Monsters, Inc. Proves Again Why It’s A Modern Classic With BD/DVD Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Disney-Pixar

Courtesy: Disney-Pixar

Disney/Pixar’s fourth cg-based family film, Monsters, Inc. is one of the biggest hits from the two companies.  The pair has taken one of the most common of childhood fears and turned it into a big, soft fuzzy memory that kids and adults alike will love to encounter again and again.  Monsters, Inc. isn’t the first time that Hollywood has tackled the issue of things that go bump in the night.  Though, in comparison to the 1989 movie, Little Monsters, Monsters, Inc. it is far more memorable.  And now that Disney and Pixar have re-issued this modern classic on Blu-ray/DVD and 3D BD/DVD combo packs, audiences can enjoy it all over again.  Those who still have yet to add this flick to their family library are rewarded for having waited, too.  For the most part, this latest re-issue carries everything that was on the movie’s original double-disc DVD release right down to the audio commentary.  There are some new additions though.  And of course, the clarity of the picture is that much better this time around, too.  So is it worth picking up if one already owns the DVD set?  That’s up to the general consumer.  But for those who have yet to own it, this is a wonderful reason to finally do just that.

The latest re-issue of Monsters, Inc. is largely carried over from the original 2002 double-disc DVD release.  However, included in this new re-issue is a second disc that includes some extra entertainment for kids.  One of the best of the new inclusions is “Roz’s 100 Door Challenge.”  This bonus Blu-ray trivia game requires young audiences to answer trivia questions in order to open all of the doors put before them in order to become a Monsters, Inc. employee.  The questions come in sets of ten at a time.  So at one hundred doors, this game will keep young audiences engaged and occupied for quite some time.  This is great for parents who are looking for a way to distract their kids and get some time for themselves.

“Roz’s 100 Door Challenge” is not the only extra bonus included with this latest re-issue of Monsters, Inc.  But it is a nice addition.  Just as entertaining as the noted bonus game is the included Toy Story short, “Party-saurus Rex.”  The entire original cast from the Toy Story franchise has come back for this short in which Rex (voiced by Wallace Shawn – The Incredibles, The Princess Bride) is accused of being a party pooper.  But then he ends up surprising them after the toys’ new young owner takes him to the bath with her.  He ends up becoming the life of the party.  This is a wonderfully entertaining short from this fully solidified franchise.  As entertaining as it is, it’s even more of a bonus in that it shows should Disney and Pixar ever decide to re-visit the gang in a larger sense, it is one franchise whose sequels or even reboot would be welcomed by audiences. 

The new bonus features do a lot in making the new Monsters, Inc. BD/DVD combo pack a good addition to any family’s home library.  The story itself plays just as much of a role in its success, too.  The story includes no less than two very important lessons for all of its viewers.  The first of those lessons centers on stereotypes.  It tackles this subject matter right from the story’s opening moments, presenting the monster world not as a dark and evil place, but just as happy and sunny as the human world.  And even the monsters themselves are crafted in an equally family friendly fashion.  Just as “Boo” calls him, Sully (John Goodman) is a big, mean looking monster.  But underneath all that fur, he’s just a big fuzzy “kitty”…or whatever animal one might want to use in comparison.  Both the kids and monsters believed stereotypes of the other that had been handed down and passed on.  But in giving Boo a chance, Sully and Mike prove that the stereotyped belief of children being evil, life threatening to be just that.  And Boo in her own way proves to her own self that not all monsters are bad as she grows closer to Sully in a sort of surrogate parent-child relationship.  It’s something of a tangent, but in presenting this relationship, Disney and Pixar have once more crafted a story that continues Disney’s long running tradition of emphasizing family in its movies.  Getting back to the original statement, what this movie’s writers have done is they have sent a message that it doesn’t matter who one is.  Unless one has proof of stereotypes, then one shouldn’t simply automatically believe said stereotypes.  Rather, one should take the time to find out for one’s own self how much truth they have, and not let them prevent friendships in the mean time.  It’s one more positive to what is already a fun, family friendly movie.    

In relation to the emphasis on family, Monsters, Inc. also presents the message of the importance of a child’s laughter.  Sure it’s an exaggeration.  But that a single child’s laughter could power a whole city really is a wonderful metaphorical illustration.  It illustrates how one child’s smile and laughter can brighten the lives of so many.  Yes it is a bit schmaltzy.  But the world needs something positive for young audiences.  And that’s exactly what this message and movie is.  For that and the rest of the positivity in this new re-issue, it is a movie worth adding to any family’s home library.  It is available now in stores and can be ordered online at http://disneydvd.disney.go.com/monsters-inc.html

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Diney Pixar’s New Princess Movie Is A “Brave” New Effort

Courtesy: Disney/Pixar

Disney Pixar’s new cg based feature, Brave is a classic coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century.  This princess tory (yes, despite what Disney execs said about Tangled, this is another princess movie) isn’t just another princess story, though.  Rather, it’s both a coming-of-age story and a story that incorporates an element that has been standard to Disney features for ages.  That element is the element of family.  There is no denying the movie’s similarity to a certain much older story with a similar plot.  But that similarity is loose at best.  This movie took the former movie’s plot and altered it for a movie that the entire family will enjoy.  And now that it has been released to DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, families will get even more enjoyment and appreciation for this twenty first century princess movie.

When Disney stated in 2011 that its CG based feature, Tangled would be the last of its princess movies for the foreseeable future, that statement was obviously met with quite a bit of resentment from audiences.  So rather than fight its audiences, Disney (along with Pixar) gave audiences what they wanted.  The final product is BraveBrave is at its most basic level, a princess movie.  But it’s not Disney’s standard princess movie.  There’s no romance subplot holding the story down.  Rather, it’s a new classic coming-of-age story for young viewers everywhere.  The whole story focuses on young princess Merida, who is very much the stereotypical Tomboy.  Yes she’s feminine.  And she’s also very headstrong and not like the other girls out there.  This is something to which so many female audiences can relate even now in the new era of movies.  She rides horses and shots arrows.  But she still has a certain level of femininity in that she is the classic daddy’s girl.  It is her inability to balance the two that leads to her conflicting relationship with her mother and eventually her self-realization and coming-of-age.  That coming-of-age and self-realization make for a story that the entire family will enjoy and appreciate just as much with every watch.

Anyone who has already seen Brave in theaters understands how entertaining this new movie is for the whole family.  Now that it has been released on multiple home formats, that enjoyment is increased thanks to the abundance of bonus features on the first pair of discs in the Ultimate Collector’s Edition of the movie.  Audiences see that not only do Disney and Pixar stick to Walt Disney’s emphasis on family in Brave, but it also sticks to the tradition of maintaining the story’s believability.  The bonus features included in the first disc of the set take viewers behind the scenes of the movie’s creation.  Audiences will discover that yet again, rather than just make up some fantastical world, the people behind the story went into full depth to make it as believable a story as possible.  They even went as far as to go to Scotland and take in the region, drawing regions that they toured so as to best present the world of Brave.  This is nothing new for Disney or Pixar.  And that this tradition of sustaining belief for audiences makes the movie that much more worthy of respect.

Along with going to Scotland to document it firsthand, the crew behind the movie also got a first hand sword fighting demonstration so as to best present believable action on screen.  There is also a point in which the crew discusses details as minute as making the tapestry which Merida rips with her sword look as real as possible.  Yet again, audiences see the dedication to believability by those involved in the creation of this movie.  These are just some of the bonus features that make this new home release of Brave that much more enjoyment and worth a second watch.  There are even more features that audiences will enjoy as they go through each one.  Audiences will see just how much dedication went into making this movie the best that it could be for everyone to see.

The special features are just one part of what makes this brand new Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Brave enjoyable and a welcome gift under the tree this holiday season.  This five disc set includes not only the movie in Blu-ray format complete with bonus features, but also in standard def DVD format and 3D Blu-ray format.  There is even an extra digital disc that will allow users with mobile devices such as tablets to watch the movie anywhere they go without having to actually take the movie with them.  Or for those without tablets, the DVD option allows viewers with in vehicle DVD monitors and players to play the DVD for kids on those long family trips.  That’s especially helpful now in the holiday season as families are making their annual pilgrimages to see family.  And even when families get to their destinations, it can still be viewed on any of the formats included in this set.  So while it may be the most expensive of the presentations, it also presents the most value for families.

The overall value of the Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Brave alone makes this a set worth checking out for any fan of the movie.  Add in solid writing and bonus features that make for even more appreciation and enjoyment of the story, and audiences get a set that really is the Ultimate Collector’s Set for this new modern classic princess flick from Disney and Pixar.  Brave is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via the Disney store at http://www.disneystore.com/brave-5-disc-set-ultimate-collectors-edition/mp/1323109/1000316/.

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