Monster Inc (2001)

Monsters Inc
Directed by Pete Doctor, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich
Written by Original story by Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon and Ralph Eggleston. Screenplay by Andrew Stanton and Daniel Gerson. Robert L. Baird, Rhett Reese and Jonathan Roberts are credited with additional screenplay material.
(number 349)

I watched this with Nick while Anna was at NightShade. Can anyone believe that this movie came out 15 years ago?? 15 YEARS. Man. I remember seeing it at the movies and feeling so excited because the Toy Story movies had been so great.

Man that’s a lot of writing credits. Nice to see a woman in there though! But so many writers…

Monsters Inc has a selection of beautifully developed characters and an easy to buy into world that is bright and cheerful. Pixar are basically evil geniuses, they have a straight line into what people care about and feel for. Then, they write scripts where awful things happen to the characters you care about and it’s horrible.

Which monsters wear clothes and which wander around naked seems to be totally random, although Nick and I did realise that none of the ‘scarers’ wear clothes so… there’s that. All of the female characters do wear clothes so… what does that say? That women must cover themselves even when they’re slimy tentacle or slug monsters? Or is it just coincidence? I just don’t know. I obviously have trouble with separating gender issues from movies, after watching so many films where women are relegated to the background it’s hard to put it aside, and I’m not sure that I need to really.

Right at the end of the movie when Boo shows Sully her room she hands him a Jessie cowgirl doll and a plush Nemo. Toy Story 2 came out just before Monsters Inc so that was a treat for eagle eyed viewers at the time, but Nemo was still in development when this movie was made so it’s a cute nod to what was to come.

Does it make me love the people? Mostly I feel bad for George Sanderson, the friendly orange fuzzy monster who gets a sock on him. But yeah, as soon as Boo arrives you adore her and you buy into Sully’s story of having to deal with this little interloper into his world.

The central relationship in the film is really Mike and Sully’s friendship though, which goes through some trials of course. They start as best buds and mutual beneficial workmates, Sully goes to Mike as soon as he has a problem and Mike helps without hesitation even though it endangers his work, relationship with Celia and living situation.

Bechdel test:
Boo, Celia and Roz. Roz is voiced by a man… Boo scares Celia who screams, but I don’t think you can remotely call that a conversation. In fact the women are almost never in the same scenes as each other.

Best line:
Boo: Kitty!

State of Mind: It’s a cute movie and it’s amazing how freaking adorable Boo is. I find it hard to write much of meaning about this film, it’s universally beloved which makes it harder to point out things like ‘why don’t any of the female monsters talk to each other?’ or why are all the leads male? Imagine how great and fun this movie could be if Sully was a girl monster, all big and tough and scary and then showing the tender side with Boo? Or leave Sully male and have Mike be his femme best friend, it really wouldn’t be that hard and I don’t even think it would change the story much at all.

Watched movie count


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