Twelve years after the popular "Monsters, Inc." hit the big screen, the prequel "Monsters University" is released for Pixar fans. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Simply put, "Monsters, Inc." is one of my favorite Pixar films. Now, after 12 years, these folks have decided to give us a prequel. It's called "Monsters University."
If you remember the original, Mike Wazowski and Sulley Sullivan, voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman, were the best of friends. As the prequel shows us, though, this wasn't always the case. In fact, in their college days, the two were fierce rivals who really disliked each other.
"Monsters University" is the story of how they went from being enemies to becoming great pals.
In the film, we learn that Sulley's dad was once a superstar in the Scare Department. Consequently, he has a lot to live up to at school. Mike, on the other hand, has dreamed of being a "Scarer" since he was a little kid, but despite his strong desire and determination, Mike might not have the right stuff.
When their squabbling gets them both kicked out of the coveted Scare Program, there's only one way back in. They have to reluctantly team up and win the Scare Games, a series of challenges to prove they are the scariest monsters on campus.
Saddled with a team of losers from a fraternity that none of the cool monsters want to join, Mike and Sulley have to come together and whip their team of misfits into shape. It's a long shot, but it's their only option.
The clever and endearing script is, at times, sort of like a Monsters version of "Revenge of the Nerds." Crystal and Goodman, as they did in the original film, bring humor and charm to their characters. From a technical standpoint, the computer animation is visually stunning.
The supporting cast of voices, especially from the geeky fraternity members, is also very funny, and Helen Mirren, as the eerie Dean Hardscrabble, adds a nice Hogwarts touch to the proceedings.
The best Pixar films function on two levels - one for kids and one for adults. They make audiences of all ages laugh and ultimately, they touch viewers. "Monsters University" hits all of those bases, and even though I can't say that this movie is quite as good as the original, it still more than stands on its own and is extremely entertaining.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Three Apples