Sunday, June 23, 2013

Monsters University: A Review


Did I scare you? No?  Darn!  Well, I guess I better ask my pals Sulley and Mike for some tips…

Yes, I did go to Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University Friday night.  Originally, it was just going to be Bestie and I, but her parents decided to come along too, which was fine by me!

Surprisingly, they were playing the movie in a smaller theater room, and it was very crowded when we got there (so get there early!).  The only place with five seats exactly (her older brother came along too) was right in the second row, basically six feet from the screen.  So yeah, not exactly the most comfortable I’ve been to see a movie…

Just want to quickly mention about the Frozen trailer that played before the movie: I had mentioned the teaser earlier, and indeed the one before Monsters University was the exact same teaser from the previous post.  A bit of a disappointment: I’d at least like to see some footage from the film!  And there was also a trailer for Planes, Disney’s next feature this summer, but I got the feeling (have had the feeling) that Planes is going to be very much like Cars, just in the air.

Before I begin my review, I want to state that I am not very familiar with the first movie, Monsters, Inc.  The mechanical child scared me when I was younger, and still kind of does, for reasons I do not want to discuss.  But I do enjoy the story of the first movie, and I think I know enough about it to be able to make comparisons between it and its new sequel.  However, this is just me saying that I may make a wrong assumption about Monsters, Inc., but now you’ll know why.

Now, grab that popcorn, settle back in your seat, and enjoy the show….

A Little Blue Umbrella

Like with every Pixar movie following A Bug’s Life, there is a short animated film that plays before the main feature.  For Monsters University, the short was The Blue Umbrella.  So I’m going to take a few words to discuss it.

In short, The Blue Umbrella is everything you love in a Pixar short.  As someone on Tumblr puts it, you could call it Paperman with umbrellas.  The story deals with two umbrellas on a rainy day who fall in love.

The two love-umbrellas.
.gif image from britta-perry.tumblr

I absolutely adored the two characters – especially how they stood out among the other drab umbrellas.  The entire short had a very nice look to it – in fact, if I didn’t know better, I would almost think it was live-action because it’s so lifelike!  But it is indeed completely animated.  What we can do with computers these days is simply amazing.  The story was cute, very much like Paperman (which I love) indeed, and like Paperman, there were no words, only the sounds of rain, rusty metal, and gushing water.  There was a musical score, but it was so cute and light that it didn’t distract from the film at all, it only added to the mood.  All around, a simply breathtaking, beautiful short film.

Kudos, Pixar.

But now the credits of the short are rolling, and our main feature is about to begin!

Welcome to MU!

When I came back from the movie, of course my sisters and parents asked how the movie was, to which my response was: “Great!  It was everything you expect in a sequel.”

I actually bought one of my "roomies" for next
year this same poster as a birthday present, since
she has been super excited for the film!
Poster image from Wikipedia.

But before I get into that, I first want to say that Monsters University is everything you just expect a Pixar film to be.  It’s a story of friendship obviously, and Sulley and Mike’s journey to becoming friends really held the entire movie together.  It has heart-warming scenes, and plenty of humor.  I was laughing or chuckling a lot!  I enjoyed every minute of this movie.

The movie can also stand on its own.  Unlike other movie sequels, it doesn’t just repeat the first movie or anything.  There is interaction with the human world, of course, but nothing about Boo.  The film instead focuses on Sulley and Mike’s beginning rivalry and then friendship as well as their shared dream of becoming scarers.  You didn’t need to have seen the first movie to understand this one.

Now in terms of sequel/prequel-ness, this movie establishes things from Monsters, Inc.: Randall’s jealousy and rivalry of Sulley, how the two became friends of course, and even how they started working at Monsters, Inc. (which trust me, is not what you expect!).

Also, the movie was very unexpected.  And that’s a good thing.  Constantly, I was asking myself about what more could the movie have up its sleeve.  And I was always surprised.  And yet, at the core, the movie didn’t lose track of its plot and main conflict: Sulley and Mike’s willingness to do anything (and I mean, anything) to be part of the Scaring Program at MU.  And that, my friend’s – the movie’s ability to take you by surprise but keep an eye on its main goals – is this film’s shining quality.

Finally, Monsters University was not rushed, but went at a steady pace.  What do I mean by this?  The last Pixar film Brave, though I love it very much, had a rushed feel in my opinion, but this movie moved smoothly, all the while (as I’ve mentioned before) keeping its eye on the goals.
And that folks, means a good movie.

So while I live by the mantra that a sequel is never as good as the first*, this one comes pretty darn close at breaking that mantra.

I gave it four out of five Mickey Heads.


Hope you enjoyed the movie!

.gif image from cocoapuffy.tumblr

*with a few exceptions


  1. Ugh I can't stand the fact that Disney is making Planes. It looks terrible.

  2. You and me both, Sara. At least it's not part of their official canon because I believe it is a DisneyToon production. Yep (see link). That makes me feel a bit better. lol


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