My Thoughts On… Monsters University

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!

Synopsis

A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends. (via IMDb)

  • Monsters, Inc is one of my favourite Pixar films (though picking just one feels a bit like it must if someone asked a parent to pick a favourite child). When I first saw it, I fell obsessively in love with Boo, and obviously she doesn’t appear here (it being a prequel). But the relationship between Mike and Sulley is great in Monsters, Inc, and it’s really fun to watch how it developed.
  • As I mentioned in my post on The Smurfs 2, children’s films are allowed to be funny for adults as well as children. Pixar manage this over and over again, and Monsters University is no exception. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve probably already seen the snail-like monster trying to hurry to class.
  • After Boo, Mike is my favourite character in the monster universe. Billy Crystal plays him to perfection; he’s hilarious and intelligent, and here, in Monsters University, you get to see the more vulnerable side to him. I also loved little Mike. He was so cute!
  • I loved that the film didn’t end in the way that so many other sporting/college movies end. It felt like it was going to for a brief minute, and then everything changed and I liked it.
  • I enjoy a prequel because I love watching a film where you know where you are going to end up. I like the little nods to the future that you get; here, we meet Roz briefly, and discover the root of the animosity between Mike and Randall. What I liked best though, was that Sulley doesn’t end the film as a qualified scarer, even though we know that’s what he ends up as. We get to learn about his and Mike’s rise to the top at Monsters Incorporated through a series of photos.
  • I feel like I’ve missed out on Pixar’s shorts a lot in recent years, not least because I don’t always get to see the films at the cinema. I saw this one though, a short film called The Blue Umbrella, and I adored it. It was beautiful and sad and wonderful. Try and see it if you can!

What I Didn’t Like

  • It’s not as good as Monsters, Inc. It’s just not. Nor is it as good as Toy Story (any of them), or Finding Nemo. But it’s better than Cars and Cars 2. And Brave for that matter. Pixar not at its best is still, in my opinion, better than almost any other animation studio at its best. (I’m a Pixar fanatic.)
  • It bothers me slightly that there are no substantial female characters here. There’s just Helen Mirren’s Dean Hardscrabble, and there’s a group of sorority sisters who barely have any lines. Apart from Roz and Celia in Monsters, Inc, there’s not really any there either. I need a bit more time to really organise my thoughts on this matter, but it seems as though there is a particular type of female character in the Monsters, Inc universe, and I don’t like it. I think I spotted a female scarer this time around, which would (I think) make one more than in the first film.
  • Whenever I type Monsters University, I want to include an apostrophe. I know it doesn’t need one, but if it had one, it wouldn’t be grammatically incorrect. And it would make me feel better.

I really enjoyed Monsters University, and I expect I will want to buy it when it comes out on DVD. I’ll always prefer MonstersInc, but that’s not to say that this isn’t perfectly enjoyable. I know it has a number of detractors, and there are those who are suggesting that the golden years of Pixar are over, but I would probably dispute that, at least for now. As I said, Pixar on a bad day are still pretty much the best animation studio (just forget Cars happened, yeah?).

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