You’ll love this movie and so will your kids. It’s great. Colorful. Bright.
However, if you are parent, and you care about the thoughts you put into your children’s heads, I invite you to read the following. SPOILERS abound, so don’t read if you don’t want this long-anticipated movie spoiled!

Picture of Mike and Sully so the spoilers are separated from the opening paragraph.

Okay, you’ve been warned. I’m going to tell you some things about this movie. All right. Here goes.

There’s a scary person in this movie. If your babies are very little, they might be afraid of her.

There’s a party scene that may give very conservative parents the jitters.

There’s a music moment that will offend a few tightly-wound folks.

And now for the Real Problem, the Giant Glitch, the Awful Thing that makes this movie so very very very wrong on an internal core level:

The moral of the story is that you can work your whole life for a dream you’ve cherished, but–shucks and shoot–if you’re not cut out for it, you lose. The usual go-for-it moral, the you-can-do-it-if-you-try moral, the never-give-up moral dies in a sigh of resignation here. Oops, never mind. You’re right–I never could have done it.

If they’d done this with a girl instead of a little green one-eyed fellow, we’d rise up in anger. If they’d done this with a girl, it would look like this: “You know, Sugar, good try and all, but you can’t do that.” It happens to Mike–you’re just not scary, son, so off you go. You help the big scary guy there. And Mike is all, “Okay, I guess that works. I’ll be the help.” And he gives up his dream and settles into his place.

Strangely, Sully is also tossed onto the you-can’t-scare pile, but he rises above it. He succeeds. He fulfills his family’s expectations, because, after all, he’s big. He’s big and manly. Conclusion: big tough guys can do what they want; smaller less he-man types can tag along.

What should have happened is that Mike should have realized that even though he isn’t innately scary in the Monster World, he does have what it takes to scare human children: he’s a monster. If a three-foot-high green sphere with a large eye and little horns and skinny legs walked into this office right now, I would still be screaming when they strapped me into the ambulance. I would still be screaming when I woke up from sedation tomorrow.

That’s what Mike needed to realize–everything he needs to succeed at monstering is inside him, is innate with him. He’s a monster. He will absolutely scare children. The moral should have been “Yes, you have what it takes. Yes, you can be all you can be. Yes, you can reach your dreams.” Instead we got, “Leave it to the big guys, shorty, and be thankful we let you file the paperwork.”

All that said, it’s a fun show. Some of our old friends make an appearance. The short is kind of cute. The preview for Frozen is classic.