Synopsis: 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.
Release Date: June 21, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy
One of the first Pixar films to wow audiences with its charm and unforgettable characters was Monster’s Inc. (2001). It only took twelve years but audiences favorite Pixar animated monsters are back in Monsters University, a prequel that finds Mike and Sulley where it all began, at college. Focusing on Mike’s lifelong desire to be a scarer, Monsters University takes viewers all the way back to his days at Frighton Elementary School, where Mike got his first sight of what it is to be a Scarer–the highest form of Monster one can become, in Mike’s vision. Flash forward many years, and perfect grades throughout, Mike has arrived at Monsters University, and its time to start learning how to be a Scarer. Perfection is, of course, what Mike is all about, but while the book smarts may come easily to him the scaring is a tad more difficult. Its rough when you’re a wee high one-eyed green monster without any remarkably scary attributes. The same can’t be said for Sulley, a big bad furry brute of a Monster who has the scare part down solid; the book smarts are of little consequence to him. When Mike met Sulley it was not a friends for life moment. Quite the contrary, actually. Viewers may know Mike and Sulley as the best of pals as adults, how they got there is a story full of ups and downs, confrontations and bullying, comedy and laughter, and above all else a solid telling of accepting people for who they are, strengths and weaknesses considered. What better place to learn this than at Monsters University.
The journey for Mike and Sulley to become Scarer’s will not be an easy one, thanks to the flying creepy roach-like Monster Headmaster Dean Hardscrabble. She doubts Mike’s ability to be a Scarer, and even though Sulley is Scarer royalty, thanks to his father, his charms are lost on Dean Hardscrabble. If only they had each other to help one another out–that would be the easy and ideal situation. Alas, the screenwriters had to complicate their origin story to make things more interesting; so they made them antagonistic foes. Mike and Sulley can’t stand one another. It is only when they are forced to band together with a group of misfits in the Oozma Kappa (OK) fraternity that Mike and Sulley will try to make peace. The road is paved with difficulties, and plenty of laughs for all to enjoy. It all takes place in the Scare Games, and the fate of their future lies in whether they win or lose. In perfect misfits make good fashion, Monsters University pits the cool kids against the nerds of the school, and Mike and Sulley are part of the nerds along with a group of less-than scary Monsters.
Monsters University may be about Mike and Sulley’s quest to become Scarer’s, but the important part of the story is the moral that lives within. Mike and Sulley have to accept one another, and the other members of their team, in order to become victorious. It is only by learning from one another, and accepting each other for who they are and what they are capable of can they be successful. Monsters Univerity does an excellent job of teaching viewers (children, this is for you) an important part of life. Things are only made incredibly better by having the characters be unique-looking Monsters that are always up to some sort of funny hijinks.
If you’re going to make an animated comedy you have to have the laughs, and plenty of them. Monsters University is undeniably laugh-out-loud funny, at specific moments. Overall its more charming and smile-worthy; with a great cast of unique Monsters that each have their own quirky sensibility that keeps things interesting. Mike and Sulley are the same as they were before; Mike with his neuroticism and Sulley the kind-of clumsy scary big guy Monster that has a soft heart. The new Monsters making an appearance is where the most humor comes from, like Don the Monster with sticky tentacles whose always getting “stuck” in situations–he’s also a salesman, and an adult student–keep your mothers away. Or Squishy, the lovable and squishy monster who looks like he is made out of marshmallow; a decedent of the famed Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man perhaps? Just with many more eyeballs. A favorite part for anyone with undoubtedly be when Mike and Sulley are chasing the rival University’s Mascot Pig through campus.
There is always something to smile or laugh about in Monster’s University, and on occasion you just might get your funny bone ticked very hard. Its not going to be the funniest animated movie you’re even seen, but Pixar films are rarely hilarious. They have the comedy, mixed in with sentiment, and that combination makes for a great time watching Monsters University.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Dan Scanlon
- Screenwriter(s): Robert L. BairdDaniel GersonDan Scanlon
- Cast: Billy Crystal (voice of Mike)John Goodman (voice of Sculley) Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy)Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble)Peter Sohn (voice of Squishy)Joel Murray (voice of Don)Sean Hayes (voice of Terri)Aubrey Plaza (voice of Greek Council President)Charlie Day (voice of Art)
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Randy Newman
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA