Ok, seriously, where do I sign up for Monsters University???
The prequel to the worldwide success Monsters, Inc. has every quality to be a box office charmer. Set 10 years before the events of Monster, Inc., Monsters University (MU) chronicles the college life of Mike and “Sulley”. They both are enrolled to major in Scaring but a series of events causes friction between them and things begin to crumble before our eyes. No major spoiler ahead – but as with all Disney movies – there is a happy ever after. Well, that was perhaps one of the very few qualms about the otherwise spectacular 111-minute display.
13 years ago, I could barely be considered a teenager when I enthralled by the sheer brillance of Monster, Inc. Now an adult, I am unashamed to say that the magic of Disney films still steals my heart. Plus, it really doesn’t get much cuter than this bunch of monsters!
However, the plot isn’t groundbreaking stuff and Pixar doesn’t really redeem herself from subpar efforts of Cars 2 and Brave. Playing with university themes like “Scaring 101”, and fraternities and sororities just for scaring – really cute and makes me want to sign up for such classes (someone sign me up now!!!) – but it never really takes off. The element of novelty and freshness was seemingly missing.
On the bright side, there was hardly a dull moment and I was left laughing till it hurt. It’s not too profound for the little ones and yet not too simplistic for the young at heart. And I can assure you, you’ll fall in love with the quirky members of the Oozma Kappa frat! *Squishy is all sorts of cute*
Disney even set up an “official” Monster University website – where you can find out everything about the university and ‘enrollment’ details!! Check it out here: http://monstersuniversity.com/edu/
Helmed by the same guys that voiced Mike and Sulley (as well as majority of the cast) more than a decade ago, they reprise their respective roles. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard to believe that Billy Crystal and John Goodman are in their 60s, voicing characters who are supposed to be in their college years.
What I was impressed by was the the graphics and animation. Having caught the animated film in 3D, it is truly a dazzling work of art. While I’m usually not a fan of 3D and would avoid it at all costs but for MU – I would recommend you to enjoy it in its full glory! Pixar’s productions has never failed to amaze and excite the visual senses.
The only fault that I could with MU is that it is a tad too predictable and there was no twist in the story (I quite the sucker for the 0h-my-I-didn’t-see-that-coming moment!). But I guess it’s more kids-oriented so it had to be a little more straightforward.
A food-for-thought though – Pixar has been big on advocating the importance of hard work and determination (seen through the trials that Mike and Sulley goes through and with other animations like The Incredibles), and that sometimes it is really ok to be just ok. Just what the doctor ordered for kids (and perhaps adults as well), in the world of unrealistic demands and competition.
As with a Disney/Pixar productions, a short film was featured in front of Monsters. A love story between a red and blue umbrella, titled The Blue Umbrella, had the honors this time round. The six-minute film that premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival shows how daily inanimate objects on the streets of America (mailbox, construction signs, drainage pipes) come together to help unite the two lovelorn umbrellas. Excellent technicalities and idea but came off as trying too hard for me. Decide for yourself:
Check out the official trailer for MU!
*You might want to stay till after the credits for something extra (; *
Monster University premieres in theaters on 20 June 2013.
All images courtesy of Disney/Pixar.