Ever wonder how monsters learned to jump out of closets and hide under children’s beds late at night? Disney/Pixar has the answer with “Monsters University,” a prequel to the 2001 megahit, “Monsters, Inc.”.
It seems that Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sully” Sullivan (John Goodman) weren’t always the best of friends. In their MU college days, little one-eyed Mike’s lifelong dream of being a scarer (the best thing a monster could be) is jeopardized when he goes head to head with the hulking, “legacy scarer” Sully. To fight their expulsion from MU’s Scarer program, the duo reluctantly team up with other misfit monsters to form Oozma Kappa fraternity, and to take part in the annual “Scare Games.”
Pixar’s dazzling visuals, coupled with the voice talents of Crystal, Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Aubrey Plaza, Alfred Molina, Julia Sweeney, and Pixar’s ever present, good luck voicer, John Ratzenberger, score a touchdown. Brilliantly cast, Helen Mirren’s Dean Hardscrabble is guaranteed to send chills down your spine.
Whether the need to keep pushing out new films or because Pixar honcho, John Lassiter, has devoted the past few years to creating Disney California’s “Cars Land”, Disney/Pixar has relied on sequels to fill their roster, and the results have been reliable, if not quite equal to the originals. Although “Monsters University” is somewhat formulaic, the monsters still make for a delightful animated romp.
The Bottom Line: Derivative, but delightful, “MU” is worth seeing – especially in 3D. Just remember, you will have to watch it over and over with the grandkids when it comes out on DVD.
MPAA Rating G Running time: 110 minutes