Back to the Movies: Monsters Inc.


If it wasn’t for the fact this is a Pixar movie, this would be the stuff nightmares are made of! You see, in the monster world, electricity is powered by, children’s screams! In order to get those screams, employees like James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski, work at a plant where every night, they pop into the human world via children’s bedroom closets and scare kids as they’re falling asleep. Sounds fun, right?

Clearly, this job brings some monsters who are not the kind you find on Sesame Street. It’s a mean gig, and some of the monsters that work there like scaring kids a little too much. However, Mike and “Sully” are trying to make it a kinder place for monsters and kids!

Here are some of the many topics to discuss with your kids.

  • Friendship is important. Mike and Sully are not just co-workers, they are best friends. They do everything together and work as a team. Sully also becomes pretty devoted to a little girl he tries to scare regularly, Boo. Boo sees beyond the monster in him though and realizes he is not scary!
  • Alternative energy and the Environment.  We are in a similar situation to the monsters in the monster world. In our world, we are constantly looking for cleaner energy like wind and solar. In the monster world, everyone assumes kids’ screams are the only fuel source, but because of Mike, Sully and Boo, they learn that Laughter is a much better source. This is a great opportunity to show kids the importance of innovation and how you should always be looking for new ideas. Of course, this is also a great time to talk about pollution and climate change!
  • Fear-mongering. It is amazing to think that this film was released released around 9/11, or 20 years ago! The movie explains to audiences that fear is never the answer. Those people and institutions that create fear are missing the fact that we are all more alike than we are unlike. Since the movie takes place in the monster world, this fact includes monsters as well!

Monsters Inc.-inspired activities

Mike and Sully are pretty active monsters! After the movie ends, its time for you and your kids to get up and get moving and we have some great ideas on how to do that!

  • Color monsters. Coloring is always fun for the kids. Have them print out this Monster Coloring Book and get to work on a masterpiece!
  • Get moving. Play the awesome soundtrack to the film (and it’s sequel, Monsters University!) and have a mini Monster Mash dance party. The soundtrack features the Oscar-winning song, “If I Didn’t Have You” from Randy Newman.
  • EYE Spy challenge. So Ma\ike Wazowskiis a one-eyed monster, but your kids can use both of theirs in a game of “EYE” spy. It is a simple game – just pick a room inside the house or take a walk or drive. Watch this video reminder of the rules.
  • Let the kids SCREAM. I know what you are thinking – really? A screaming match? But just this once, encourage the screaming and make it a game! Get out your phone and time the kids to see who can scream the longest! Award a prize to the kid who can hold it the longest – and to yourself – for being the judge.
  • Laughter is the Best Medicine. Sure screaming was fun, but have you tried making your kids laugh? Share some funny jokes with one another, print out some jokes from the web you have not heard of and share in the laughter. When you are done, see if your kids can share those jokes with others the next day!

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