Monsters University (2013)

Monsters University (2013) Poster

Genre: Comedy, Family, Adventure, Animation

Director: Dan Scanlon

Writers: Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird

Staring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Helen Mirren

Rating: ★★★★

In a time before Monsters, Inc. where Mike had braces, was even smaller, even more adorable there was Monsters University. To say Monsters University does its pre-sequel justice is an understatement, it gets funnier, cuter and even more brilliant. The new technology used by Pixar clearly shows as the quality of the monsters are phenomenal, the writing is amazing and the film as whole will certainly be remembered just like Monsters, Inc. as a classic.

We join our small, green monster friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) in his school-days taking a tour of Monsters University’s “Scare Floor”, as his big one eye gazes from a far at his heroes he realises that he wants to be a professional scarer. Scaring human children to sleep, collecting screams for energy being a professional scarer is a job that separates the monsters from the beach balls. On his journey to reach his dream Mike joins Monsters University where he meets James P. Sullivan “Sully”, (John Goodman), big, blue and terrifying and coming from a long line of the best scarers life looks easy for Sully. Whilst Sully chooses the “jock” life, pranking, partying and sleeping; Mike chooses the “nerd” life of studying, studying and studying but when the two face their first exam their conflict leads them to fail the course.

With the easy route to his dream ruined the only way Mike can become a scarer is to win the “Scare Games”. The Scare Games is a traditional Monsters University event that judges who the best scarers are, but with Mike paired up with Sully and a bunch of unexperienced “rejects” his team “OK” are certainly the underdogs. The film focuses on how the games and challenges faced bring the characters of Mike and Sully together. The fierce competition from other monsters and the principle “queen” makes the adventures of our adorable monsters action packed, fun and dangerous.

Pixar once again has managed to reflect real-life from Monsters University, in Monsters, Inc. (2001) the film and the different characters represented those in the work place. This time round the characters represent those in a school environment making it very relatable to the audience. The film as a whole has “family” written all over it from the cute characters and the great gags that will keep everyone entertained. The use of casting also attracts those older with the likes of Helen Mirren (The Queen), Steve Buscemi (Fargo) being very popular well-known figures.

The film had me hook, line and sinker from the opening, seeing the cute little Mike walking around brought back all those feelings and memories from Monsters, Inc. The way that Pixar manage to create such emotion and feelings for Wazowski with only an eye and brow to work with is incredible and new monsters such as “Squishy and Art” just emphasised the awww’s.  The storyline was also intelligent, adding information that only gives us a further insight into the life of our much-loved Mike and Sully also giving us a chance to see behind the scenes.

This film lived highly up to the standards set and I’m glad it did, I’m sure you’ll find Monsters University on the best sequel lists rather than the ones that shouldn’t have been made. Faultless from start to finish, from characters to storylines, to gags and casting. It was hilariously entertaining and once again Pixar has created an animation picture that will become a classic. If you enjoyed Monsters, Inc. then you will love Monsters University, so what are you waiting for-Its scaring time!

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich

Writers: Pete Docter, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, Ralph Eggleston, Andrew Stanton, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird, Rhet Reese, Johnathan Roberts

Staring: John Goodman, Mary Gibbs, Billy Crystal

Rating: ★★★★

Due to the recently released sequel “Monsters University” I decided to revisit one of my childhood favourites. “We scare, cause we care” is the slogan of the monsters in Monsters, Inc. Pixars animated creation states the legend that monsters do exist in the closet is obviously true. With another inventive storyline and some adorable lovable characters here’s a film that is for everyone in the family. I loved this film when watching it twelve years ago as a kid and I love it now as a seventeen year old.

The story follows the two lovable monsters James P. Sullivan (Sulley) and Mike Wazowski voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal. The two work for Monsters, Inc. the utility company who powers the city with the screams and goosebumps of children. Sulley big, blue and the companies best scream-generator accidentally finds trouble with cute, little two-year old girl Boo as he accidentally lets her into the city, Monstropolis . Mike, short, green and one-eyed has to help Sulley get Boo back home before the city gets a big shock. The twist in the plot of Monsters, Inc. is that it’s the monsters who are scared of the children and not the other way round.

The story feeds of the relationship between our adorable monsters and Boo, how the three together become close leading to a watery-eyed moment when it times to say goodbye. The other characters in the film purely represent those In the work place making the film more relatable for the adults. Monsters, Inc. released after the two Toy Story’s shows once again the brilliant, inventive imaginations of Pixar as well as their technical skills with their animation.

Just like other Pixar films it provides plenty for the family, as a child the characters alone were enough to entertain me but the silly gags and behaviour of our monsters create many chuckles. Like most children films there are also many adult humour moments creating those sneaky laughs that you miss if you’re a kid. Before viewing kids were kept awake at the thought of scary monsters hiding in the closet, after watching they will be jumping in looking for the door to meet Sulley and Mike.

Monsters, Inc. is a film that has just like most Pixar Films set a template for future family films, I personally love it and its one of my favourite animated films of all time. It has it all, lovable characters, a great storyline, laughs and an ending that leaves you with a lump in your throat no matter how old you are. I hope Monsters University is half as good as this film and does the franchise some justice, if you haven’t already seen this film then you’re missing out.