4 stars out of 5
Paul reviews Monsters vs. Aliens elsewhere, so I am only adding a heightened degree of enthusiasm. I think that this is an exceptional film, cleverly written, beautifully animated, and well-voiced by a cast (which includes Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Paul Rudd, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Will Arnett, and - best of the lot - Seth Rogen) that adds enormous personality to the characters. Also worth mentioning are the extensive pop culture and sci-fi film references scattered liberally throughout, including a nice nod to the classic kaiju (Japanese monster) movies of the 50s via the giant grub Insectosaurus. [The 3D (in this case, the RealD format) was well done and easy to watch, but I didn't feel it added all that much to the film.] Monsters vs. Aliens reminded me of Pixar's 2002 Monsters, Inc., which is on my personal short list of animated favorites.