I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Monsters Inc. is hands down my favorite Pixar film. In fact, if included as a “Disney” film, it would probably rank highly on that list as well. With the film being featured as part of Freeform’s 30 Days of Disney, I figured it was about time I explain what it is I love so much about the movie and why it’s informed my preferences for future Pixar films.
First, while I love a good drama from time to time, my genre of choice has always been comedy. Mind you, not so much the broad or gross-out flicks that have proven popular over the years, but those that find humor in dialogue, wordplay, and relatable situations. This is one area where Monsters excels. If the pairing of Billy Crystal and John Goodman weren’t enough, the designs of Mike and Sully pull directly from classic comedy pairings. Building on that, the script is filled with great dialogue that plays the strength of each actor, with Crystal often coming off as manic and irreverent while Goodman more or less plays the straight man. And speaking of building, while it’s been said that puns are the lowest form of humor, I couldn’t disagree more. Thus sight gags and other punny treats found in the world of Monstropolis tickle my fancy.
Another aspect of Monstropolis that I love is how much color exists in this world. Doubling down on the irony that monsters are actually caring beings, what could have easily been a dark, shadowy land is instead popping with bright colors. Look no further than Mike’s neon green exterior or Sulley’s iconic blue and purple fur. Even the antagonistic Randal is bursting with fun visuals as he literally blends into the world around him.
Of course, for as funny and aesthetically pleasing as Monsters Inc. is, what really stands out to me is the heart behind. Surely there are Pixar films that have more emotion in them, but this one still gets me every time. Take, for example, the final scene where Sulley hesitantly walks through Boo’s door. When she responds off-camera with a gleeful “Kitty!,” it takes just about everything I have not to cry.
Perhaps what’s most interesting to me is that all three of these elements would go on to be trademarks of sorts for director Pete Docter. In addition to the humor found in all of his films, color has also played a major role in his subsequent work. As for the heart element, Up’s touching montage has become infamous for its ability to move grown adults to tears while Inside Out is literally all about emotions. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Docter’s promotion to Chief Creative Officer at Pixar — a title I think is well deserved not in spite of Monsters but partially because of it.
As you rewatch Monsters Inc., you may also notice how well the quality of animation holds up. While classics like Toy Story don’t look as great as we remember from childhood, Monsters doesn’t look nearly as out of place to me (although it obviously doesn’t rise to the impressive level of animation on display in more recent productions). Between that, the humor, the heart, and the color contained in the film, I’m always excited to rewatch my favorite Pixar film, Monsters Inc.
Monsters Inc. is airing on Freeform as part of their 30 Days of Disney programming block. Plus, you can catch the spinoff series Monsters at Work on Disney+.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV