Monsters, Inc. was made by Hiromi Yamafuji and distributed in Kodansha's Comic Bon Bon magazine in Japan; the manga was published in English by Tokyopop until it became out of print.
A series of video games, and a multi-platform video game were created, based on the film, such as a film adaptation, Monsters Inc., developed by A2M on PS2, PC, Game Boy Color, and GBA consoles in 2001.
Feld Entertainment toured a Monsters, Inc. edition of their Disney on Ice skating tour from 2003 to 2007.
Monsters, Inc. has inspired three attractions at Disney theme parks around the world.
This is a list of characters appearing in the film Monsters, Inc.
James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, the film's protagonist, is a large, furry blue monster with purple spots, voiced by John Goodman. When he is first seen, Sulley is the top scarer at Monsters, Inc., responsible for generating the screams that provide power for the city of Monstropolis along with his partner, Mike Wazowski. During the course of events, Sulley accidentally allows a small girl, Boo, to enter the Monster World. He attempts to return her to her room, but to no avail. When her presence becomes public knowledge, he hides her in his home, eventually coming to realize that she is not as dangerous as he has been led to believe. Sulley soon becomes attached and protective of his young human friend, which he makes clear to Mike. After Sulley saves Boo from Randall's scream machine, Waternoose orders Randall to retrieve her and eliminate Sulley. The chase runs through the factory and through an entire network of doors between both the monster world and the human world. At the end of this chase, Randall is overpowered and thrown into a closet in a swamp, where he is mistaken for an alligator and beaten with a shovel. Sulley and Mike promptly destroy the door, banishing Randall as they were.
When Waternoose is taken away, Monsters Inc. faces an almost certain end. But Sulley takes over the company, and changes the focus from the collection of screams to laughter, which he has learned is many times more powerful than scream. His original names were Johnson and Mulligan. After the bloopers of the film, he announces the Monsters, Inc. Company Play "starring, written, directed, and produced by Mike Wazowski" and co-stars in the play. Sulley also appears in the credits of the 2006 film Cars as a giant, horned, blue monster truck.
Michael "Mike" Wazowski, the film's second protagonist, is a Cyclops monster in the shape of a tennis ball, with one large eye, two horns on his head, and arms and legs, but no torso. His voice actor Billy Crystal claims that the character is a mix between Mr. Toad and Sammy Davis, Jr.. He works as Sulley's scare assistant, providing closet doors for Sulley to enter and scare children, as well as collecting the scream containers he fills. He is initially much more reluctant towards Boo, and although he does not form as close a relationship with her as Sulley, he warms up to her and makes it possible for Sulley to find her again in the end of the film. In the middle of the film, he announces to other monsters about the musical he is working on called "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From." Also, he takes a much more active role in the company by making children laugh instead of scream. In one of the bloopers, he blows the line "Go grow up" by saying "Go throw up" instead, however he did not recognize his mistake, despite Boo's laugh. After the bloopers of the film, Mike's new company play( in which he has starred, directed, written and produced) based on the film goes into public, and after the audience bursts into applause, it is revealed that Mike has a mother, who is seen sitting in the front row of the audience. In the credits of the 2006 film Cars, Mike appears as a small, green, one-eyed car. A running gag through the movie is that is face is covered up in advertisement.
Boo is a two-year-old human child who has escaped from her room from which Randall intended to kidnap her. Much of the film's plot follows what happens as Mike and Sulley try to get Boo back to safety. When she first appears, Boo is very attached to Sulley, calling him "Kitty" because she sees him as a giant kitty-cat, but he is not so keen. But as the film progresses, he develops a bond with her. The first time it happens is when she gets out of her bedroom playing with his tail. Halfway through the film, they play Hide and Seek in the bathroom, and Boo is very good at it - always seeming to vanish and reappear in a different stall. Sulley becomes a serious protector of Boo and even chides her during one of the times she runs away from him and Mike. In the bloopers, Boo takes several attempts to catch a food with her mouth.
Boo's parents are never seen and it is not clear what happens in the human world when she is missing or when she grows up. Boo's real name is Mary, named after the actress who has voiced the character, Mary Gibbs.
Celia Mae is Mike Wazowski's girlfriend and the receptionist at Monsters, Inc., voiced by Jennifer Tilly. She always announces when a new monster takes the position as Top Scarer. She appears to be a combination of a Cyclops, a Gorgon and a Cecaelia. Her name may be a play on the word Cecaelia. The snakes that make up her hair have a mind of their own; they make chirping noises when they're happy, rattle and hiss when they're mad, and express fear when Celia thinks about getting a haircut (to which Mike respectfully objects, thus relieving them). In the movie, Celia is celebrating her birthday, so Mike invites her to a Japanese restaurant, Harryhausen's (named in honor of legendary monster maker Ray Harryhausen), but due to Boo being in the restaurant, the place is contained by the CDA. One device that is made to make a large dome that would get rid of fatal germs, but could harm people without CDA armor, which is why Celia came back to work the next day with serious injuries. She is initially upset with Mike and complains about how the date was ruined, but when she sees Mike in danger of being captured by Randall for devious purposes, and when Mike reassures his love for her, she saves Mike by subduing Randall with a crowd after she feign-announces him breaking the all-time scare record. By the end of the film, she has recovered fully from her injuries and has brought a box full of magazines for Mike to look at. She often calls Mike "Googley Bear", and Mike often calls her "Schmoopsie-poo." She also appears in the Monsters, Inc. Company Play that Mike has directed, written, and produced. The year before the film takes place, she and Mike are supposed to have won the seven-legged race at the year's company picnic.
Henry J. Waternoose is a major villain in the film, and the former CEO of Monsters Inc. He is one of three owners, all cast down from lineage. He inherited the factory from his father when he was 142 years old, and turned it into the modern energy factory that appears at the beginning at the movie. Sulley, being the company's biggest "producer" and Waternoose's protegé, is asked to come down to the scare training room and show the new employees how scaring should be done. Waternoose is behind a plot to increase the dwindling scare production along with Randall, the company's second-biggest producer and a less-than-savory fellow worker. When Waternoose finally figures out that Sulley and his teammate and pal Mike Wazowski have the child, he orders Randall to chase after and eliminate the duo. After Mike and Sulley banish Randall, Waternoose notices that the child is with Sulley and chases them into the scare simulator, where Waternoose is lured into Mike's trap. Waternoose is recorded and played back using the same system normally used to analyze trainees' performance. With this incriminating evidence, Waternoose is taken away by the Child Detection Agency (CDA). As he is dragged away, Waternoose angrily blames Sullivan for 'destroying' the company, saying that the energy crisis will go worse due to that; however, this eventually proves to be wrong, as Sulley himself eventually becomes the new CEO of the company and requires all the monsters to make children laugh, which of course generates more power than screams, thus ending the crisis for good.
Henry J. Waternoose is the last animated character voiced by James Coburn.
The Abominable "Invie" Snowman finds Mike and Sulley stranded in the snow in the Himalayas after Waternoose banishes the two. He keeps them safe in an ice cave. He has attempted to make the best of his exile, describing the Himalayas as a Winter Wonderland and making lemon snow cones for his fellow monsters. He was also banished, but the movie doesn't elaborate as to why. He is voiced by John Ratzenberger, who has a voice part in every other Pixar film. He also appears in the credits of the 2006 film Cars as a snowplow.
Randall Boggs is the main villain in the movie. His voice was provided by Steve Buscemi. Randall resembles an anthropomorphic lizard, with the ability to change his color from purple and blue to blend into his surroundings at will, much like a chameleon, making him invisible. He works as a Scarer for the power company Monsters Inc. by entering children's rooms via a system of closet doors and scaring sleeping children. Randall acts as the direct rival of the movie's protagonists, James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski, and is in competition with them for the glorious post of Top Scarer. He spends most of the time in second place, but he temporarily took over them. Alas, Sully takes over again about five seconds later. The words "Never mind" are said over the intercom afterwards. However, Randall has also constructed a "Scream Extractor," and attempts to kidnap a human child in cooperation with the company's leader, Henry J. Waternoose, with the hopes to eventually rise to the leader of the company. He is defeated after a chase through the factory, where Boo and Randall escape into a door, and Boo begins to hit him with a baseball bat, making him turn different colors, then Sulley restrains him with a chokehold, followed by a snake wrestling maneuver, and afterwards, throws him through a door that banishes him to a trailer in the middle of a swamp, where a hillbilly family smacks Randall with a shovel, thinking that he is an alligator. The door he was sent through is then destroyed to ensure he doesn't come back. Sometime later, Mike writes, directs, and produces Monsters, Inc. Company Play, a low-budget play based on the events of the film in which many of the employees replay the parts they had. Randall is played by Needleman in the play.
Roz is the bookkeeper of the Monsters, Inc. factory, voiced by Bob Peterson. 30 years before the movie takes place, Roz is supposed to have been the first runner-up in the Miss Monstropolis beauty contest. She speaks with a very rough voice and has a slug-like body. Roz has green-brown skin and a bit of grey hair on the top of her head. She wears a red sweater. Mike and Sulley, try to avoid getting in trouble with Roz mostly because, no matter how many times they try to remind themselves, they almost always forget to file their paperwork.
She is revealed to be Agent 001 of the Child Detection Agency (CDA) and quite ironically seems to have a desire to avoid paperwork on Boo's time in the monster world. She is also frequently seen in the bloopers, replacing characters during several shots for comic effect and saying "Ha ha ha!" thereafter. She also enjoys reading the newspaper "The Daily Glob" at her lunch hour at work.
The assistant of Randall with a pair of three lensed glasses. He is rather wimpish due to the wrathful temper of Randall, and helps him with his plot to revolutionize the scaring industry, although he regrets it. Fungus is initially a kind person and means well, even apologizing to Mike Wazowski about his capture. But, as Mike is rescued, Randall turns the machine on while Fungus is in the chair. After Randall is banished to the human world, Fungus is a lot happier and takes on the job of making children laugh. He is voiced by renowned puppeteer and director, Frank Oz. In the Monsters, Inc. Company Play that Mike has written, directed, and produced, Fungus is played by Smitty.
Needleman and Smitty are lesser employees who work as janitors and have minor jobs like cleaning, and disposing of waste, and bringing in a door shredder; nowadays, however, their lattermost job is the most prominent. They are comic relief in the film, and often argue. Needleman is a tall brown monster with small horns while Smitty is a small green monster with no legs, and has mop-like hair and braces. Needleman lives with his mother. Both are voiced by Daniel Gerson. In one of the bloopers, the two lose control of a door shredder and go on a wild ride across a Scare Floor. They also appear in the Monsters, Inc. Company Play as Randall Boggs and Fungus respectively.
A Scarer who is in the same Scare Floor as Mike Wazowski and Sulley. He is a large monster with a single horn on his head and covered in orange fur. He is partnered with the annoying Charlie, who continuously reports Emergency Code 23-19 to the CDA. George is the victim of these calls as he ends up (repeatedly) with a child sock on his back (due to the static electricity produced by his fur) and ends up completely shaved. He later ends up with a broken leg due to being covered with children's toys and CDA agents tackle him. George finally gets fed up with Charlie's calls for alert. Sulley rushes out of a door and George gets another sock on his body. As Charlie is about to call for help, George seizes him, shoves the sock in his mouth and tosses him into the door. By the end of the film, his fur has grown back, and he enjoys his new job at making children laugh. He is voiced by Samuel Lord Black. In one of the bloopers, after George is shaved, Roz appears instead, somehow having replaced him. He also appears in Monsters, Inc. Company Play that Mike has written, directed, and produced.
Charlie is George's assistant and loves working with him, considering George to be a brother to him. Charlie is a green monster with tentacle limbs and eyes on antennas. Charlie constantly calls the CDA at the sign of an emergency. The most common is 23-19, which involves a monster having a child's item on them - the monster, in this case, is poor George. George is shaved completely and later ends up with broken limbs due to a second incident. In the end, Charlie has a sock stuffed down his throat by George and is tossed through a door into the Himalayas when he is about to call the CDA again.
An employee in Monsters, Inc. who seems to train the new Scarers in a practice room. She often ends up grumpy due to the incompetence of the new Scarers. Flint is a tall, snake-like monster with only two arms and frills over her eyes. She is voiced by Bonnie Hunt.
A new employee hoping to become a great Scarer like Sulley. He is a large blue reptillian monster with long retractile claws and the first monster to be seen in the film. He demonstrates how to scare a child but freaks out part way through the test, causing a funny gag that involves a soccerball, a rollerskate and some Jacks. Bile later tries to perform in front of Mr. Waternoose, with terrible results. Bile is later seen to have become an employee, using his gag from the beginning of the film to make children laugh. He is voiced by Jeff Pidgeon.
The floor manager of Sulley and Mike's Scare Floor with seven fingers on each hand. He is good friends with Sulley and Mike, and often is visited by Mr. Waternoose for inspection. He supervises the scare-floor, counting down until it's time to scare, and handling emergencies.
A large female employee who appears to look after the children of some of the other employees. She and her small group come across Boo in her monster disguise when she is separated from Sully. This name is a reference to Toy Story, where Buzz Lightyear becomes distraught from his failure to fly, in which he loses an arm, and calls himself "Mrs. Nesbit", having been named that by Hannah.
A large blue-skinned crocodilian-like monster who has extendable claws. He is a Scarer, working on the same Scare Floor as Sulley, Mike and Randall. He is shown to be very terrified of an unseen six-year old girl when he comes running out of her door and breaks down in front of his Scare Assistant, who slaps him and tells him to "keep it together man". This event leads to the girl's door being destroyed. He later appears in the audience of the company's theatre production of "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From, Or So Help Me", where he becomes overemotional when Mike sings, and is smacked again by his assistant. He was voiced by the late Joe Ranft.
An enormous monster who lives near Mike and Sulley, and walks to work every day. Due to his near-Godzilla size, it appears he only needs to take five steps to get there. Nothing past his right leg is seen in the movie, and it is unknown how he can enter the building, given his massive girth. In one of the bloopers, he is replaced by Rex, who tries to take his place and act scary.