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Monsters University Review: LIke comfort food for the cinema

Over the years, Pixar Studios has earned the trust of parents with their witty, visually compelling, and often poignant animated movies. They have become a stalwart ally for entertaining kids of all ages. Even Pixar Studios being acquired by Disney seemed to be an inspired choice. Yet with the trend towards producing sequels taking root at Pixar, one has to wonder whether the focus on creativity has been replaced by maximizing profitability. Nonetheless, the recently released “Monsters University”, much like comfort food, will delight and satisfy even the most cynical appetites.

How’s the Story?

MonstersU_225Being a prequel, “Monsters University” at its core centers around the sweet story of the origin of Sully and Mike’s unlikely friendship. Mike, the cute little green one eyed monster, arrives at Monsters University, a place chock full of 70s and 80s college comedy movie references which adults will appreciate (Editor’s Note: there’s a even a reference to the horror flick “Carrie”), determined to reach his goal of becoming a Scarer. Inevitably, his pursuit of his dreams intersects with Sully, also a student of Monsters U, who carries himself with the swagger and feigned indifference of one who believes his birthright from an elite Scarer family guarantees him success. Therein lies the foundation of the conflict driving the plot. Will they be able to overcome their differences, find a way to work together, pursue victory in a Greek Games style competition while leading a ragtag fraternity team of misfit monsters, and learn the value of accepting who they are?

How’s the animation?

Big Monster on campus.

Big Monster on campus.

Sometimes it’s so easy to be drawn into the on screen world of Pixar’s animated movies that it’s difficult to process they created these worlds from scratch. The sheer myriad of exquisitely detailed eye pleasing scenes gives one the sense Monsters University was shot via cameras on location rather than conjured up by a team of animators. Kids in the audience were completely enthralled which of course sparked several question and answer moments between children and parents throughout the run of the movie. “Little Mike’s so cute!” “Why’s Sully being mean to Mike?” “I’m not scared, are you scared?”

Any Bathroom breaks?

Monsters University although somewhat predictable is by no means a dull movie. Quick paced and full of laughs, one will be hard pressed to find a lull. But if nature calls, I’d recommend when Mike and Scully first arrive at the OK fraternity house.

Overall Rating: B

Recommended for all ages 3 and up.

Pros: Positive themes, family friendly, funny moments, beautiful animation, comforting movie going experience for kids.

Cons: Can be formulaic at times. Lacks the depth and heart of the original.

View Official Movie Trailer for “Monsters University”