ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Monsters University - Review

Updated on July 12, 2013

Monsters University sees Pixar attempt the first prequel to one of their most well received movies. It's a surprising choice actually, upon the initial reveal of the trailer there were numerous comments from fans demanding to know where the hell Boo was, and Monster Inc.'s ending always seemed to hint that if there was going to be another film set in the same world, it would involve Boo in some way.

Instead, Monster University sends us all the way back to Mike Wazowski's first day of university life. As a concept, it gives the filmmakers a lot of freedom, and Pixar do a good job with mixing university stereotypes and the bizarre monster world. The reveal that Mike's roommate is none other than Randall, is rather surprising too. Rather than being the slimy, backstabbing so and so he was in the original film, here he's still a bespectacled, unconfident nerd. Meanwhile, it's Sully whose the initial "bad guy" as the spoilt, arrogant son of a successful family of renowned scarers.

However, as the film progresses, Randall is extremely underused. Whilst Sully's movement from cocky rich kid to Mike's best friend is set up well across the course of the film, Randall goes from being the odd one out, to one of the bad guys, in the space of a single scene. Initially, there appeared to be the implication that Mike was going to be partially responsible for how Randall turned out, but the subplot is dropped and never picked up again. As a result, his character ends up coming across as another way to link the two films together, rather than being there for a particular purpose.

Director Dan Scanlon takes his time with the material, and the first half an hour of the movie is about simply establishing the characters, with any notion of an overarching plot taking a backseat. Mike's gone to university to be a scarer, but despite knowing all there is about a scaring, (there's a brilliant sequence as the students have to go through the types of scares: growl, zombie, lion etc.), as a diminutive green eyeball, he's just not all that frightening.

We also get to see all of the other types of monsters that have turned up at university. This is Monsters University at its best, since it allows the Pixar team to just come up with the all of the weird and wonderful creatures that they'd like. There's the various fraternities and sororities, and the stern Dean Hardscrabble, a dragon-insect hybrid, played wonderfully by Helen Mirren.

It's once Monsters University settles into the actual story that it become a little predictable. In order to get back into the scaring program, Mike and Sully are left to work alongside Oozma Kappa, a fraternity made up of bunch of misfits. While the interaction between the various characters is great, the actual plot that's ticking along just never seems all that interesting. It's rather predictable when compared to the likes of Up and Toy Story. The team has to make it through a series of various challenges, as one sorority or fraternity is eliminated each round. As with Brave last year, there's a persistent impression that you're watching a film that's been done before, just with Pixar's computer animation.

Still, the characters and the humour are what make a film like this fun to watch, and Monsters University is always entertaining. Despite being almost two hours long the film rarely drags, and manages to find ways to keep both the adult and child audiences happy, typically by having them laugh at the same scenes, but for entirely different reasons, a skill that Pixar's writers have always had.

With Finding Dory announced for release in a few years time it seems that more sequels/prequels are still on the way. It's somewhat disappointing that Pixar has been doing an increasing amount of these in recent years. Along with last year's Brave, the last time they released a film that wasn't based on a pre-existing movie was 2009's Up. This wouldn't typically be an issue, mainstream cinema is a big commercial business, and therefore film's based on pre-existing material are commonplace, such as older films, TV series, comic books, novels, and even video games. However, Pixar have always been well known for their unique story-telling, and whilst Monster's University is enjoyable, it would have been better to see something fresh and original from the studio.

Monsters University was released in UK theatres on July 12th.

© 2013 LudoLogic


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      From your review, i am going to bring my kids for this movie. Sounds fun to watch and the animation is still good as ever. Voted up


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)