Monsters, Inc., Pops in 3D Blu-ray (Video Review)

MONSTERS box art


Who could not like one of the cleverest animated movies ever made, Monsters, Inc.? Now available for the first time in a 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Disc 5-disc combo pack, the home entertainment possibilities are joyful.  The fun film with a whole lot of lovable monsters and not so lovable adversaries takes families on an adventure that’s wild, wacky and just plain adorable.  And to top it all off, Pixar/Disney has set the sequel date of June 21, 2013 for Monsters University and just so you won’t miss it have included a free movie admission inside the box.
The movie has a very imaginative buddy story about wise cracking Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and the amazing James P. Sullivan “Sully” (voiced by John Goodman) who work at the Monster’s, Inc. scare factory that provides power for all of Monstropolis.  As a two man team their job is creating scares and putting them in a special scream container pushing the scare meter to levels that other teams only dream about.  They are at the top of their game, but the monster world has come on hard times. Getting screams from human children are getting scarce and competition among their fellow employees  getting very devious.

Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (voiced by John Goodman)

Mike and Sully aren’t bothered by the loss of power periods being the best at getting  scream power, but the CEO of Monsters, Inc. Harry Waternoose (voiced by James Coburn) has been pushing them hard to keep them at the top of their game.  In the meantime other monsters have become jealous of Mike and Sully and are trying to find out the secret of their success.  When one of their scare trips turns bad with a human girl named Boo entering Monster World, Mike and Sully have to scramble to get her returned to her bedroom or they will lose their jobs.

The very funny and incredible adventure pushes all the buttons to make it a wonderful piece of entertainment for the whole family.  Played out on several levels the animated film gives as many adult laughs as those for children.  Nicely directed by Pete Docter and co-directors Lee Unkrich and David Silverman, the trio put their stellar voice talents to work while directing computer animators to fluff up their characters, create a monstrous world and hundreds of bedrooms for their monsters to do their jobs.

And if the Blu-ray HD technology is not enough, the filmmakers have turned the 2D film into a 3D wonder that kicks butt on the home 3D screen.  Recently released in 3D at the movie theater I had the opportunity to compare giant screen with big screen and surprise, surprise, although giant does add enormity, both have amazing depth of field, eye popping effects and show stopping imagery with vivid color and clarity making the experience nearly the same.  You’ll see monsters poking out of the screen, swaying doors you feel you can touch, some nice tricks with the 3D cameras to give you the feeling you are right in the rooms and much, much more.  The 3D Blu-ray technology has developed quickly for the home entertainment market and new techniques coming in every 3D release showing here with Monsters, Inc.

Let me continue about the video quality as with just the Blu-ray presentation alone imaging has become light years better than the previous DVD format release of Monsters, Inc. back in 2002. The clarity has improved, not a speck of grain or distortion, and even the blacks are deeper for popping out  more of  the  color in of the monsters on your home TV.  And, the 1.85:1 aspect ratio makes it a perfect fit for your 16×9 HD Television sets.

As for the sound, with this release of the Blu-ray compared to the 2009 5.1 Dolby version, it’s been upped to 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround. If your system has the capabilities, then your experience has just risen to a higher level. Crystal clear, you’ll hear every joke and wise crack from Mike and every word from the booming voice of Sully. I purposefully left little Boo for last letting you know that her tiny little voice needs to be cheery and giggly and even with your sound system set on normal you’ll never miss a moment of her giddiness.

That takes us to the bonus features and the question of whether there’s anything new that wasn’t on the 2009 Blu-ray release. Well there’s not much that’s different and for this I am a little disappointed.  Now hold on as I did say not much, so that means there are a couple of very good additional new extras.


  • NEW!-You know I mentioned the upcoming movie Monsters University that opens June 21, 2013 in the first paragraph of this review and Pixar/Disney has added a three minute extended trailer of the sequel inside the bonus features. You will also get a ticket worth up to $10 to the new 3D adventure. But don’t take this lightly because if you don’t use it by July 31, 2013, like Boo’s room, it disappears.
  • NEW!- “Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex” available on the 3D Blu-ray Disc and the 2D Blu-ray Disc the short that lead off the recent Disney/Pixar re-release of Finding Nemo in 3D will be yours to play over and over again.
  • NEW!- “Outtakes and Company Play” features some cool pranks and gags by the Monsters’ cast.
  • “For the Birds” the very comical short featuring a dozen birds on a wire with one big hefty one joining them is always a favorite.  The quickie toon won an Oscar.
  • “Filmmakers Round Table” Listen to Pete Docter, co-director Lee Unkrich, story supervisor Bob Peterson along with producer Darla K. Anderson as they talk about the production, showing drawings that lead to characters and scenes in the film.  It’s actually one of the best insights into the Pixar workings.
  • “Audio Commentary: Director Pete Docter, co-director Lee Unkrich, writer Andrew Stanton, and executive producer John Lasseter talk about the creative process, characters, etc.  After your kids watch the film, turn this feature on and listen to some animation pros at work.
  • “Mike’s New Car” I have seen this very funny cartoon over and again.  The comedy here goes through the roof as Mike gives Sulley a look at his new car.
  • “Roz’s 100 Door Challenge” In this little trivia exercise you have to know your stuff so make sure you are not playing with one of the kids as you may just loose.
  • “Pixar Fun Factory Tour” This short tour lead by producer John Lasseter puts you right in the works of the CGI laden Pixar Studios.
  • “Story Featurettes” there’s four little features that serve as a behind the scenes.
  • “Banished Concepts” it’s a sort of a deleted scenes feature with explanation by Lee Unkrich.
  • “Storyboard to Film Comparison” walks you through the making of a scene from the movie.
  • “Designing Monstropolis” one of the most colorful and imaginative cities, Monstropolis took a lot of work to get it that way.  David Silverman one of the co-directors of the film leads the way.
  • “Location Flyaround” a quick spin around the Pixar grid showing some of the elements of the film making process.
  • “Monster File” has introductions to the monsters in the film featuring the voice actors.
  • “Animation” this feature shows the animation process, early tests, title and more.
  • “Release” I actually enjoyed this little piece that shows footage of the movie premiere.  I only wish it had showed more of the glitz and glitter of the event. The feature does have other points and fun stuff however.
  • And much more on four of the five discs.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Truly an excellent family animated comedy creatively designed for everyone with a lot of originality. (A)

Specifications and additional film information:

  • Cast: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Mary Gibbs, Bonnie Hunt, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, John Ratzenberger, Bob Peterson and Frank Oz
  • Directed by: Pete Docter
  • Co-directed by: Lee Unkrich, David Silverman
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Genre: Comedy, Animation, Kids, Families
  • Running Time: Feature- 1 hr 32 min
  • Street Date: February 19, 2013
  • Original Theatrical Release Date: 2D- November 2, 2001, 3D-  December 19, 2013
  • Language: English, Spanish, French
  • Format: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD
  • Audio: 3 D Blu-ray & Blu-ray- 7.1 Dolby TrueHD. DVD- 5.1 Dolby
  • Video: 3D Blu-ray & Blu-ray 1080p High Definition, 1.85:1 aspect ratio. DVD- 1.85:1 aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Number of Discs: 5 disk combo pack
  • Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
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