Staring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Alfred Molina
Director: Dan Scanlon
Genre: Animated, Family, Comedy
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar
In Theaters: June 21, 2013
On Video: October 29, 2013
Monsters University is a prequel to the 2001 sensation, Monsters Inc. The story tells how all of the favorite characters got their start just after high school and entering their collegiate educations.
The screams of children is the primary power source for the residents of Monstropolis. At Monsters Inc, those screams are harvested not unlike any other commodity. But to make it to Monsters Inc, every monster has to start somewhere. In Monsters University, Mike, Sully, Randy and more get their start towards becoming the scarers we all know and love. Mike is not a traditionally scary monster, with his lone eye that encompasses easily 25% of his body, he doesn’t pose much threat. But his smarts and knowledge is where he makes up for lack of ferocity. Sully on the other hand comes from a privileged family, the Sullivans. He is the quintessential “jock” and fluffs off at school, relying on his lineage to get by. Randy (known better later as Randall) starts out friends with Mike and is a rather modest monster. Compeition begins to mount between Mike and Sully and when the equivalent of collegiate “Greek games” starts, they are forced to team together alongside a ragtag group of misfit monsters. The team ultimately wins but at great cost to one of the team members.
What I Like About It
Monsters University is a fantastic movie for kids for a wealth of reasons. First of all the characters; they are very enjoyable, recognizable and relatable. Anyone who has been to college has likely seen or been one of the characters in Monsters University. Whether it’s Mike, the ambitious bookworm; Sully, the popular jock; Don, the older salesman going back to learn new skills; Squishy, the adorable momma’s boy; or any of the dozens of other characters. This ragtag group comes together to make fantastic team that learns to work with their strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Teamwork is just one of the many lessons that Monsters University instills in the viewers. When you work together, anything can be achieved. Sully coasts by on his family name, and just expects to be successful and when the reality shows up that he won’t be, he relies heavily on Mike and the rest of the team. Success through hard work is another lesson taught; study and you can be as successful as you want. This is expressed most by Mike who is always studying, tenacious about his education and is determined to be the best.
I also really like many of the visual components of Monsters University. Specifically, later in the movie when Waternoose is shown with an afro, that literally made me laugh out loud. I liked how Dean Hardscrabble starts out as an intimidating school leader and by the end is humbled by her acceptance of Mike and Sully. The quality of animation meets and exceeds the original Monsters Inc.
What I Didn’t Like About It
The only, and I mean the only thing I didn’t like about Monster University was the bullying that went rather unaddressed. I felt like there were a number of situations where characters were put down, made to feel inferior and generally bullied. Perhaps those characters persevered in other ways, but they I felt like they never specifically addressed the bullying and in today’s day and age of kids getting bullied, I would think that it would have been specifically addressed as something that shouldn’t happen.
All in All
I really enjoyed Monsters Inc back in 2001, and now over a decade later, the franchise is refreshed with a story of how the characters started out, and it’s just fantastic. There are a variety of life lessons for children, tweens and teens alike to learn from. I highly suggest this to just about anyone.
Be sure to post a comment of what you thought about Monsters University.