As a huge Disney Pixar fan, Monsters University has been on my films to see list for a long time. The trailer was first shown two years ago and it was finally released this week. It may sound silly but the first film Monsters Inc helped me when I was going through a bad patch during my second year of university. Indeed, I ended up watching the DVD at least once a week in order to boost my spirits and it always worked, so for me this was a sequel that I always had to see.
It is actually a prequel to the first film’s action and it sees Mike and Sulley’s unlikely friendship blossom during university, where they are both scaring majors. Mike is the hard-working student who has his heart set on becoming the top scarer at Monsters Inc but due to his lack of natural scaryness, he puts in the extra work to get through his exams. Sulley, who comes from a family of scarers, doesn’t feel the need to try so hard and as a result gets into trouble. When both monsters fall on hard times, they decide to enter into the university’s Scare Games as part of the Oozma Kappa fraternity, made up of fellow scaring rejects, in order to prove their worth. Through challenging events, testing of friendships and total determination, the film has the happy ending that every monster involved deserves.
There is no doubt that Monsters University has its moments of beauty and it can be very touching. It does lack a connection with the human world, which was prominent in the first film but in a way, Monsters University focuses on the human aspects of monsters. They have exam stress, family pressures, feelings of isolation and hopelessness as well as lofty ambitions. Although it is a kids film about a fictional world, it does feel very real and even to an adult audience, the characters are very relatable.
Perhaps it isn’t the best Pixar film ever but you cannot go away from it without a smile and the feeling that anyone can change and better themselves through the will to do so. Hard work and being able to put your faith in those who others never would can pay off and leave you with the happy ending. However, if you’re looking for a film that has the twists and turns and keeps you guessing, Monsters University isn’t the film for you. It’s for those that love a feel-good animation with more than a few laughs, bypassing the unpredictable plot lines.