Directed by Dan Scanlon
Starring the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, and Steve Buscemi.
Pixar’s been in a bit of a slump lately. Cars 2…well, the less said the better. And Brave had a lot of great ideas, but never really gelled. So I did not have great expectations for Monsters University. I mean, of the possible Pixar sequels they could make, a prequel to Monsters Inc was near the bottom of the list for me. But still, I’m a Pixar fan, and I’ll be there for pretty much anything they do, and I was mildly curious about expanding the Monster universe. Could Pixar start reclaiming their former glory?
Ever since he was a little monster, Mike Wazowski has dreamed of being a scarer…those elite monsters who venture into the human world to scare children and collect their screams for energy. After studying hard and working hard, Mike has gained acceptance into the most prestigious school of scaring, Monsters University. But early on, Mike gains a rival in legacy student James P. Sullivan, who thinks he can just coast through school on his family name. And they’re both stunned when they flunk out of the scare program at the end of the first semester. But Mike finds a loophole and makes a wager with the dean. If Mike and his team win the annual Scare Games competition, to find the scariest frat/sorority on campus, they’ll be allowed back in the program. Needing a team, Mike and Sully join last place frat Oozma Kappa. Will Mike’s book smarts and Sully’s street smarts be enough to whip Oozma Kappa into shape and win the Scare Games? Will Mike and Sully ever put aside their differences and become the best friends we saw in Monsters Inc?
What I Liked
They do a very good job of re-introducing the monster world and making children threatening again. And there’s some genuine emotion at play at the film’s climax, which I felt was missing in Pixar’s last two outings. There’s some clever gags, some new quirks to the monster world that I liked. And the new characters are good, as Helen Mirren makes a very menacing dean who’s reputation as one of the top scarers is well-earned.
What I Didn’t Like
There is a feeling of having seen it all before hanging over the film. And you know, as a Pixar junkie, you’re getting a little bored with the film when you start counting down to when John Ratzenburger is going make his cameo.
I actually found it to be very satisfying, and it feels like Pixar is heading back in the right direction.