Today we’re talking about the 2013 film Monsters University.
The story is a great subversion of the traditional college movie. I like how much it plays with our expectations from knowing the first movie. The messages of “it’s okay to change your dream” and “there are many paths” are more poignant to me now than they were when the movie came out, making me enjoy it a lot more.
As much as I like the story and the movie itself is very consistent with it’s characters, I find Sulley feels off. His greatest character trait from the first movie was how much he cared for people and monsters. His empathy and genuine niceness was impressive and played at odds with his scaring. Making him an entitled rich kid works for this movie, but we don’t see any hint of it in the original and his turn around feels a little unmotivated.
The writing is extremely well done and the dialogue really reflects the lived experience of a lot of animators and writers. Especially the parts where someone says, “You just don’t have it.”
The humour is clever and delivered perfectly.
Visuals and Music
The original was spectacular for it’s time and is starting to look a little dated. After almost a decade, this movie still looks better than a lot of other animations that came out this year. It’s spectacular and beautiful in all its detail.
The music takes a shift away from jazzy to more orchestral which works extremely well both for the plot and the location.
Once I let go of my precious nostalgia, this movie was fantastic. I laughed and cheered throughout. My kids both loved it with the two year old laughing at everything Mike did.
This is a prequel and as such suffers a little at having to fit in the world and story of the first movie. It is, however, a fantastic watch and worth every moment. It’s a beautiful and poignant movie with lots of laughs.
Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5