Find some fantastical corner of pop culture you can peek in on — after hours. From the lives of toys when the kids aren't around to where scary monsters go when they're not hiding in kids' closets or the private lives of clownfish, comic book superheroes or video game characters (Disney's new
Whatever chances they take with the riskier
"Monsters, Inc." may have lost the best animated film Oscar to "
And that's a good excuse for converting the computer-animated "Monsters, Inc." to 3-D for a special holiday release.
Whatever his other accomplishments (he's in theaters Christmas Day with
The perfect comic foil to Sulley (
Until that fateful day that a teeny tot nicknamed "Boo" isn't scared, and follows them back through the door. Kids, out of their element, scare the dickens out of monsters. Call out the haz-mat team and bar the door — all the closet doors, stored in a vast kids' closet-door repository — until Boo is rounded up and order is restored to the universe.
That ingenious setup is detailed to a staggering degree, from the decor each child has on his or her closet door, to the vast variations of monsters on the job on the Monsters, Inc., "scare floor" — blobs and yeti and giant spiders and all manner of lizards, snakes and goblins.
The jokes benefit from perfect timing and the best running sight gag ever — big, hairy monsters, all scared to death by a burbling, giggling, "KITTY"-shrieking tyke (voiced by
This didn't need 3-D to work. And the big question, on seeing it anew, is "How will they top this by taking us back to see these guys in college?"
But any time Disney and/or Pixar goes astray in an animated way, they have only to look back at this, one of their best, to remember that magical recipe that works as well now as it did then.