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Monsters University Review : Pixar Returns to Form


Welcome back Pixar! After two years of mediocre movies that either tried too hard (Brave) or were obvious cash grabs (Cars 2), it’s great to see you all back at what you’re best at doing.

Making entertaining movies for both kids and adults while also making us think as well.

“Monsters U” is a prequel set 10 years before the events seen in “Monsters Inc.” In this story, we meet Mike (Billy Crystal-”When Harry Met Sally”) and Sulley (John Goodman- “Argo”) as they both embark to become scaring majors in college.

Unlike the first film which focused primarily on the relationship between Sulley and Boo (a human child that crosses over), this film’s main focus is on Mike and his efforts to fulfill his lifelong dream to become a scarer.

Only problem is, he’s not scary at all.

Being a prequel, the film manages to tweak both of it’s main characters from the start. Mike starts off being a know it all who’s only life is studying, passing tests, and becoming the world’s best scarer.

Sulley however, sees scaring as a natural thing and is more laid back, but still a jerk because he’s living off his family name.

I guess if I had to gripe about this movie, it would be about the fraternity they join O.K. (stands for something, can’t remember). The group of lovable losers who take in Mike and Sulley and allow them to teach them how to be scary. I kinda wish there was more time developing this group. None of them seem to get a side plot or any kind of arch of a character except for a rushed ending involving 2 of them.

Which turns out funny, but it’s still rushed.

The voice acting in the movie was fantastic as well. Crystal and Goodman bring their best as Mike and Sulley. What really surprised me though is the co-stars in the film. Charlie Day (Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Art and Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Dean Hardscrabble really steal the show on both the humor side and as the misunderstood antagonist.

I really enjoyed the colorful look this film was given. The bright colors, and amazing designs of Monsters University really made it stand out. Granted it’s set in an alternate world, but in certain scenes you’re given the opportunity to see the difference between our world and the monsters world.

Surprisingly enough, our world is made out to be more scary than the other.  It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the short that played before the film. “The Blue Umbrella” is another one of Pixar’s short film masterpieces. The look alone will stun you at just how far animation has come. It’s so lifelike, and yet so animated at the same time.

The story is simple, a blue umbrella falls in love with a red umbrella, and there is no dialogue only street sounds, but man, the look of this short. Just see it for yourself and be amazed.

This is a perfect movie to take anyone to see. Parents, kids, older folks, date movie, everyone can enjoy it. When Pixar does their movies well, it makes for perfect cinema. Wall-E, The Incredibles, Toy Story 1-3, UP, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, the list goes on. Well now Monsters University is added to this list.

3.5 out of 4, another Pixar Gem.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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