FilmReview

Review: Monsters University

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Writer

Twelve years is a long time to go without seeing someone, so Monsters University is a welcome return to the lives of iconic Pixar personalities Mike and Sully. The studio left quite a gap between Monsters, Inc. and its highly anticipated prequel hitting theaters June 21st, so audiences are more than ready to see what’s in store for these beloved characters. Though not as original or breathtaking as the original, this prequel is still a high quality Pixar production that is meant for people of all ages.

Pete Docter, director of Monsters, Inc., didn’t return for the prequel as he was busy with Up when production began.  This made way for Dan Scanlon to make his Pixar feature debut.  For the most part he doesn’t miss a beat and makes a heartwarming and touching film that, at least visually, is on par with most of Pixar’s masterpieces.  One slight issue with the film is that it has a pretty straightforward “anti-bullying” message.  Pixar played it safe here compared to other themes they have explored in the past.

The voice acting is still incredible and it is good to have Billy Crystal and John Goodman back with their easily recognizable voices.  Sean Hayes, Charlie Day, and Joel Murray join up with the two leads as members of their fraternity.  These characters are what really make the film enjoyable.  Charlie Day plays a goofy short-armed monster named Art who provides a lot of humor to the film.

Nathan Fillion and Helen Mirren both voice very compelling and frightening villains that help add conflict to the story. Mirren’s Dean Hardscrabble is an especially terrifying creature that is beautifully animated.  A villain can make or break a film and both of these help to make the film the quality work that it is.

The film has a lot of references to stereotypical college traditions such as stealing a rival school’s mascot and the hazing of fraternity pledges, which help make it a hilarious satirical look at college lives and other films that portray college life.  The witty intelligence of the writers really shines through in this aspect.

There is something for all age groups in the movie.  Kids will enjoy the lighthearted humor and colorful characters.  College-aged people will love the small gags and references to the experiences they are currently going through.  Adults with reminisce about their own college years. Though you may not be moved too much emotionally or have the same experience you had with Pixar’s greats, it would be hard to think of a reason that you wouldn’t at least have an enjoyable time at the movies watching Monsters University.

See this if:

You are looking for something lighthearted and fun, but nothing you really have to think too hard about afterwards.

Don’t see this if:

You are looking for something a little more action-packed or something more poignant.

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