Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!
I can't wait to go see "Monsters, Inc." again! What a wonderful movie -- not just for kids, but for adults as well! Kids can certainly identify with the theme of getting over your fears of things that go bump in the night. And at times like these, we all can use the help that "Monsters, Inc." gives us in overcoming fear in general and even getting to the point where we can laugh at some of the things in current real life that are mirrored in this movie. As the monsters themselves come to realize, there is more power in laughter and overcoming incapacitating fear than in giving in to endless worries. FDR was right: "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." It is amazing that "Monsters, Inc." was 5 years in the making but reflects so many of the fears we have these days, from terrorism (there's a headline about terror on the newspaper Roz is reading -- which makes sense in a movie about monsters creating terror in kids), to bioterrorism scares (contamination by anthrax in real life is mirrored by the monsters being worried about being contaminated by kids and their toys/clothes, and the real-life Center for Disease Control (CDC) being reflected by the CDA (Children Detection Agency? I forget what the movie has it stand for), to scattered brown-outs and energy failures (which have been going on in California this year, but weren't going on during most of the movie's production). The Disney/Pixar folks must have had a crystal ball when they were developing the story, but the eerie coincidences don't doom this movie to audience shudders -- on the contrary, we all started to lighten up about our current day fears, confront them, and then even laugh about them!
A copy of the movie needs to be sent to President Bush right away: perhaps he'll ask America to "go see 'Monsters, Inc.'" similar to how he told us to go to Disney World! 8=o)
We didn't catch any "Hidden Mickeys" like the giant Mickey wall clock in the "Toy Story" movies, but we did see "Hidden Pixar" references in "Monsters, Inc." Near the end of the movie I saw the "Jessie the Cowgirl" doll and the stuffed clownfish toy (a reference to an upcoming Pixar production) in Boo's room. I also noticed the infamouse Pixar rubber ball, and the white, puffy clouds on blue sky wallpaper background that Randall the chameleon-like monster blended into. Very funny! I also like he "HARRYHAUSEN'S" name of the restaurant. My wife saw the "Sailing Ship Columbia" Disneyland poster in the boy's room at the end of the movie, but we both missed the "Tomorrowland" poster. We'll make sure to look for it on our next viewing! I also think the robototic boy looks very much like Andy of Toy Story. I agree that the Monsters, Inc. headquarters building looks a lot like the A-frame Contemporary Resort -- and the inside of it makes me think of a cross between the Contemporary's mosaic wall and the cavernous interior of one of the Epcot Future World pavillions. My 5 1/2 year old son was eagerly awaiting Boo's first appearance, asking us "When does the human girl appear?" None of us noticed the Pizza Planet delivery truck that some people are reporting on.
My son Michael is in kindergarten. When PG-rated films come out (such as Disney's Atlantis), my wife and I view the movie separately first and then compare notes to see if we think it would be good or not to bring our son to see it, the whole family together. We opted not to take Michael to see "Atlantis" because of the violence, among other things. But since "Monsters, Inc." is rated G and he had seen all the other Disney/Pixar features with no problem, we opted to go see "Monsters, Inc." as a family without first doing our parental-check routine, even though we knew that the plot-line dealt with children's fears of what's in the closet and under the bed. Well, Michael is lucky, because if we had scoped out the movie without Michael, both Carol and I would have voted thumbs down to taking him to see "Monsters, Inc." because of its scare factor. It turned out that after the movie was over Michael said it was a great movie and he wanted to see it again even though he had been afraid in parts of it. During the movie, Michael sometimes covered his hands over his eyes and/or ears, cuddled with us on our laps, cowered, held our hands, and appeared genuinely afraid at times. But I can remember back to when I was little and how I'd be afraid watching some of the classic Disney movies, and that I knew it was "just a movie." I was glad when the movie was over to hear that Michael had in fact enjoyed it and wasn't too scared while watching it -- that is obvious in how he wants to see it again. As to how your own little ones might react to "Monsters, Inc.", you know your own kids best and your "mileage may vary."
We all like the movie and its theme of confronting and overcoming your fears. It is exactly what *all* of us need in times like these. I often cry in Disney and Disney/Pixar movies (didn't in Disney's last two, "Emperor's New Groove" and "Atlantis", however), and I noticed many men (including women) crying at the end. I didn't notice any kids crying. :-) No kids were screaming in our theater, either, although I heard Michael as well as a young girl say they they were afraid at times in the movie. The stadium-seating theater where we saw it on Saturday morning devoted many of its largest theaters to the movie, and the one we were in only had a couple of empty seats available - - virtually a sell-out even for the earliest show of the day.
Can't wait until I can get this one on DVD so I can still frame shots to read all the fine print in every sign. Even seeing the movie in a stadium-seating theater, I couldn't read some of the very little print on some signs.
There is a Ū-off coupon good on a large popcorn and large drink at participating theaters at the monstersinc.com site. Check to see if a theater near you accepts it (many are listed, but none of them were near us) and use it before it expires if you're into monster-sized popcorn & drinks. ;-)
I give "Monsters, Inc." two ears up!
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator