Finally able to get back to more uplifting material. Even if it is still movies. But that is still a very good thing. Afterall, we are in the primetime of movie magic time. Studios save some of their best joints for the summertime so there's a lot of material out there to work with. And with the movie theater by my house charging only $5 for a non-matinee adult ticket, then I just can't say no.
"Monsters University" is a prequel to the still amazing "Monsters, Inc." It takes us back to the roots of how Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) first got their start in the scaring business. It turns out they weren't always an inseparable pair. They began as a pair of mismatched college classmates that couldn't stand each other. We get to see how they overcame their differences to eventually become the best of friends.
I immediately loved how the story made perfect sense from the beginning. Visually speaking, it's obvious that Sully would have a much more natural ability to be scary than Mikey would. So Mikey has to work extra hard to even be remotely close to the same league. We see it every day with athletes. Some folks are born with it and others have to work hard to get it. But it's another classic example of if you work hard enough than anything is possible.
One thing that always bothered me about "Monsters, Inc." and even a little of this one was that too many of the characters didn't resemble actual monsters. Not necessarily movie monsters, but just monsters in general that you would look at and could buy them as being genuinely scary. They solved that problem her with the dean of the Scaring College. Voiced by Helen Mirren, Dean Hardscrabble was absolutely terrifying. She reminded me of a female version of the thing from "Jeepers Crepers". Only creepier. She epitomized what you would envision for a monster that would actually horrify children at night.
As with any Pixar movie, this joint isn't with a good message or two. Or three. Or maybe even a half a dozen or more. There were so many obvious good intentions that they were coming one after another. Often interwoven among one another. The good thing is they didn't disrupt the entertainment value at all so it doesn't come across as preachy.
However, at the heart of it all, this is supposed to be a comedy. They accomplished that mission with no problem whatsoever. They didn't even need Sully and Mikey to carry the weight. The cast of characters making up their motley crue of a fraternity were an excellent complement to the laughs Crystal and Goodman already brought. Not to the mention the rival fraternities as well. It just seemed that there was always something to make you smile, chuckle or laugh at every turn.
"Monsters, Inc." was released clear back in 2001 which was before I started this blog so I never got a chance to rate it. It would easily be a Vault Pick of the Week if I still did that. "Monsters University" clearly belongs there as well. Pixar once again knocks one out of the park.
My rating: A