Monsters Inc. just so happens to be the very first Pixar film I caught in theaters. I was at that age where animated movies were on the out and like the jaded teenager that I was, I purposely avoided Toy Story 1 and 2. Boy was that a mistake. The first thing that grabbed me about the movie is the opening credit sequence. It so heavily reminded me of the begging to a 1960's Blake Edwards comedy that it instantly put a smile on my face. And it still does today.
This wild and crazy romp features two best friends Mike and Sully, voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman respectively. Together they work the Scare Floor of Monsters Inc. collecting scream to power their world. They have a link to the human world through doors that lead to a specific child's closet. The monster goes in, the scream comes out. And like a factory, the process repeats until the day is done. Scream is in short supply as children in the Human World just aren't getting scared anymore.
A serious problem arises when Sully accidentally lets a child from the human world loose in the Monster World. Together Sully and Mike must get the child back to her world without getting caught. Children are supposedly toxic, so anything they touch toys, clothing, even Monsters, can become contaminated. All of this plays to hilarious results as our heroes dig themselves into deeper trouble while attempting to snarl, claw, and roar their way out. While a movie that is made for kids, the team at Pixar was smart enough to drop enough B horror movie references to keep the adults entertained. You can't help but be impressed with the level of creative detail they put into this movie. Every aspect of the story is so thoroughly thought out that to this day it stands as my favorite Pixar release with The Incredibles sitting in a very close second.
The 3rd Dimension:
You have to hand it to Disney, they know how to release exceptional 3D Blu-ray sets. The picture quality is striking, the level of detail is incredible, right down to being able to count the numerous individual hairs on Sully's gigantic blue body. Best of all, this detail and clarity shines though beautifully in 3D. This is a colorful movie and a common complaint with 3D is that the glasses you have to wear darkens the picture. Disney smartly brightens the picture so wearing the glasses will have no true impact on the bright beautiful colors that permeate this movie. The 3D itself is fairly good for a conversion of a film that wasn't generated for 3D. Every so often some scenes have a slight "cookie cutter" effect and seem kind of flat. But for the scenes that count, the scare floor, Harryhoausen's Restaurant, and the conveyor chase with the closet doors in particular are so deep and wonderful, you feel like you're riding a roller coaster.
The Extras Dimension:
Well it's Disney, there are TONS of extras! In addition to a 3D Blu-ray, you get a standard 2D blu-ray, a DVD and a digital copy of the movie!There are also so many extensive extra features about the making of the movie, the design of the monsters, interviews with the voice cast and the creative minds behind the show, you're going to need hours and hours of time to get through it all!
The End Result:
Well is it worth the upgrade? I certainly think so. If you already have the first 2D release, you could do fine to stick with that, but I feel that the 3D conversion is well worth the upgrade. And since Disney movies on disc are like gold nuggets, if you have a Hastings, or some other store that buys and sells used movies, you should get a pretty fair price for a trade in. If you don't own it at all, then this is the set to go for and well worth the nearly $30 price tag. Shop around, you might find a better deal than Amazon or Best Buy someplace, but since it's a Disney release, you're not likely to locate a significant price reduction without winning an auction on ebay or finding a used copy. However you manage to add this one to your collection, you'll be glad to have it when you need something that is pure fun.