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Monsters University More at IMDbPro »

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60 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

Finally and thankfully… Pixar does it again!

Author: Joejoesan from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
9 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Of all the Pixar movies Monsters Inc. has always been my absolute favorite. The incredible story of the remarkable friendship between Sully, Mike and Boo made me watch the movie more than 10-15 times already. When it was released on blu-ray I was the first one to buy it. So when Pixar announced another Monsters movie I got concerned. How could Pixar make a better movie than the original? Or even one that equalled it? But having seen the movie last week I can ensure you all: Pixar is back on top. Monsters University is great fun and it's Pixar best since Up!.

Monsters University, a prequel to Monsters Inc., begins with a young and very little Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) still in primary school. After a field trip to Monsters Inc. he has only one dream: to become a scarer. Years later he arrives at Monsters University but soon learns he still has a long way to go. His main problem? Mike isn't scary at all. He befriends his roommate young Randall (Steve Buscemi), who at that time is an unimportant loser (and later gets seduced by the dark side). The first night he makes an enemy out of Sully (John Goodman), a freshman who thinks that his family name (of legendary scarers) is enough to get him through school. A personal vendetta is born.

Things go wrong when Mike and Sully accidentally destroy a sacred item that belongs to the devilish Dean Hardscrabble (a brilliant Helen Mirren). They get expelled from all Scare Classes and will not graduate as a real Scarer. Luckily Mike comes up with a plan, a bet with the dean. If he finds a team to compete in the Scare Games and if he indeed wins, he's allowed to follow the Scare Classes until the end. Dean Hardscrabble approves. Now it's up to Mike, Sully and his team of losers to work as a team and go the distance…

In Monsters University the Scare Games are very well done. I can see both kids and adults laughing their socks off when Mike and Sully, in the same team but still enemies, are doing their first race and try not to step on the items that make their body grow. Bizarre, but hilarious! Their next assignment, when they have to steal something in the library, is also a winner. But what really works in Monsters University is that the story is mainly about friendship. We not only see how Mike and Sully turn from big enemies into big friends; they become soul mates for life. To join the Scare Games Mike must find five extra members to form a team and the only ones left are a bunch of nerds that no one pays attention to and a big blue monster that he absolutely hates (Sully). Still Mike succeeds in making it work.

Even when you know that Mike and Sully will win the Scare Games (that isn't a spoiler, is it?), this film isn't predictable at all. It doesn't end with Sully holding up the Scare cup but it takes one more great scene to bring Mike and Sully definitely together. I will not spoil it for you, but it involves a door to the human world and a little green monster that's depressed.

Monsters University is a great film. It's both funny and sentimental in all the right places. Fans of the first movie will see a lot of cameos in this one (Yeti!). The story ends when Monsters Inc. begins. I will even advise the next generation to see Monsters University first and then go on to Monsters Inc.

Yeah, my faith in Pixar is restored. Although I must confess that with Planes coming up, things can change very fast in the wrong direction. But maybe that's because I have never liked the Cars movie.

9/10

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46 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

I guess that for once I was easy to please!

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
23 June 2013

" Monsters University" is a new film from Pixar that is a prequel to their film "Monsters Inc.". In addition to the two main characters, a whole lot of new characters are introduced at the college that Mike and Sully attended. The plot involves Mike trying to become a 'scaring major'—something quite unthinkable since he isn't the least bit scary. There's a lot more to the film than this, but I won't spoil it by saying more about the plot.

My daughter was lucky enough to go to the debut of "Monsters University". She liked it but also felt the story was disappointing since it lacked original characters and the story reminded her of too many college films (like "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Animal House"). My wife saw it with me and she said that the film put her to sleep! This is all very odd, as I am usually the most difficult to please in the family when it comes to films—yet I thoroughly enjoyed the film and nearly gave it a 9. While I would agree it lacks originality, it did make me smile. It was a nice, gentle film—one that I didn't mind just watching without picking it apart (like I usually do). Much of this is because the CGI was simply gorgeous and It was a pleasure watching such a beautiful film…as well as such a nice and enjoyable film.

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60 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

It Shines in a Summer of Disappointment

9/10
Author: Brandon Oberdorf from United States
22 June 2013

First and foremost, this movie should be almost painfully relatable to the Disney Renaissance Generation. For the convenience of the meanings told in Disney and Pixar films, couldn't be more relatable to the age of those born in the mid 90's growing up. Also, for the question of a Monsters Inc. Prequel being necessary? Make that decision after the credits roll, for this was the most enjoyable movie I've seen so far in 2013. In an overwhelming blockbuster summer of over-hyped excitement followed by mild to severe disappointment, Monsters University isn't just a good sign for Pixar, it's a good sign that 2013 can be one of the best years of film.

Now! On to the review! The story of the origin of the friendship between one-eyed Mike Wazowski and the blue furred James P. Sullivan in their freshman year at Monsters University. This film has homages to all the classic college comedy movies, and as it doesn't hold out on laughs for the kids and adults, it has a great amount of heart. Questions of what the future holds, and if our dreams are as possible as we hope they are. Punches aren't pulled on these questions, which is why it isn't just some animated movie to take the kids to see.

References to real college life are blended with superb imagination of the monster world. Rather it be a long blonde haired guitar player, or the horns on the school bus. All original voice talent returns and keeps up with the track record of great performances in Pixar films. Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi grasp their characters and give them entirely different motivations compared to the original. Instead of a hardworking team, the two have a rivalry, and the supporting cast of their fraternity supply more relatability with a great variety of lovable monsters who help fill the story with even more heart.

The compatibility with Mike and Sully can be a bit surprising, for one is the study hard teachers pet, and the other a natural born scare student. And just as you think your more like one, the other comes in and you realize that even monsters can be scared of the real world just like us today. Fear of what life has in store, and if we have the talent to fulfill our dreams. This is a theme a lot of critics are missing, and shines making it worthy of being a great Pixar movie and prequel to a great classic.

The story isn't terribly generic as one may think, and every act is more different from the last. Starting with the clash between Mike and Sully, then onto the scare games, an intense series of games that declare supremacy of M.U. For the third and final act couldn't be more surprising though. It not only serves as a great climax, but something that we can once again commend Pixar for telling great stories in out of the box thinking that we should think paying for the $10 dollar ticket is worth it. And boy did I think this movie was worth it, for I will be definitely be seeing it a second and possibly third time. It wasn't a prequel we originally wanted, but it was a film that we and Pixar needed. And boy am I glad it happened.

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45 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Monsters University pleasantly defines its title with a great story

10/10
Author: keyos27 from Canada
25 June 2013

With Animation industries overproducing computer-animated films for either sequels or prequels, expectations from critiques and longtime cartoon lovers who grew up with classic Disney movies are pretty high. For this reason, It has been a while since I get to be surrounded by parents who like to bring their kids to let them enjoy bright and comical scenes.

After coming to the theater with low excitement, not only does this movie exceed my expectation but it also proves that Pixar is not a sort of company that tries to take audience's wherewithal by making a mediocre prequel based on the reputation of an original one.

As usual, Pixar consistently unleashes intriguing, unique, and appealing characters with flexible movements and simplified traits that attract a wide range of audiences. Especially when it comes to presenting different breeds of monsters with extraordinary looks and abilities, followed by an absolute storytelling skill that moves everyone's emotion.

As the setting takes place in the old days before Mike and Sullivan get to work together in Monsters, inc., you get to find out how they meet and grow their friendship. The story consists of both internal and external conflicts that college students can unanimously relate to. Pixar does an amazing job on capitalizing as much college-related elements as possible to emphasize the importance of corroborations, personal identity, and working hard to achieve your goal. There are also tons of humors that make you laugh periodically.

In a nutshell, this is a sincere and endeavored film that sends us various messages to help us progress in many different ways. I strongly recommend this to all the students out there who are struggling with their school life. It is such an inspirational movie and Pixar still rocks!

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41 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

A must see prequel

9/10
Author: Avid Climber from Montreal, Canada
9 July 2013

Monsters University is the prequel to Monsters inc., a wildly popular animation by Pixar. It's basically a college movie set in the monster world, but with a nice deviation from the standard.

The good. Still the same incredibly interesting world with all its colors, fantastic creatures, and quirks. Interesting story, especially for the twist. Great animation, as usual. Easily enjoyable by adults. Perfect ending. Excellent voice acting.

The bad. Lots of college movie, underdogs, and jocks versus nerds clichés.

The ugly. Nothing.

The result. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one too.

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35 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Pixar back to making top quality animated films

9/10
Author: jonedney124 from United Kingdom
11 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first heard about this and saw trailers, I felt like it would be OK, a good laugh but not enough to really challenge other Pixar films. I can safely say that I was wrong on that score, for it manages to not only be successful prequel to the original film but also a great film in its own right. Billy Crystal and John Goodman slip effortlessly back into their roles as Mike Wazowski and Sully despite playing younger versions of themselves. The other main highlight of the voice cast is Helen Mirren's intimidating Dean Hardscrabble, who is a menacing presence and I'm sure the design of her character was modelled on Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Steve Buscemi's Randall also returns and although I felt that he would have a stronger part in the movie, the seeds are sown for his villainous ways in the original.

What astounded me was the creativity throughout the film, the effort that had gone into the university environment and the monsters that inhabited it (there's one monster who has university down pat in a hilarious moment that all students will understand!). The new characters that become Mike and Sully's friends, the Oozma Kappa gang, are all adorable and memorable, providing a lot of the film's humour as well as one of its most touching moments towards the end. The film is consistently hilarious but also remembers that it has to develop the initial rivalry then friendship of Mike and Sulley. The world set up in the original is also included more than I thought it would (a couple of trips to Monsters Inc. itself) and there are some brilliant cameos from two memorable characters from Inc.

Although the friend I was watching it with said that the film was low stakes, as you knew how it would end, I found that the film still managed to feel fresh despite dealing with underdog clichés and the problem of being a prequel. In a Q and A after the preview screening, the director and producer said that this was about when your dreams don't come true: a strangely anti-Disney philosophy in many ways but one that is honest and teaches kids reality about the world of work, none more so than a delightful montage of pictures explaining how Mike and Sully ended up in their respective positions in Inc. I haven't seen Cars 2 (not sure I want to) and although I enjoyed Brave, it is definitely lesser Pixar fare whereas Monsters University sees them back at the top, creating a touching and hilarious story that will hopefully see them get back to dishing out the quality every time.

I am a bit confused as to some of the critical reviews, and why this film currently has 75% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me. I sincerely hope this will go up, because it should be nearer 90. I watched Finding Nemo in 3D in April and although Nemo isn't my favourite Pixar, MU is easily as good as that. One critic argues that this film is too similar to The Internship...well that's the Internship's problem, as this film will have been longer in the making undoubtedly and judging from IMDb score doesn't seem to have anywhere near the same creativity and imagination behind it. This may not scale the heights of the Toy Story trilogy but it most certainly is not forgettable and the fact that I nearly shed a tear at one point (and it was NOT for the main two characters funnily enough) proves that the film gives more than just 'how did Sulley and Mike become friends'. If everyone keeps expecting Pixar to produce a Toy Story every time and if they leave a film having not experienced that and express their disappointment/outrage as a result, that's unfair. My favourite Pixars are Toy Story 1-3, Monsters Inc and Wall-E (10/10), then Incredibles, Up, Finding Nemo, Bug's Life (9/10) and I would place Monsters University just after A Bug's Life but in many ways it's probably better.

9/10 (RT had better follow suit)

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25 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Nostalgic film for the old and young

9/10
Author: clumbj from Kent, England
17 July 2013

The first Monsters Inc. came out when i was just 7 years old and immediately became one of my all time favourites from the day I saw it. With extremely high expectations in mind and excitement especially for Pixar's close attention to relevance (as I am actually at university now myself) I went to see the new one as soon as it came out.

The film is a prequel following closely to our much loved earlier Characters, Mike and later Sully as they present to us their lives prior to the first movie. As well as an adorable new cast of monsters which are equally lovable as the old ones.

To my delight, the film exceeded most if not all my earlier expectations. The plot is well written, funny and most of all extremely heart warming especially to long time fans like myself as well as those younger viewers that might not have even seen the first one.

The nostalgic element of the film is perhaps the most well written. Every twist and turn reveals a huge or tiny explanation to the events and habits of the characters that I previously saw in the first film. Questions I never even asked myself, like why Randall's eyes are so squinty or how Sully and Randall's rivalry originated.

Although i absolutely loved the movie, perhaps its because I've waited for 12 years but at some points it left me slightly unsatisfied and I'd have loved for some parts to be explained more thoroughly.

Regardless of my only criticism, the movie made me laugh, cried with tears of joy, almost actually cried and was both heart warming and action packed. What more could you ask for? I urge those fans of the first film as well as anyone that just wants to have a good time at the cinema to see it. It'll be well worth your time!

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44 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

They're back... and its GOOOOD.

9/10
Author: Andre Santhumayor from United Arab Emirates
19 June 2013

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is a prequel to MONSTERS INC., directed by Dan Scanlon. The characters include the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Hellen Mirren.

The film goes back to where Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan were before they were buddies and in Monsters Inc. It shows how the two of them were in university, showing the relationship between them which led up to the two of them becoming the best of friends.

Alright, so MIKE AND SULLY ARE BAACKK!!! Well, thats what every kid or adult that was associated with the enjoyment of Monsters Inc should say. Okay, so it's been 12 years since we saw these two on-screen, providing us with animated humor, and now they're back again, to show us how they were in University. The teaser trailer was extremely funny as it showed a prank played on Mike by Sully, and it gave a short look-in into the sort of relationship we would be seeing. Soon enough, the trailer came out and boy did it get people hooked. Finally, I was able to catch a premiere screening of the film, to my advantage, and IT WAS GREAT.

So let's start talking about the film, not necessarily the trailers. Who are we kidding, at first when we heard that Monsters University was coming, that a sequel was coming to the classic Monsters Inc, we gave up hope, saying that no one could make it better than the first one. But Dan Scanlon challenged that, and the first teaser proved it. And I think that the movie does it as well- kinda. So, Monsters University isn't AS good as Monsters Inc, but it does come second in line. It includes Mike and Sully in an underdog team, but throughout the film, you can't help and laugh out at the jokes, and smile at the fact that the sequel is finally out.

Monsters University is GREAT. It has two parts and its all happy and fun. I, honestly, liked the way they showed the chemistry developing between Mike and Sully. You can actually feel it, and even though its animation, it feels real. This one isn't quite sad, like how Inc was. Inc ended in a sad tune, at the fact that Boo was gone, but this one ends at the beginning of Inc. I loved the way it ended. The line that Mike uses just makes you go like, 'YEAH! Thats what I'm talking about!' Honestly, I'm not gonna say any more, because I don't wanna spoil anything for anyone.

In the end, Monsters University is great fun. Pixar has done it again, the director has managed to do it. I don't think that there is gonna be another part to the franchise, which kinda dulls me, but at the end of Monsters University it makes you wanna see more, which you will only get by watching Inc, since its the continuation. Go watch Monsters University, with anyone to be honest. I guarantee you an extremely fun ride that these two will give you.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY- 9.5/10

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41 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

The Pixar we all fell in love with is back!

10/10
Author: David Maldonado from Puerto Rico
20 June 2013

Monsters University is the best Pixar film since Toy Story 3 in 2010, and as good as Monsters Inc.

After Toy Story 3, Pixar Animation has been doing films that got short for the standards make by them. Cars 2 in 2011 didn't make it to the final round on the Academy Awards and Brave in 2012 won that year just because it was Pixar and they didn't receive the Oscar the year before, but the movie didn't have anything special. So, after the good streak of Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3, Pixar fell way too low, buy this summer they have raise up and brought the perfect family movie of 2013 (by far).

Even thou we are seeing some of the old characters like (obviously), Mike, Sully, Randall and even George Sanderson (the monsters that is shaved for the 3312 alert), this movie feels different from its predecessor/sequel. What Monsters Inc. gain in sweetness with the Boo's character, this one compensates it with laughs. Since Finding Nemo in 2003, Pixar films has lost a little laughs, and introduced sweetness, but in University the smiles are back.

But it's not only about the laughs. The whole philosophy of the world is different. Inc. was about questioning the world they live in and everything they know about human kids. In University, scaring a kid is a good thing and is what give value a monster. If a monster is not scary then, what kind of monster is it? So, those two simple things gave the movie a whole new and different vibe.

The story is pretty much what we have seen in the trailers, but funnier. However, there are some unexpected twists that make it a even more solid film. So, we are safe to say that you haven't seen it all, even if you have seen every single trailer and clip in the internet. The ending is great, odd coming from Pixar, it works perfectly to the story when you think about it and don't make room for any sequel to the prequel, because it closes every gap.

It would be a cliché to say that the animation is amazing. This is Pixar that we're talking about. All the details on hair, scales, skin and even feathers are stunning. Even better than that is the animation on the characters expression. It is unbelievable. They don't have to say a word to send a message because with their faces they say it all. Sully could be an Academy Award winner, but what Mike does with one eye and a round body doesn't have a word to be described.

Some people will say that in Monsters Inc. Mike says to Sully, "You have been jealous of my looks since fourth grade". However, the characters first meet in college. Well, director Dan Scalon said that they actually thought about that and get to the conclusion that Mike said that as a common expression referring to a long time period and not literally that they have meet since 4th grade. The only problem is that to sustain that excuse they should have use it at least one time in this film. However, we never hear such a phrase to be told by Mike or any other character in the film. That will make those people think that Scalon only said that excuse to safe the story.

If you are human enough to ignore that stupid and insignificant expression, then you will enjoy Monsters University. You will laugh, the kids will love it and everyone will remember why they fell in love with Pixar and this particularly characters 12 years ago.

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30 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Once again a pretty solid effort from Pixar. Great job.

8/10
Author: almanjit25
9 July 2013

Pixar is the source of some of the most deep, thoughtful and meaningful CG films and have created a great name for themselves. Personally i love most of their films. I almost joined the naysayers prior to this films release before reminding myself that Pixar has never really let ME down. And as expected excellence reigned supreme. This is in my opinion a really good film. Perhaps not at the level of Up and Wall-E, but it is certainly not bad either.

Animation: A+ The animation is fantastic, then again what else can be expected from Pixar. Top quality CG that is detailed and yet so brilliantly original. Sully and Mike look fantastic as do all the other characters. And if you see the detail of the university, Mike's room and many other portions such as that in the human world, you will be flabbergasted by how amazing it looks. The cuteness of the characters is an added bonus. Pixar is one of those rare studios that pay the greatest attention to surroundings as well as every other aspect, making you want to take notice of everything from posters in the dorm, headlines in newspapers and the sheer workmanship of the great environments whether they are the university, the living room, the bedroom or any other setting.

Story: B+. OK i agree there were parts that had resemblance to Revenge of the Nerds and Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire and it got quite to close to situations in college movies of years past. Though the originality of the scare games and what they signify to Mike is really quite sweet and pretty original if you think about it. I like the youthful characters of Mike and Sully but the change in personality is way too drastic when comparing to how they turn out in Monsters Inc. Also they at some points feel like characters from similar movies and this tends to make the film feel tired. So it is best not to make comparisons if you want to have a good time.

You don't get your usual ending and the pretty true-to-life messages elevate it from being just ordinary. The reality of their situation and the hard life lessons that are thrust upon them give a picture of the pitfalls life gives us in real life and the effect it has on character. These are just some of the major, resounding themes. And yet even through it the positivity and depth still resonates. You will no doubt smile all through and have several genuine laugh out loud moments that add to this pretty great emotional mix.

Yes a college comedy does not need to be PG or R rated to be funny and this one succeeds in triumphing over other college movies. And as someone who understands and has been through what Mike's character faces in this movie, that added extra resonance and heart. A twist on the similar films, heart(as with all Pixar), depth, resounding mature themes, life as we know it, witty humor and smiles galore, what more could you ask for? There are some minor continuity errors between the prequel and the original but those are minor and the story more than makes up for it. All in all a good effort. Monsters Inc is a great film, and one of the absolute best from Pixar. Monsters U may not be at its level but it nevertheless a very good film.

Music: A. The score is good, really good. Though i felt so much similarity between it and the Toy Story trilogy as well as The Princess and the Frog. Then again they too were works by Randy Newman and those scores were great too. Perhaps it is just me but i also noted similar music to Up in this awesome film.

Overall: A great film that can be seen as a family, a group of friends or individually. A film that will be appreciated especially by college student. Pixar once again does a good job.

As a small note, look out for great references to Monsters Inc. It will add to the smiles.

8/10.

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