- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit); (48kHz/24-bit); French Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: G
- Discs: 4
- Studio: Disney-Pixar
- Release Date: November 10, 2009
- List Price: $40.99 [amazon-product align=”center”]B00168OIOE[/amazon-product]
Overall The Film Video Quality Audio Quality Supplemental Materials
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
It was early autumn 2001 and the world was anxious in the wake of the 9/11 attacks — and so was Hollywood. Would people still want to go out to see movies, especially “frivolous” entertainment like animation? Would people be too afraid to leave their homes in any significant quantity to gather in movie theatres enough to sustain the business? In November, just several weeks after the attacks, Pixar released their third film, Monsters, Inc. and as art always has an uncanny ability to do, the film’s themes were eerily apposite to the circumstances surrounding the atmosphere of the day. The fear of terrorist attacks, the fear of biological attacks, the idea of having to confront fear, all of these things were dealt with in Monsters, Inc.
In the world of Monstropolis, where all manner of creepy, multi-eyed, multi-limbed and multicolored monsters a kid can conjure up in his or her nightmares, the central power company, Monsters, Inc., supplies all the energy to power the city by sending monsters into children’s rooms at night through a series of doors to harvest their screams. There is where our main characters work. There’s James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman), a big, blue, teddy bear-like monster and his assistant Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a short round, green ball of a man with two skinny arms, two skinny legs and one big eye. The two of them make up the companies leading team of energy harvesters and a competitive battle ensues between them and their main competition, Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi).
The real trouble begins when Sulley sees Randall sneaking out of one of the children’s rooms after hours and goes to investigate, which leads to one of the human children escaping into the world of the monsters. The little girl, nicknamed “Boo,” comes under the care of Sulley and Mike and they must keep her hidden from the CDA (Child Detection Agency), who descend on the city in biohazard suits (it is rumoured that just the touch of a child can kill a monster). The two also uncover a plot by Randall to develop a machine that will suck the screams out of children and power the city.
Monsters, Inc. was just the right film for the times into which it was released. It was wide-eyed, optimistic, and had a childlike wonder. Most of all, it taught children and adults alike to confront their fears. Most of all it taught us that our fears are not always founded in reality.
Monsters, Inc.’s digital source arrives on Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 high definition 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoding from Disney-Pixar that looks sublime. The colors are so vibrant, clean, and shiny you may have to stop yourself from licking your screen. Detail is extension is excellent. The tiniest details can be spotted from strands of fur to items on the walls in the background. No signs of compression artifacts are visible and neither can issues with post-processing be spotted.
Monsters, Inc. has been given a rather lively DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless mix. The surround channels are well used and populated with numerous discrete sound effects during the film’s many action sequences. Dynamics are wide, but not extreme, and low frequencies are nicely extended. Ambience is also at a good, audible level and it holds the entire mix together well. Dialogue is clean with no audible distortions and it never gets lost in the louder, more active portions of the film.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- Filmmakers’ Round Table (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:21.35)
- Monsters, Inc. Ride and Go Seek: Building Monstropolis in Japan (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 0:07.58)
- For the Birds (with optional commentary by director Ralph Eggleston) (1.78:1; 1080p/24) — A group of malicious birds get their pecking order hilariously reversed when they pick on the wrong victim, in this Pixar animated short.
- Mike’s New Car (with optional audio commentary by the filmmaker’s sons) (1.33:1;1080p/24) — Mike shows Sulley his fancy new six-wheel-drive car, which comes loaded with gadgets, in this animated shot featuring the two characters from Monsters, Inc.
- Audio Commentary — Commentary by Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton, and John Lasseter.
- On Blu-ray Disc
- Santa Buddies
- Disney Parks
- Toy Story 3
- Dumbo Special Edition
- Roz’s 100 Door Challenge — Answer a series of questions to determine which position at Monsters, Inc. would best suit you.
- Humans Only:
- Pixar Fun Factory Tour (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.46) — John Lasseter gives a tour of the Pixar Animation Studios.
- Story is the King (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.03) — How the story department works at Pixar
- Monsters Are Real (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:01.31) — How the cast and crew of the film regard the Monster World
- Original Treatment (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:13.43) — The original pitch for the film, with some surprising differences.
- Story Pitch: Back to Work (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.39) — Story supervisor Bob Peterson pitches a scene to the production team.
- Banished Concepts:
- Intro to Banished Concepts (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.32) — Co-Director Lee Unkrich discusses the fate of five scenes that were banished from the film’s final cut.
- Assistant Sulley
- End of the Day
- Bad Scare
- Scream Refinery
- Original Sulley Intro
- Storyboard to Film Comparison (1080p/24; 0:05.42):
- Final Color
- Split-screen Comparison
- Art Gallery (1080p/24):
- Color Script
- Concept Art
- Designing Monstropolis (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.51)
- Set Dressing (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.22)
- Location Flyarounds (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:07.25)
- Monster File:
- Cast of Characters (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:05.54)– Meet the cast of performers who bring the characters to life.
- What Makes a great Monster? (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:01.27) — The Evolution of the Monsters, Inc. character designs.
- Animation Process (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.14)
- Early Tests (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:08.05)
- Opening Title Animation (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.09)
- Hard Parts (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:05.01)
- Shots Department (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.15)
- Production Demonstration (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Music & Sound:
- Monster Song (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:03.17)
- Sound Design (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:04.16)
- The Premiere (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Trailers and TV Spots (1.33:1; 480i/60)
- Wrap-Up (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:00.46)
- Monsters Only:
- New Monster Adventures:
- Monster TV Treats (1.33:1; 480i; 0:01.13)
- Ponkickies 21
- “If I Didn’t Have You” Music Video (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 0:01.12)
- Behind the Screams:
- On the Job with Mike and Sulley (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.33)
- New Monster Adventures:
- Welcome to Monsters, Inc.
- Your First Day
- History of the Monster World
- Easter Eggs:
- Employee Handbook
- Guide to In Jokes
- Monster of the Month
- Scarer Cards
- DVD — Standard Definition DVD of Monsters, Inc.
- Digital Copy — Digital Copy for transfer to a Mac/PC or iTunes/Windows Media-compatible device.
The Definitive Word
Monsters, Inc. hails from a period when Pixar was still slightly less experimental in their storytelling and more obviously geared towards children. Nevertheless, the Pixar stories coupled with their groundbreaking CGI animation have always been what made them the leader in this category of filmmaking, and Monsters, Inc. was and is no exception. Its wide-eyed optimism and message of facing your fears makes for brilliant, timeless entertainment. It is presented here on Blu-ray in a marvelous rendering from Disney-Pixar that is sheer reference quality and a pure delight of sight and sound. Highly recommended.