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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 June 2015
I have a strong feeling that my nostalgia for Monsters Inc. is going to bias this review, but I’ll say it anyway, I loved this film! There, I said it.

Monsters University is the prequel to Monsters Inc. and follows Mike and Sully before they became the scare duo of the original film, back to their “collage” years. Mike and Sully are initially enemies, due to Sully’s lazy attitude, and Mike’s lack of scariness. After nearly getting expelled, they are forced to compete in the “Scare Games” together, where they bond and discover what a great team they are.

Mike and Sully are as great as they were in the original. They contrasted each other and reflected a little bit of everyone. Pixar really tapped into everyone’s love of the underdog, and the supporting cast of Oozma Kappa was hilarious. Helen Mirren’s first voice acting role deserves a mention, as she was definitely the scariest monster of them all.

It’s very predictable up till the end, and for once I don’t care. Because Monsters University has all the charm, character, and wit of the original. It reminded me off my childhood love of Pixar, and the universality of its stories. Or maybe it has a little to do with me going to university this year… Was it the best Pixar film ever made? No. But Pixar’s bar is pretty high. The entertainment for adults as well as children was showcased through the film, with plithy remarks that were sure to skim over children’s heads but into adult mind. Most importantly, it tugged at your heart-strings. I genuinely cared about all the characters, and although I could guess at the ending, it didn’t make the journey any less enjoyable.

What I liked the most about the story was the message it sent out. In a society where a university degree seems like everything, and the attitude of “ you can do whatever you want to”, Monsters University took a daring stance on it. Despite studying his hardest, Mike was not cut out to be a scarer like he dreamed off, but he found out that there was something he was better at instead. The ending also showed that you don’t need a university degree to achieve what you want, but hard work and effort.

As for the animation? Pixar is upping its game with each production. Fur was a breakthrough back in 2001, but now the backgrounds are starting to look more like film clips from the real world. For me, the real testament of Pixar’s true ability was in the six-minute short film The Blue Umbrella before the main film, which not only showcased Pixar’s astonishing skills (for the first minute I honestly thought there was real world shots), but its ability to make you feel things you never thought you could.

Pixar may not be quite back to its former glory, but this film is a step closer to it, and gives me faith for Finding Dory, its next sequel.
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2013
From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other.

“Monsters University" is a prequel to the film "Monsters Inc.". In addition to the two main characters, a whole lot of new characters are introduced at the college that Mike and Sully attended. The CGI was simply and yet gorgeous, and a production that was a pleasure to watch. It’s a sumptuous film, which was all infectious fun, despite the lack of originality it, still managed to tickle the funny bones. There is good animation here and with a plot driven by well-done characterisations.
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on 4 August 2016
I loved the monsters inc films and this one is a great addition to the set, I was worried that like a lot of films the more they do the worse they get but no such thing with this one. It's still based around the scare factory but shows how the main monsters got their jobs in the first place.
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on 9 July 2013
Mike desires to be a "scarer." The monster world is powered by screams. The problem is that Mike (Billy Crystal) while smart, isn't scary. He attends Monster University where he studies hard to be a scarer. The plot reads like "Revenge of the Nerds" as Mike must win a scare contest along with his hopeless fraternity to prove himself and stay in school as a scarer.

Mike is a rival to Sullivan, a university legacy (John Goodman) but later they operate on the same team.

The film is cute. The initiation scene was my favorite with a laugh out loud chuckle. I watched the film with a five year old who can't stand scary movies. She loved this one.

One the kids enjoyed ages 5 and up.
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on 11 January 2016
Just nowhere near as funny or entertaining as Monsters Inc. It was actually quite boring in parts - most of the first hour. I really enjoyed its predecessor but sadly this sequel did not live up to expectations. Was going to give it 2 stars but decided to be generous.
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on 16 February 2016
My younger brother and sister found the university setting unfamiliar, difficult to understand.
I found the jokes unintelligent and the storyline a little bland and obvious.

Nothing like as good as monsters Inc.
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on 20 February 2016
Way better than I thought it would be. Quite hilarious, shame it didn't get the attention it should have. Good prequel into the teenage years, captured college perfectly. Great for kids as well as adults.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2015
This prequel to Monsters Inc. tells us the story of how best friends and work colleagues Mike and Sully first met at Monsters University (MU).

When I heard that Pixar were making a prequel rather than a sequel I was very disappointed because I wanted to know why sully beams so brightly when he looks through Boo’s door at the end of Monsters Inc. I always supposed that a sequel would follow to explain that scene; however it was not to be. I suppose we will never know now.

So I didn’t go into MU with much enthusiasm and I was right to. MU is something of a disappointment to say the least. The story is weak by Pixar standards, and to be honest I didn’t find mike or sully as youngsters very engaging. Sully was a selfish jock and Mike a bit of a nerd and their experiences through the incomprehensible world of American College, unfamiliar to most of us, just didn’t resonate with me at all. I wasn’t really very interested and although there were a few laughs and a couple of good ideas, on the whole the film felt a bit flat and uninspired. Where Monsters Inc. was inventive and exiting and had a proper story to tell, Monsters University is neither and the story seems more like a collection of separate idea’s strung together to create a story.

There is however much to enjoy, the animation is first class and it all looks very handsome, some of the other students (the fat one, the thin one, the nerdy one, the old one, the geeky one, you get the picture) all stereotypes rarely concentrated so strongly together, are often funny but you do feel you’re laughing at them rather than with them. At 100 minutes it’s a bit too long and should have had a bit from act two removed to improve the pace, but even that could not improve on a dull script that just doesn’t have enough laughs or emotional interest. In other words we don’t have a Boo to hold it all together, and the film needed one. I watched it a few weeks ago and have forgotten the end already.

Let’s hope we get a proper sequel.
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on 19 March 2016
I loved this movie. Watched it with my 2 yr old and he loved it too. Fits seamlessly with the original Monsters Inc. however is also a lovely stand alone story since this is based before Monsters Inc.
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on 9 August 2013
If you like Pixar films you'll love this sequel to Monsters Inc. It's funny, smart, has likeable characters, and has an unforced charm that's difficult to resist.

Mike and Sullivan are both struggling to make the grade at Monsters University as scarers - monsters who specialise in scaring human children in order to generate scream energy to power their world. Sullivan is scary but lazy and unimaginative, while Mike is smart but lacks scariness. Between them, and with the help of their nerdy fraternity , they struggle against the odds and the smug university elite to graduate.

This is a very funny film - and the fact that I enjoyed it (a 52-year old man) as much as my 10 year old tom-boy youngest daughter and my 12 years old girly daughter, shows the broad appeal of the film. I always find similar films by DreamWorks and other film makes pitch jokes either solely at the children, with the odd sly joke just for the grown-ups. Pixar often manage to hit both targets with one funny gag. The snail rushing for his class had us all laughing (in my case off and on for hours - it's SUCH a good visual). The fraternity initiation was also brilliant, as is the moment when Mike finds himself in the middle of a dormitory of curious children wanting to find out what this funny little monster is (human children are highly toxic to monsters).

Monsters Inc was a great film, and if this isn't quite at the same level, there is no shame in that because it's a close second. I strongly recommend this film. Add the cute opening short about loved up umbrellas and it's irresistible.
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