There are a lot of reviews out there of Monsters vs. Aliens (MvA). However Fortress Takes will give you some information from a slightly different perspective. We have no axe to grind nor a dog in this hunt.
First of all some of you may worry that this movie, like a number of computer animated movies in the past, has political messages in it. MvA steers clear of them for the most part. There are a subtle few that the kids will not understand. That beyond the usual cliched stereotypes like a general named “W.R. Monger”.
For the name they gave that guy he turned out to have more heart than expected. While you may not like what he does at the start of the film you will feel okay about him at the end. There is of course also the well worn PC message of judging people by there actions and not their looks. Also the one about loyalty and acceptance by friends.
My one sentence synopsis to get you up to speed on these takes goes something like this: A girl gets crushed by a meteor on her wedding day causing her to grow into a giant which in turn gets her recruited onto a secret military team of monsters who must thwart an alien invasion and save the world. If I was to add the old kicker sentence to that it would read: Along the way she learns the priceless lessons of self acceptance and esteem, in addition to true friendship and happiness.
Sadly the latter comes from turning her back on a normal sized life and traditional marriage relationship. Of course they soften this by making the potential groom a self-absorbed jerk. I guess you should not really think it through too much about what life will really be like in the long run at that size, but I digress.
In some ways MvA is refreshing in its action which really does put many people in real danger. Additionally the Golden Gate Bridge really gets trashed. Fittingly the movie does not pull its punches when dealing with the bad guy clones and even the big boss gets blown up with his ship. No weaseling out of his comeuppance.
The movie is rightly plotted around the girl, because while the other monsters are fun and good for gags they are not ones for which you could as easily relate. Reese Witherspoon did a good job voicing the star. Kiefer Sutherland also did well with the less taxing and less stretching general. While I deplore animated movies thrown together with big name stars just to sell schlock to kids, these two along with Hugh Laurie made worthwhile contributions.
The animation quality was good. Scale was a key factor in this movie for obvious reasons. It was handled well on all fronts. The giant girl, the giant creatures and robots, the enormous bridge, and gigantic space ship. You believed the big-ness with the proper amount of slow down and the appropriate camera angles.
We here in the Fortress were pleasantly surprised by MvA. Yeah there were some cliches and stereotypes. However with the political correctness turned down a bit and the action and humor satisfactory for both kids and adults, this movie may be a good choice for your $9.75 ticket. (Well, that is how much it cost me. *&^$#@!)