Monday, 8 July 2013

Movie Review: Monsters University

Title: Monsters University
Director: Dan Scalon
Year Released: 2013
Running Time: 104 mins
Classification: G
Genre: Animation, Family and kids, Comedy

The most anticipated prequel has hit the screens, Monsters University!

Monsters University is the story of how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) meet before Monsters Inc. If you don’t know who Mike and Sulley are and have no idea what Monsters Inc. is, then you must go, now, watch Monster Inc. then come back to this review.
If you have seen Monsters Inc. go re-watch it anyway.

But first, Blue Umbrella, the most recent Pixar short played before the movie is brilliant and is completely new to the design of Pixar. If anyone can make people feel for inanimated objects, Pixar can. 
Back to the review.
Monsters University did not leave me disappointed and is exactly what I thought the movie would be. I wouldn’t say it was the best but definitely is on par with Monsters Inc., if not, then a little less only because it uses the same characters in Monsters Inc. so doesn’t feel original – which it shouldn’t feel, since Monsters University is a prequel to Monsters Inc.  

The start of the movie is just too cute. Little Mike is sooo cute to the point I felt disappointed when older Mike gets off the bus in front of the University. This movie is purely about chasing your dream and not giving up. Mike is inspired to be a Scarer and will do what he can to be one. The storyline is very cliched. It has your usual jocks, cheerleaders, punks and losers. Both Mike and Sulley have to prove their worth by joining forces with the members of the Oozma Kappa fraternity (the losers) to win the Scare Games. The only thing not cliched about this movie is there is no love interest which is a plus. There was no room for it.

Monsters University has all the ‘Pixar’ needed to make it a funny family film. If you have seen Monsters Inc. you will love the guest appearances in this movie. As for the new characters, I found Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) terrifying and I use the word terrifying because I don’t like anything that has more than 4 legs. Eeuuggghhh……
The character designs of the Dean and Art (Charlie Day), a member of the Oozma Kappa fraternity was the most interesting. I may not like insects, but for the role of the Dean, an insect was the most appropriate. As for Art, he is just all furry with tree trunk legs and tiny arms. A little bit awkward appearance-wise but the most mysterious and funny of them all. As for the other Oozma Kappas, they were ordinary. I understand that’s the point but their unique abilities were awkward. It made the last competition unconvincing even though Pixar did its best to illustrate Oozma Kappas' weaker potentials. I felt more towards the Oozma Kappas as a group rather than them as individuals.

There is some character development in this movie, mostly focusing on Sulley… and Randall has some screen time. It’s not a very successful development when most people know how Sulley and Randall will be in the future. The focus of this movie is on Mike and I loved it. In Monsters Inc. I favoured Sulley over Mike. I found Mike bossy and a little selfish. In Monsters University, he’s still a little selfish but it was driven by his dream. He might be bossy towards the Oozma Kappas, but he never gave up on them and did his best to help. This is typical of the main character in college films but having believed Mike was bossy and selfish, it was nice to see it wasn't the 'true Mike’.

My favourite part is the end of the film and how they become Scarers. It’s not what one might think it would be, but it proves hard work does pay off. There are funny scenes but I preferred the story itself. The funny bits were a bonus.

I’ll definitely be re-watching Monsters University again and may even follow that with Monsters Inc. True to a Pixar film, I’m sure there are a lot of Easter egg surprises in the film I have missed. I enjoyed Monsters University and recommend everyone to go watch it, just remember: relax and enjoy. Mike and Sulley will always be the lovable monsters they are.

Terri’s Rating: 4/5

Note: There was one fault I found. I may be wrong but in Monsters Inc. as Mike and Sulley walk to work, I’m quite sure Mike mentions he met Sulley.

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