Long before the Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe began collecting kids' screams, the good creatures of Monstropolis were jumping out of closets and harvesting little tykes' terrified howls. And none of them was more effective at scaring up screams than Sulley (John Goodman), a big blue yeti with a heart of pure marshmallow. Then Boo, a little girl from the human universe, crosses the threshold, threatening to disrupt the fear-based economy with her unflagging good cheer.
Welcome to the world of "Monsters, Inc." (★★★ 1/2, rated G). Director Pete Docter and the Pixar crew based their 2001 cartoon classic in elemental emotions, eternal themes (a child's love is more powerful than fear of the unknown) and jazzy, long-shelf-life gags, rather than the of-the-moment satire of its competitor "Shrek." It's returning to theaters in 3-D for the holidays, and its reassuring message is more relevant than ever.