Monsters, Inc.

  • Review Date: September 20, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2001

Common Sense Media says

Cute, kid-friendly monster movie; may scare sensitive kids.
  • Review Date: September 20, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2001

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

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).

Positive messages

Strong messages of friendship and that facing fears is a positive thing.

Positive role models

A monster learns to make kids laugh instead of scare them. Monsters try to do the right thing and protect a little girl.

Violence & scariness

Comic peril, cartoon violence. The monsters are terrified of children for most of the film, which takes out some scariness. In the scariest climactic scene, the scary 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.

Sexy stuff

Some flirting and discussion of dating.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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 steel 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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The monsters in MONSTERS, INC. are more afraid of kids than kids are of monsters. But monsters need to collect kids' screams to fuel their world, and children are getting so hard to scare that the monsters' world is suffering from rolling blackouts. Top scarer John "Sulley" Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) and rival Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi) work as hard as they can to break the scream-collection record. But when Randall inadvertently lets a human child into the monster world, the monsters find out what being scared is really like.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This movie is utterly delightful. It should be put in the dictionary to illustrate the word "adorable." It 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. 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 this movie 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what Sulley learns about kids and how he changes the factory for the better in the end.

  • They can also talk about how each kid was scared by a certain kind of monster. Why was Boo scared of Randall and not Sulley? Why was Sulley considered such a top-notch scarer then?

  • What would make you laugh the hardest if it came out of your closet?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 2, 2001
DVD release date:February 19, 2013
Cast:Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Director:Andrew Adamson
Studio:Pixar Animation Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Monsters, Inc. was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bySinfoniarc August 5, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

For The Monster In Your Closet

I can't think of a better way to help a child get over their "monster in the closet" phase. The movie depicts monsters as having very human-like traits--basically just like you and me except they look different. Monsters, Inc. is a great movie for teaching the value of friendship, hard work, and doing the right thing even though it hurts.
You could make Billy Crystal a serial killer in a movie and he'd still be Billy Crystal. This movie is no exception. His zany antics will leave even young kids howling in laughter. John Goodman's "papa bear" persona brings feelings of safety and security to the table as well. The friendship/camaraderie amongst them is very powerful and I think that's a good value that kids need to learn. Sully (Goodman) spend the whole movie trying to do the right thing and correct Randall's (Steve Buscemi) mistake. Randall, the bad guy, demonstrates that greed and vanity are bad, as he's constantly trying to be a more productive worker than Sully. Both monsters demonstrate a great work ethic (or in Randall's case a great desire to have a good work ethic), which is important for children to learn as well.
Having said all of that, parts of this movie will scare most young children...especially the first two minutes of the movie. Randall and his accomplice (Mr. Waternoose, voiced by the late, great James Coburn) are scary at times, but both demonstrate well the power of greed. The end of the movie offers that there are alternate and more ethical ways of making a living. It also demonstrates that doing the right thing is important, whether letting go of someone you love, or refusing to cheat in order to make it to the top.
All in all it's a phenomenal film. Disney really upped the ante on the upscaling of this one. The 1080p video of the Blu-Ray is stunning as is it's lossless HD-DTS soundtrack.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old Written byHelloKittyFairy May 7, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Easily Laughable

I'm 10 and I still watch Monsters inc.! It's shuch a fun movie to see. I love Sully and Boo. But I thin kit is good for 6+ because older kids might not get as good of a laugh unlike little children. No bad stuff whatsoever. Great for the whole family!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old Written byFangbite91 May 19, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Very violent

I do not like the monsters roaring or the machine that catches kids screams. My little brother watched it with me once and he was afraid of the crushing machine and the monsters roaring, in one part, Mike Wizowski goes on a date for a monsters birthday but it is not sexy. It is kind of disturbing and loud when the little girl screams and cries. But this movie tells kids that there is no need to be afraid if monsters coming out of your closet and scaring you, I like this movie but parents, please read the review up top about Monsters Inc before letting your kids watch that because it is a very violent movie. But still very funny and awesome, the end is my favorite part.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models

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