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Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated comedy film directed by Pete Docter, released by Walt Disney Pictures, and the fourth film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and David Silverman, the film stars two monsters who work for a company named Monsters, Inc.: top scarer James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman)—known as “Sulley”—and his one-eyed assistant and best friend, Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal). Monsters generate their city’s power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, Sulley finds his world disrupted.
Docter began developing the film in 1996 and wrote the story with Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, and Ralph Eggleston. Fellow Pixar director Andrew Stanton wrote the screenplay with screenwriter Daniel Gerson. The characters went through many incarnations over the film’s five-year production process. The technical team and animators found new ways to render fur and cloth realistically for the film. Randy Newman, who composed Pixar’s three prior films, returned to compose their fourth.
Although the film suffered negative publicity in the form of two lawsuits against the filmmakers, filed by Lori Madrid and Stanley Mouse respectively, that were ultimately dismissed, Monsters, Inc. proved to be a major box office success from its release on November 2, 2001, generating over $562 million worldwide. In addition, Monsters, Inc. received highly positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised both the humor and heart of the film.
Monsters, Inc. saw a 3D re-release in theaters on December 19, 2012. Its prequel, Monsters University, directed by Dan Scanlon and written by Docter and Stanton, is scheduled to be released on June 21, 2013.