We are back with another Disney+ Battle. This week we are comparing a hidden gem from Disney’s Bronze Age of Animation and a beloved Pixar classic. Let’s compare and contrast to see which film is better: “The Great Mouse Detective” or “Monsters Inc.” (Remember this is purely subjective.)


The main character of “The Great Mouse Detective” is Basil of Baker Street. He is basically a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes trying to help a little girl, Olivia, find her father who has been kidnapped by the evil Professor Ratigan. Basil is clearly the star and he shines in this film. Meanwhile, “Monsters Inc.” has two protagonists, Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan. Mike and Sully are a team that tries to scare kids because children’s screams help power their city of Monstropolis. The protagonists in both of these films do a great job of leading the story. This is a tough decision, but I’m giving the point to “The Great Mouse Detective.”

The Great Mouse Detective 1 | Monsters Inc. 0


The villain of “The Great Mouse Detective” is Professor Ratigan. He is the Moriarty to Basil’s Sherlock Holmes. He is evil in every form as he is trying to take over all of British mousedom and he will stop at nothing to get his way. He kills, he kidnaps and he tries to overthrow the queen. He’s pretty close to evil incarnate. Plus, he’s voiced by Vincent Price and that is a truly villainous voice. Like the protagonists, “Monsters Inc.” has two villains, Randall and Mr. Waternoose. Mr. Waternoose knows the screams aren’t enough, so he’s devising a plan to kidnap kids to harness more fear. And Randall is helping him by actually performing the kidnapping. They are heinous, but even they look tame next to Professor Ratigan. Point to “The Great Mouse Detective.”

The Great Mouse Detective 2 | Monsters Inc. 0


There are some very enjoyable characters in “The Great Mouse Detective.” Fidget, Olivia and Dr. Dawson all stand out. Fidget is an excellent henchman, Olivia is a perfect girl in trouble and Dr. Dawson stands out as the mouse version of Watson. But, “Monsters Inc.” thrives in the supporting character department. Boo, Roz, Celia, Fungus, Needlemen, Smitty and Yeti all drive this film as much as the main stars. Point to “Monsters Inc.”

The Great Mouse Detective 2 | Monsters Inc. 1


Neither of these have much standout music. They both have great scores that accentuate the suspenseful moments versus the sweet moments. But neither has a song that helps it standout. There is a song about Professor Ratigan’s perceived excellence, but it’s mostly meh as a song. The closest there is to standout music is when Mike makes up a song based on the last thing he said because he claimed to be preparing for a musical as an excuse for his odd line. It’s funny, barely music, and just enough to win this category. Point to “Monsters Inc.”


The most memorable parts of “The Great Mouse Detective” to me are: Fidget kidnapping Olivia’s father, Basil’s reaction to the bullet not matching up, Ratigan having the mouse who called him a rat killed, the trap where Basil uses the ball meant to set off the mousetrap to stop it, the attempted takeover and kidnapping of the queen and the fight on the clocktower in and around Big Ben. The memorable parts of “Monsters Inc.” are the scare floor being shut down, Sully finding Boo, the restaurant scene, the reveal that Mr. Waternoose is evil, Sully and Mike meeting the Yeti, the door chase and the door being destroyed. It’s a very memorable film, but “The Great Mouse Detective” is more memorable. Point to “The Great Mouse Detective.”

The Great Mouse Detective 3 | Monsters Inc. 2

“The Great Mouse Detective” win this battle, but it was incredibly close. “Monsters Inc.” is a wonderful film, as well, so give them both a re-watch or watch them for the first time if you haven’t already. But I’m going to throw it over to you. Which of these films to you prefer?

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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