Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Film Review: Monsters University

About the film
Monsters University is an animated film which was released by Disney/ Pixar. The film is a prequel to the 2001 film Monsters, Inc. It is rated U and has a run time of 104 minutes.  

A young Mike Wazowski is the smallest and least scary monster in his class at school. He’s always the last one to be picked for anything and doesn’t have any friends. But, at a trip to Monsters, Inc. Mike realises that his dream is to be a scarer when he grows up and to major in scaring at Monsters University. Eleven years later, Mike is ready for his first day as a scare major and meets his new roommate Randy and a big, blue fluffy monster called Sulley.

While Mike studies extremely hard, Sulley think he can get away with passing classes by using his one big roar as a scare tactic. A rivalry brews between Mike and Sulley which eventually causes them both to be drop from the scare program. But, they must join together if they want to get back on it and join Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of unscary monsters. Their only way to get what they want is to win the Scare Games… together.

Billy Crystal as Michael "Mike" Wazowski
Noah Johnston as Young Mike
John Goodman as James P. "Sulley" Sullivan
Steve Buscemi as Randall "Randy" Boggs
Joel Murray as Don Carlton
Sean Hayes as Terri Perry
Dave Foley as Terry Perry
Peter Sohn as Scott "Squishy" Squibbles
Charlie Day as Art
Helen Mirren as Dean Abigail Hardscrabble
Alfred Molina as Professor Derek Knight
Nathan Fillion as Johnny J. Worthington III

What I thought
Monsters, Inc. is one of my all-time favourite films. I have Mike and Sulley toys on top of my DVD case and I could happily watch it over and over again. So, I obviously couldn’t wait to watch the prequel, Monsters University although I had to wait until our flight home from Florida to see it.

This film takes us back to the beginning of Mike and Sulley’s friendship. The plot was great because not only did it focus on how Mike and Sulley met, but it also introduced some fantastic new characters as well as having others from Monsters, Inc. This means that you don’t need to have seen Monsters, Inc. to be able to watch this one but there are added extras for you if you have. Young Mike isn’t popular, he isn’t scary and he certainly doesn’t have much going for him apart from being super cute – not the best thing if you’re a monster. On a school trip, he learns what it means to be a scarer at Monsters, Inc. and that becomes his life’s dream. He knows Monsters University is where he wants to go when he is older and cannot wait for that day.

Monsters University is a fantastic setting for a film. Due to the content and characters, film makers and designers were able to go really wild on the colours and patterns on each of the monsters, making this film a visual delight. I really liked how colourful this film was and can easily say that children will enjoy all of the different varieties of monsters involved. There were also some really nice touches to the characters from the previous film such as Mike wearing braces as it showed a different, younger side to them and fans of the first film will appreciate watching certain characters grow up.

Having seen the first film, it was really quite strange to see Mike rooming with Randy and also for Mike to not be best friends with Sulley. But, I really enjoyed watching their friendship progress throughout the film. At the beginning, Sulley comes across as arrogant and full of himself due to his famous family and I didn’t like him as much. Sulley thinks he can pass his scaring class based on his ability while Mike knows he needs to study everything and this makes them very different characters. I also think the film teaches a good lesson about not being able to be good at everything and that it’s ok to be better at one thing over another. It also teaches a good lesson about people who are very different being able to become very good friends.

As this is an animated film, there are no actors but a voice cast. I think it’s great that some of the original voices as used as well as some new ones such as Helen Mirren as Dean Abigail Hardscrabble. Each voice is extremely animated and really help to add to each character’s personality. I really enjoyed the variety of voice actors in this film. Add in some fantastic characters and an exciting and funny plot and this makes Monsters University such a fantastic film. I thoroughly loved it. 

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