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I really loved Monsters Inc, but this movie failed to meet expectations. Yes, it offers a little back story on two of the most memorable characters of all time, but I was not attached to them like I was during the first movie. The best scenes are at the end when Roz makes an appearance...Mike and Sully are great characters, but in the first one, you had some minor characters who made the movie much more charming (Roz, Boo, etc...) and I just didn't find myself growing any attachment to Mike's college nerd buddies. A good movie and maybe would be much more entertaining to someone who hasn't seen the first (little kids would giggle at the monsters I'm sure), but this movie misses the mark.
This film continues a downward trend at Pixar, whose movies have
declined measurably in quality, especially since being purchased by
For a sequel, Monsters University makes an earnest effort, and is reasonably watchable. But there's not enough meat in the haphazard plot to really capture the viewer's imagination. The themes are childish and familiar.
Technically, the film looks good, as expected. The voice acting from Crystal and Goodman are as good as you would expect.
There's just not a lot else I can say about a sequel to a film which I always thought was a weaker entry in Pixar's catalog.
The Incredible, Brave and universally Monstrous animation studio Pixar
have undeniably been heard roaring the loudest with their 14 feature
films amounting to their reputation at the forefront of motion picture
animation, and film in general. The studio's small in number yet great
in quality features make it unsurprising that there is a particular
expectation for the animators to deliver more masterful art in the
present and future. However, most recently Pixar have delved into the
past with their first and very highly anticipated prequel, Monsters
Monsters, Inc. (2001) brought Pixar into the 21st century by opening doors into an entirely unique universe for audiences of all ages to enter. 12 years later, and the children who grew up with Sully, Mike and the rest of Monstropolis have been invited back to experience a stage in these great characters' lives that many of us also find ourselves in: university.
Monsters University sees Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan meet for the first time as they both desire to attain their major from the Scare Program but both have different views on how to pass the class. While Mike operates as the educated, hardworking, fearless yet physically unintimidating scarer, Sully excels fearsomely well at the scaring, but lacks the motivation, courage and book smarts Mike possesses, causing the pair to become rivals.
The writers constructively use the beloved on screen relationship between Mike and Sully to explore their differences in Monsters University, which are ironically everything they need to complete each other as a pair, as classmates, as colleagues and as who knows what if Pixar decide to expand the Monsters franchise further. This prequel justifies itself solely in the exploration of Mike and Sully's match as the perfect scare team; yin and yang embodied on screen.
As if Pixar were not punctual enough with the timely release of Monsters University (MU) for those who grew up with the original, but its setting also plays host to the film's central storyline which follows the MU Scare Games. With the release of this monster movie coinciding with the one year anniversary of the hugely successful London Olympics, Pixar manages to capture a marginal fictionalised element of magic that the 2012 Games accumulated, but a fraction alone is enough to captivate audiences, which Monsters University does indeed.
The parallels between the challenges that the MU fraternities must face and those accomplished last summer are certainly not forced in this prequel, and so make for delightfully relevant entertainment as we see Mike and Sully reluctantly join the same fraternity to fight for their survival in the university's Scare Program, overcoming numerous, humorous obstacles along the way.
Monsters University has a mix of fun features, all contained within a single, fun feature film. Whether you're a toy, bug, monster, fish, superhero, car, rat, robot or most likely just an everyday human, Monsters University will almost definitely delight and satisfy with enough laughs to energise the whole of Monstropolis. Pixar really unhooked the leash in 2013, having changed the tone from Monsters, Inc. whilst still managing to keep the collar on this prequel to ensure it belongs to the 2001 animation. While it lacks the heart and depth of the original, Monsters University surpasses its predecessor with a blend of humour, visual vibrancy and enough universityisms to keep any student mentally reaching out to the screen in relation, as the film reaches out to us in so many ways.
Monsters University has many welcome throwbacks (or throw forwards chronologically speaking if you prefer) to Monsters, Inc. that are only supplementary magical moments to the energetic, Monstrously good, nonstop party of animated fun. Monsters University proves that Pixar can graduate to prequels and still remain successful. The studio has just about every metaphorical studious qualification imaginable, and yet their fantastic writers, directors, animators and actors continue to imagine and conceive new, unique artwork. This provides us with excellent family fun, heart-warming stories and allegories, with Monsters University as the latest, and certainly one of the greatest. In all fairness however, most of Pixar's features sit atop their greatest offerings as it is difficult to favour one over the other.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like many Pixar fans, I have high expectations when I see their films. This one, I totally appreciated. Some criticisms are that it felt a little formulaic with the scare games plot device, and maybe not as sentimental as some of their more emotional stories. What I liked was that it was obvious that a tremendous amount of work went into it that can be appreciated over many viewings. I felt that the world and the characters of this movie mostly felt consistent with the original movie, although I thought Mike didn't seem so type-A in the first one. I don't think any of the new characters will become my favorites, but they were still excellent. I liked everything about the look of the movie--they are perfectionists with colors, lighting, design, and every other technical aspect. I always like reading the making-of books and seeing the concept art, along with all the other things that go into the movies, such as sources of inspiration. The ending really tied it all together for me. I felt like everything up to that point had been leading to that moment, and it was inspiring to see Mike reach his goal.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this movie last night and loved it! it's probably my favorite movie, and I watch lots of movies( but I usually say that every movie is my favorite movie-this movie beats them all). I only watched Monsters Inc. about two weeks ago, probably because I was born in the year that movie came out, s obviously I didn't see it. But, Monsters University really made me want to have another movie like it. It's about MIke Wizowski's dream of being a scarer and he goes to MU,Monsters University, to learn. But, he gets kicked out of the scare program, like James Sulivan (they don't like each other yet).Mike forms a scare team for the scare games, which included monsters that you'd never think would make it, so he could get back in the scare program (he made a deal). I'm not going to say anymore(I know this kind of spoiled it), because you have to watch it yourself. It's the best! So, if you're thinking of which movie to watch, but you're unsure, choose this movie, because you will be pleased. <3
I just prepared for something more all these times after monsters company. It supposed to be a monsters world with some unique characteristics that tell the whole story beyond human things,but unfortunately "Monsters University" wasn't a good second tale about them,also with many goofs about the background of Mike and Sullivan which my 7 years daughter also noticed it!. But making joke about some old fashion universities legitimation,some crazy honored clubs and circles aren't bad at all.Somehow the whole story lowered as some teens movies about going to college and hell of being a freshman.I just hope nobody suggest it as Oscar Nominated animation of year!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It has been 12 years since John Goodman and Billy Crystal voiced the
original star characters. You would think by now Pixar could have come
up with a better story. The premise is in the title, the story is non
Perhaps Mike doesn't see how bad this is because he is looking at it through one big eye. The 3D up charge is wasted on Mike and everyone else. The movie is long for a animated feature and it feels long and redundant with scare games, scare contests and scarcely anything happening.
The good news is it isn't very scary and got a "G" rating. The bad news is there isn't much there for the adult in the audience. It is not funny.
There is a message about cheating and consequences but it gives the impression so what if you are kicked out of college. So what if there is nothing to this prequel except a big box office.
Monsters University: the prequel that no one asked for, but everyone
will watch. It would appear that Pixar has recently run out of original
ideas and has resorted to making sequels and prequels of older more
successful movies (Cars 2, Planes, Monsters U and Finding Dory). That
being said, the film was actually pretty decent and was rather
watchable and enjoyable. The film had multiple unexpected twists, which
avoided having an all too predictable ending. It also explained many of
the features of its sequel, like Randall's rivalry with Mike and Sully
and the Abominable Snowman.
Reviving the voice talents of Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi and adding Helen Mirren and Charlie Day, amongst others, this film stayed within the universe that the original movie had created, however in comparison failed to live up to its predecessor's greatness.
The Pixar classic "Monsters, Inc." called out for a prequel in the same way that "Cars" called out for one sequel and one brand extension which is to say not at all. Anyway, the studio needs to bring in revenue while it works to recover from "Brave" so out comes this exploration of Mike and Sully's origin story. Even given the original already established the universe, the story still lacks originality with fairly stock characters and situations. The writing fully lacks the crackling lines of the original and is someone maudlin and overly dramatic for a kids animated comedy. Billy Crystal and the always excellent John Goodman put in a journeyman effort but their occupation of the AARP demographic while playing teenagers does raise the question of why Disney didn't just find some sound-a-like younger actors (Billy Crystal's "Lawn Gyland" accent invites easy imitation). The animation does present some great architectural shots and is colorful and entertaining. In short, had the original never existed "Monster's U" would sit as a pleasant but forgettable summer popcorn experience.
It really does feel like some form of sacrilege to not like a Pixar
movie with the company producing grand movie after grand movie for so
long it makes one feel uneasy when a product of theirs lacks heart and
lacks the soul that made their early outputs so amazing. Sacrilege
officially committed then, for Monsters University is an average film
and a reaffirming that the mojo at Pixar is waning.
After mediocre efforts Cars, Brave and the nothing short of a cheap cash grab Cars 2 (which I have avoided seeing at all costs to try preserve some Pixar love) it's not exactly a secret that Pixar have seemingly lost their way, whether due to Disney's takeover or not. Monsters Inc was a fantastic movie filled with charm, humor, heart and a story that seemed wholly original. Monsters University is anything but, a movie that again seems to exist solely to produce a range of toys that can be sold in conjunction with its release, and while not terrible by any means is not even in the same ball park as it's predecessor.
Setting this prequel story in a college setting seems to be an excuse for Pixar to play up every college movie stereotype available. From outcasts, jocks, mean headmasters and sororities everything in the film feels somewhat cheapened by it appearing to be some form of homage or in joke, something early Pixar movies never had to contend with. It must be said also that the iconic characters of Mike and Sully seem diminished in this film, banter between them that sparkled in Monsters Inc fizzles here which makes audience investment a lot harder.
Monsters University has some laughs and travels along at a fast enough pace so you never feel bored with proceedings. It's a movie though that's story feels pointless with the usual follow your dreams message the only real element to be taken from it. No doubt this colorful movie will appeal to those under the age of ten but for all of us ten year olds that have now grown up, Monsters University is a forgettable and regrettable entry in the once untarnished Pixar canon.
2 and a half angry librarians out of 5
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