While in my opinion Pixar has begun to dip in their past few efforts, I was hoping that a return to the very fun world that was 2001’s Monsters Inc. It was not one of Pixar’s greatest features, but it still was an entertaining and charming one that left me satisfied.
Monsters University follows the beginnings of lead characters Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) as they go to college to perfect their scaring skills which will lead to the events of Monsters Inc. What I liked about this movie was that it went away from the structure of the previous movie and crafted a whole new structure within the same universe.
In Monsters Inc., the story structure was built around two incapable guys trying to take care of a little girl. It played almost as a way more funnier version of Two and a Half Men. The jokes were built off of the awkwardness of these two guys and the kid as well as the natural comedy of Billy Crystal. In Monsters University, surprisingly they didn’t build the humor off of Crystal but rather made the comedy more of a group effort with many laughs coming from the other monsters as well.
The awkwardness of this group of outcast monsters makes this new structure funny and something a little different from the first movie. Each character had his own little charming personality and while it wasn’t something vastly unique, I felt like the voice work and animation made for some hilarious moments between characters.
While it was funny, I did find the story to be a little too safe and easily worked out at times. It is an animated feature targeted to kids but it also a Pixar movie and can get away with being a lot more complex. Mike and Sully have roadblocks and find ways to get around them but a few of them seem too safe and are not something the characters would of done in the first movie. I guess that means they learned from their mistakes but it also seems to be some lazy writing.
While Monsters University never tears at your gut and lacks better character building, it still is a charming and fun animated movie that builds off the universe and plays as a fun return for the characters. As I said, it isn’t one of Pixar’s best but is still better than their latest work.