Monsters University (2013)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Perfect visuals, good prequel

Not as strong of a story as Monsters, Inc., more for adults

 

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Monsters University

Studio:  Pixar Animation/Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Comedy/Family

Release Date(s):  June 5, 2013 (BFI Southbank)/June 21, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  G

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A little monster with big dreams!

Mike Wazowski has a dream.  He dreams of someday working at Monster, Inc., but first he must make it through Monster University.  Mike finds himself a roommate with Randy Boggs and competing with a legacy named James P. “Sulley” Sullivan who doesn’t seem to care about the dream of being a scarer.  When both Mike and Sulley are kicked out of the scaring program, they are forced to team-up with the very un-scary Oozma  Kappas (OK) in the hopes of winning the Scare Games to prove Dean Abigail Hardscrabble wrong.

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Mike meets Sulley

Directed by Dan Scanlon, Monster University is a follow-up to the hit Monsters, Inc. of 2001.  The Disney-Pixar venture follows the award winning Pixar film Brave in 2012.  The movie was met with positive reviews and strong returns at the box office.

Monsters, Inc. is probably my favorite Pixar film.  Due to legal issues between Pixar and Disney, a sequel was delayed for years.  With their difficulties resolved, a Monsters, Inc. sequel is finally out…and it was worth the wait.

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Oops…

Monsters, Inc. was a great kids movie…for kids.  Many Pixar films skew toward adults, but Monsters, Inc. seemed to be more kid oriented.  Monsters University seems to have more adult humor and jokes…but you have to realize that children who saw Monsters, Inc. in 2001 are probably in college or close now! (which is mind-blowing).  The adult turn serves as almost an intro to the typical college based comedy where an unlikely group challenges the popular kids (aka Revenge of the Nerds or more recently Pitch Perfect) and triumphs…sort of.

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Give me some of that sugar, momma!

The actors involved in the movie still are strong.  John Goodman and Billy Crystal return to fill the leads, and Steve Buscemi is back as well as Randall Boggs but with a much smaller role.  With a whole new setting, there are also plenty of new monsters and Joel Murray (Don Carlton), Sean Hayes (Terri Perry), Dave Foley (Terry Perry), Peter Sohn (Squishy Squibbles), and Charlie Day (Art) make up the voices of the Oozma Kappas with other voice actors including Nathan Fillion (Johnny J. Worthington III), Aubrey Plaza (Claire Wheeler), John Krasinski (Frightening Frank), and Tyler Labine (Brock Pearson) as other students.  The teaching staff is played by the great Helen Mirren (Dean Abigail Hardscrabble) and Alfred Molina (Professor Derek Knight) and Squishy’s mother is SNL alum Julia Sweeney.  Pixar go-to-guy John Ratzenberger reprises his role as the Abominable Snowman…pre-exile.

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The Oozma Kappas get “Carried”

As good as Monsters, Inc. looked, Monsters University has improved it.  The textures and designs are even “more real” than the original film without making the original film look bad.  The characters and creations have real mass and substance to them.  It is also nice to revisit the Monsters, Inc. factory a couple of times during the film and see some of the old “sets”.  I also really like the part where they have to scare adults…and try to tap into adult fears versus kid fears (successfully).

Monsters University is a good follow-up (or prequel) to Monsters, Inc.  Despite being a prequel, I would watch Monsters, Inc. first if you are planning to watch both.  The movie isn’t as touching as Monsters, Inc., but still is loaded with heart…this time it is Mike Wazowski’s turn to shine.

Related Links:

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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