2012 was Disney’s year to prove to audiences that 3D conversions aren’t all that bad. That said, the year started with the terribly converted Beauty and the Beast, but then moviegoers were treated to a flawless conversion of Disney/Pixar’s classic Finding Nemo.
Now, we find ourselves at the theatre to witness the last of Disney’s 3D offerings of 2012 – a modest and highly enjoyable converted Monsters Inc.
Monsters Inc. 3D and Finding Nemo 3D share a lot in common other than the Pixar connection. Both films utilize a subtle form of post-converted 3D that’s quietly impressive. The animators behind these new versions understand that these films are being retouched because of the creative use of character design. Each animated creature on screen has a unique physical attribute that is now enhanced with state-of-the-art technology; giving viewers new visuals to grasp on to.
With Finding Nemo, each fish and bird always felt like they were slowly intruding our personal space. Whether the fish would be swimming or the birds would be flying, the apex in their snouts were almost always pointed in our direction – giving us this feeling that these beloved sea creatures were emerging out of the screen.
With Monsters Inc 3D, we get the same form of technology use, but, this time in a more sparsely paced manner. It’s almost as if the team behind the 3D conversion has “a good hand” and is eagerly waiting to show us their royal flush – to which we eventually see during action sequences like the memorable door chase or scary scenes with that evil scream-extraction device.
The sensational 3D technology isn’t always up front and centre because the characters in Monsters Inc. are all different moulds. Their apex isn’t always in the centre of their faces. They might not even have one.
Some creatures crawl, some walk hunched over, and some squirm and slide. Most of all, some have spikes, some have big googley eyes, and some are mounds of slime.
Not every creature has something that is going to immediately jump out at audiences, thus, causing that difference between Finding Nemo 3D and Monsters Inc 3D. Those monsters who don’t have an immediate pop-up function though look stunningly realistic given the 3D offers even more of a slickness to the animation. The sheen on the slimy fellas looks incredibly real.
Where the post-converted film finds its stride is with creatures who have curves. Take Steve Buscemi’s Randall. His creepy demeanour and his slithering still sends shivers up our spines, but with how his neck features a downward slump that realigns itself with the base of his head makes for a character that is always jutting out at moviegoers.
And, how does the film hold up? Incredibly well. With how well the jokes still resonate and garner belly laughs, one would think Pixar churned this out for the first time this year.
John Goodman and Billy Crystal’s articulate chemistry is still fresh and the camaraderie between Goodman’s Sulley and Crystal’s Mike proves that these two buddies have a terrific and believable friendship. It makes us excited for their next outing in Disney/Pixar’s upcoming prequel Monsters University.
Side note: Monsters Inc. 3D hit theatres one week before Andy Fickman’s Parental Guidance, starring Billy Crystal, was released. On this same weekend, Cineplex was showing a special screening of When Harry Met Sally.
This means Billy Crystal was starring in 1/8th of the movies playing at this particular movie theatre. Talk about scary!