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Entertainment

Monsters, Inc.

IT NEVER ceases to amaze one — the superb quality of animation that comes from Disney and now Pixar Animation Studios from which came Toy Story, I and II and ``A Bug's Life!" The characters, the sound effects, the punch lines, and the voice-overs are so incredibly cute, that you cannot help but admire such fine work. This one is a particularly delightful story of monsters and their lives, which is turned upside down by a child called Boo, who inadvertently stumbles into them.

In the monster world — Monstropolis to be precise — there is a severe energy crisis. The only way they can tide over this crisis is to capture the screams of little young humans by scaring them in their rooms by jumping out of the closets. Their screams can power the whole city. And in this world of monsters of every shape and size are Sulley and Mike, a huge, blue-green, furry monster and a one-eyed green blob, which are the best workers in Monsters, Inc, one of the biggest scream factories in Monstropolis.

On the Scream Floor, magical doors lead to children's darkened bedrooms, the better to elicit cries of fright.

Sullivan, Sulley to his friends, is the number one scarer and is the delight of the CEO (Henry Waternoose). His buddy, Mike measures the screams and stores them in canisters.

Sulley is envied by Randall Boggs, a sarcastic chameleon. Sulley by the way is actually a sweet natured scarer, petrified of kids because in their world, they are toxic and any touch or object requires immediate detoxification!

Into this world jumps a little girl Boo, and Sulley is amazed by her antics. He finds her totally engaging and is now worried about protecting her from being discovered, especially by the Child Detection Agency and from the boss and wily Randall.

Mike is appalled that his monster friend is so taken up with a human child that he is prepared to risk losing his friends, job and every thing that he held dear till then. But he eventually joins Sulley in the journey back to Boo's world. The journey is adventurous including an encounter with the abominable snowman.

As an animated venture about monsters and other bugs, you'd think it would be scary and squeamish. Not so, because they are conceived more like fuzzy cuddly things children would want to clutch and drag all around.

The characters are very life like, whether in their expressions or in their physical attributes. As for the expressions right from the evil Randall to the wily serpent haired receptionist Celia, they couldn't have been more real! Nominated at the Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film, Music, Sound Editing and Song, the film has been directed by Peter Doctor and David Silverman, who conceived of this venture five years back.

Many stars lend their voices to the main characters — Billy Crystal for Mike, a truly wise cracking character; John Goodman for Sulley, James Coburn for Henry Waternoose, Mary Gibbs for Boo, Jennifer Tilly for Celia, Steve Buscemi for Randall Boggs, and John Ratzenberger for the Abominable Snowman. The film, distributed by Columbia Pictures, is enjoyable for both adults and children.

CHITRA MAHESH

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