Despite being an adult with no children, I still LOVE watching Pixar movies. I mean they are always so heartwarming. So when the opportunity to review Monsters University I jumped on it. The prequel to the 2001 one animated film, Monsters, Inc, was long over due but the return of our old friends Sulley and Mike in a new story felt exciting and new despite the gap in time that had passed. What makes this movie so great is that the story is adorable, adults will enjoy it, and it has an inspiring overall message for children.
The plot for Monsters University picks up before Sulley and Mike work as full-time scarers, detailing how they met and later became best friends. Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.
Pixar definitely knows how to infuse humor and a great story together into one film. the Oozma Kappa members (and one of their mothers) bring the laughs while the evolving relationship between Sulley and Mike is heartwarming and endearing.
Watching Monsters University as an adult, I really loved hearing many of my favorite actors playing various roles throughout the film. Aside from the stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, many of today’s greatest comedic actors lent their voices to roles. Sean Hayes and Dave foley as Terri and Terry, the love of my life Charlie Day as Art, Nathan Fillion as Johnny Worthington, Aubrey Plaza as Clair Wheeler, and several more graced the film. Also, any adult watching can likely relate to the feelings of Sulley, Mike, and many of the other Oozma Kappas who are just trying to make it through college without getting lost in the shuffle.
Like many of the Pixar movies before it, Monsters University portrays a great overall message to its young viewers. Despite Sulley and Mike disliking each other and rivaling each other in the beginning of the movie, the duo realize that through teamwork between each other and the rest of their group, they can overcome all odds. Also that even when feeling alone and lost, friendship can be found in the least likely places and to give everyone a chance rather than judging a book by its cover. I also like that Mike was able to realize what his true strengths are rather than letting the defeat of his dream take him down.
Overall, Monsters University is an endearing addition to the Disney/Pixar family of films. It lives up the world created in the first film and allows fans to get a broader story of their favorite characters.