Monsters University Review
by Christian Ruvalcaba, Cobbster Reviews
It’s no surprise that Pixar had finally given into the Hollywood trend of making a prequel. Of course, though many people are not fans of prequels considering they believe it can ruin the original film, I do not mind them so long as they do not ruin the original film. Even if a prequel is bad, I do not allow it to ruin the original film for me. If anything, it makes the original look even better. That was my primary fear for Monsters University. Especially when Pixar has not been on their best streak lately with releases such as Cars 2 and Brave, which received mixed reception, us Pixar fans have been dying for another classic. Which brings a lot of pressure toward Pixar as if everyone who eyes their films expects an emotionally and compelling story within a film. But I will say that it brings me great pleasure to say that Pixar has definitely delivered another great animated film to their collection.
The film returns the characters of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) where the two begin their college career as rivals. As the two collide with each other, they embark on a journey to become the top scarer. As certain events take place in the film, the two are forced to work together unwillingly as they go at each other’s throats to compete against one of the biggest Fraternities in the entire university.
Let me start by saying, this film is no way better than the first film. Monsters, Inc. has such originality, cleverness, and had a phenomenal balance of adult and kid humor. For Monsters University, they obviously focus more on the kid humor. However, if you are an adult, have no fear. This film shares a variety of moments for the entire family. To me, what I found truly mesmerizing was the amount of hilarious jabs at the cliché college life. Considering I am currently in college now, it made me feel more at home and I generally laughed at all the elements the film was making fun of because I tend to do the same: the over-the-top Fraternity jocks, the long haired hippie guitar players, and even several teachers. Not only did it impact me on a personal level, but the story unfolds to have enough heart that will put you in awe throughout the film.
The film also stars the returning character of Randall, played so superbly by the great Steve Buscemi. I found his story to be the most surprising and even the downfall of his character was amusing as well. It was great to see his character play out the way it did and it makes you realize why he is so evil in the future. The film also brings in new characters such as Art, a hairy and colored two legged monster played by Charlie Day who brings an immense amount of humor to the film, Dean Hardscrabble played by Helen Mirren, the terrifying dean on Monsters University whom I found to be just a little bit too scary even for me, Johnny Worthington played by Nathan Fillion, the president of the rival Fraternity known as Roar Omega Roar (See that? That’s hilarious!), and even the legendary Frank Oz (Yes! Yoda himself) provides a voice among many other voices that brings a lot of juice to the film.
Not once did I feel bored throughout this film nor did I feel that anything was forced. I feared that this film would feel too much pressure due to the reputation of great films Pixar delivers. The trailers do not do this movie justice at all. As the film progressed, I found myself loving it every bit and by the time it was over, I had realized I was smiling all the way through. This film is clever and truly shows how strong Pixar remains to be. The last half an hour alone is worth the price of admission. Something about the ending of this film blends perfectly with the first film and brings the two together in unison. For those of you who are fans of the original film, do no fret, many references are included that will make you giggle and say, “Hey! Did you see that? I see what they did they’re!”
All in all, Monsters University is a triumphant Pixar film and a great prequel to an animated classic. I do believe this film is a great family film and I encourage anyone who is a fan of Monsters, Inc. to see this it. For all those parents out there who want to treat their kids to something good, take them out to see this film right away. Though I do believe a prequel to a classic such as Monsters, Inc. was unnecessary, I am so grateful to have been proven wrong and to be completely entertained by everything about it. Now for a quick message to Pixar: HURRY UP AND MAKE THE INCREDIBLES 2! That is all.
Final Grade: A