Sunday, July 7, 2013

Monsters University (2013)

Director: Dan Scanlon. Cast (voices): Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion. 104 min. Rated G. Animation.

After going down the sequel-making path, now Pixar is venturing into prequels. Monsters, Inc. was a delightful piece of art done by some imaginative animation wizards, which apparently set the bar too high for its prequel, Monsters University. The film's lackluster story is mostly inspired by The Hunger Games (no, not that violent), and I'm not sure it sends out a foolproof message to kids (anybody can become anything, as long as they try). Not a bad movie - just that Pixar has almost always spoiled us with greatness, and this is a let down.

PS: As usual for Pixar, a short animation was screened before the main feature, The Blue Umbrella. This 7-minute cartoon is better than the entire movie that comes after, and will likely win the Oscar for Best Animated Short next year.

Mo says:


  1. That's interesting. I took the opposite message: some things just aren't in your nature, no matter how hard you try (but you can still contribute whatever gifts you have to any end you choose).

  2. When I was writing my review, I had a feeling somebody would say: "That wasn't the movie's message!", and lo and behold, here we are. Agree JZ - what you wrote could also be perceived. I just felt for kids, the message of "trying to be what you're not" involved a larger portion of the movie and was therefore the stronger message. I thought if kids only took that message home, they could be in for a lot of disappointment. But maybe that's just me.

  3. My 8-year old daughter is always sneaking up behind me trying to scare me. When I don't get scared, she is always disappointed. Now I have the perfect line to use (and do use) on her: "You're not scary. Not even a little bit."

  4. I keep thinking if I got the movie wrong. If I were to choose between telling my son to strive for perfection, or tell him "it's OK to be OK", which would I choose?