Roz Monsters University
This is the prequel (heck, I would have been happy with a sequel) I have been waiting for! The original, Monsters, Inc., has occupied the top spot on my Fave-Kid-Movies list since it was released in 2001. Now it has a very close second.
Click ahead for my full review of Disney/PIXAR’s Monsters University.
Marquee Mama’s Movie Rating for Monsters University
Monsters University takes us back to the college days of Mike and Sulley, before they became professional scarers. Mike (voice of Billy Crystal) is a tireless over-achieving, if not frightening, young orthodontics-wearing monster who dreams of entering the University’s Scare Program, reserved for the scariest students. A skinny Sulley (John Goodman) saunters onto campus, a legacy from a historic bloodline of top scarers, expecting to follow in his father’s footsteps. He’s a natural, scaring is in his blood, so why work hard? Let the games begin. Literally!
Mike and Sulley are not friends. Their competitive antics get them in hot water at Monsters U, and they have to prove themselves worthy scarers. They enter the campus “Scare Games” which award bragging rights to the winners. The Games are so creative (“Don’t Scare the Teen” is akin to testing in a police academy) and the legions of student monsters are ingenious. How many ways can you draw a monster? Only the Disney artists know, but I lost count early on in the wide shots of monster “extras” walking around campus. Multiple arms, heads, eyes, with horns, without horns, hairy, slimy, fire-breathing, you name it, you’ll see it on Monsters U. Brilliantly imagined!
Any Marquee Mama readers know I love a good life lesson in a movie. This one has many: tolerance, trust, believing in yourself and others, being true to yourself and others, and the vulernability of true friendship. This movie will speak to everyone. Even my tough-to-please teenage son is a big fan.
What I loved:
• The comedic timing of Crystal and Goodman is, once again, priceless!
• The filmmakers must be college grads, having added nuance touches like a 4-armed monster with 4 cups of coffee, a 3-eyed monster reading 3 books at a time, and a grade of an A+ gets a teacher comment of “Horrifying!”
• Very creative monsters and great use of their traits (multi-armed monster playing the fastest ever ping-pong game)
• The OK fraternity was nerdy and funny, although I doubt young viewers will “get” why they aren’t cool
• OK’s pledge initiation – hilarious!
• Great details like sticky tentacles and shedding monster fur
• Brief appearance by a young Roz (from Monsters, Inc.), who received applause in my screening
• So many adult laughs!
• An early lesson in “scary feet”, another nod to the original (and a game I used to play with my kids when they were babies)
• The most expressive single eyeball since War Horse
What I Didn’t Love:
• No need for 3-D. Your animators, writers and actors are more than sufficient
• The story and script hold fewer surprises than the original, though there is one twist that fooled even me!
• Helen Mirren, while scary and convincing, was strong but not memorable (unless you find Anne Robinson from the “Weakest Link” memorable). The University’s librarian was far scarier
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