The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 2001
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Voice talents of: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly, Mary Gibbs, John Ratzenberger, Bonnie Hunt, Bob Peterson
Directed by: Pete Docter
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, Ralph Eggleston
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 10, 2009
"We scare because we care"
Monster's Inc. features vocal performances by John
Goodman, as the lumbering and lovable Sulley, and Billy Crystal, as the wisecracking Mike Wazowski, two monsters employed by Monsters, Inc., the biggest scream processing plant in Monstropolis. When a little girl named Boo wanders into their world, it's the monsters who are scared silly. Thinking she is dangerous and toxic, Sulley and Mike do their best to return Boo to her bedroom, but there are some monstrous hurdles in their way.
I would hope that by now most reading have seen or are at least familiar with Monsters, Inc. from Disney/Pixar. By 2001 Disney/Pixar collaborations had already won us over with Toy story, and A bug's life so we looked forward to this one. We saw it with our children and of course loved it. I won't go into a long breakdown of the story as there plenty of places to read about that. I have been asked which of the Disney/Pixar films I like the best. That is a tough question because they are all really great and my opinion seems to change. I think that the best way to answer that question would be to say that my personal favorite happens to be whichever one I feel like popping into my player. With Disney releasing them on Blu-ray I have been able to experience them in a new way and it seems like whenever I finish watching one I say to myself this is my favorite'. That is exactly how I felt after watching Monsters, Inc. for this review. I haven't seen it in a number of years although we have owned it on DVD since its release. The story isn't complex as it draws definable boundaries between good and bad while adding a blue collar/corporate plotline that keep it from seeming too elementary. It is filled with well constructed characters, clever exposition, and intelligent direction that make it fun and memorable. The cast is wonderful as each has their moment to shine and does so with enthusiasm. John Goodman as Sulley and Steve Buscemi as Randall represent two of the best character matches I have seen in an animated film. That is to take nothing away from Billy Crystal, James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly or any of the other actors that lent their voices to these great characters. Going back to the topic of favorites there is one area where I can unequivocally state that I do have one. If I was asked which of the Disney/Pixar characters out of them all elicited the highest awwww factor it would have to be Boo from Monsters, Inc. She is absolutely the cutest with her range of expression, sounds and huge brown eyes being totally irresistible. No wonder poor Sulley fainted when he thought she went through the trash compactor. Monsters, Inc. is a funny, charming and endearing family film that gives us some of Disney/Pixar's most beloved and memorable characters. Like most of you I was excited when Disney announced that it was finally coming to Blu-ray Disc. I am happy to report that the wait was worth it as this is a complete package that is demonstrably worth of this film.
This film is appropriate for all ages.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Monsters, Inc. comes to Blu-ray disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.
This is a reference quality high definition presentation that delivers superlative imagery. When it was first released the DVD it was the go to for reference/demonstration purposes as it exhibited incredible depth, lush color and clear delineation. This presentation literally takes it to another level entirely. The quality of the images onscreen can be visually arresting. Detail and definition is impeccably rendered as images have a resplendent and sparkling clarity that is appreciably three dimensional. The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters features and objects within each frame is fascinating. Looking at Sulley's face I was able to discern the smaller hairs that begin around his mouth and gradually become longer as the spread out toward his chin and jaws. I couldn't get over the depth of the beautifully rendered colors. Colors are deeply saturated with clean, lustrous vibrancy and succulent texture that is truly beautiful to behold. Primaries are particularly vivid and exhibit visible gradational stages that bring out subtle degrees of separation. Each of the characters has distinctive physical qualities that are attributable to them not only in size and shape but color as well. Blacks are punchy with appreciable dynamic range and deep gradational highlights. The good example of this can be seen in chapter 22 as Sully and Boo go looking for Mike and enter the tunnel/pipe access way. The dark and shadowy confines of the darkened labyrinth against Sulley's light colored fur and Boo's lavender costume have incredible depth as the entire sequence looks remarkably dimensional. Contrast is striking without over stimulating colors or washing out white detail. I made two minor deductions as I felt that some of the wide angle shots tended to lack definitive definition although this is probably a limitation in the original source. I also felt that black levels, while excellent overall, fell just shy of the best that I have seen. These are rather minor nits to pick in an otherwise terrific video presentation that in my opinion has never seen this film looking this good, theatrically presented or otherwise.
This lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack earns of perfect technical rating and improves upon the lossy Dolby Digital version in every way. This is not an aggressive or action style sound mix but its ability to deliver a visceral home theater experience is not to be underestimated. This animated film uses an intricate sound design that has to maintain a delicate balance so the plethora of sound effects, music and dialogue within the soundtrack can be clearly and easily interpreted by the audience. Dialogue is distinctly perceptible and well articulated so that even subtle changes in the inflection of the voices among the cast was detectable. Sound effects are accurately placed within the sound field and establish a tight correlation between the onscreen information and what is being heard within the listening environment. This creates an immersive, active and engaging soundscape that is abundantly rich in detail. Its wide dynamic range can go from subtle, intricate control to pant flapping shake your seat dynamism. The wonderful music score occasionally takes center stage as it is broadcast over the entire system with high level detail and smooth, strident free treble. Low frequency effects accentuate the music, sound effects and dynamic impact of the audio with aplomb. The effect produces bass response that is demonstrative as it occasionally reaches transient levels that dip into the sub 30HZ bass regions. A great example can be felt during the sequences where Mike makes Boo laugh. An electrical arc resonates throughout the soundstage and is accompanied by an extended low frequency surge that energizes the room. A briefer example occurs early on when Mike and Sully are walking to work and they run into the giant (?). When the giant steps off of the curb and walks off his footfalls can be felt within the furniture. The scene that puts everything together quite nicely and makes for great demo material is the door conveyor chase sequence in the third act. This segment sounds incredibly nuanced, with impeccable near filed correlation and an almost infinite feeling of dimension. It features superlative surround sound and powerful bass response that surely impresses. If you enjoyed this soundtrack on DVD you had better strap yourself in for this DTS-HD Master Audio lossless ride because it simple rocks.
- Feature film
- (HD) Filmmaker's roundtable - 21 minute discussion
- (HD) Monsters, Inc. Ride and go seek: Building Monstropolis (theme ride) in Tokyo Japan
- (HD) For the birds - animated short - with optional director commentary
- (HD) Mike's new car - animated short with optional audio commentary
- Audio commentary with Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter
- BD-Live enabled
- Six Disney previews
- Roz's 100 door challenge: Interactive exam feature
- Documentaries: Human only
- Pixar fun factor tour
- Story - 4 segments
- 5 Banished concepts with introduction by Lee Unkrich
- Story to film comparison - 3 segments
- Art gallery
- Designing Monstropolis
- Set dressing/Set dressing introduction
- Locations fly around
- Monster file - 2 segments
- Animation/animation process - Production demo (4 segments) with introduction
- Music, sound, sound design - Monster song featuring John Goodman & Billy Crystal
- Release - TV spots, Trailers, Outtakes
- Wrap up
- Monsters only
- New monster adventures - Monster TV treats, Ponkickies 21, If I didn't have you music video
- Behind the screams - On the job with Mike and Sulley
- Orientation - Welcome to Monsters, Inc., Your first day, History of the monster world
- Bonus DVD of Monsters, Inc. including DVD bonus features
- Disney File Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of Monsters, Inc. that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable media playback device
Monsters, Inc. is one of the most anticipated Blu-ray Disc releases to date and I am thrilled that it has finally arrived from Disney. It is a wonderful family film that has an endearing charm and entertaining story that people of all ages can appreciate. With this release Disney continues to set the bar with their technically proficient Blu-ray offerings that yield high quality audio/video presentations that fans and enthusiasts are sure to appreciate. Disney has included a boat load of bonus supplements that include new Blu-ray Disc exclusives, previously released content from 2001 Collector's Edition DVD, a digital copy and a standard definition DVD of Monsters, Inc. This is a must have and a worthy edition to every collection. Highly recommended.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
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Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Love this movie and will no doubt pick it up down the line.
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I grew up on Walt Disney movies and television shows. I can't see a Pixar movie without thinking "I wonder what Walt would think of the advances in animation." Unfortunately, we'll never know. But, I like to think that he would just be floored by these movies and very proud of what he started.
Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.
Great review but you are killing my retirement savings.
I just found Up and Monster Inc in BR for 32.98 at amazon. What a great deal. I just placed my order.
Nope. Bolt and Kung Fu Panda received 100's across the board.
Import away! It is region coded A,B,C..
Is the second disc a DVD or BD? It's all SD, and seems to be exactly the same as the original DVD bonus disc. I don't have it nearby, or I'd check.
The second disc with the bonus content is a Blu-ray disc.
The biggest suprise was that the movie was 1:85:1. I was happy to have my whole screen filled on my 50 inch Elite.
I hope more of the future releases of Pixar movies are the same.
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