Movie Review: Monsters University (2013)

Disney had been planning on creating a Monster’s Inc sequel, ever since it came out in 2005. However, Pixar and Disney couldn’t find a middle ground, Disney planned on using it’s Circle 7 Animation team, to make the film. Within a year though the  Disney cancelled Circle 7, putting the sequel on hold. In 2010 though, Pixar and Disney finally came to an agreement about a sequel for Monster’s Inc. It ended up being a prequel, the only one made by Disney and Pixar. Monster’s University was released on June 21st, 2013. It did so well they did an animated short called Part Central a short while later.

A class of young monsters visit Monsters Incorporated when a young Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) is made fun of for his dream of being a scarer. Fast forward to eleven years later, Mike has entered Monsters University as a scare major. He meets James P. Sullivan, otherwise known as Sulley (John Goodman). The two are vastly different, Sulley comes from a long line of scarers where as Mike has to study hard. They both try out for the fraternity on campus but only Sulley was accepted into the popular Roar Omega Roar. Later in the semester, they end up in a fight which leads to them knocking over Dean Hardscrabble’s Scream canister. The Dean fails them both, resulting Roar Omega Roar in expelling Sulley. 

Mike enters the Scare Games with the Oozma Kappa fraternity and Sulley and has a wager with the Dean (Helen Mirren) that if they win, they will be reinstated to the scare program or leave. Together the team comes in last in the first challenge but since another team was disqualified for cheating, they were saved from elimination. For the next challenge, they work hard using Mike’s knowledge and training program, putting them in second for the next challenge. In the final round, they win but only because Sulley had rigged the bedroom machine for a maximum score. 

Upset by this information, Mike breaks into the school’s door making lab determined to show that he’s meant to be in the program. Mike goes through a door leading to a cabin full of campers. Mike runs for the woods. Sulley is asked to join the Roar Omega Roar again but he declines then he confesses to the Dean that he cheated. Just then the Dean was alerted that Mike broke in to the lab and she forbids anyone else to enter. Sulley disobeys and sneaks through to the human world to find Mike. They make up but cant get back through as the Dean deactivated the door while waiting for the authorities. Mike and Sulley are chased by camp rangers until Mike realizes that they needed to get enough scream energy to open the door again. Together they as are the rangers which overloads the energy for the door. Mike and Sulley make it back just before the device breaks surprising the Dean. 

Oozma Kappa is accepted into the scare program with the exception of Mike and Sulley. Mike was expelled for breaking in and Sulley for cheating. As they were leaving, Dean Hardscrabble came to wish them luck on their future and how they really surprised and impressed her. Not long after the two friends were hired at Monsters Inc., making their way up to the scare team.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I have a love hate for this sequel. Honestly not one of my favorites. While it is full of Easter eggs and gives a back story to Mike and Sully’s friendship, it also feels like a kid friendly version of how college is portrayed in movies. Almost every movie taken place in a college setting has the typical fraternities, sororities and just looks like no learning actually gets done. While they do exist, its not everyones experience, nor do we really want children to think College is all about fitting in and partying do we? I’m not for canceling Monsters University but I do think Pixar could have done better.

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