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We Scare Because We Care 

Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Pete Docter and David Silverman 
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Mary Gibbs, Steve Buscemi (voices)  
An image from OUTDOOR SCREENING: Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc. explores the world behind the closet door that all children fear whenever they have to go to bed.

The story revolves around the two main characters – Sulley (Goodman) and Mike (Crystal) - and their jobs at Monsters, Inc. They earn their living by going into children’s bedrooms at night, scaring them and collecting the energy from their screams, which is then used to power up their own city, Monstropolis.

Now, you probably won’t believe it, but these big, scary monsters that children are so afraid of, are actually afraid of…children! Which is why all hell breaks loose when Sulley unknowingly lets a little girl, Boo, into Monstropolis. The duo (or now trio) then embark on all sorts of funny adventures in trying to get Boo back into the real world, without letting anyone know that she was here at all. But is Boo’s arrival into the monsters’ world really just an accident, and are children really that scary?

Monsters, Inc. is a funny and touching movie, with an interesting and engaging plot. It also represents an advance in computer animation; in the making of this film, Pixar developed new software, which allowed them to separately draw and animate each single strand of hair (Sulley's fur has over 2,320,413 hairs!), thus making the characters seems more real than ever before. All in all, it promises to be a fun, relaxing film, that is perfect to enjoy outdoors!

Gaby Aptula

It is a fairly depressing fact of modern cinema viewing that to see a vaguely mature mainstream Hollywood film that doesn't have a stereotypical teenage heavy metal fans obsession with sex, drugs, violence and bad language limits you mainly to films aimed mainly at kids. However a film like Monsters Inc. has the ability to charm you, albeit briefly, into thinking that banning all films requiring more than a 'U' certificate would be a positive thing.

The latest film from Pixar, the computer animation nerds come good behind Toy Story and A Bug's Life, is set in a parallel world which is powered by the screams of young children, which are collected by the scarer employees of Monsters Inc. on trips through specially made doors into the human world. All is good for top scarer team Sully and Mike until a child inadvertently enters the monsters world and causes chaos as children are considered highly toxic there.

It goes without saying that the animation in the film is on the whole incredible, so I will on the whole avoid mentioning it. However, despite having the most complex and realistic human shirt even rendered (yawn) the human child is about as believable as a 1980s Cabbage Patch doll. This is the first time the Pixar team have had a human lead character and it is clear that they either donÕt feel it is worth spending millions attempting to create realistic humans (as in film-making's answer to insomnia, Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within) or they have spent so long in front of their computers they've forgotten what real people look like. Either way having such a clearly fake child only helps make the wondrous fantasy world of Monstropolis all the easier to lose yourself into.

Of course a film with great animation and no story would be about as interesting as a personal demonstration of Windows XP with a Bill Gates fanatic. But the sharp script builds upon the cute visuals to create a charming whole and there are so many visual gags thrown into the film that you have to avoid the temptation to duck. The comic interplay between Billy Crystal and John Goodman in the lead roles is rock solid, and the film's exuberant, playful atmosphere makes the film's lack of sex and violence unnoticable. Kid's stuff? You won't want to go back to being an adult.

David Goody

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)