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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
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?
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Sulley learns about kids and how he changes the factory for the better in the end of Monsters, Inc.
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?
- In theaters: November 2, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: 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
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Courage, Integrity
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
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