3D en­hanced Pixar clas­sic is a treat for all

MON­STERS, INC. 3D (U) ★★★★★

Bray People - - LIFESTYLE -

SINCE THE re­lease of Toy Story 3, the Os­car-win­ning com­puter an­i­ma­tion wizards at Dis­ney Pixar have em­braced the tech­no­log­i­cal and cre­ative might of 3D with gusto. Re-is­sues of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 whet­ted our ap­petite for more dig­i­tally en­hanced treats from the stu­dio's back cat­a­logue.

A re­vamp of Find­ing Nemo was re­leased across the At­lantic last year but hasn't swum to th­ese shores yet. Thank­fully, with Mon­sters Univer­sity set for re­lease in the sum­mer, Pete Doc­ter's glo­ri­ous 2002 fan­tasy, which taps into uni­ver­sal fears of crea­tures un­der the bed, en­joys an­other joy­ous moment in the spot­light.

Mon­sters, Inc. has lost none of its power to charm in the eye­pop­ping for­mat. The cli­matic chase through rows of chil­dren's doors is es­pe­cially thrilling with the added depth of vi­sion.

James P Sul­li­van, aka Sul­ley (voiced by John Good­man), and best friend Mike Wa­zowski (Billy Crys­tal) are top of their game in the child-scar­ing busi­ness. Work­ing out of Mon­sters Inc. (“We Scare Be­cause We Care”), the largest scream-pro­cess­ing fac­tory in Mon­stropo­lis, the fun-lov­ing dou­ble-act scare count­less un­sus­pect­ing mop­pets by leap­ing out of wardrobes.

Mon­stropo­lis is pow­ered by hu­man screams so it is im­per­a­tive that Sul­ley and his col­leagues meet their daily tar­gets. Alas, 21st cen­tury chil­dren are in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to spook - must be the over­ex­po­sure to vi­o­lent tele­vi­sion pro­grammes and video games - so the city is in the grip of a fuel cri­sis.

Henry J Water­noose (James Coburn), big boss at Mon­sters, Inc., is acutely aware that the fate of thou­sands rests in the paws, ten­ta­cles and claws of his loyal em­ploy­ees.

Hu­mans are for­bid­den in the mon­ster world - they are con­sid­ered a health risk - so when Sul­ley ac­ci­den­tally brings a hu­man girl named Boo into Mon­stropo­lis, hell breaks loose.

Mon­sters, Inc. is pure, un­abashed feel-good fam­ily en­ter­tain- ment, boast­ing daz­zling vi­su­als, lovable characters and a script crammed to burst­ing with gags.

Good­man and Crys­tal are on top form, lend­ing their dis­tinc­tive vo­cals to their un­for­get­table part­ners in crime. The screen­play pro­vides them with plenty of big laughs, but the ad-libs are equally hi­lar­i­ous. Stay for the hi­lar­i­ous end-of-cred­its out-takes, com­plete with fluffed lines, mis­placed props and col­laps­ing scenery. Steve Buscemi is de­light­fully loath­some as the vil­lain of the piece, and Jen­nifer Tilly pro­vides am­ple light re­lief as Mike's medusa­like love in­ter­est.

The level of de­tail on the main characters, such as the real­is­tic move­ment of Sul­ley's fur, still daz­zles 11 years af­ter the film's orig­i­nal re­lease. There are sly in-jokes aplenty for ea­gle-eyed fans - one of the restau­rants is called Har­ry­hausen's, named af­ter the pi­o­neer­ing stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tor.

Ralph Eg­gle­ston's Os­car-win­ning short For The Birds, which pre­cedes the main fea­ture, has also been lov­ing con­verted into 3D. His sim­ple idea - birds of a feather bully to­gether - is bril­liantly ex­e­cuted.

Mon­sters, Inc. has lost none of its power to charm in the eye-pop­ping 3D for­mat.

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