For years Pixar dominated the animation industry delivering some of the best animated films around. With 2001s Monsters Inc. they delivered an all-new world featuring a wide assortment of monsters and a clever storyline that had endured as one of their best to date. There had been numerous talks about a follow up but seemed to be just that talk, until now. With the follow up film they decided to forget the sequel and instead go with a prequel with Monster’s University but does it possess the same fun that the original or is it just another unnecessary sequel?
Monster’s University follows the early meeting of Sully and Mike before they became the inseparable pair we know today and tells the story of how these two overcame their differences to become not just the best scaring team around, but also the best of friends. The story here is not only pretty simple it is actually almost identical to the Revenge of the Nerds, minus all the sex and nudity of course. The animation is as beautiful as ever and the use of the bright colors keeps the film looking vibrant and eye catching throughout. The character designs continue to impress delivering more memorable monsters that the kids are sure to love. The voice work is great as always with the originals returning including Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and John Ratzenberger, alongside new great talent including Helen Mirren, Dave Foley, Alfred Molina, Charlie Day, Tyler Labine, Nathan Fillion. Where this film suffers is the actual overall delivery. Make no mistake it’s fun and entertaining, but the decision to make a prequel kind of hurts it. You never get the sense of the real tension they are trying to push on you because you already know how it all turns out so you are really just going through the paces to see how they got there. Some of the originality is gone as they don’t really do anything all that new here to step things up, but instead just focus on the past lives of these characters and the crazy circumstances they get thrown into. If you understand that and watch it for just the sheer joy of the trip then you are sure to have some fun.
The original film didn’t really need a follow-up but the characters are so great there is no- doubt people are eager to see them again. There are some nice subtle jokes here as well as the blatant comedy for all ages. The 3D doesn’t add all that much to the film other than adding some more depth to the animation. This may not be the best Pixar has delivered, but certainly not the worse and holds up quite nicely thanks to the great cast, awesome characters and a world that you can’t help but love to be a part of. In addition to the film this Blu-ray sports numerous special features including “The Blue Umbrella” short, commentary, deleted scenes, art gallery, numerous featurettes and much more.
While waiting to grab your copy of this latest Pixar classic you can check out these previously unreleased posters for The Blue Umbrella animated short along with some fun stills from the film.
Be sure to grab your copy of Monsters University when it hits stores on October 29th.