The summer film season once again brings us a new film from Pixar. This time around we have our first prequel from the studio in the form of Monsters University.
Mainly following the early years of one-eyed monster Mike Wazowski, the audience sees what help make him the scarer he becomes in Monsters Inc. We also get to see how the friendship formed between Wazowski and Sulley (John Goodman). As we follow their journey through college at the prestigious Monsters University, Mike and Sulley find themselves on the outs of the college’s scaring school. However, Mike finds a potential way back into the school in the form of a wager with Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren). Now all they have to do is win the school’s “Scaring Games” with their team of fellow scaring school rejects from Oozma Kappa, and they are all back in. It won’t be easy as among their rivals is the fraternity Roar Omega Roar who are the best of the best scarers on campus.
Throughout the film Mike and Sully will be running into characters Monsters Inc. fans will be familiar with, most notably a young Randy Boggs (Steve Buscemi) who will do anything to fit in with the cool crowd. The laughs are pretty frequent and the humor is fresh throughout. The film is also full of the same heart that many of the Pixar films contain. In following the life of Mike Wazowski, we see a person who never gave up when he was told that he couldn’t do it. That aspect of the film serves as a great lesson to the younger audience it is geared towards. Also, many of the trials and tribulations Mike and Sulley face on campus will find many current and former college students being able to relate.
The animation of the film is also top notch. Also, you do not feel limited as the settings even though it mostly takes place on campus. The story is strong enough for both adults and children to understand and enjoy. Ironically, a movie dealing with monsters has some very vibrant colors in their world which makes it even more relatable for audiences (the 3D really enhances the colors). However, darker tones are used when the monsters have to do their thing (mainly try to scare children of course).
Get to the theater early as there is a special animated feature before the film. The Blue Umbrella, directed by Saschka Unseld, is a unique photorealistic experience. Following the adventures of a love stricken blue umbrella, we follow him through the perils of the streets and the forces of nature to find the red umbrella he was stricken by. Much like last year’s Paperman, the concept is simple. However, the creator does a lot with what he has and tells a great story.
Monsters University is rated G and is available in both 2D and 3D formats.
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