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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

98






Studio and Year: Disney - 2001
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Family/Animation

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


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"



Film Synopsis:


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.




My Take:


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.




Parental Guide:


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)


Audio: 100


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 96


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

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.



Bonus Features:


Disc 1:

  1. Feature film
  2. (HD) Filmmaker's roundtable - 21 minute discussion
  3. (HD) Monsters, Inc. Ride and go seek: Building Monstropolis (theme ride) in Tokyo Japan
  4. (HD) For the birds - animated short - with optional director commentary
  5. (HD) Mike's new car - animated short with optional audio commentary
  6. Audio commentary with Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, John Lasseter
  7. BD-Live enabled
  8. Six Disney previews


Disc 2:

  1. Roz's 100 door challenge: Interactive exam feature
  2. Documentaries: Human only

    1. Pixar fun factor tour
    2. Story - 4 segments
    3. 5 Banished concepts with introduction by Lee Unkrich
    4. Story to film comparison - 3 segments
    5. Art gallery
    6. Designing Monstropolis
    7. Set dressing/Set dressing introduction
    8. Locations fly around
    9. Monster file - 2 segments
    10. Animation/animation process - Production demo (4 segments) with introduction
    11. Music, sound, sound design - Monster song featuring John Goodman & Billy Crystal
    12. Release - TV spots, Trailers, Outtakes
    13. Wrap up
  3. Monsters only

    1. New monster adventures - Monster TV treats, Ponkickies 21, If I didn't have you music video
    2. Behind the screams - On the job with Mike and Sulley
    3. Orientation - Welcome to Monsters, Inc., Your first day, History of the monster world


    Disc 3:
  4. Bonus DVD of Monsters, Inc. including DVD bonus features

    Disc 4:

  5. 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




Final Thoughts:


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.














Ralph Potts
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)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Great review. I totally agree. The only problem I have with this release is we do not watch it enough. Usually my four year old will play a new release over and over. (have seen Monsters Vs Aliens 10 times in the last month and Ice Age 3 four times since last week) but she is a little burnt out on Monsters Inc since we had the DVD and watched it so much.
 

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I am so excited for this to be released on Blu-ray, one of my absolute favorite movies. Thanks for the great review...definitely glad you gave it such a high rating. I printed off an $8 off coupon from the Disney Rewards website...what a deal!!
 

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I hate how Ralph gets the discs reviewed 1 week early. How are we supposed to wait?
 

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I think the dvd version of this movie has the best picture quality of any dvd I've seen.

I can't wait to get it on blu
 

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Great review and it sounds like (yet again) another awesome reference disc of a pixar film. Shocking.



Love this movie and will no doubt pick it up down the line.
 

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No surprise with this review! I got the UK import a while back and I've watched this several times already. The PQ is just jaw-dropping and the art-direction and soundtrack never cease to amaze me. The rest of you are definitely in for a treat next week! I think both this and Up! are going to move to the top of the list of the best-looking animated titles available on BD.
 

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I love animated movies but this one just didn't do it for me. I think it's because i'm not a big Billy Crystal fan.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksapphire08 /forum/post/17475482


Another great review. Tuesday is going to be a busy day for me since i'll be getting this up along with Up and Heat on BD.

Me as well, plus my guilty pleasure Red Heat.
 

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Excellent review. I have been looking forward to the Blu-ray version of this movie for a long time. As you say, it is difficult to pick a favorite Pixar movie. But, if I had to do so, this would be mine because it was the first one that totally captured me. Everything came together in this one - story, cast, voice work, beautiful video, fabulous audio. A tour de force of animated cinematography.


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.
 

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Awesome, I'm really looking forward to this one. Actually it's probably the most excited I've been for a Blu-Ray, because I love the movie and I just know the PQ/AQ will be amazing. Tuesday will be fun
 

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Thanks for the review, Ralph. This is a special movie to my family for a number of reasons, and we're very excited about picking up on BD.
 

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Ralph,


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.
 

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Wow. 100 and 96. Is this the highest rated one by you?


That seals the deal for me ordering from Amazon. I'm loving this price blitz Amazon and Disney are running.
 

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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.
 

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Hi


I noticed that region stated was A,B & C. I was like to reconfirm then that the disc is region free. If it is I would like to import it from amazon.


Thank you
 
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