Monsters University: A Funny, Heartfelt, And Predictable Prequel

Posted: June 27, 2013 in At The Movies
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

With the release of Monsters Inc. Pixar proved that they were more than just a one trick pony with the resounding success of Toy Story. Monsters Inc. wasn’t just a movie for kids. Adults like me loved it as well. It was a brilliant movie filled with well paced humor along with a heartfelt story. Now Pixar felt that it was time to head back. Back to the day when Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan first met. College! Welcome to Monsters University where monsters truly learn how to scare along with doing all the other things that college is known for.

Monsters University has a lot in common with movies including The Internship and Revenge of the Nerds. It’s your typical underdog movie where a group of outcasts find a way to win despite overwhelming odds. Nothing special. Hollywood has been making these type of movies for decades. These types of movies are quite predictable making the outcome rather unentertaining, however Monsters University finds ways to keep the pace going with good humor as well as a nod or two to the original movie making me say “Hey, I remember that.”

One thing that really bothers me, especially with prequels, is when certain details are not apparently accurate according to the original movie. The Star Wars prequels had some pretty noticeable inaccuracies making the prequels conflict with the original trilogy. There is a minor inference here in Monsters University dealing with how Mike and Sully first met. In Monsters University, we are led to believe that Mike and Sully first met in college, however in Monsters Inc. it is said that they’ve known each other since the fourth grade. C’mon Pixar, you need to check your source material. Even though this is a minor nitpicking there was no need to get lazy and pull a George Lucas.

While some moments in Monsters University are rather predictable there is a moment where the movie really shines. This would be around the last 20-30 minutes. These ending moments go away from the underdog story and focus in on the friendship of the two main characters as they come to grips with reality. This is where the heartfelt moments really kick in as well as a great scene while in one of the magical doors where they both find themselves in a big jam. Of course there’s also a cameo appearance by a popular Monsters Inc. character that’s “always watching.”

Overall, Monsters University is a blast for all ages. The movie is geared more towards the kids, but adults will still find plenty of humor and nostalgic references towards Monsters Inc. The chemistry between Billy Crystal and John Goodman is fantastic. Steve Buscemi also does a great job once again as Randall. As a fan of the first movie, I found Monsters University enjoyable even though it’s not as good as the thrilling original. With that said I still plan to purchase Monsters University on blu-ray.

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