A Review by Jason L. King
Starring: Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie
Directed by: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon
Rated: PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language
Movie Released: 2009
Finding a good family movie is hard to find, especially when the kids are younger. I don’t know this from experience, after all my 6 year old niece was excited to watch Blood Monkey not too long ago. Still as a film critic, I can see how a parent has a huge task of controlling what their children watch. The ratings system is out there, but it seems suggestive at best. What was R is now PG13 and PG-13 is now PG in some cases. This could prompt a whole separate post about the ratings system, but we will save that for another day. The point is, finding a true PG family friendly movie can be hard if it is not made by Pixar. Well rest assured parents, I think I may have actually found one.
Dreamwork’s Monsters Vs. Aliens is the story of a girl who is hit by an outer space meteor that turns her into a giant monster. Because of her now giant size she is put together with a strange elite group of monsters that are called upon by the government to put an end to a pending alien attack.
This sci-fi animated thriller is a great film for families of all shapes and sizes. For a small child there are a ton of colorfull characters and monsters from B.O.B. a small lovable ooze creature, Dr. Cockroach, to insectasaurus who is a giant (and seemingly unintelligent) furry creature that follows bright lights. Dreamworks animators took the time to create some very unique and creative choices on their monsters, being sure to make them strange but not scary. Most kids will immediately fall in love with B.O.B (voiced by Seth Rogan) the blue slime monster that isn’t afraid of eating or absorbing anything in his blue liquid torso.
If you are out of the small child age I think you will find that the voice actors go very well with the animated characters. Seth Rogan stands out as the perfect voice for B.O.B. although his easily dicernable voice does make him stand out a bit. Aside from Rogan, the only other voice that stands out is Stephen Colbert who has a small cameo as the President of the United States. While Colbert as President was funny, his voice didn’t fit the character portrayed on screen. In all other cases the voice to animation transition worked extremely well and I was very pleased with their decisions on actors in the film.
What I enjoyed the most about Monsters Vs. Aliens is that it had a great message behind it, and didn’t spend its time trying to appease everyone. Previous Dreamworks animated ventures have tried to have a mixture of adult humor, pop culture references and toilet humor for the young ones in order to make sure every audience has something to laugh at. If the dividing lines were in Monsters Vs. Aliens, I didn’t see it. I had a great time just laughing at the characters and the journey- not the intentional side jokes. Kudos to Dreamworks for stepping out of the box.
I do think it is important to mention that this film did come out in theaters in both 3-D and 2-D versions. The DVD version is obviously the 2-D version (unless you get some 3-D pack with a pair of Red/Blue glasses- but that still wouldn’t replicate that REAL D 3-D experience anyway). The 2-D version is just as great as the 3-D. There are a few obvious points in the film where you would see where 3-D is beneficial (like a paddleball scene near the begininng) but you’re more than fine seeing the film in classic 2-D computer animation.
Should you rent Monsters Vs. Aliens or not? I say absolutely. You and your family no matter how big or small will have a fun time with this film. It’s a light heartwarming tale that was a lot of fun from start to finish. If you get a chance for a movie night in with your loved ones, Give Monsters Vs. Aliens a try.