Growing up during my youth, I was your ordinary child who went through his ordinary phase of believing that there were actually monsters that lived in his closet and under his bed, and yes, I would ask my dad every night if he could check to make sure if the coast was clear. As the years passed by, I grew out of my fears as every child does in their life, but when the movie Monsters Inc. came out I was as Fitzgerald would put it, “…borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Pixar was able to reflect the epitome of a child’s imagination, and make a movie that captures everyone’s adventures with the creatures that lived in the closet. Monster Inc. revolved around monsters that worked for an energy plant named Monsters Inc. Their job was to scare children in the human world, they travel via closet doors, in order to capture the energy generated from their screams. The energy provided from a child’s scream is so insurmountable that it’s used to power the infrastructure of the monster world. After seeing the movie, Monsters Inc. taught me that the best way to get over your fears is to stand up to them, and that the scariest things are not necessarily monsters.
There will come a time in life when we have to find the courage in ourselves to move forward in life. In Monsters Inc., we are introduced to Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan aka “Sully”, they are two friends that work together at Monsters Inc. that have to hide and return a little girl named Boo, who snuck through her closet with Sully and into the monster world. At a point in the movie, Boo draws a picture of the monster that has repeatedly come to her room and that has become the monster that she’s most afraid of, a purple lizard named Randall.
Whenever Randall was anywhere near Boo, she would act as if she were in a nightmare and start crying and wailing. Boo reflects the pathos we are all too familiar with because we all know what’s like to be scared and we can’t help but to emphasize with her. Throughout the movie, Boo grows more attached to Sully as he gradually helps her erase her fears. Sully delivers the ethos that we build from those that offer comfort and encouragement. It’s not easy to be brave, and it often takes others to help us find the courage that lives inside us that we may not know about. Eventually, the climax amounts with a fight between Sully and Randall, but this is a coming of age for Boo, she doesn’t just conquer her fears she takes it head on by beating Randall with a baseball bat! Logically, as it applies for everyone as well, Boo has to finally take stand against fear itself. Disney perfectly implements this message when Boo is able to save the day and Sully’s life because she dug deep enough to find the bravery she had all along.
While Monsters Inc. did encourage finding the courage to conquer your fears, I was taught that the scariest people in life are rivals, supervisors, and girlfriends. In Monsters Inc., the people that exemplify this message include Randall, Roz, and Celia. To start off we’ll examine their appearances, according to Louis Gianneti’s Understanding Movies, “Villains and other repellent characters…are made to look unattractive” (406). In Monsters Inc., every friendly monster you see, you just can’t picture being scary. For instance, Sully is blue, furry, warm-hearted, and is basically someone you just want to hug. Randall, Mike and Sully’s rival, on the other hand is a slender, bony, lizard that looks like he’s up to no good all the time. Logically, people that don’t look friendly or give off bad vibes put off most people and their presence alone can be uncomfortable or awkward.
In Monsters Inc., Rozz is a paragon of the typical supervisor of the business world. In the movie, Rozz is depicted as a yellow slug with the same qualities of slug as well: slow mobility, fairly large, and little enthusiasm and emotion like Kristen Stewart. The employees of Monsters Inc. aren’t able to build relationships with her because of the ethos that Rozz gives off. According to Andrea Lunsford’s Everything’s an Argument, “…a sense of humor can play an important role in getting an audience to listen or “like” you” (46). Rozz doesn’t exactly give off a friendly and welcoming presence to her colleagues because of her lack of like-ability Throughout the movie, Mike is constantly making fun of Rozz behind her back and when she just so happens to be present, Mike is immediately frightened for his life. Monsters Inc. shows that the people that scare us because of their appearance and lack of friendliness prevent us from establishing good relationships.
Celia is the girlfriend of Mike Wazowski, and after seeing Monsters Inc. as a kid, Celia taught me that a girlfriend can be scary as well. On screen, Celia is at first portrayed as a sweet and loving person but later on she shows that she can be scary when she’s not happy. Take a second to think about it; despite the color scheme of purple skin and a green dress, Celia is modeled after the Greek creature Medusa with her snake hair (literally she has 5 snakes on her head) and temper. This only makes Celia scarier when she’s angry as her snake hair also shows the same display of emotion that Celia shows. At one point in the movie when Mike and Sully are trying to get Boo home, Celia chases after Mike in an angry pursuit just because she thinks he ignoring her and Mike being scared for his life again. The pathos that Celia sends can be interpreted by all men that the one thing you definitely do not want is an unhappy girlfriend, because that can be scariest thing of all.
Despite the negative message that the scariest people in life are ones we struggle to get along with and don’t have appearances that appeal to everyone, bravery and courage overshadow and highlight the film, Monsters Inc. Finding courage can be the hardest thing a person can do, especially when it’s asked in the toughest of situations. Monsters Inc. proves that everyone has courage within themselves, it just takes some searching to find it.