Review: Monsters University

Series: Pixar: #13

Given how relatively few films they’ve put out, it’s fairly impressive how Pixar has already shown us that they know how to do a sequel well (Toy Story 2/3) and they’ve found out how to do it now quite so well (Cars 2). So how does Monsters University do?

Honestly, it was pretty awesome. It takes us back to the monster’s world without relying too much on the predecesor. There are enough nods to the past/future to keep viewers interested without building the whole movie on them. The college setting was a really interesting touch, with a lovely amount of background details that I’m sure will keep people interested for years to come ((Although I’m somewhat saddened that the Pizza Planet truck appears to have been left out for only the second time in Pixar’s history)).

Like just about every kid’s movie, Monsters University had a number of lessons to be had if you dig just beneath the surface, some of which aren’t always the most pleasant ones to learn. For example, go ahead and lie and cheat your way to the top, everything will work out in the end (although Sully turning himself in was nice). Along with that, if you keep at your dream, eventually you’ll get there (although not necessarily how you may have expected). I’m not so sure we need even more reinforcement of the ‘American dream’, but it was nice that they showed that perhaps the idea that absolutely everyone needs a 4-year degree isn’t so necessary after all…

Someday (probably after this is out on DVD), I want to try watching them both in chronological rather than release order. With one or two minor exceptions, I think it would be a nice way to look at it.

All together, Monsters University was a lot of fun. I saw it in a sold out theater full of kids, which I think actually helped with the audience, despite the fact that I generally don’t like dealing with that many sprogs all at once. So it gets a solid Top 5 spot and I think will even edge Django another level down. That’s the problem with coming out early in the year–you keep getting displaced by the new shiny.