Don’t be scared of this prequel!

June 24th, 2013 at 3:33 pm by under The Hampton Roads Show, THRS Movie Reviews

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for Monsters University.

Monsters University is now playing in theaters across Hampton Roads.

Monsters-University-PosterMonsters University is the prequel  to Disney-Pixar’s hugely successful and endearing films Monsters Inc.  

We get a little backstory on the childhood of Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal).  We find out how he came to want to be the best scarer and what lands him at Monsters University with books all around him studying feverishly.

It’s not long before he encounters James P. Sullivan — otherwise known as Sully — (John Goodman).  Sully of course comes from a long line of scarers and feels like all he has to do is show up – no studying required.

Right out of the gate Mike and Sully are at odds over their different feelings about scaring.  Soon they find themselves on the outs of the Scare Program and looking for a fraternity.   This is where the plot line of the 1980s flick Revenge of the Nerds takes over.   Before you know it they have pledged the misfits frat — Oozma Kappa (We’re O.K.!), and they are spending their first night in the house.

Their only hope to stay on the scare path is a campus-wide scaring competition between fraternities and sororities overseen by one of the founding mothers of the university — Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren).

The misfits fraternity manages to band together against insurmountable odds and give it everything they’ve got to stay on campus… You’ll just have to see how it works out.

Monsters University has some slow parts, but it manages to stay true to the original characters while doing something tricky as prequels go… Ad that is developing the characters into who we already know them to be, without losing the audience of the character.

Writer/Director Dan Scanlon (along with his co-writers Robert Baird and Daniel Gerson) manages to take us on a great ride full of lessons for kids and reminders for adults told through characters we already love.  (And that’s saying something!  This is Scanlon’s first big film… He’s done art direction on some films and is the 13th writer listed on Cars, but other than that not much to speak of until now. )

Monsters University is heartwarming and reliable; never a disappointment.  It’s not as exceptional as Monsters Inc. was, but the characters are there, it’s fun to watch them become the characters we know and see some of the history that created these best of friends.  

Don’t be scared of this prequel!

(I really was disappointed at the end that I didn’t at least get a character reminiscent of “Booger Presley on a mean guitar, and a rap by little old me Lamar.”  Revenge of the Nerds reference for those playing the home game.)

Rated G.

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