Monsters Inc.

Bomb Rating: 

The latest computer-animated product to be disgorged from the Pixar factory, "Monsters, Inc." is a complete rip-off of a 1952 Chuck Jones cartoon called "Feed the Kitty," in which a mean guard dog is won over by a kitten who wanders into his yard.

Some of the scenes are stolen right out of the original cartoon. In the Chuck Jones cartoon, the mean guard dog thinks that his owner has cooked his kitten in the oven and when he's given a kitten-shaped cookie, he's overcome with grief. Similarly, monster James P. Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) befriends a cute little girl who wanders into the monster's world when she walks through her closet. (Curiously, the little girl refers to Sullivan as "kitty.") The little girl wanders into a dangerous machine, and Sullivan, watching from an adjoining room, is overcome with grief.

Sullivan's best friend is Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal), a short, green monster with one eye who assists "Sully" in his job of scaring children. The monsters exist on the other side of our closet doors and are completely afraid of the children. Sully's main antagonist is a lizard-like creature, Randall (voice of Steve Buscemi), who's trying to overtake Sully for the role of "scream lead" (i.e. the monster who can get the most screams out of the kids).

I'm sure lots of people will just love this film because Pixar has managed to isolate "cute" in the lab and probe it mercilessly to learn its secrets. The process apparently now entails plugging someone else's idea into the computer, hitting the big red "animate" button and waiting for the merchandising revenue to roll in. How many films has Pixar made anyway? Three? Four? And already they've run out of original ideas.

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