Movies: Monsters University

Monsters, Inc, the 2001 animated film from Pixar about Mike and Sully (the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, respectively) and their adventures learning to be monsters and scaring children, was a terrific film, very much in keeping with the fine reputation of Pixar Animation Studios. It was a new idea, well done and was a huge hit. Now comes the prequel, Monsters University, detailing how Mike and Sully met.

Mike (the big greenish blue guy) and Sully (the bright green guy) are back in this prequel where they each enrolled in Monsters University, met and became best friends.
Photo: © 2012 Disney/Pixar

Pixar brought us the movies, Findng Nemo and Wall-E.. Sadly, Monsters University does not scale the heights these films do. It is predictable, no longer fresh, and just kind of sits there, the dish in a larger meal that goes untasted because it looks so dull. In short, there’s nothing new, fresh, exciting or, really, funny in Monsters University.

Co-writer/director Dan Scanlon does a workmanlike job with his cast. In addition to Crystal and Goodman, the voices belong to Steve Buscemi, Frank Oz, John Ratzenbueger and Helen Mirren.

The animation looks good, bright and colorful. But the 3D isn’t as good as one might expect from Pixar. The problem is the story. There are no surprises, not much fun or wit. Pixar can and should do better. Their devoted audience and their talented cast all deserve better. If you must take the kids to an animated film this weekend, choose Despicable Me 2 (review in a few days) or The Croods.