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Monsters, Inc. is the fourth animated feature produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released to theaters by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution in the United States on November 2, 2001, and at the El Capitan Theatre on October 28, 2001.

The original story was written by Robert L. Baird, Jill Culton, Pete Docter, Ralph Eggleston, Dan Gerson, Jeff Pidgeon, Rhett Reese, Jonathan Roberts and Andrew Stanton. It was directed by Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and David Silverman.

Monsters, Inc. premiered in the United States on October 28, 2001, and went into general release on November 2, 2001 with the best opening ticket sales ever for an animated film and the sixth best of all time.

A prequel called Monsters University was released on June 21, 2013.


The city of Monstropolis is a monster world powered by energy from the screams of human children. At the Monsters, Inc. factory, skilled monsters employed as "scarers" venture into the human world to scare children and harvest their screams, through doors that activate portals to the children's bedroom closets. It is considered dangerous work, as humans are rumored to be "toxic." Energy productions are plunging because children are becoming less scared. Henry J. Waternoose the CEO of Monsters, Inc. is determined to find a solution. The company's top scarer is James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, with his best friend and coach Mike Wazowski. The pair basically competed by Randall Boggs, the company's second-best scarer, to break the all-time scare recorder.

One day, when Sulley goes to file in Mike's reports to Roz the company's dispatcher that he forgot, Sulley discovers Randall has left a door activated on the scare floor, and a small girl has entered the factory. After several desperate failed attempts to put her back, Sulley conceals her and takes her out of the factory. He interrupts Mike's date with his girlfriend Celia at a sushi restaurant, and chaos erupts when the child is exposed. Sulley and Mike manage to escape with the child before the Child Detection Agency (CDA) quarantines the restaurant. The two took the child back to their apartment, and soon realizes she is not toxic at all. Sulley grows attached to her and calls her "Boo," while Mike is just anxious to be rid of her.

When they smuggle Boo back into the factory disguised as a baby monster in an attempt to send her home, although the CDA is also there after recovering an employee's bag (that Sulley left behind at the restaurant) as possible evidence. Randall discovers Boo and tries to snatch her, but mistakenly kidnaps Mike instead. In a secret room, he straps Mike to a large machine called "The Scream Extractor," which he intends to use to revolutionize the scaring industry and solve the monster world's energy crisis to forcibly extract screams from human children, though not without harming them in the process. Before Randall can use the machine on Mike, Sulley intervenes and reports Randall to Mr. Waternoose. After Sulley inadvertently scared Boo, Waternoose, secretly in league with Randall, instead banish Mike and Sulley to the Himalayas. The two are taken in by a Yeti, who tells them about a nearby local village which Sulley realizes he can use to return to the factory. Sulley prepares to leave, but Mike angrily refuses to go with him. Sulley races down the mountain dodging some boulders, until he crashes into a boulder and soon sees a nearby village at the bottom of the mountain where kids are being scared by Monsters Inc. scarers. Meanwhile, Boo is strapped to the Scream Extractor. Sulley arrives and saves her. Randall and Sulley fight, and after Mike returns and the two reconcile, they overpower Randall, take Boo and flee.

Randall pursues them to the enormous door vault. Boo's laughter causes all doors to activate, allowing a wild chase ensues among the millions of doors as they move in and out of the human world and storage vault on rails to the factory floor. Randall has Sulley on the fall, but Boo overcomes her fear and attacks him. Sulley and Mike trap Randall in a human world trailer park where two individuals beat him with a shovel. Later, they trick Mr. Waternoose into exposing his imminent plot on kidnaping children and threaten anyone in his way, while the entire conversation between him and Sulley is recorded in a training simulation room for the CDA to see. The CDA's leader revealed to be Roz, who has been working undercover, places Waternoose under arrest. Mike and especially Sulley say goodbye to Boo and returns to her bedroom before her door is shredded to prevent any more contact with her.

With the factory temporarily shut down, Sulley is named the new CEO of Monsters, Inc. Under his leadership, the energy crisis is solved by collecting children's laughter instead of screams, as laughter has been found to be much more potent. After Mike settles with Celia from all the confusion earlier, he takes Sulley aside, revealing he has rebuilt Boo's door, and only needs one final piece, which Sulley kept as a memento. Sulley enters and joyfully reunites with Boo.

Voice cast

Character English voice actor French voice actor German voice actor Spanish voice actor Italian voice actor Japanese voice actor Dansk voice actor
James P. Sullivan

John Goodman

Jacques Frantz Reinhard Brock Santiago Segura Silva (Spain)
Víctor Trujillo (Mexico)
Adalberto Maria Merli Yoko Honna, Rikako Aikawa Peter Aude
Mike Wazowski

Billy Crystal

Éric Métayer Ilja Richter José Sánchez Mota (Spain)
Andrés Bustamante (Mexico)
Tonino Accolla Ikue Otani, Toshio Suzuki Donald Andersen
Boo Mary Gibbs Lola Krellenstein Maya McMahon
Kim McMahon
Alicia Velez (Mexico) Ludovica Grisafi Airi Inoue Augusta Christiansen
Randall Boggs Steve Buscemi Dominique Collignon-Maurin Martin Semmelrogge N/A Daniele Formica N/A Mads Mikkelsen
Henry J. Waternoose III James Coburn Richard Darbois Helmut Krauss N/A Vittorio Di Prima Tōru Ōhira Henning Moritzen
Celia Mae Jennifer Tilly Claire Keim Sissi Perlinger N/A Marina Massironi Urara Takano Iben Hjejle
Roz Bob Peterson N/A N/A N/A Loretta Goggi Masako Isobe Ulla Jessen
Yeti John Ratzenberger N/A N/A N/A Renato Cecchetto N/A Niels Olsen
Jeff Fungus Frank Oz N/A N/A N/A Danilo De Girolamo N/A Anders Bircow
Needleman and Smitty Dan Gerson N/A N/A N/A Nanni Baldini N/A Søren Ulrichs
Jerry Steve Susskind N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Thomas Mørk
Mrs. Flint Bonnie Hunt N/A N/A N/A Cristina Giachero N/A Vibeke Hastrup
Bile Jeff Pidgeon N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Hans Henrik Bærentsen
George Sanderson Sam Black N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Lasse Lunderskov

Additional Voices

  • Puk Scharbau
  • Lars Lippert
  • Lukas Forchhammer
  • Pauline Rehne
  • Torben Sekov
  • Henrik Koefoed
  • Lars Thiesgaard
  • Peter Røschke
  • Vibeke Dueholm
  • Peter Secher Schmidt
  • Rosalinde Mynster
  • Thea Iven Ulstrup
  • Julian T. Kellermann
  • Timm Mehrens
  • Andreas Hviid


In December 1995, Disney and Pixar's computer animated began work for "Monsters Inc.". It began as scriptwriter in 1996 was originally titled "The Untitled Monsters Project" and early concept art of Mike, Sulley, Boo the human girl (with red haired orange), Waternoose, Fungus, and Randall. In 1997, Disney and Pixar brought you Toy Story presenting Monsters City. In August 1998, Disney/Pixar was the early test of Mike and Sulley and originally titled "Hidden City". In December 1998, Disney and Pixar after the success of "A Bug's Life" and also working title "Monsters Incorporated". In 1999, Boo was originally wearing Heimlich from A Bug's Life T-shirt. In 2000, Disney and Pixar after the success of "Toy Story 2" and titles "Monsters Incorporated" becomes into "Monsters Inc." are finished in computer-animated film from Disney/Pixar in 2000. Now "Monsters Inc." in theatres November 17, 2000 from Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios.



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  • Monsters, Inc. won the Academy Award for Best Song (Randy Newman for If I Didn't Have You). It was nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing and Best Music, Original Score.
  • All of the digital displays in Monstropolis (Sulley's clock radio, scare station consoles, "Days Without An Accident" sign) are Nixie tubes, a neon digital display technology from the 1960s. The 5- and 6-digit numbers displayed with nixie tubes near the doors are all Pixar employees' or relatives' birthdays.
  • At the end of the credits, you can spot the sentence: "No monsters were harmed in the making of this motion picture."
  • Some of the "sets" in this film were used in Toy Story.
  • When George is coming out of his first room, a "Paul Bunyan" poster is seen. It was previously used in Sid's room in Toy Story. Another reference to Toy Story is when Fungus is pulling different backgrounds down for Randall and one of them is the wallpaper from Andy's room.
  • At the very beginning of the film, there is a shot of a shelf in the mechanical child's bedroom. On the far left is the toy aircraft that Buzz Lightyear rides on to prove to Woody that he can fly in a scene from Toy Story. This aircraft appears in several of Pixar's other films as well.
  • Mary Gibbs, the 3-year-old daughter of writer Rob Gibbs, provided Boo's voice. They were unable to get her to sit still in the recording studio, so instead, they followed her around with a boom-mic, and things she said while playing were cut into the movie.
  • When Boo pulls down the stack of CDs in Sulley and Mike's apartment, the one she is holding reads the name of another Pixar movie: A Bug's Life.
  • When Sulley and Mike come out of the house on the beach, the cloud from the first Toy Story film can be seen in the sky.
  • Sulley's big armchair in his apartment has a hole in the back to let his tail through.
  • The artificial robot child used for practice in the Monsters, Inc. factor looks a lot like Andy from Toy Story.
  • The animators originally drew tentacles instead of legs for Sulley. However, they decided to use legs because they believed the audience would concentrate more on the tentacles than Sulley's face.
  • In keeping with the running gag of Mike being obscured in every photo, on the DVD, the hole in the disc appears directly over where Mike would be standing.
  • Boo's teddy bear is the same bear as the one seen on the shelf in the simulator bedroom.
  • When Sulley puts Boo back in her room at the end of the film, Boo brings Sulley several toys referencing other Pixar movies, a yellow ball with the red star and blue stripe from Toy Story, a Jessie doll from Toy Story 2, and a toy that looks like Nemo from Finding Nemo.
  • It normally took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of Sulley because of his 2.3 million individually animated hair strands. Apparently, he has 2,320,413 hairs on his body.
  • In the background where the blob monster falls into a sidewalk grate, there is an art store called Gallerie du Dominique. This store is named after Dominique Louis, an art director at Pixar.
  • On the scarefloor leaderboard, the name immediately below Sullivan and Randall is Ranft, a reference to longtime Pixar writer Joe Ranft.
  • After Sulley says goodbye to Boo, he closes the closet door. When Boo jumps out of bed, she has grown 7% by the time she reaches the door. The programmers had to do this as she was too short.
  • John Goodman and Billy Crystal sometimes recorded their lines in the same room together, an unusual move for animated films, where actors more often work alone. Steve Buscemi and Frank Oz also recorded their lines together for the bathroom scene.
  • The ingredient list on the cereal that Sulley feeds Boo is as follows: Tentacles (includes suckers), sugar pods, gelatin, artificial flavor, artificial color (Yellow 53 & 54, Red 400, Blue 21, Plaid 16, Puce 30), salt, seawater, naturally occurring mercury, barium, sulfuric acid, lead, bile, blood, sweat, tears, zinc oxide, vitamins D & F, anemone, brine shrimp, coral, plankton, deadly puffer fish, depleted uranium (to preserve freshness).
  • The Abominable Snowman is modeled after the Abominable Snow Monster from Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • In early drafts, the character of Boo was written to be 6 years old. However, the writers decided to make Boo younger because it would make her more dependent on Sulley.
  • About 3:26 into the film, when the simulation is ended and the monster reaches for a knob on the control panel to review the videotape, just below and to the left of the knob is a little indicator which reads, "510-752-3000", which is Pixar's phone number.
  • At the very end, when Mike is talking to Sulley on the laughfloor, just before showing him the rebuilt door, a Halloween version of a pop-up clown toy in Andy's room from Toy Story can be seen behind them.
  • George Sanderson (the monster who keeps getting caught by the CDA for "2319" emergencies) is the monster who was supposed to be the protagonist for the original Monsters, Inc. concept — a bumbling, inept monster who couldn't scare anyone until a timid girl, put upon by her brothers, teaches him how to be scary. In the final version, George is even the same color and monster type in the original storyboards.
  • When Boo is in the bathroom stall, she "sings" two songs. The first one is to the tune of The Wizard of Oz, The second one is to the tune of One Love from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • The newspaper article concerning Boo's appearance in Harryhausen's, though briefly seen, is actually readable and fully written in complete English.
  • According to the original character design sketches found on the DVD, Fungus' first name is Jeff and his surname was originally Frungus.


  • Feld Entertainment currently tours a Monsters, Inc. edition of their Disney on Ice skating tour.
  • A series of video games and a multi-platform video game were created, based on the movie.
  • A short was made by Pixar in 2002 named Mike's New Car.
  • In Cars, there is a part at the end when Mack is watching a few movies. One is called "Monster Trucks Inc."
  • A teaser trailer shows when Sulley and Mike stumble into the wrong bedroom. (Also, in a preview shown before the first Harry Potter film, Sulley is shown playing charades with Mike, but Mike is unable to guess the phrase 'Harry Potter'. The clip never specifically mentions Harry Potter & Star Wars, but the end states that Monsters, Inc. is playing right next door.)

Attached short films

For the Birds

Main article: For the Birds

The theatrical and Video / DVD release of the film included For the Birds, a Pixar short made in 2000, a year before this film was released the following year.

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