‘Monsters University’ Movie Review – Welcome Back
Mike and Sulley are back! But instead of seeing what happens to them next, Disney•Pixar offers us Monsters University, a prequel to the 2001 movie Monsters, Inc., where we find out how Mike and Sulley met in the first place.
The big challenge when doing a prequel is that audiences are familiar with the characters and already know where they end up, so anything that comes before has to be believable in the context of what happens next. In this case, we already know that Mike and Sulley end up becoming best friend and one of the best team working at Monsters, Inc. But how exactly did they get there? Well that’s what we find out in Monsters University.
The movie takes a look at the college years of Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman). When we first meet them, they are certainly not friends, in fact they couldn’t be more different. Mike’s lifelong dream has been to come to Monsters University (MU) and become a Scarer. He has studied his whole life to get here. As for Sulley, he’s a natural-born Scarer and doesn’t take this whole studying thing very seriously. So when their competitive spirit crash into one another, it gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program, and now the only way for them to get back in is by working with an odd bunch of misfit monsters and prove their worth.
Monsters University is the ultimate tale of the underdog rising up and two seemingly opposite character coming together to become the best of friends. And even though, we know where Mike and Sulley eventually end up, Monsters University is full of excitement and surprises. Even Mike and Sulley’s path didn’t end up the way I had expected and that’s what makes the movie such a joy to watch.
I still remember how much I enjoyed Monsters, Inc. when I first saw it and to get to go back into this world is pretty wonderful.
The new characters added in the film are all very endearing…well almost. Dean Hardscrabble (voice wonderfully by Helen Mirren) is more intimidating than endearing, but she is a lot of fun to watch.
Oh and I need to make a special mention of kid Mike, who is so freaking adorable!!! I seriously could have watched an entire movie featuring him… maybe they can do a prequel to the prequel… Anyway…
Also getting a new Monsters University film 12 years later, also allows the animators to create things that wouldn’t have been possible to do then. Billy Crystal and John Goodman mentioned how surprised they were at the ability to animate fur. But that’s just part of it, the monster world is absolutely beautiful and it was just a pleasure to watch all around.
Monsters University is really the movie to see this weekend if you want something funny and sweet and it’s perfect for a family outing.
And I should also mention that in the Disney•Pixar tradition, Monsters University is preceded by a short called The Blue Umbrella. While it’s animated, it feels very different from other shorts we’ve seen before. It’s about two umbrellas falling in love, I thought it was adorable! So there’s yet another thing to look forward to when you go see Monsters University.
Monsters University in now in theaters and is shown in 3D in select theaters. You can watch the trailer for the movie here and more photos below.