Welcome back to my retrospective on Pixar in anticipation for Brave's release. So far we've looked at Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. Today, it is my pleasure that Mayukh, one of my favourite bloggers and another member of Team Experience, has decided to contribute to the series with his brilliant piece on Pixar's fourth film, Monsters Inc.
Mayukh and I differ on our level of enthusiasm for the film and the studio's work in general, but we do agree on one thing: Boo is one of Pixar's most complicated and essential creations. His look at the character is so critical I almost wish I could convince him to give the same treatment to every one of their films.
I have realized that different screenings of the film over time have changed my relationship with this character but I've always connected with her one way or another. The changing perspective I've had on her from the time I first saw the film as a thirteen year old to my last revisit a few weeks ago is summarized in Mayukh's closing paragraph:
"Pixar’s best films are the ones in which they begin to question what we, as humans, lose when we grow up – what we abandon in this transition to cynical, jaded adulthood. What's so gently sad about Boo is that we know she'll grow out of this odd, fantastic fixation she has on some anthropomorphic creature that's a product of her storybook mind. As she grows older, she'll no longer be the judge – the world around her will definitively teach her who is and isn't a monster."
I can only absorb this gentle sadness today but with regards to Pixar's earlier work, perhaps up to and including this film, I will always maintain a careless and childish connection with the world they occupy because my first encounter with them happened before I, myself, made that transition to my cynical adulthood.
Mayukh has an interesting way of thinking about Boo and there's plenty to chew on before this closing paragraph, including a comparison between Pete Docter's views on the "outside world" and Terrence Malick's morality in The Tree of Life! You can read his full piece here. And check back as I go through the remainder of Pixar's catalogue with the help of more guest bloggers!