Monsters University

Monsters University

(2013)

School never looked this scary.

Disney/Pixar's prequel to Monsters, Inc. (2001) about one-eyed Mike and big Sully's rocky road to friendship after first meeting at university. Billy Crystal and John Goodman again voice the pair, joined by Steve Buscemi and freshmen to the series Helen Mirren and Charlie Day.... More

Inspired by seeing a professional in the act when he was a child, Mike devoted his schooling days to becoming a scarer, even though his stumpy appearance is anything but frightening. Determined to ace his first semester at Monsters University, he runs into Sully: a slacker who gets by on his monstrous frame and family reputation. When an incident puts the pair in hot water with the Dean, the duo are forced to work together in the annual Scare Games to avoid getting expelled.

This is director Dan Scalon's first animated film but he's a Disney man, co-directing short Mater and the Ghostlight and working as storyboard artist on features including Cars.Hide

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Flicks Review

With Brave not living up to its many expectations and Cars 2 being straight-to-video rubbish (yeah, I said it), the prospect of another Monsters Inc. film came with its own set of fears. But despite the hefty pressure from pessimistic naysayers (myself included), Pixar has created a cinema rarity: a great prequel to a beloved property.... More

A family-friendly comedy about life on campus sounds like a total paradox, yet the character roster of college clichés lends itself so well to exuberantly monstrous parody that it makes you wonder why they didn’t do it earlier. None exemplify this more than Art, the philosophy student who spaces out at the sight of a butterfly. How they manage to animate a purple furry lower case ‘n’ with such believability is anyone’s guess, but he is only one of many aspects that make up this visual power-bomb of vibrant colour, chaotic creativity and frighteningly meticulous attention to detail. That merit also extends to the generously ushered gags: the young-uns were giggling at the slug who sprints like a glacier while a multi-limbed creature chugging three cups of pre-exam coffee had me chuckling out of nostalgia.

The voices of Charlie Day and the radically intimidating Helen Mirren prove to be pitch-perfect additions while Billy Crystal and John Goodman continue the same quality vocal partnership they showed in Inc. – it’s as if they never got out of the recording booth (for Crystal, that’s a real possibility).

While University spouts some eye-rollingly predictable plot-turns that would be atypical of Pixar’s narrative majesty of yore, their storytelling power comes into force in the third act, which presents an interpretation of failure as a necessity for growth. It’s not about what you’re built for but what you can build yourself to become, the film suggests, a point brilliantly executed in a climax that proves Mike’s talents as an orchestrator of fear.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 7 ratings, 7 reviews
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BY Lucy-Power superstar

Not as good as the first Monsters Inc. movie, but still enjoyable. Good for a laugh with friends or if you have kids. Don't expect too much from it; it's not one of the "clever" Pixar movies.


BY Dan-Thompson superstar

Pixar! What's happened to you? Better than Cars & Brave, worse than Toy Story, Up, The Incredibles & Wall-E. Lower your expectations and you'll have fun. Kids will like it.


BY Rhys-Rushton superstar

Fraternity shenanigan's, tricks and payback all play out in Pixars prequel to Monsters Inc. This kids animation has the usual simplified adaptations of issues that affect those older than the target audience to good comedic effect.

Over and above the themes. The action and story-line plays into the child and child at heart. All set in the college days of our heroes Mike Wazowski and Sulley. We see how they become the unbeatable team they are today.

Good old family fun and giggles.


Great to revisit the old characters, a fun story and beautifully drawn (as always). A cut above the standard animated fare, as you would expect from Pixar, but not quite up there with the original. If I had to put my finger on one thing that was lacking I would probably say laughs. Made me smile a lot but didn't make me laugh.


BY swp1988 lister

It's tough to say if Pixar will ever return to the astonishing heights of their hay-day (If you count pretty much everything pre-Toy Story 3, excluding Cars). Since then they have churned out an unbelievably mediocre sequel, a well-designed, but bland original piece and I honestly felt I could be disappointed with this prequel to a wonderful film. I'm glad to say I was wrong, for the most part about Monsters University.

Monsters University takes us back to the very beginning with Mike and... More Sulley's insertion into university. Were they the best of friends then? It's good to see that the Pixar team has tackled the story a little differently than you might expect. It opens up the possibilities for more exploration of character and truth be told, it only really finds that place during the final 20 minutes. What comes prior appears to boardline a Disney film in its cute factor and fluffy antics and the charm might not be as strong as Monsters Inc, but I felt enough laughs and wit squeezing through for to me feel welcomed back to the world.

Monsters University proves a solid achievement that appeals strongly to the kids and has enough laughs and the odd thoughtful message for us adults. It shows that Pixar haven't continued down the hole that they fell into recently, but I wonder if they will ever scale their unbelievable heights again. I can continue to hope.

**Star Rating - 78/100**Hide


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The Press Reviews

78% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A fun, disposable watch. Full Review

  • An alarmingly lame effort from Pixar... The third consecutive less-than-first-class Pixar entry. Full Review

  • If the film lacks the heartbreaking quality of Pixar's revolutionary best, there's no demerit in playing it solid and safe for a change. Full Review

  • Zippy, bright-minded prequel scarcely needed to exist, yet makes for perfectly agreeable entertainment now that it does... Deals honestly and inventively with the hard reality that some talents can't be taught and some dreams remain unfulfilled. Full Review

  • A gentle, poky riff on college-comedy clichés, complete with a villainous, snobbish fraternity, a heroic, outcast fraternity, and a stuffy, intimidating dean (Helen Mirren, wonderfully severe). Full Review

  • Dazzlingly clever and hugely funny, it succeeds both as a broadening of the Monsters universe and as a film in its own right. Monsters University had a tough task, and it’s passed with honours. Full Review

  • Both the originality and stirring emotional complexity of "Monsters, Inc.," with its exquisitely painful and touching parallels with the human world, are missing ... Full Review

  • Pixar falls back on the tried and tested in an entertaining caper that will be a surefire kid pleaser this summer. Old favourites are always welcome, but it would have been nice to see some more new ideas too. Full Review

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