PrintE-mail Written by Katherine McLaughlin

Review: Monsters University / Cert: U / Director: Dan Scanlon / Screenplay: Robert L. Baird / Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn / Release Date: July 12th

This fresh and funny prequel to Monsters, Inc. sees Mike and Sulley on a college campus as they try to make their way through their studies to become fully fledged Scarers. 

We meet mini Mike Wazowski at elementary school on a visit to the Monsters Inc. factory as he gets to meet his heroes and sets his mind on becoming part of the scare team. Fast forward a few years and Mike enrols at Monsters University full of high hopes and enthusiasm. The focus here is on Mike’s journey. Extolling the importance of hard work, team work and friendship is at the heart of the story, alongside the importance of knowing when to face reality. You see, not all works out exactly as Mike and Sulley expect, forcing them to use their ingenuity and optimism to overcome obstacles in their way as they compete against the cool kids. Think Revenge of the Nerds, but with adorable monsters instead.

We also meet many new faces along the way, with the focus being on the Oozma Kappa fraternity who accept Mike and Sulley into their home and hearts after they decide to join their team in a competition to prove their scaring abilities. Don Carlton is a mature student, who when faced with financial woes decides to head back to college to learn some new skills. Voiced by Joel Murray (God Bless America) this moustachioed, chubby monster is the honest and hardworking father type figure for the group. Squishy, with his many eyes and soft shape sneaks around and surprises everyone. Sean Hayes and Dave Foley voice double headed dance student Terri & Terry Perry. And finally making up this eclectic group is the U shaped Art, a free spirit who gets many of the funniest lines and is brought to life by the excellent Charlie Day.

There’s much fun to be had here and there are many valuable lessons to be learnt. The humour may be a little dumbed down but there’s enough to keep most adults entertained. There’s a good mixture of pop culture references old and new including a Kris Kringle monster hiding in a chimney, the mention of a princess bride and stable boy by Mike and a Gangnam style dance involving Sulley. There’s even a sequence that will delight horror film fans set at a camp by a lake.

Monsters University captures the excitement and zeal of the monster youth in a colourful and creative way, its positivity ensuring many of the audience members will be returning for repeat viewings. A roaring success!

Expected Rating: 8 out of 10

Actual Rating:

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