2 November: “Monsters, Inc.” was released in the USA on this day in 2001

When this Disney-Pixar animated comedy film was released, the concept of renewable energy was perhaps confined only to a few outposts of academia. But imagination is always the vanguard: in “Monsters, Inc.” there’s no need to import energy and the population don’t get annoyed with energy prices going up for the umpteenth time. The city of Monstropolis is powered thanks to a strange pact between monsters and kids: the former frighten the latter whose screams are harvested to generate volts. In the course of the film, it transpires that children’s laughter is “ten times more potent”.

The film takes us back to the origin of the word “monster” that comes from the Latin “monstrum” which, in turn, means an “awesome” or “prodigious” event or creature. And yet, in these modern times of ours we often hear it said that the sleep of reason produces monsters . Now, if we reread this in a non-literal key, we’ll realise that it’s only when reason makes way for imagination that we can measure reality in a different way. At which point: who can be afraid of something awesome in the cupboard?

All Souls Day