Monday, June 24, 2013

A Monsters University High

Monsters University (Rated G/2013) Rarely is the sequel - or in the case, the prequel - better than the original. But Monsters University beats the pants off of Monsters Inc. No comparison. The original was mostly of a vehicle for Billy Crystal's schtick. (Funny, but shallow after that.) It lacked much dialogue outside of Crystal's Mike Wazowski character. And I prefer my animated movies to pound me over the head with a positive message. Monsters U does all of the things that Monsters Inc. doesn't.
In Monsters U, we quickly learn that Mike Wazowski is a misfit and an outcast from early in his childhood. Bullied and dismissed. Not worthy of anyone's time. A runt of whom everyone has low expectations. Undeterred, Mike vows to prove them all wrong and become the best scarer ever. Once he reaches college, he once again is cast aside by his fellow students and even the dean of his school. 

But he doesn't give up. Despite long odds, he perseveres. Because he's the only one who believes in himself. In the process, he makes John Goodman's James Sullivan character realize that even though he comes from a family of epic scarers, he needs Mike's know-how to be successful.

Believing in yourself. Never giving up. Not judging a book by its cover. Those are three things Monsters U teaches us. At the end, you also learn that Mike and Sully work themselves up from the mail room to be the best scare team we meet in Monsters Inc. So you can add the value of hard work and pride in one's job to the list of positive lessons in this movie.

I'm going through a stressful time at work right now. Good stress, but stressful nonetheless. Besides the positives qualities I've already mentioned, this movie also has the laughs I needed for an end-of-the-week stress relief. The laughs we've come to expect from a Disney/Pixar film, especially one with Crystal and Goodman as the lead voices. College humor without some of the negative stereotypes Hollywood often portrays. (It's also cool to see how Randall, voiced by Steve Buscemi, got his start.)

Go see Monsters U. Bring your kid, even. It's a bit on the long side. So the four-and-under crowd may get a little restless. But you'll definitely laugh. It's not a tear-jerker. It'll just make you feel good. And you'll even learn something, just like the good-old days of college.

1 comment:

  1. Going to have to disagree with you here - I much preferred Monsters. Inc. While Monsters U was good, it was a little too predictable for me and my husband is certain they pretty much just re-vamped the plot from "Revenge of the Nerds." Anyway, we all have our opinions - glad you enjoyed it so much! :-)


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