There’s a lot that could be said about Pixar’s 2001 winner Monsters, Inc., not the least of which is still the astonishing fact this superbly animated, emotionally moving and intelligently hysterical marvel somehow managed to lose the very first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature to Shrek, a good movie, sure but one that is hardly as classic or as inventive as this one ultimately proved to be.
Be that as it may, all I really need to say about this movie is that it signified the beginning of Pixar’s astonishing and unparalleled hot streak, and other than Cars in 2006 every movie the studio made between 2001 and 2010 is a bona fide classic and a highpoint of both family-friendly storytelling and computer generated animation that will likely never be equaled (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall•E and Toy Story 3 all released during that time frame).
The complexity of the scenario speaks for itself while the simplicity behind the emotions fueling all that is happening do so as well. The way director and co-writer Andrew Stanton and his Pixar team weave their mesmerizing spell is beautifully intoxicating, so many little moments causing me to laugh out loud while also forcing me to shed a quiet tear at the very same time. It’s a magical experience, Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sully’s (John Goodman) journeys with pintsized Boo (Mary Gibbs) through the factory and through all of the magical doors as unforgettable as it is sublime.
Monsters, Inc. is presented on a dual-layer 50GB 3DBlu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 1.85:1/1080p transfer. It is also presented on a standard 50GB Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 1.85:1/1080p transfer.
This Blu-ray features an English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack along with a bevy of additional audio options and features optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. Even though the movie originally hit Blu-ray just a short time ago in 2009, even though the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track on that disc was outstanding, Disney still felt the need to upgrade to a lossless 7.1 audio track. Here’s my thanks, as wonderful as that audio was this one borders on brilliant. Trust me. Listen to them side by side. You will be blown away and not even remotely disappointed.
The majority of extras are ported over from the 2009 Blu-ray (the exclusion of the promo tour of the Tokyo Monsters, Inc. attraction hardly a loss) and, sorry to say, I don’t feel a ton of need to go into them (although the return of Audio Commentary with director Pete Docter, co-director Lee Unkrich, writer Andrew Stanton and executive producer John Lasseter as well as the marvelous Filmmaker’s Roundtable with Docter, Unkrich, producer Darla K. Anderson and story supervisor Bob Peterson are definite cause for celebration, while the short For the Birds is as spectacularly amusing as ever). That said, new bonus features specifically included for this five-disc release include:
· Outtakes and Company Play – It’s the gag reel that appears along with the end credits. It appears in 3D on disc one.
· Partysaurus Rex - One of my favorite of the Toy Story short films Pixar has been premiering every so often in front of various Disney and Pixar releases. Simply wonderful.
· Monsters University Sneak Peek – Roughly three minute or so extended trailer for the prequel to Monsters, Inc. hitting theatres this summer.
The rest of the extras, as I said, are all carried over from the previous Blu-ray release and they are spectacularly insightful in regards to both the making of the film as well as the inner workings of Pixar itself. Revisiting them all was a real treat (including the Mike’s New Car short; it always makes me giggle) and I have feeling this won’t be the last time I take a look at the majority of them.
While the upcoming prequel does worry me some, that doesn’t mean my appreciating or affinity for Monsters, Inc. has dulled a single iota over the past decade-plus. The movie remains a triumph for Pixar and classic in every way that counts, Disney’s new 3D Blu-ray presentation a true technical marvel families will undoubtedly go crazy for.