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Ghost Canyon

'Monsters, Inc. (4-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray]'
(Billy Crystal, John Goodman, et al / 4-Disc Blu Ray / G / (2001) 2009 / Disney-Pixar)

Overview: Experience the film that captured the hearts of critics and fans around the world in a breathtaking new way. And now, with eye-popping, crystal-clear visuals and theater-quality sound, it's even better on Disney Blu-ray Hi-Def! Lovable Sulley (John Goodman) and his wisecracking sidekick Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) are the top scare team at Monsters, Inc., the scream-processing factory in Monstropolis.

Blu Ray Verdict: Like the other Pixar offerings, everything about this film is beautifully constructed, including the characters, the voices, the backgrounds, the music (which won Randy Newman his first Oscar), and not least of all the story. Pixar spends a lot of time and energy developing deep, textured stories that work on many levels. Look just beneath the surface, and there might be a message lurking.

Although they're a weird looking bunch, the monsters all have oddly ordinary names, like Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan ("Sully"). They live in houses, go to work each day, and worry about romantic relationships and energy shortages. Except for outward appearances, they're a lot like us.

To deal with the energy problem, they invade the private territory of small, dark-haired people who don't speak the language (human children), popping out of their closets, intimidating and scaring the "energy" out of them in the form of screams. The monsters are taught that children are toxic, and any contact must be avoided at all costs. Even a child's sock brought back into the Monster world is enough to trigger a full-scale governmental SWAT team decontamination.

Impatient with the low efficiency of the scare technology, Sully's evil arch-rival, Randall, builds a machine to forcibly suck the scream-energy right from the unwilling mouths of the children. In searching for test subjects, he inadvertently lets the human child, Boo, into the Monster world.

Sully's gradual change of heart towards Boo forms the emotional hook of the story, underscored by Randy Newman's remarkable music. Sully pays a high price for learning to care about Boo. His friendship with Mike is tested. He is banished from his own land.

It doesn't take an advanced degree in geo-politics to draw some obvious inferences about what's going on here, but politics never gets in the way of the story. The chemistry between Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) is a big part of the success of the movie, but the imaginative design and spectacular animation doesn't hurt, either. The final action sequence is amazing.

The movie is presented in 1:85:1 aspect ratio. The word that comes to mind to describe how this looks is simply 'Beautiful', the colors, the textures, Sullivan's fur, the character's skin textures, Roz' sweater. Details pop up, colors are bright and clear. I had never noted that the real name of 'Boo' is actually in the movie until I saw it on Blu-ray!

The audio is another improvement of this BD edition. Presented in an uncompressed 5.1 track, the music by Randy Newman and the sound effects (check the audio in the door chamber sequence or every time 'Boo' laughs/cries and there is a power variation) sound just great. Spanish and French Dolby Digital tracks are also included.

An audio commentary with the creators provides a lot of details of the movie, since I have watched this over and over with my 2 year old kid I have been able to play the commentary a couple times so he watches the movie and I learn about how it was made. [GM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Ride And Go Seek: Building Monstropolis In Japan - Go Behind The Scenes Of The New Attraction In Tokyo Disneyland
Filmmaker's Round Table - Filmmakers Reflect On The Creation Of The Film
Audio Commentary
Pixar Fun Factory Tour
Banished Concepts
DVD Of Film Plus Original DVD Bonus
DisneyFile Digital Copy

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