This is Pixar's MONSTERS UNIVERSITY movie review!
MONSTER SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!!!
The story begins with a young Mike Wazowski, an obvious outcast due to his size, going on a school trip to Monsters inc.
Mike and his classmates have the privilege to experience the 'Scarers' going into the 'Human world', but with one exception... don't go over the clear red line, but obviously Mike ignores this and follows one of the scarers into a child's bedroom (I know, creepy), to collect its scream and therefore harvest it to power the city. The scarer does his job and exits the room, only to find a bunch of workers staring at him. The scarer turns around and sees a star-strucken Mike Wazowski staring at him. He tells Mike that he didn't even see him, yet appears impressed. He hands Mike his Monsters University cap (which was too big for Mike's head). Mike then goes to his teacher and says 'I want to be a scarer!'
Eleven years later, Mike is a first year scare major. Mike is an obvious know-it-all, when it comes to scaring 101, but isn't physically intimidating.
He heads over to his room and shares it with the soon to be villain, Randal Boggs, from Monsters inc. As a first year scare major, Randal is as nice and kind as they come.
Mike goes to his first lesson accompanied by Randal. This is where the blue, fluffy and less loveable James P 'Sulley' Sullivan comes in. Sulley comes from a family of successful scarers and therefore lazily relies on his natural talents. Mikey sees Sulley as a threat.
Mike and Sulley try to enter fraternity groups, with only Sulley being successful and getting intoROR (Roar Omega Roar). At their first exam, both Sulley and Mikey are both failed by the freaky, dragon... person, Dean Abigail Hardscrabble, after they destroyed a canister trophy of which was a prized possession to her. She said Sulley doesn't study enough and Mike just isn't scary, full stop. Mike is rejected by the ROR fraternity.
They are both sentenced to study canister making, which from I could see looked incredibly mind numbing. Mike opposed Hardscrabble with a wager. If he could get through the Scare games, then he can be put back in the scare games. He joins the only fraternity available to him, the Underdogs, Oozma Kampa. hardscrabble agrees with the wager, but points out they are one man short. Sulley takes this as an opportunity to get back in the scare program. Mike reluctantly agrees.
Mike tries to train the Oozma Kampa physically and mentally, to get prepared for their first challenge. Fortunately, they manage to get through by the skin of their teeth. Due to this, ROR invite them to their house party. We all consider this as a friendly gesture, but they have a more sinister plot, when Randal (the back-stabbing chameleon) dumps colourful goo, sprinkles and teddies on them, which discourages the group.
ROR post the picture of the shamed group all over the University for all eyes to see. The groups of Oozma Kampa then start to question themselves and Mikes abilities. To lift their spirits up, Mike organise for them to sneak in to Monster inc, where he shows all the Monsters of which have physical differences to other Monsters and saying that what makes them special is that they are all different. This successfully cheers them up. Though Mike had showed them this, Sulley doubts Mikey's scaring ability. In the last challenge, they all had to put their scaring usage to the test, by having to use different techniques and scare remote dummies. Oozma Kampa actually end up winning the tournament against ROR, but Mike smells something fishy and discovers that Sulley had rigged the machine to make Mike score increase.
To prove that he is scary, Mike enters the human world, where he is unsuccessful at fulfilling his goal and is not found scary by any of the children.
Sulley confesses to Dean Hardscrabble that he cheated, just as they are informed that someone went through a door to the human world. Sulley enters the door to go and find Mike. Once Sulley finds Mikey, Mikey accepts that he isn't scary. Sulley cheers him up, not only by saying that he isn't scary, but he is special. They both then determine their friendship.
They then make their way back to the door to their own world, but Hardscrabble deactivated the door. Mike told Sulley that if they can generate enough scream energy, they could possibly be able to open the doorway. Mike and Sulley scared the adults so much, that they were able to get to their world (frankly, I think what they did to the adults could have scarred them for life).
Due to their actions, Mike and Sulley are both expelled from the University, but Hardscrabble tells them that they are the first to surprise her and wishes them luck.
The movie ends with both Mike and Sulley working in the mail room, with The Abominable Snowman! Yeah, THE Abominable Snowman!
We are shown Mike and Sully going through the stages of different part of their career going up to who we know and love in Monsters inc.
Pixar isn't really the best when it comes to sequels. Sure Toy Story 3 had grown men weep from the sight of a toy waving at its previous owner, but the 'Spy' flick, Cars 2, was just plain bad. Though Pixar may not be the best at sequels, Monsters University was very good.
I am a big fan of Disney and Pixar and frankly, I was a tiny bit nervous about them making sequel/prequel to one of my favourite movies of all time, monsters inc. To be honest, I was expecting them to do some sort of continuation for Boo, but thinking back on it, I don't really know how they would have actually been able to do that.
I thought the story was pretty decent, but lacking in the 'act of surprise' aspect. Most of the specific story arcs were pretty cliche. Nothing was surprising. Once I heard the Main theme to this movie, I was almost in tears thanks to memories of Monsters inc, but there was nothing specifically fresh or new about this movie.
Despite the fact that some of the some of the story was disappointing, the characters were fleshed out very well. I could really feel the battle that Mike had to go through to just be good at what he's always dreamed of doing, but still experiences plenty of downfalls and failures.
To be honest, I absolutely hated Sulley at the beginning of the film. Please mind my French, but he was a complete and utter jerk! He was cocky, he was rude and overall he was just plain hatable. I actually started to think that Pixar had left Monsters inc so long, that they actually forgot how Mr James P Sullivan's personality was, but I was relieved when by the end of the movie, he acted like the same cuddly 'Kitty' that both the Human child, Boo and the audience fell in love with.
Mike and Sulley's friendship really started to pan out towards the end. I am actually glad that they went with the idea that Sulley would cheat in order for Mike to think himself a winner and a real scarer. He didn't really do it to win; he did it so Mike wouldn't have to feel demolished and of no use in the monster world. What Sulley did for Mike was a rookie mistake, that only the real friends could commit. He only did it for Mikey's own well being.
The side characters were actually pretty fun! They weren't the average comic relief of which writers feel like they need to make over the top and on the borderline of being almost unbearable.
Randal Boggs was actually a very interesting character in this movie. He suffered from what most people can relate to... peer pressure. From what we could see from the beginning, Randal was as nice as they could come, until he joined a fraternity. I canimagine that once he joined ROR he wouldn't want to get thrown out of due to and I quote 'The fraternity that only has the best scarers'.
The animation was beautiful as always. Truly a colourful masterpiece.
As I had said, this was a good movie, but falls short on Pixar's best of the best movies.
Overall, I give this movie a 7.5/10