Skip to content


Monsters University

Monsters University is an enjoyable film, a riff on the college comedy, borrowing liberally from “Revenge of the Nerds.”   But the more I think about it, the more problems I detect with its execution.  Which is maybe further proof that it’s better just to watch movies (especially summer-release movies) and not think about them.

To begin with, what age group is this made for?  Tonally, it’s definitely pitched at kids – it lacks the kind of deeper resonance that has made Pixar films favorites among adults for the last decade.  And I’m okay with that, these days I’m feeling like we need to let Pixar off the hook a little, and let them just make decent kids’ movies.  But does “Monsters U” work as a kid’s movie? The premise of “Monsters, Inc.” felt a little difficult for children to grasp, and it’s even more so here.  You need to understand that in the monster world, children’s screams are a valuable source of energy, and the monsters evoking those screams are just doing their job.  But what does a first grader understand about energy production and usage? Do they really get that the TV and dishwasher and nightlight all work because of the coal plant?  I doubt it.  The first movie hedged this bet effectively, both by explaining it to death, and by forging a paternal bond between Sully and Boo.  When watching “Monsters, Inc.,” a five year old doesn’t need to understand the dynamics of energy production in the monster world to understand who the good guys are; they see Sully cuddling Boo, and they get it.  But in “Monsters University,”  there’s no Boo.  There’s no explanation either.  The children are scarce, and when they appear, are a source of energy, and nothing else.  How does that play for a five-year-old, especially one who hasn’t seen the first movie?

Serving as a prequel to “Monsters, Inc,” we get to know one-eyed, walking ping-pong ball Mike Wazowsky and intimidating-except-for-the-purple-polka-dots Jimmy Sullivan (Sully) as polar opposite students.  Mike is all book knowledge and technique; he can ace a pop quiz and demonstrate zombie drooling with profiency, but can’t spook a tabby cat to save his life. Sully comes from a family of prestigious scarers, and skates on his reputation; he’s got a mighty roar and intimidating physique, but not much else.

The two are rivals until they get kicked out of scare school (for the dumbest of reasons) and must find a way to prove to the dean (Helen Mirren, onscreen as a creepy cross between a dragon and a centipede) that they have what it takes to be truly scary.  The path to victory has them enlisting a fraternity of lovable losers and competing in the scare games, which bear more than a slight resemblance to the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.

Surprisingly, “Monsters University” never deals with its biggest plot point: Mike loves scaring but just isn’t scary.  Where does he fit?  Everyone around him says “nowhere,” including the dean of the school, who relegates him to classes on can manufacturing.  Anyone who’s seen (and remembers) the first film knows that Mike never manages to become scary. In “Monsters, Inc.,” He’s basically Sulley’s handler, but in the timeline of “Monsters U,” that job doesn’t exist. (Until the montage at the very end, when suddenly it does.)

What changed? Since Pixar movies generally try to play by the same rules as the real world, you would assume that the change didn’t happen easily.  No corporation is going to employ two people to do the same job they used to get done with just one person. Mike and Sully would have had to fight hard, and demonstrate compellingly, that the handler position was necessary.  There would have to be some kind of sea change in the scaring industry.  This is a movie I’d like to see; it’d be a creative take on the “workplace crusader” genre.  Granted, it would be hard to make it kid-friendly, but Pixar has never before shied away from a challenge (for heaven’s sake, “Wall-E” was about a lone robot stranded on a garbage suffocated planet, but they made THAT kid-friendly) but that’s not the movie that got made.

But I’ll confess, willingly, that this is just me grousing, because that’s what I do – I think, and I grouse. There’s a lot to like about “Monsters University,” but none of it is all that interesting to write about.  The animation is beautiful, as it always is.  There’s a lot of fun attention to detail on the college campus.  The voice work is very good, and I’ll give a special shout-out to Helen Mirren, who makes Dean Hardscrabble quietly scary.  The supporting characters are fun variations on old stereotypes. It’s well-paced, and never feels like it’s trying too hard.  And so forth.

A lot of ink (or… pixels?  what-have-you) have been spilled about the decline of Pixar, and “Monsters University” does nothing to reverse that trend. It’s about on-par with “Brave,” (not the adherence to formula in both) better than “Cars 2,” and not even approaching the four films before that.  I’d say that at this point, Pixar has settled in to making perfectly adequate kids’ entertainment, similar in quality and style to DreamWorks.  They’re not annoying, and they’re better crafted than most. They’re not the uncontested champs in the animation world anymore, but they’re still top tier. What’s so wrong with that?

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted in All Reviews. Tagged with , , , .

33 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Most of the companies are implementing enterprise Re Source Planning program to improve their processes that are internal and for an easy flow of data inside the many functional sections of the businesses.
    A lot of time, cash and efforts are active in the ERP implementation process.

    The cost of ERP execution depends and changes on several factors.

    The corporation and the intricacy of the business process’ size additionally
    determine the expense of ERP implementation. ERP involves a massive investment and a suitable
    analysis of the costs needs to be achieved before the execution. The performance of ERP comprises
    several processes which increase the price of ERP
    implementation. The ERP adviser offers the providers at an at a price as well as it also is an important determinant of the costs.

  2. The following are the benefits that you have to be
    aware of the most. With good habit and savings, you can be assured of
    having enough to start your own business. Clients do not look no
    matter whether you’ve a small or big budgeted communication service.

  3. Your physician will probably ask that an expectant mom
    have a ultra-sound performed midway through her pregnancy as a way
    to assess the improvement of her infant also to
    identify any problems which may show up. While the radiologist auckland is a great device to work with in order to tell the
    sex of an unborn infant later in pregnancy and to disclose the general health of the infant,
    it can-not realize what the newer 3 D may.

  4. Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area,
    and try to draw customers in. Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for
    a small business that automates this tedious process and adds to
    your company’s bottom line. When travelling, for instance, it would be possible to login to your accounting database and enter transactions on the
    road.

  5. Based on studies, the number of users of mobile phones is steadily on the rise.

    It is important to ensure that all services that you want too
    package in the campaign is in the approval document.
    The market is relatively new and there are only a handful of competitors.

  6. The victory soi keo chac thang live would stand in sharp contrast to Nikes World Cup qualification UEFA Group 5 to qualify for any major international title.
    AssistsDavid Silva was sent-off.

  7. Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area, and try to
    draw customers in. Further, amount of loan must be need-based,
    subject to ceiling of Rs 25,000 per borrower for purchase of
    machinery or equipment etc, and meeting working capital requirement of one operating cycle.
    Clients do not look no matter whether you’ve a small
    or big budgeted communication service.

  8. Or, perhaps you’re one of those students who desires a challenge, or even a good
    addition to your résumé for Grad school. You can know
    all the ins and outs of business and can run a restaurant without fail; but would you know the first thing about installing the kitchen grills.

    When travelling, for instance, it would be possible to
    login to your accounting database and enter transactions on the road.

  9. And, this is where an organic search engine optimization lends its help.
    This article on the first internet pages dope
    not provide any kind of information, its purpose should be to promote a phrase
    in hopes that once a site visitors lands there they will go to the homepage.
    most of the time, you will find that as long as you are a bit technical, you
    will be able to do the SEO on your own.

  10. i was blowing income on my car or truck, computer, comic books..

    which aren’t all that substantially evaluate to some othedr types to
    cuoose from.. but yeah.

  11. I like your holistic well being facts, green residing ideas.
    In just about every meal yyou should consider balanced wholesome fods like
    salads, soups, additional green veggies so this may support
    you to get rid of bodyweight and fulfill the body wants also.
    Thanks for sharing these articles. leanonlife not long
    ago posted..4 Easy Healthful On-The-Go Breakfast Recipes

  12. Tax law about businesses in the USA is ever changing.
    If, on the other hand, you are not successful in paying your loans back, you are going to develop “bad credit. Always choose a new account, and look for a specialized bank whenever possible.

  13. The following are the benefits that you have to be aware of
    the most. Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for a small business that
    automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s bottom
    line. A customer is injured while using a product you sold and files a claim for indemnity.

  14. Это обеспечивает бесперебойную работу не только файлообменник и хостинг файлов, он позволяет.
    Диск – загрузка, хранение и обмен
    счет чего каждый пользователь получает то.Если есть вопросы, пишите, постараюсь ответить.

    EKOVODA24 Разные игры на разный вкус.
    Они понравятся всем любителям интересных сюжетов.
    Теперь подождите, пока счетчик
    подготовки файла писать другой
    програмист и я должен файлов легко и максимально быстро.
    экономитель воды экономитель воды [tinyurl.com].

  15. Because it is guys do watch sex included in their lifetime.

    And porno can ruin creativity and imagination.

  16. Flora said

    Look into their years of experience in managing small business accounts so that
    you can get professional advice on various financial matters.

    You can know all the ins and outs of business
    and can run a restaurant without fail; but would you know
    the first thing about installing the kitchen grills.
    What you give away doesn’t have to be costly, but it must be valuable.

  17. If you’re educated (or seeking an education) you will probably find a ton of opportunity in a small
    town. A lot of people have small business ideas that they often fail to
    put into practice either because they lack the money to make
    an investment or because the fear to lose everything.
    When travelling, for instance, it would be possible to
    login to your accounting database and enter transactions on the road.

  18. Look into their years of experience in managing small business accounts so that you can get professional advice
    on various financial matters. Further, amount of loan must be need-based, subject to ceiling of Rs 25,000 per borrower for purchase of machinery or equipment etc, and meeting working capital requirement of one operating cycle.

    Clients do not look no matter whether you’ve
    a small or big budgeted communication service.

  19. Tax law about businesses in the USA is ever changing. When job offers do come and
    I’ll admit, some companies may fear hiring you because
    they fear a former owner being an employee, negotiate the best
    salary you can along with the best benefits you can for you and your family.
    What you give away doesn’t have to be costly, but it must
    be valuable.

  20. Or, perhaps you’re one of those students who desires a challenge, or even a good addition to your résumé for Grad school.
    Without enough traffic, you will never have enough customers and this means you won’t be making
    enough money. Selling the same things, to the same market,
    in the same way.

  21. Lynn said

    Banner ads typically include graphics and text
    which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement.
    When job offers do come and I’ll admit, some companies may fear hiring
    you because they fear a former owner being an employee, negotiate the best salary you can along with the
    best benefits you can for you and your family.
    A customer is injured while using a product you sold
    and files a claim for indemnity.

  22. The following are the benefits that you have to be aware of the
    most. Platforms: Android, Blackberry, i – Phone, i – Pad, Windows Phone.
    Before you do this, examine the publication online to ensure that its website is user friendly.

  23. The following are the benefits that you have to be aware of the most.
    As with everything else, it is only the mindset of the
    entrepreneur that dictates the success and failure of a company.
    Two: Increase in income – When you are able to increase
    your traffic to the business, you will easily be able to also increase your income.

  24. Yet, there are grants that are made for equipment and training.
    A lot of people have small business ideas that they often fail to put into practice either because they lack
    the money to make an investment or because the fear to lose everything.
    Selling the same things, to the same market, in the same way.

  25. Banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement.

    Without enough traffic, you will never have enough customers and this
    means you won’t be making enough money. A customer is injured while using a product you sold and files a claim for indemnity.

  26. Look into their years of experience in managing small business accounts so that you can get professional advice on various financial
    matters. Further, amount of loan must be need-based, subject to
    ceiling of Rs 25,000 per borrower for purchase of machinery or equipment
    etc, and meeting working capital requirement of one operating cycle.
    Two: Increase in income – When you are able to
    increase your traffic to the business, you will easily be able to also increase your income.

  27. Banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice
    Internet users to click on the advertisement.
    Further, amount of loan must be need-based, subject to ceiling of Rs 25,
    000 per borrower for purchase of machinery or equipment etc, and meeting working capital requirement
    of one operating cycle. Typically, this works well if we are involved in a solid networking and
    we reciprocate, by referring clients to those other businesses.

  28. Or, perhaps you’re one of those students who desires a challenge, or even a good addition to your résumé for Grad school.
    Without enough traffic, you will never have enough customers and this means you won’t be making enough money.
    Typically, this works well if we are involved in a solid networking and
    we reciprocate, by referring clients to those other
    businesses.

  29. Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area, and try to draw customers in. A
    lot of people have small business ideas that they often fail to put into
    practice either because they lack the money to make an investment or because the fear to lose everything.
    Always choose a new account, and look for a specialized bank
    whenever possible.

  30. Look into their years of experience in managing small business accounts so that you can get professional advice
    on various financial matters. Make the process pain-free with debt collection software
    for a small business that automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s
    bottom line. Selling the same things, to the same market, in the same way.

  31. They welcome all people, no matter what kind of problems they have.
    An early finish during sex can be extremely disappointing and quickly put a real
    damper on a couple’s sex life. In the past, the ratio of Porn Blu-ray
    offerings is only 3 for every 20 Porn titles offered in rival DVD format,
    HD DVD (from Toshiba).

  32. essalam alykommon fre8re sid ahmed j’ai de9ja lu ce vous avez e9crie allah ma3ak et nous somme les e9lement de aeeblniida derrie8re vous pour toujourston fre8re Samir

Continuing the Discussion

  1. My little caravan craft workshops for children Melbourne linked to this post on April 27, 2015

    My little caravan craft workshops for children Melbourne

    Monsters University – GonnaWatchIt.comGonnaWatchIt.com

Some HTML is OK

(never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.