College For Kids – a Review of Disney*Pixar’s “Monsters University”
- Runtime: 110 minutes
- Rating: Rated G for general audiences. All ages admitted.
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ROOAAR! Was I scary enough for you? No? Well then, I’m going to have to attend a university to help me know how to scare you better! Now what’s the best university I need to apply to to help me become a professional scarer?
Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.
Monsters University, of course! This school offers the best education for those monsters who want to become true scarers. But for us humans, it just happens to be a great movie that we see since we’re now out of school! As you read in the synopsis above, we indeed make our way back in time and back to school for Pixar’s newest film where we first meet green eyeball and fury skyscraper monsters duo as individuals looking to be the best. But like in most “best-of-the-best” scenarios, you might just encounter some college drama. But don’t worry! As you already know from the first Monsters’ film, Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) certainly make up for the better and now the whole monster and human world have been made better because of it (and this movie).
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Here’s what I loved –
1) I loved the themes!
With any animated film, the graphics usually remain standard across the (chalk)board, but what compelled me the most was the storyline. The movie begins with a young Mike Wazowski who had a dream of becoming one of the best professional scarers in the monster world. To achieve that dream, he had to go where all the other best scarers had come from… Monsters University. This storyline was one I related to the most out of all the Disney movies because I myself am going to become a freshman in college and not only that, but I (if I may speak for the rest of us) have dreams and the beauty of that dream is what “Monsters Inc.” director Pete Doctor said about the new film. “When one door closes, another door opens.”
MU Producer Kori Rae continued saying “It never occurs to him (Mike) that he might not realize his goal. But we don’t always get what we want, including life-long dreams. It’s perhaps the hardest lesson for any of us to face, but it’s the benchmark of maturity.” It’s in those thematic statements where you’ll find yourself as you’re lead around campus as the film progresses.
2) That it was relatable!
I just absolutely LOVE how the storytellers at Disney and Pixar can turn stereotypical things into a slap-your-knee, laugh-out-loud, family-friendly movie that everyone can relate to! I remember my parents forcing me to study, do my homework, and try to get me to see the “big” picture of college. Not to say that any of things are bad, kids because there’s one part where you’ll find yourself loving your mom even more!
Although the movie has its own plot that tells how Mike and Sulley got so close, you’ll soon find that the things they go through that develops their relationship flows to you in these college elements you’ll see throughout. Maybe their conflict resembles the one you had that ultimately got you your best friend!
But regardless of whether or not you’ve even been to college or been in any academic setting, you’ll certainly get the film without having to think (which is a students’ favorite thing, right? Wrong). On the flip side, if you have been to college OR have seen “Monsters Inc,” you’ll certainly appreciate the many things you’ll see that just make this movie shine like a teacher’s apple. We recommend getting familiar with the original Monsters tale before seeing this movie because it’ll only add to your gratifying movie-watching experience as you see 12 year old characters and their humble beginnings…
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The Final Verdict –
To put it simply, this movie was an A+. In all subjects.
It had the heart, the familiar and lovable monsters, things to relate to, and even life lessons. This whole movie works because it retells an important life lesson of experienced by monsters and humans alike that we have to face reality and that sometimes that reality can be totally different than what we think it should be. It’s what all college students seem to find out along their way to their diplomas and specially went for Mike and Sulley too as you’ll see in the film.
The “Monsters Inc.” franchise is more than a decade old now and for those who always wanted to see another movie like the original one, you won’t be disappointed.
“Monsters University” glues the art of Pixar animation with classic Disney storytelling to paint us a picture that we can all relate to and that we can all enjoy together. You will find yourself in the theater laughing and cheering like a college cheerleader and thats because MU isn’t just a great university – its a great movie that college students, college students at heart, and college students to be (like me!) should all go and see.
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A couple more things you should know before you head out on your little college road trip to your nearest theater:
a) Although this isn’t a Marvel movie, STAY AFTER THE CREDITS.
b) We can’t forget about the short film that precedes the feature! “The Blue Umbrella” is yet another cute and heartfelt tale that tells the story of a lovestruck umbrella that “flies away” and may not get what he wants just like Mike. What you ultimately get is a 6-minute short that’ll make you think about how your umbrella is feeling the next time you bring it out. It’s another great example of Pixar’s ability to tell stories without words and with inanimate objects.
All reviews are made by Lance Cruzado, Walt Disney Studios writer for DisneyExaminer.com. All reviews are personal opinions and may not reflect the attitudes of other writers for DisneyExaminer.com unless stated otherwise.
These films have been screened prior to the release date for review purposes and therefore are viewed without charge by The Walt Disney Studios.