Thursday, 15 August 2013

Disney Pixar's 'Monsters University' Film Review

Disney Pixar's offering this Summer is the highly anticipated prequel to Monster's Inc. 'Monsters University' tells of Mike and Sully's days at university before working at Monsters Inc.


Mike has always wanted to be a scarer and upon going to university, studies incredibly hard in order to achieve his dreams, excelling at the theory. When Mike meets Sully, a privileged student who doesn't study but has a natural ability to scare, the two inevitably enters a rivalry. At the final exams, the two push each other to the limit that they break Dean Hardscrabble's record breaking scare capsule, resulting in their elimination from the program.


In order to prove his worth, Mike decides to enter the Scare games with team Oozma Kappa but with one team member short, they reluctantly also accept Sully. The team must learn to work together and set aside their differences in order to win the games so that Mike and Sully can resume their place in the scare program.


I was never a huge fan of Monsters Inc but knowing its Pixar, decided to see this anyway. The movie has all the elements of a Pixar movie, but I felt that this one lacked heart and emotion. The typical formula of animation is present- the rivalry, the competition, they become friends, a final hurdle blah blah blah... but doesn't really move the audience. 

What's more, the humour was only average- I found it mostly cringe at times- perhaps due to the fact that it is at a university setting... who knows but I only laughed a couple of times. 

The progression of the movie in terms of plot was a surprise. I did not expect for the focus of the movie to be on the scare games- this was a positive direction for the movie, but felt they could have made it even more extreme, reflecting a gladiatorial or even Hunger games esque competition might connect with a more adult audience.


I did like the range of characters that the movie covered, offering a range of different personalities and visuals- the different characteristics and qualities of the monsters were a highlight of the film and the franchise.

The climax and ending was a slight twist but the result was predictable, though very appropriate and left it open enough for a third movie, perhaps this time a proper sequel!

~~~BLUE UMBRELLA~~~
The opening short titled 'Blue Umbrella' was beautifully crafted and in those short five minutes had more heart than the whole of Monsters U. The score, the visuals, the emotion- all there. 


~~~SIDE NOTE~~~
I saw this in Hong Kong at a cinema with vibrating seats which enhanced the viewing experience in a unique way. Whilst most of it was unnecessary, the feature was extremely successful during the party scene.

~~~VOICED BY~~~
Billy Crystal- Mike
John Goodman- Sullivan
Helen Mirren- Dean Hardscrabble

~~~OVERALL~~~
Monsters University is an average offering from Pixar when compared to the whole library of previous films. The movie is strong in its characterisation and visuals but lack real heart and emotion- something we crave from Pixar films (remember UP?), overshadowed by the short that preceded it as well lacking real humour. 

However, people will eat this up like hot cakes just because it is Pixar. I personally prefer 'EPIC' to this. If this wins the animation Oscar of 2014 I will be annoyed. 

~~~FUTURE~~~
Thankfully, the next two Summers will see Pixar release original pictures 'The Good Dinosaur' and 'Inside Out' with the risky 'Finding Dory' out November 2015.

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