Blu-Ray Review: Monsters, Inc.
Sulley and Mike are at it again in this new hi-def home video...
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Released in 2001 to rave reviews and frantic fans, Monsters, Inc. continues to be a favorite of children of all ages, the hilarious and original story both tugs at the heart strings while continuing to excite and even frighten (in a good way!) kids of all ages...
Now, thanks to a hi-def re-release of Monsters, Inc., those fans will be able to enjoy one of their favorite children's films in beautiful 1080p. The colors are all gorgeous and the animation is smooth and brings to life the characters. The film includes a English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio as well as French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks and English, French and Spanish subtitles are also included.
The real "bonus" of this new 3-disc set is the special features. The bonus materials include all of the previously released material released with the 2001 Collector's Edition - like the amusing "For the Birds" featurette; the short "Mike's New Car;" an interactive game entitled "Roz's 100 Door Challenge;" and numerous story featurettes including "Story is King," "Monsters Are Real," "Original Treatment," and "Back to Work."
That said, the real draw for fans - besides the new hi-def video and audio - is the new bonus features, including the new audio commentary with directors Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, writer Andrew Stanton, and executive producer John Lasseter in which the group talks story, characters, and film origins; a "Ride and Go Seek: Building Monstropolis in Japan" featurette about the Monsters, Inc. ride at Tokyo's Disneyland; and a Filmmakers Round Table which includes the film's makers chatting at the Hidden City Cafe (a Pixar hangout!) about their working at Pixar, the film's development, and more. Both funny and fun to watch, the round table examines early ideas and concepts and will no doubt impress Pixar fans who love to get any and all "behind the scenes" info on this amazing animation studio.
Other bonus features include "Mike's New Car," the interactive game "Roz's 100 Door Challenge," "Pixar Fun Factory Tour," a host of "Banished Concepts," a storyboard to film comparison, "Designing Monstropolis," "Set Dressing," "Location Flyaround," and a two-part "Monster File." All of these feature focus on specific concepts within the film, including deleted scenes, designing sets, 360 degree looks at sets, and info on the various monsters in the film.
Even more bonus features include a six-part look at the animation in the film, including "Animation Process," "Early Tests," "Opening Title Animation," "Hard Parts," Shots Departments," and "Production Demonstration." Again, each of these examines everything from the test models of the characters to the way their hair moves. Other bonus features include a featurette on music and sound and a featurette on the film's premiere (including trailers and TV spots!)
While there are a lot of previously released bonus features included here, the big draw is one of the best children's films ever in hi-def featuring a gorgeous picture, amazing sound, and a number of new bonus features (including the very informative round table!)
Overall, Monsters, Inc. is one of those timeless films that's sure to last decades and continue to make children of all ages laugh, jump, and continue to love. We live in the best era of animation in the history of film and it's great to know Pixar - even 8 years ago - was helping make it so.
Monsters, Inc. is rated G, is for all ages, and is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley