In an alternate world, monsters live in the city Monstropolis which suffers from continuous power failures. To counter this, the company Monsters, Inc. has its employees, known as "Scarers", to venture through the doors of children's closets to scare them and collect their screams as an energy source.
However, the company's success is falling as children are becoming harder to scare and those who are not frightened have their closet doors destroyed. A "scare floor" is put out of commission when one monster, George Sanderson, leaves a room with a sock on his back, forcing the Children Detection Agency (CDA for short) to cleanse him, much to the frustration of Mr. Waternoose (voiced by James Coburn), the company chairman, as children appear to be toxic on touch to monsters.
Whilst working late in a deal with Mike, Sulley finds an active closet door in the scare floor. He discovers the door's owner, a young girl, has entered the monster world and he is forced to hide her away.
Sulley goes to find Boo's door, whilst Mike learns Randall was the one who let Boo out. Randall tells Mike to bring Boo to the scare floor where her door will be, but when Mike does this, Randall unintentionally kidnaps Mike instead of Boo, his intended target.
Sulley and Boo follow Randall into the depths of the building, discovering he has built a machine designed to remove a child's screams by force, making the company's current tactics to get energy redundant. Sulley manages to rescue Mike and they flee, going to Mr. Waternoose for help. However, Mr. Waternoose is revealed to be in allegiance with Randall and he exiles Sulley and Mike to the Himalayas. The two are taken in by the Abominable Snowman who tells Sulley he can return to the factory through the village at the mountain's base. Sulley heads out and Mike refuses to follow out of frustration with his friend.
Returning to the factory, Sulley rescues Boo with Mike helping out, after he comes back to apologize for getting upset. The three are chased by Randall into the factory's huge door storage facility, searching for Boo's door. Boo's laughter activates all the doors and allows the chase to pass in and out of the human world. When Randall corners Sulley as he dangles on the edge of a door frame, Boo overcomes her fear of Randall by attacking him with a baseball bat. Sulley and Mike banish Randall to the human world by tossing him through a door to a trailer park, de-activating the door afterwards.
Mr. Waternoose and the CDA force Sulley, Mike, Boo and her door back to the scare floor. Mike distracts the CDA, whilst Sulley runs away with Boo and her door. Mr. Waternoose gives chase, confronting Sulley in the bedroom where he explains that Randall's machine will save the company and he will kidnap a thousand children just to keep the company up and running. Mike and the CDA appear, revealing that rather than being in Boo's bedroom, they are instead in the simulation bedroom used for training at the start of the movie. Mr. Waternoose is caught confessing his plan and he is dragged away by the CDA. The CDA's commander, revealed to be Roz, has been undercover for years trying to prove there was a scandal at Monsters Inc. Roz allows Boo to be sent home but commands that her door must be destroyed to avoid a repeat of her arrival. Sulley and Mike say goodbye, and Boo's door is destroyed.
With the company facing closure, Sulley becomes the chairman and realises a child's laughter is stronger than their screams, changing the company's whole workload. Mike takes Sulley aside, revealing he has rebuilt Boo's door from scratch. Sulley ventures inside, calling for Boo, who responds off-screen, much to Sulley's delight. The film ends with Sulley smiling.
Sulley and Mike are likeable characters that surely won your affections despite the fact that they are monsters. Sulley is a dependable kind-hearted beast living in an alternate world whilst Mike Wazowski is the wisecracking partner who has high self-esteem despite of his physical self. a way of Disney saying that don't judge the book by its cover :)
anyway, this movie got a few interesting things to ponder. for example:
- the monsters are making a living out of scaring kids that in turn scares them down with its simplest being. ironic.
- the best monster turns out to be the one violating the number one rule. ha, this is a sample of a psychological condition.
- how far you would go to ensure the synergy of your company. as Waternoose said, "i'd kidnap a thousand kids before i let the company go bust!"
- in relationship with children, laughters go way way better than tears and screams of fright.
- what scares most people doesn't mean it will scare all. and what scares you might be someone else's adored "Kitty!"
i love the movie for its simplicity and feel-good factor. Boo is a munchkin that surely tugs one's heart, even beastly looking Sulley fall for her, and us wee human do too. perhaps its a way to say that to counter a bad day, a monstrosity of the world by going back to the nature of a sweet, innocent guile of a kid.
gee, i'm turning into a philisophical slow-pokey eh?