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Monsters Inc.

Opening two weeks before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone presumably lays waste to all other family entertainment — is an unqualified treat. No surprise there, since this wow-worthy display of computer animation comes from the wizards at Pixar, who brought smiles even to the cranks of Critics Inc. with the Toy Story films.

stead of cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and astronaut Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), we now have Mike, a one-eyed green thingie hilariously voiced by Billy Crystal, and Sulley, a giant blue fur ball voiced with wit and warmth by John Goodman. The pair joins other monsters in a plot to scare kids by sneaking into their bedrooms. Of course, there are more laughs than scares in the Andrew Stanton script, which has a three-year-old girl turn the tables by sneaking into the monster lair. Directors Pete Docter and David Silverman keep the fun coming, but it’s the Pixar animators who keep grown-ups as riveted as the kids with visual marvels that dazzle and delight.

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