Disney's phenomenally successful collaboration with Pixar continues with this ingenious creature feature, which introduces us to a whole new world of bizarre computer-animated characters.
"Monsters, Inc." doesn't quite live up to "Toy Story 2", surely the high watermark in this fast-developing field - but it's still a hugely creative, fast-paced romp that will keep both children and their parents thoroughly entertained.
In the city of Monstropolis, power is generated by the screams of human tots, collected by an ace team of "scarers" who enter the human world through the petrified tykes' bedroom closets.
Top of the tree are James P Sullivan, aka Sully (voiced by Goodman), a blue ogre with a heart of gold, and his lime-green, one-eyed aide Mike (Crystal). But their alternate reality is thrown into chaos when a little girl called Boo follows Sully back to his world, where she and her kind are believed to be toxic...
The idea of ordinary Joes punching in at a terror factory is a clever one, and it's deftly developed to incorporate petty rivalries, corporate corruption, and romance between co-workers. But it's the monsters themselves that really astound: a gruesome gallery of slimy, tentacled, bulbous beasts who manage to be completely grotesque yet instantly likable (apart from Randall that is, who's a scheming salamander voiced by Steve Buscemi).
The pace flags around the flabby midsection, and the gurgling Boo is never more than an ingratiating distraction. But that won't stop this latest computer-generated caper deservedly taking a massive byte (sorry!) out of the UK box office.