by Alia Holliday
Monsters Inc. is a movie about monsters who work at a scare company, where they jump out of kids' closets and freak them all the way out. James P. Sullivan- often called Sully- was the head scarer. He was big, probably well over six feet tall, with thick, sharp fangs and equally sharp fingernails. Though his actual scariness can be brought into question when you take into account his blue fur, covered in magenta dots and eyes that can definitely be described as kind (if you squint you can see it). Sully’s friend and partner in crime Mike Wazowski was short, green, and sarcastic.
Sully’s and Mike’s lives were turned upside down when Sully accidentally let a human child into their monster world. As evidenced from scarer George Sanderson’s downfall when he accidentally brought a child’s sock back from duty, anything human was a big fat no-no. “We’ve got a 2319!” yelled the (very) creepy Child Detection Agents in yellow, who jumped on top of Mr. Sanderson, extracted the sock, and blew it up in its own little dome. Seeing the severity (if that- it was literally just a sock) of George Sanderson’s case, Sully and Mike knew that no one could know of the human girl whom Sully called Boo.
The older I get, the more I forget the strong love that I have for these movies. Movies that shaped my childhood, and thus, movies that shaped me begin to fade as I learn math equations and read books based in the 19th century. Books less fun and less monster-filled, that don’t scream about human socks and don’t have a little green pessimist. I’m mature, I say now as I shove my imagination to the side and focus on being logical.
And being logical is fun, don’t get me wrong. But just for once I want to look at lines on a paper and not think, oh, those are just squiggles. I want to look at those lines and create my own nightmares like I used to, because at least I was having fun when I was getting scared of squiggly, saber-toothed grasshoppers (I still firmly believe grasshoppers look real funky).
Sometimes, though, I’m reminded of those movies that shaped me. It came out of nowhere. Perhaps in honor of Monsters Inc., I started using the word cretin an excessive amount. I would say it with vindication, waving a firm hand through the air and speaking about nothing. Those Twitter fan pages attacking random people? Cretins. Those people who cut the line two places ahead of me? Cretins. And so on and so forth. I was in the cafeteria and I called some random Television character a cretin. My friend paused before replying that I had pronounced that wrong, that it was actually creh-tin.
Monsters Inc. began to play in my mind at once, as if already cued up. I suppose it was. In my head, I watched Mike Wazowksi and the antagonist Randall Boggs arguing. Mike was binded to a chair. Randall was leaning over him intensely. A purple finger digging into Mike’s green flesh, Randall called Mike a creh-tin. Mike paused. It was then that he said the very line that settled the debate.
“First of all it’s cree-tin. If you’re gonna threaten me, do it properly.”
I was right. Monsters Inc. had been my reputable source, and I was right. I’m seventeen now. It’s been more than a dozen years since I’d first seen that movie. It’s been more than a dozen years since I played the DVD obsessively and shriek laughed at the same jokes. Yet here I am, still referencing the movie in my everyday life. I couldn’t believe myself. I chuckled at the utter gall I had to be so confident with Monsters Inc. under my belt, while my heart also melted.
At the end of the day, it became more than evident that Monsters Inc. left its mark on me. Regardless of how old I get, Monsters Inc. will always be a part of my life; a monster-shaped tattoo etched into my heart. These movies from our childhoods shaped our brains like clay. I can add more clay on top of it as I grow. Underneath it all, it’s still the same foundation, created by a movie about two monsters and a human. So now I ask you: what childhood movie shaped you as a person?