In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, two monsters realize things ... Read allIn order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, two monsters realize things may not be what they think.In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, two monsters realize things may not be what they think.
You already know that this is the usual Pixar fare, which is to say that it is excellent, better than any non-Pixar animated film. Sure, you also know that and you probably know the usual reason given: that Pixar spends more time on basic storytelling values than anyone else.
Here are two elements of this that may deepen your appreciation. The first is that Pixar recognized early that 3D animation software allowed two types of advance in the third dimension. The first is obvious, that everything has depth and reflection and shadow more or less like reality.
The second is that once these objects and scenes are defined in the computer, it is no extra work to move the camera anywhere. it can loop and swoop in ways that we never could have before. Pixar decided to exploit this in their storytelling here and later in "Nemo."
Nemo was set in an environment where there was no horizon so the camera could flow and the watery feel of the place could make the unfamiliar fluidity of the camera seem more natural. Here, is where they tested some of those perspectives in the three dimensional door warehouse and the extra dimensions of going in and out. Those scenes make this for me.
The second interesting thing is some competitive background. In those days, there was a shooting war between Bill Gates, financier of Dreamworks Animation (and leader of Microsoft) and Steve Jobs of Pixar (and leader of Apple). This was in the heyday of Gates' dirty tricks and he was intent on burying Jobs forever. Pixar depended on the success of "A Bug's Life" their followon to "Toy Story," so Dreamworks rushed "Antz" -- a cheapy -- to open a week or so before to steal the market.
"Bugs" prevailed, sufficiently at least, and Pixar ramped up for their usual three year development of "Monsters." Dreamworks, getting wind of this, went all out with "Shrek," their "monster" movie that could be released six months earlier. It only took a year because the animation is less perfect. But they were overt in their attack this time: "Shrek" made literal fun of Disney, the Pixar partner. The head guy at Disney was the model for the blowhard King who reigned over a fairytale kingdom populated with -- can you guess? -- all the old Disney characters.
Pixar/Jobs would never do something so spiteful. But perhaps they did subtly appreciate the use of windows and gates to the future that always seemed to go wrong. And now you can too.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
- Oct 13, 2006