Possibly my favorite Pixar movie (and therefore my favorite movie) of all time is Monsters, Inc., a tale about an alternate universe where monsters scare children and use their screams as a power source. But, when a toxic human child finds its way into the monster world, action, adventure, and hilarity ensue.
On a separate note, one of the most iconic and parodied trilogies from the last decade has to be The Matrix trilogy. It follows the character of Neo who finds his way into an alternate universe where humans are actually utilized as a power source by evil technology.
These two movies, in some aspects, couldn't be any more different. One is rated G, one is rated R. One is a great family film, the other geared more towards middle-aged men. One is completely animated, the other is live action. One stars John Goodman and Billy Crystal, the other stars Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne. Monsters, Inc. and The Matrix are completely different movies, right?
Well, no . . .
The major similarity is that the two films take place in an alternate universe. This may not seem like that much of a similarity, but there's more. Much more.
Both films' alternate universes are fueled by humans who are unaware that they are doing the fueling. Also, both films' conflicts occur when a human inadvertently enters this alternate universe and threatens the 'harvesters', whether those harvesters be monster or machine: Neo in the universe of The Matrix, Boo in that of Monsters, Inc.
The Matrix's alternate universe as well as that of Monsters, Inc. are both accessed through portals: phone booths and closet doors, respectively.
In addition, the humans of both films are innocent bystanders since they are either children or unconscious 'batteries'.
Boo is unafraid of the monsters so she is able to navigate the alternate universe, and, when Neo is able to be unafraid of Agent Smith, he can successfully navigate the universe of The Matrix.
Now, these similarites are most likely coincidences, yet there are even more of them.
Neo and Boo both have 3 letter names.
Sulley and Morpheus both act as huge, burly father figures towards the main character who has stumbled into this new universe.
However, there is one major difference that I must comment on. Despite so many similarities, Monsters, Inc. is a much, much better fillm with superior characters, settings, artwork, actors, and basically everything else. The Matrix is decent, but it ain't nothing compared to the brilliancy that is Monsters, Inc.
(I noticed these similarities recently, started a list of the many similarities, but then found that NPR has also done a short piece on the subject, from which I have taken some of the above similarities. Listen to it here.)