Reviewed by Movie Moxie’s Alicia Glass
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios
MPAA Rating: G
Director: Dan Scanlon
Review Rating: 7.5
A flashback to where icons Mike and Sully first met in College – and despised each other!
It’s fun and campy and exactly what you’d expect from Pixar, from a certain 30-something perspective. If you’re someone around my age, that is an 80’s child, you probably have at least an appreciation for the movie Revenge of the Nerds, it’s subsequent sequels, and other teenage-humor movies like it. And Monsters U takes it’s cue right from the Nerds perspective: college freshmen of very different styles in rival houses, their trials and tribulations through school, hell there’s even the equivalent of the Greek Carnival. Which also means Monsters U isn’t quite intended for children under a certain age, who wouldn’t understand the moving-toward-adult humor anyway, but still, be warned.
So Mike is this walking grape-eyeball with big ambitions, he seems to think studying all day every day will guarantee he’ll become the best Scarer around and be hired at Monsters Inc. Sully the big blue kitty, on the other hand is the big jock type, coasting on the fame of his father and in general doing not a damn thing to get ahead in school. Which of course results in disaster, and while Mike is trying to salvage his school reputation, the pair get thrown together in desperation, along with the other “Nerd” type of college guys. Of course, the Nerds have to rely on their brains and wits in order to win against the jerkoff elitist jock types giving them a run for their money at the Greek fest that everything is riding on. Sound familiar?
But all this is done in the adorable Monster world Pixar established in Monsters Inc. and come on, it’s Mike and Sully as college guys! Randall’s even in there, and we can all guess what kind of weasel his character turns out to be. The film is lighthearted in most places, even when Mike and Sully are lamenting their lack of futures, and small on realistic consequences, until the end. Helen Mirren gives a voice to Dean Hardscrabble, of course, who turns out to have a considerably softer heart than her name implies. At least the fairytale ending Disney is known for didn’t quite come across in this offering, imparting an interesting reality twist to a world of make-believe monsters. Mike and Sully had to work, and work really hard, in order to get what they both knew they wanted; this is a good lesson to give across in a movie, regardless of what age the viewer is. I enjoyed it, but then I also enjoyed Monsters Inc., perhaps you will too. Have some popcorn and enjoy a monsterific version of going back to your own college nerd days!