2013 / Director. Dan Scanlon.
MONSTERS INC is arguably one of Pixar's best films and I've watched its audience grow over the years as parents introduce it to their kids. Like TOY STORY before it, it tapped into something we could connect with... our childhood innocence. It's been 12 years since that movie charmed its way into people's hearts and now comes MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, a prequel which tells the story of Mike & Sulley's college years. This is the first time Pixar have told a prequel story and it was a wise decision in relation to this tale. The pre-credit sequence shows us a bullied Mike in his pre-school days and then skips ahead to his first day at Monster's University. With his heart set on becoming a professional scarer, Mike finds himself up against adversity. He's not the least bit scary and endures endless ridicule and torment from the larger monster students. Being a Disney film, of course Mike forges ahead knowing in his heart that he's got what it takes. The film is more-or-less a family-friendly take on REVENGE OF THE NERDS. It's basically the same story arc and most of the situations are a reflection (Trivia: John Goodman who voices Sully was the arsehole coach in Revenge of the Nerds). The original film was so charming and endearing that I wasn't sure what to expect with this new movie. More of the same? Something new? A lot of the charm is lost, simply due to the fact that the original movie is etched in our minds. Having said that, there is still a lot of heart and it has it's poignant moments. The old characters are as loveable as we remember them and the new characters are just as fun and endearing. There a good moral for kids to take away from MONSTERS UNIVERSITY without it seeming preachy or contrived. The movie is slightly overlong and could benefit from a few snips here and there but it delivers where it should and proves to be a worthy origin story to one of Pixar's best movies.