Monsters University (2013)

Be aware there might be / probably are spoilers below

In this film, Pixar’s first prequel, we see how Mike and Sully became friends. As we saw in Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully are best of friends and they change the way that business is done. So it has been 12 years since Mike and Sully’s lives got tangeled up with Boo (Mary) and Monsters Inc is a very popular film and Pixar thought they had a good story so they made this one.

We begin with a young Mike Wazowski taking a field trip to Monsters Inc to see where the power comes from. Mike is the shortest kid and gets pushed to the back so he sneaks onto the floor and into a door with a Scarer and Mike is inspired to become the greatest Scarer of all time. They flash forward a bunch of years and Mike is now beginning his Freshman year at Monsters University, they have a wonderful scaring program.  Here we see Mike get roomed with Randall, and hear about the Scare Games a competition for the best Scarers on campus. On the first day of classes Mike and Sully cross paths, Sully is the son of a Scarer and scaring comes easy for him.  They constantly butt heads and eventually they are both kicked out of the Scaring program.

The movie then get a Revenge of the Nerds feel, Mike and Sully along with the Oozma Kappas, a fraternity populated with “losers”, enter the Scare Games under the condition that if they win the Scare Games they will be brought back into the Scareing program. So they fight the other programs  and make it to the final round where things happen and it comes down to Mike to win it.

Overall it is a decent movie, in the wake of Cars 2 it seems that the quality has suffered in Pixar films as both Brave and Monsters University are middling films at best only reaching a 78 on Rotten Tomatoes, and in the upper 60s on Metacritic. Now these are miles away from Cars 2 but I hope that they rebound soon. One of the problems was we all knew where it was going, and even Leonard Maltin said that “Pixar has raised the bar for animated features so high that when they turn out a film that’s merely good, instead of great, they have only themselves to blame for causing critics to damn them with faint praise”

Once again John Goodman does a great job, I find that Goodman is one of the great actors of his generation in most of what I’ve seen he’s wonderful. Billy’s great too and it’s wonderful to have John Ratzenberger again in a cameo. The on unfortunate thing is that we will have to wait an entire year and a half for the next Pixar movie.  The next couple are new stories and we will get both of them in 2015 Inside Out in the Summer and The Good Dinosaur around Thanksgiving. We can only hope that they are great movies, it is a fact that the short that will accompany each film will be wonderful as is the case for most.

If you want a family friendly film over the holiday season pick up Monsters University it is by far one of the better animated film to come out this year that is available to watch at home.


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