Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Monsters University is a prequel to the brilliant Pixar film Monsters, Inc. It tells the tale of how Sully and Mike meet at school and go from being rivals to best friends. All throughout his childhood Mike Wazowsky (voiced by Billy Crystal) has struggled to fit in and be taken seriously, so he dreams of one day becoming a Scarer at Monsters, Inc., one of the most prestigious jobs any monster could aspire to. He decides to attend Monsters University to study scaring and once there he meets James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman), who is everything Mike isn’t. Sully is big, popular and the son of a famous Scarer. When their rivalry causes them to both fail their final exam and get thrown out of the Scaring Program, Mike and Sully are forced to join a fraternity of misfits and work together to lead them to victory in the University’s Scare Games. If they win, they will earn their way back into the Scaring Program but if they lose, they will have to leave Monsters University for good.
This film was a lot of fun. The animation was, as always with Pixar, top notch, but there was so much more to Monsters University than that. In the first film Crystal and Goodman had such a crisp and natural rapport that it was easy to believe that these two characters had been best friends for years and they slipped back into those rhythms seamlessly for this movie. The voice work was across the board excellent with turns from Charlie Day as Art, Sean Hayes and Dave Foley as Terri and Terry, Joel Murray as Don and Steve Buscemi as Randy. The scenes with the fraternity of Oozma Kappa are so funny that you can never get enough of them, particularly Art who has some of the best lines in the movie. There was also a great message in the film that I think is great for kids to hear: it’s ok if you don’t always get exactly what you want, because there may be something even better waiting for you that you never even imagined. Kids today watch TV and movies and they believe that there is only one path to happiness and that life is a waste if all of your wildest dreams don’t come true right away.
I have nothing negative to say about this movie. The jokes were funny, the story was engaging, the voice work was great and it came in under two hours which has been a rarity this summer. Just as good for the parents as it is for the kids, Monsters University kept me thoroughly entertained. A
I loved Monsters University. This movie is a winner for several reasons. First, the vocal acting is spectacular. Crystal is wry and funny as Mike as I especially enjoyed Joel Murray as Don. Second, it is easy to take for granted the genius of Pixar's animation--because they do it so well. The visuals are stunning and vibrant. Third, the jokes are designed to be funny for both parents and their children. This movie is fun for the entire family. Fourth, the theme is universal and I love that the happy ending Mike imagined was not the one he ended up with and that is real life. Sometimes no matter how much you want something it doesn't always work out. Monsters University is the standout animated movie of the year for me and worth every penny at the theater. A