Welcome to Monstropolis, a world where the monsters are just regular folks like you and me. When they hide in your bed/closet/hamper and scare you, it isn't because it gives them any sort of thrill but simply because it's their job. Their world, linked to ours through closet doors, derives all its electrical power from our fear.Now meet our heroes, James P "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal). Sulley, the big blue one, is one of the best "scarers" in the city. Mike is his partner, best friend, and roommate, who spends his after hours courting the receptionist Celia.Life is great — until one of the extremely poisonous fuel sources enters their world and threatens everything. Yes, a human child! Doom-doom-doom! (Actually, she's rather adorable.) Sulley and Mike's friendship becomes increasingly strained as they try to get the little terror back to her world without getting contaminated or arrested. Along the way, they stumble upon a conspiracy that threatens to undermine their life's work — and possibly their lives.A prequel was released twelve years later in 2013. Titled Monsters University, the new film stars Mike and Sulley in their college days. Dan Scanlon is directing. Having never met before, Mike and Sulley end up becoming rivals in the scaring program at the University. However, their bickering leads them to be kicked out of the program. In order to get back in, they must join a fraternity and enter the Scare Games. Ending up in the lamest fraternity on campus OK (Oozma Kappa), Mike and Sulley must rally a group of underdogs to succeed in the games.For information on the follow-up DVD short, Mike's New Car, see the Pixar Shorts page.
This film provides examples of:
Adult Fear: Mostly in retrospect, but notice that the Big Bad's plan is essentially to kidnap children and use them for slave labour...
Also when Sulley thinks Boo is being crushed by the trash compactor.
All for Nothing: The point of the CDA's decontaminations, when it's discovered that humans and their possessions are not toxic after all. They blew up a building just because a human kid was in it, for crying out loud!
All In The Manual: Boo's full name. It's Mary Gibbs. Her first name is revealed in the film, since she signs all her sketches, but it's hard to spot.
All Myths Are True: Legendary creatures such as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot are actually ex-citizens of Monstropolis who have been banished to the human world.
Needleman: Quiet! You're making him lose his focus.
Smitty: Oh, no. Sorry!
Needleman: "Shut up!"
Big WHAT?: Mike to Sulley in the door vault after doing a flip and landing on his crotch on a girder, and Sulley noticing too late that Boo's costume covered her face so she didn't see the flip, so he hurt himself for nothing.
Mike and Sulley are arguing about Boo on Scare Floor F, when Mike realizes mid-sentence that everyone is watching. He tries to spin his line "Put that thing back where it came from or so help me...!" as practice for the company play. During the credits, the cast performs "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me: The Musical."
Sulley puts the stuff from Boo's room in a locker. Guess who opens that same locker a few scenes later?
Broken Pedestal: Waternoose becomes this to Sulley when the latter finds out the former's plans of kidnapping children to solve the energy crisis.
Cheated Angle: The closet doors. When they're closed, they're almost always seen directly from the front. But when they're open, they're almost always seen from an angle. And they are only rarely seen from behind, mostly after Mike and Sulley are sent away to the Himalayas, but there are a couple of other exceptionally brief glances.
The Chew Toy: George Sanderson, as a Running Gag, keeps getting articles of clothing caught on his fur, resulting in numerous humiliating 2319 calls. Sometimes Mike, although it's usually his own fault.
Comically Missing the Point: At one point, Sulley protests about Boo being in the restroom, not because she's human, but because she's a girl in the men's bathroom.
Mike: That is the weirdest thing you have ever said.
Comic Book Adaptation: Boom! Studios did a sequel of sorts, featuring Randall's return, Waternoose's escape from prison, Sid using the closet doors to his advantage, and the subsequent team-up of the three.
Cone of Shame: Monsters who undergo decontamination by the CDA due to a 2319 call end up wearing one.
"Just think about a few names, will ya? Loch Ness, Bigfoot, The Abominable Snowman. They all got one thing in common: banishment! We could be next!" Guess who Mike and Sulley meet after they get banished?
The scene where Boo's screaming causes the light to flicker while her laughter causes a power overload failure in Mike & Sulley's apartment.
An extremely subtle one, but when Mike is running away from Randall only for Randall to be shown lying in wait for Mike, Randall is camouflaged right near one of Waternoose's portraits. Randall and Waternoose were later revealed to be working together.
"One of these days...I'm going to let you teach that guy a lesson."
Boo reveals through her drawings that Randall is the monster assigned to her, and is thus the best designated to scare her out of the entire company. This becomes relevant much later when Randall becomes her, Sully, and Mike's biggest threat and Boo is initially too scared to help.
During the first 2319 and the first time the CDA show up, Roz slams the front panel of her desk shut. She later slams it shut on Mike's fingers. At the end of the film it is revealed she was the head of the CDA.
For Want of a Nail: If Mike hadn't forgotten to file his paperwork, Sulley wouldn't have found Boo and Randall and Waternoose would never have been discovered.
Fun with Flushing: Sulley gets some of Boo's toys tangled up on him when he re-enters the monster world. He tries to get rid of them by flushing them down the toilet, but it gets clogged up and overflows. He then has to dump them in someone's locker, where they reappear later as a Brick Joke.
Gambit Roulette: Mike and Sulley's plan to get Waternoose to confess depended greatly on random chance, for instance the fact that the agents wouldn't follow Sulley after he pushed over the cans. But this is justified since they had only under a minute to think up of the plan.
Genre-Busting: It's a monster movie/kid flick/invasion movie/sci-fi/family drama/comedy.
Have You Told Anyone Else?: Unlike most examples, it seems genuinely innocuous (since the one asking it is concerned about the company's welfare and, by extension, its public relations) until The Reveal.
Heel Realization: After inadvertently scaring Boo, Sulley realizes how wrong scaring children is.
Yeti: Oh, would you look at that? We're out of snow cones.
Ink-Suit Actor: Despite the fact that the cast is full of adorably inhuman monsters they still manage to resemble their voice actors, especially Mike who could not be more Billy Crystal. And Randall isSteve Buscemi. According to the DVD Commentary, Buscemi accused the casting director of type casting him when he first saw a picture of Randall.
Karma Houdini: Despite being directly involved in all the nefarious goings-on, including attempted child-torture, Fungus keeps on working at Monsters, Inc. as if nothing happened. Granted, it's strongly implied he didn't like it at all and only did these things out of fear - he's shown to be happier with his new lot in life afterwards.
Knight Templar: Waternoose wants to save his family business and Monstropolis from collapse due to a power shortage. His "solution" drives him well over the Moral Event Horizon into would-be child slaughterer.
Lovecraft Lite: The proliferation of scales and tentacles and the inter-dimensional aspects. In addition, the trope is played with, in that the monsters regard the human world as a dangerous place and treat Boo like a pint-sized Eldritch Abomination.
Multiple Head Case: Very briefly seen, after Mike and Sulley expose Waternoose's plan to the CDA. A two-headed monster can be seen, the two heads exchanging glances with each other.
Also, Roz is seen reading a newspaper headlined "Baby born with 5 heads, parents thrilled."
My God, What Have I Done?: Sulley is deeply shaken when he sees the effect that his scaring demonstration has on Boo, and by extension the effect his scaring has on human children in general.
Sulley: Did you see the way she looked at me?
Nested Mouths: In Harryhausen's, one of the monsters has a second monster for a tongue, which eats the food.
Never Say "Die": Averted before the first scene ever ends, and directly said many, many times as an example of how dangerous children are to the monster world. But one of these qualifies as a moment of funny:
Sulley: This might sound crazy, but I don't think the kid's dangerous. Mike: (dripping with sickly-sweet sarcasm) Really?! Well, in that case, let's keep it. I always wanted a pet... that could kill me!
Just barely subverted in the ending: Although Sulley and Mike ultimately manage to get Boo back into her bedroom, and expose his boss, their actions also caused the company to nearly be shut down, and almost cause Monstropolis to be in a permanent blackout as a consequence. The only reason it didn't turn out that way was because it was discovered that the children's laughter had 10x the power input of scream. In addition, the Scarers seem well-adjusted to the Laughter switch
Non-Mammalian Hair: Roz (AKA CDA Agent #1)is a large slug-like monster with a tuft of white hair on her head.
Also, some of the monsters, whether resembling toads, slugs or octopi, will inevitably have some form of hair on their heads.
Packed Hero: Parodied. Boo loses one of the "eyestalks" of her monster costume in a trash can. Sulley sees it and thinks she's in a pile of garbage, then watches the garbage get swept into a cart, dropped down a chute, and put through an exceedingly brutal compactor. The audience sees her walk away from the garbage can; Sulley faints at every step of the compactor.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Boo's monster outfit, to an extent, considering her head is looking out through the mouth.
Peek-a-Bogeyman: Sulley, upon noticing Boo make a drawing of Randall, assures her that Randall isn't coming through the closet by opening the closet door to reveal nothing in there. In the outtakes, Roz is shown to be there, and she says "Guess who?"
Played with in the "out-takes" where Sulley (in front) trips, and the monsters behind him trip, and the monsters behind them... If you look closely, you can actually see a tentacle from the monster behind him getting caught up around his feet which is why he trips.
Proscenium Reveal: The movie opens with a monster walking into a child's bedroom. He is freaked out when the child starts screaming and starts knocking things over— and then suddenly the lights turn on, an alarm goes off, and the voice "Simulation Terminated!" is heard repeatedly. One wall of the room lifts up, revealing that the child is actually a robot, and we are actually in Monsters, Inc.'s state-of-the-art children's room training simulator, being observed by an instructor and several other students, who start critiquing him about his mistakes.
Also, CDA Number One. When the matter of what to do about Boo arises, Sulley says "I just want to send her home." CDA Number One replies, "Very good."
Repeat Cut: When the door on which Mike, Sulley and Boo are riding hurtles down a steep slope. In the first shot, you see them travelling down most of slope from behind, then you see a shot of them from the front, followed by a POV shot. But judging by the first shot, it takes them a rather long time to go down the last part of the slope, meaning that the camera must have jumped back a second in time.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Randall. While there are many other reptilian/dinosaurian monsters that aren't villainous in the slightest, he's the most obviously reptilian-looking and "serpentine" of them all.
Searching the Stalls: Boo and Sulley hide from Randall in a toilet stall. He punches the stalls open one by one, and Sulley flinches as every door opens. Randall actually slams open the stall Sulley is hiding in, but isn't looking at the time. Momentum closes the door before Randall sees them.
At the end, George is seen going into a door with a mallet and a watermelon, like Gallagher's comedy bits.
When asked if there are any kids in the village, the Snowman replies "Oh, sure. Tough kids, sissy kids, kids who climb on rocks..." These are the words to the Armour Hot Dogs jingle.
Doesn't Randall remind you of anotherRandall from Disney? And it's not just because they have the same name; they have a similar posture and personality.
It's not just Randall, but Roz looks and acts like Miss Finster.
The opening credits look a lot like the hand-drawn Disney movies from the 50s and 60s.
Blink and you'll miss it - when Monsters Inc. starts using laughter as a power source, take a look at the giant display in the doors' room. Did you see the two silhouettes on it? You know, the taller one hitting the other with a hammer?
Near the end of the movie, Boo shows Sully her Jessie the Yodelin' Cowgirl doll (Jessie first appeared as a character in Toy Story 2).
The Smurfette Principle: The only major female characters in the movie are a little girl with limited dialogue, the forgettable love interest Celia, and Roz the undercover CDA agent, who has little screen time. The male-to-female ratio is 4:2.
The Starscream: After Waternoose tells Randall to leave no witnesses, Randall replies in a manner that lets the audience know that he's planning to backstab his own boss when this is all over.
Stealth Pun: When Celia's Medusa-like hair keeps kissing Mike, she says, "Michael, you're such a charmer." A snake charmer.
Near the beginning, we see a gigantic scaly monster crossing the road. He makes the sounds of a chicken.
The company's name is Monsters, Inc., but is sometimes referred to by its initials, "M.I." Their logo is an M with an eye on it.
Stylistic Suck: Yes, Mike actually did make "Put that Thing Back Where it Came From or So Help Me" into a musical, complete with mediocre acting/choreography, clumsily-set up backgrounds, and the CDA as ushers. The audience loved it; the critics (of the Monster World) did not.
Surprisingly Happy Ending: The movie seems like it's about to have a Bittersweet Ending in the form of Sulley having to part ways with Boo, but it turns out that Mike Wazowski recreated the door that leads to her room, so Sulley can at least still visit her.
Take a Third Option: Sulley, upon gaining control of the company, had only two options of what do to with it. He could have made the workers continue scaring kids for energy, or left the company to fall, causing Monstropolis to lose all electricity. He takes a third option that he discovered upon first finding Boo (reminded by the last word of Mike's pep-talk): He opts to make children laugh instead, which produces more electricity than screams of terror did.
That Came Out Wrong: At Harryhausen's, Mike's telling Celia what he told someone else when asked who he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. He's about to say "you", when Sullivan stumbles by outside and Mike accidentally finishes the statement with a surprised "Sulley!?".
Unstoppable Rage: Sulley, Mike and Boo. Sulley when he releases Boo from the scream extractor, Mike when he and Sulley are banished, and finally Boo in the door vault when she attacks Randall and in doing so saves Sulley.
Mike: "YOU'RE STILL NOT LISTENING?!" (screams with rage and dives at Sulley)
Villainous Breakdown: At the film's (second) climax, Waternoose himself throws a fit of temper tantrum, straight out yelling to Sulley that he'll kidnap a thousand children before letting his company die.
He was about to throw another one immediately, but he can't do much while the CDA escort him out for his crimes. But the second tantrum does take its toll on Sulley's emotions when Waternoose blames him entirely for the company's demise and ruining any chances Monstropolis has of recovering from the blackout.
Before that, Randall flies into a borderline psychosis and tries to murder Sulley because Waternoose all but tells him that he'll never live up to Sulley, no matter what he does or how hard he tries.