My Thoughts on Monsters University

MonstersUniversity In this prequel to 2001’s Monsters Inc., the latest Disney/Pixar film Monsters University looks at the college years of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) as they learned to become scarers.  Even though they eventually become best buddies, Mike and Sulley begin as bitter academic rivals, with Mike being an over-eager bookworm and Sulley more interested in getting right to the scaring.  However, Mike and Sulley fail to impress the strict Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), who ends up removing both from the program.  In order the get back in, Mike and Sulley reluctantly team up and join with a fraternity of outcasts to participate in the “Scare Games” and prove their worth. Monsters University is the latest of a growing number of follow-ups to previous Disney/Pixar films.  There was a period when it was thought that Pixar could do no wrong, but now it is becoming the belief that the animation studio is merely a cog in the Disney machine and that they are sacrificing original ideas for marketable franchises.  Indeed, last year’s Brave was the only original Pixar film released in the last four years and even that film received a bit of a lukewarm reception.  Of course, even though animated films have strived over the last decade to become accessible to people of all ages, at the end of the day, they are still kids films and I still believe that Pixar is still quite capable at producing quality family entertainment. For what it was, I can say that I enjoyed Monsters University.  While this typical college-set underdog story is far from the best film Pixar has done, it still does a decent job of introducing us to the characters from Monsters Inc. and hinting at the monsters they would become.  Other than Mike and Sulley, the only other major character to return is, one of the previous film’s antagonists, Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi), who is introduced here as Mike’s more friendly and nerdy roommate.  There is a cameo towards the end of the film, which does mess a bit with the continuity, though it was obviously done so Pixar’s most recurring voice-actor could appear in the film. Overall, while it can easily argued that there was no need in making a prequel to a film from 12 years ago, I didn’t see anything overtly wrong with Monsters University.  At the very least, it will be a film that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside (pun intended).8 | LIKED IT