Saturday, July 06, 2013

Review - Monsters University (2013)

Starring Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Helen Mirren.
Directed by Dan Scanlon.

When I heard that Pixar is releasing a prequel story to Monsters Inc, I got pretty excited -- excited that I'd be able to see my two favorite monster buddies again. Monsters University highlights how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) became best friends. This happened while they attended university (hence the title of the movie) and we see their journey in becoming the scary duo they are now.

I know most persons anticipated a sequel but I was happy when they announced it would be a prequel story. We get an idea of where the main characters are coming from. While Monsters Inc was a bit more focused on Sully, Monsters University was a bit more focused on Mike. The movie opens up with us getting to know a young Mike and we see his motivations for wanting to attend Monsters University. The character Sully then slides in when we're at the university stage but the movie still does a good job of letting us get to know both characters fully. Even though they are best of friends in the first movie - they actually started out as fierce rivals. We also meet a young nerdy Randy (Steve Buscemi) in this movie, as he also attended the university. He has a minimal role but at least we got to see the relationship between him and the duo and an idea of how they became rivals in Monsters Inc. I like Helen Mirren's voicing of Dean Hardscrabble - a strict and sinister semi-villain kind of character. Mike and Sully were not only feuding with themselves but had to deal with the likes of the Dean who gave them a hard time as well.

Monsters University boasts a premise that we're all familiar with. I didn't mind that they went with this approach to introduce these characters. If you've seen movies like Revenge Of The Nerds or even Pitch Perfect, this movie will probably remind you of them too. What I like about Monsters University is that, even as an animated movie it was still able to capture that college feel, characterizations and stereotypes. However I was disappointed at the lack of humor overall. Yes it does have its moments where it will provide you with chuckles but it was nowhere near as funny and witty as its predecessor. The new characters do what they can to make it fun (especially the Oomza Kappa squad) but there is an overall more "serious" tone to this film. I think the writers decided to just play it safe although it does get a little more fun loving and exciting towards the end.

Monsters University boasts a familiar but solid prequel story about how these two monsters became best of friends. However I really thought that they could have injected some more humor into this movie. It is still a decent family flick but I can't shake that disappointing feeling.

PS. - the 3D was useless.

Rating: 7/10


  1. Mrs. Squibbles listening to death Metal was the funniest part. I laughed pretty hard during that scene.