Sunday, December 5

Monsters at Work Review – Pixar Spinoff Is Terribly Unsatisfying | Kids tv


Tthere’s a lot of potential in the new Disney + animated series Monsters at work. A spin-off of the hit Pixar movie Monsters, Inc, released in 2001 (I know, I know, 20 years ago. I think it’s best not to stop), it picks up exactly where the original story left off. The Monstropolis Scream Factory has discovered that children’s laughter is a much more potent source of power than their screams of fear and is quick to dedicate itself to producing the former rather than the latter. Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) are now in charge. Roz (Bob Peterson) is out, but replaced by her remarkably similar sister Roze (also voiced by Peterson). Scarers are trying to learn to become pranksters, and it’s rare monster for which one is as natural as the other. From silent movies to talkies, from analog to digital, from wartime to peacetime, from workers to robots – metaphors really throw themselves at you.

And none of them are pressured for service. This is Disney, after all, and I suppose we must reconcile our adult selves with the fact that, as helpful as it is for young viewers to know about the inherent instability of modern work life (it’s from robots to redundancy, kids! ), Children it is better if the entertainment takes root elsewhere.

So instead we follow newcomer Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman), a senior Monsters University graduate and one of the last recruited into the factory as a scarer, appearing full of enthusiasm and ambition on his first day on the job. , only to be redirected to the Mift Facilities Team – Monsters Inc.They are a motley crew of engineers, none of whom are charming enough, funny or well outlined to function as an instantly endearing or memorable character, led by Chief Fritz. (“Think of me as a father figure! A guy who sometimes appeared out of nowhere after divorcing your biological aunt, but he’s really cool!”). Without being snobby, or dismissive, or anything else that might raise the lesson-learning stakes a bit, Tylor doesn’t particularly want to be one of them. Will you gradually get closer to the gang? Will you learn to appreciate the invisible work they do all day every day to ensure the smooth running of the workplace and, by extension, the whole of Monstropolis? Even if you keep your most terrifying ambitions, will you recognize that it takes all kinds of things to make a world? We can only wait and see.

Watch the trailer for Monsters at Work

Sometimes it feels like a long wait. The first two half-hour episodes (the only ones of the 10 that were available for review) are extraordinarily slow. Even considering the fact that any new endeavor, even a spin-off, takes a bit of time for him and his characters to lie down, it still feels like we’re watching the penultimate draft of a show rather than the version. final and polished. . The second episode in particular seems to spend half its runtime in a leaden and uninventive initiation ritual for Tylor before getting close to the minimal story that the rest occupies.

Making a show fun out of the need to be fun is always big business, and the script here is unmistakably sub-Pixar where it needs to be very, very consistently Pixarian or better. Most of the jokes are painfully laborious – there’s a 36-and-a-half-hour energy drink joke that seems to last as long as the supposed boost provided, or is unlikely to appeal to kids (unless they’re particular fans of dark mischief). as “girdles” for “beams”). As the monsters go on their nocturnal adventures and back through the doors of what is now Monsters Inc.’s laughing floor, exhausted by their futile efforts to amuse the kids on the other side, a new and unwanted metaphor presents itself: that of the mediocre attempts of the monsters as a reflection of the series as a whole.

It can be better. I hope so. There is a lot of potential (and talent here – Feldman in particular manages to establish Tylor as a valued leader). Roze, despite her lazy countenance, can still provide a much-needed morsel, as her sister did before her. But he needs another pass through the laugh factory. A painstaking sanding and adjustment of the frame bolts by Mift and a few more jets of lube from seasoned hands like Goodman and Crystal, whose scenes simply remind us of past glories, could create a truly comedic-purpose vehicle. Monsters: get to work.


www.theguardian.com

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