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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
More for entertainment than education, though kids might learn a bit about factory work and how adults deal with hazards, like potential contamination (in this case, by children).
Strong messages about the value of friendship and that facing your fears is a positive thing. Also, you can do the right thing and still succeed. Themes include courage, compassion, and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Mike and Sully are loyal friends. A monster learns to make kids laugh instead of scare them. Monsters try to do the right thing and protect a little girl. A powerful figure turns out to be a bad guy, but he pays for his poor choices.
Violence & Scariness
Comic peril, cartoon violence. The monsters are terrified of children for most of the film, which takes out some of the scariness. In the scariest climactic scene, the villain monster straps a toddler to a chair to catch her screams in a machine, and she appears very frightened. Her monster friend saves her.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and discussion of dating.
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Products & Purchases
This movie is part of the Disney-Pixar dynasty, with plenty of merchandise associated with the film. Toy Story toys are on the floor in one child's room.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monsters, Inc. is about closet monsters, but from their point of view -- scaring kids is their 9-to-5 job. Kids might be scared of the movie's concept initially, but they'll soon figure out that the monster Sulley is a softy who takes care of the little girl in the story who isn't the least bit afraid of him. However there's one scene where a monster the child does fear straps her to a chair and tries to steal her screams. Kids will find it funny that most monsters fear any contact with kids -- when one monster gets a child's sock on him the whole factory panics and biohazard workers quarantine and shave him. Young kids may need help understanding what the monsters in yellow suits are doing to him and why. Note: The 3-D version amps up the intensity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie has the same delicious mixture of heart, humor, and technical wizardry that made A Bug's Life and the two Toy Story movies into instant classics. It's utterly delightful. It should be put in the dictionary to illustrate the word "adorable." Like Jim Henson, who decided to make his Sesame Street characters monsters so that kids would never be afraid of monsters again, the people behind Monsters, Inc. have created monsters that even the shyest child will find completely unscary. In fact, kids may decide that multiple heads, removable eyes, and hair made from snakes are kind of cute.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.