Monsters University ***1/2


I wasn’t fully prepared for just how good “Monsters University” was going to be. The original “Monsters Inc” was a good movie but it is one of Pixar’s weaker films in my opinion. Not only is “Monsters University” a better movie but it actually adds more depth to the original. I don’t always say that about prequels by the way.

The story follows Mike and Sully as the meet at the University for Monsters. It is there where they learn how to become proper scarers. If you don’t recall the monster’s city is powered by the screams of children. But it is not easy to scare children so the monsters go to college to learn all the methods.

Mike if you remember was voiced by Billy Crystal. He is basically a big eye ball with hands and feet. Sully, voiced by John Goodman, was like a blue, furry Sasquatch. Mike is the brains of the operation and Sully is the brawn so to speak.

When they meet for the first time they generally dislike each other. Sully is big and egotistical and relies on his families famous name to get by. Mike works hard and has dreamed of becoming a scarer his whole life, but he does lack the sheer terror of other monsters. Eventually they bring their talents together and join an outcast fraternity of other monsters who need help as well.

Everything eventually rides on the results of an annual tournament of scarers, which takes it’s cues from the sports genre. One of the strengths of Pixar is that they always make their movies kind of a genre mash up. As much as “Monsters University” is a sports movie it is also a great college comedy, coming of age story, buddy comedy with a bit of adventure.

The animation is simply incredible. With each film you can see just how Pixar keeps pushing the envelope of just how deep and rich animation can be. I decided not to see the 3D version but I will say the 2D version was gorgeous and fully three dimensional.

But the main reason I liked this movie so much was because of the story, which I found more engaging than “Monsters Inc”. The characters seemed to be more complex as well. This is the first prequel in a long time that I am glad they made because it leads perfectly in to the original film without destroying our nostalgia.


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