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Monsters University

Monsters University: Pixar Prequel Ticks Most of the Boxes

  • Billy CrystalHelen Mirren...
  • AnimationComedy...
  • Dan Scanlon
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Monsters University: Pixar Prequel Ticks Most of the Boxes

There’s always a sense of excitement that surrounds any new Pixar release, and this has been no different with Monsters University – a prequel to 2001 hit, Mosters, Inc.

The story begins with Mike Wazowski (Crystal). The young pint-sized Cyclops dreams of becoming the ‘Scarer’ that every child fears and every monster wants to be.

Monsters University offers Mike a path to employment at the Monsters, Inc factory and nothing, or no one, will stand in his way.

Enter James ‘Sulley’ Sullivan (Goodman); a larger-than-life monster with an equally large ego, whom Mike has the displeasure of meeting during their first class of the Scaring Program run by  lizard headmistress, Abigail Hardscrabble (Mirren). Needless to say, the two come to blows as their personalities clash and an intense rivalry ensues – one that culminates in both failing a crucial exam and, subsequently, their hasty ejection from the program.

Still determined to achieve his rather lofty dreams, Mike sees the upcoming Scare Games – a series of physical games that are set to test the mettle of monsters – as his only way to prove that he has what it takes.

Directed and co-written by Dan Scanlon, Monster University serves as the first ever prequel in Pixar history. Naturally, young moviegoers will be amused, but Monsters University is far from juvenile. The story is cheerful, fast-paced, highly entertaining and is filled with lots of quirky jokes. Although it isn’t quite as original the Monsters, Inc, it’s an addition to the franchise that still has much to offer.

As expected, the quality of the visuals upholds Pixar’s standards, though, like as so many others, watching it in 3D fails to elevate the viewing experience in anyway.

Leads, Crystal and Goodman, can always be relied on and the eccentric rapport that was at the heart of the first instalment’s success is very much intact. Individually, each delivers their roles with charm and wit, while Mirren takes on the part of the unbending and strict headmistress with grace and style – despite playing a lizard.

All things considered, Monsters University is a winner.  Granted it does stand a little pale in comparison to its predecessor, but it still invariably delivers on all Pixar fronts.

Like This? Try

Monsters, Inc. (2001), Toy Story I-III (1995-2010), Wall-E (2008)

360 Tip

As a studio, Pixar has won twenty-seven Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes and eleven Grammys. Not bad.

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