Hello all and welcome to another review by Robbie K. This weekend we start our reviews off with the latest creation from Pixar animation studios, a company that has made many adventures for both young and old to enjoy. Like most animation studios, Pixar has had its ups and downs, but one thing that continues to shine through is the incredible animation their team puts together. Yet lately it seems that the design team has been running out of options, resulting in sequels, spin offs, or as we are seeing this weekend…prequels. So gear up and grab something to drink as I share my thoughts on Monsters University.
Many fell in love with the colorful universe that is Monster’s Inc. and many more fell in love with the big fluff ball Sully and his loveable little human pet Boo. Yet from many of my friends and some reviewers, there was doubt that this movie would fail, since it’s the dynamic duo of scaring, only this time going to school. So what did this reviewer think of the movie? I had fun watching this movie and had quite a few laughs with all the comedic punches it threw. For one thing the college world created by Pixar was very fun, colorful, and for me quite relevant that added that emotional link that can make or break a movie. The designers took great care in designing the various buildings, quads, and other campus qualities that decorate the numerous brochures and commercials. Yet the more impressive thing to this reviewer is the student lifestyle captured within the hallowed halls of MU. Hopeful geeks who want to be cool, jocks and frat bros who are stereotypical jerks, and those overzealous studiers who spend every waking moment learning the information provided in books. The personalities were not the only thing that was entertaining about this film though. The characters also had a plethora of qualities that made the cast fun. Characters like Squishy were adorably cute, clumsy, and had ridiculous faces, phrases, and crying that was fun to watch. The character Don also had a funny voice, and probably had some of the funnier/awkward moments that made me think of my organic professor’s jokes and personality. To sum it up, the characters are fun.
Now if you think this is just going to be a cute movie that only kids will laugh at, then you’ve got some surprises in store. MU is filled with those stereotypical college situations that will have many laughing their heads off at the ridiculousness that arises. Don’t flip out, this doesn’t mean, for once, experimenting with drugs, getting liquored up, or going all the way with a female monster, this is after all a G movie. Instead Monster’s University focuses on a Revenge of the Nerd motive, taking oddballs who work hard, or naturally gifted, and placing them in a world that ostracizes them for not fitting the scary cloth. Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully’s (John Goodman) group are kid friendly version of the 80’s group, having very unique personalities and talents that make you pity, love, and laugh at them all at the same time. Older generations will enjoy the jabs at the culture they may have experienced, while kids of all ages, and kids at heart, will giggle and scream in laughter at the embarrassing and ridiculous accidents that happen to them. When the scare games begin, the laughs get better as the montage training, accident prone competitions, and geek vs. jock rumbles begin. Perhaps the funniest factor for me though, had to be how I matched up the characters to my friends and their mannerisms. With this connection in made the movie even better for this reviewer.
It wouldn’t be a Disney movie though without those moments that make your heart melt, women say ooooooh, or somehow inspire you to do great things. Monsters University is filled to the brim with these moments, and like the comedy there is some relevance to the lessons they try to teach. While some may be cheesy, Pixar and Disney did a nice job building these moments into the movie to help add the dramatic effect in the silly universe. While the younger audience members will not get as much out of this, older ones will find the problems the protagonists experience, dare I say it relevant, that helps add more emotion to the film that doesn’t involve a goofy face. Regardless the other reason for these moments is probably to help develop these characters further; helping to show how our loveable pals grew into the personalities we saw years earlier. As for fans of the series who have watched Monster’s Inc. multiple times, you get to see some nice tie ins and references to the first movie that will make many scream with excitement.
Of course there are some weaknesses in this movie that take away from the movie for me. One is, this movie is very predictable, most likely because we have already seen the fate of our heroes. Oh sure there were a few twists, or unexpected moments that made it through the cuts, but were they that surprising, not really. Two, there are some very kiddy moments that, I know are meant to entertain the kids, but get a little overdone after the fifth time we have seen them. Three, some of the other monsters we liked in the original movie get a little short sighted in this movie, including the antagonists. I mean how Randall became a jerk was a decent tie in, but I was expecting more to seeing is downfall. As for the antagonists, well they are funny and have the look, but the studio didn’t focus too much on them to make me feel they were really a threat. Finally, I was hoping to see a few other college aspects that I have experienced, though I guess we have movies like Pitch Perfect and Old School to cover those bases. With the exception of the predictability though, these weaknesses didn’t hurt my score for this movie… too much.
Monster’s University is a very fun prequel, and will be a definite for those with young family members or friends. Don’t think though that this movie isn’t for adults as well, because there is enough fun adventure that entertained most of the older audience members in my showing. With fun characters, stupid comedic antics, and some decent character development, I call this another victory for Pixar. My final word of advice, is there is something at the end of the credits for those who wait. My scores for this movie are:
Movie Overall: 8.5