Monsters University (3D)

Disney Pixar
What it's about:

Monsters University goes back to a time when Mike (Billy Crystal) had braces, Sulley (John Goodman) was the cool frat boy and Randall (Steve Buscemi) wore glasses. Monsters University is where they learn how to be Scarers, a childhood dream for Mike and a family legacy for Sulley. Their very different methods of scaring has them at odds at first, but after being kicked out of The School of Scaring, the two must team up in The Scare Games with the most un-scary fraternity on campus, Oozma Kappa (OK), to prove that they are real Scarers.  

What we thought:

I remember the first time I watched Monster Inc as an 11-year-old, absolutely awed by the world of monsters and their use of screams as energy. It made you wish you had monsters coming out of your closet. Twelve years later, the producers decided to go the Toy Story 3 route and make a movie that appeal to their older, all grown up audience.

Having recently graduated from university, the movie makes one very nostalgic with all the exaggerated stereotypical students - the always-late slug monster, the caffeine-comatose monster student during exams and the terrifying Dean of Scaring.

Students everywhere would be able to relate to the monster students, and the funniest bits were in the small scenes with the non-headlining characters. Having said this, I do think Pixar went with a very generic university plotline – university misfits proving to the dean and the rest of the school what they can do.

From Van Wilder to Legally Blonde, the movie just took the premise of many university movies and put it into a toned down family rating. Not nearly as original as the first Monsters Inc.

That is the other problem with the film. Pixar animations are generally aimed at the kids while at the same time trying to keep the parents also entertained. Toy Story 3 managed to speak to those of us who have outgrown our toys like Andy, but still kept the young ones hooked with the toys' antics. Monsters University did not manage this.

They focused so much on the student-audience that they forgot their target audience. The university jokes and references will fly over the heads of most children who do not have much older siblings, but the movie can keep them entertained with the well-drawn and animated characters as well as the hilarious action scenes.

Despite being an animation where you expect awesomeness in 3D, I felt like the producers did not utilise this (except in The Scare Games scenes) and so I would advise saving your money and just watch it in normal 2D.

Otherwise, the detail in the animation was outstanding and Pixar's attention to the small things is what makes them one of the best animators there is. Also if you have watched the first one (which I advise you do), then look out for all the sly references to the first movie, especially Mike's supposed best friend for life, although I felt disappointment at the lack of a Celia-storyline, Mike's feisty medusa girlfriend from Monsters Inc.

With witty dialogue voiced by comedy veterans Billy Crystal and John Goodman, Monsters University is definitely worth the watch if you are a Monsters Inc fan, but just don’t expect it to be eleven-year-old amazingness.
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