Sum this mother up in 8 words or less: Monsters getting degrees in how to be monsters
Okay, lay it on me: I have been anticipating this film for SO long that the pressure and expectation was stacked pretty high. It was a fab watch with glorious animation and attention to detail, but at times the storyline lacked some of the usual Pixar magic and it wasn't everything I'd hoped for, let me carefully explain....
In Monsters Inc there is shameless fun approach to the whole film, represented by a complimentary and perfectly balanced mix of emotional storytelling slammed right next to a monster falling on his arse and screaming in pain. Slapstick lols and tear jerking friendship bought together in the addictive and charming mix that encompasses all great Pixar stories. With Monsters University, I just didn't think that balance was quite there. It was all a bit too, hmmm how to describe, well, there were moments where it felt like they were trying to be a bit too 'tween'. Some of the humour was up aged and made 'cooler' with some of the references not feeling as layered for kids and adults in usual Pixar style but perhaps adapted to meet the needs of the generation who have grown up with Monsters Inc. To be fair there were a lot of tweens there having a blast so maybe they got that right but for me struggling to keep my 3 year old in the chair for the first 40 mins while the film took way too long to warm up meant all I could think of was 'thank christ for popcorn....and smarties.....and milkshake....a Pom Bear....'
|Like this chap, Monsters University takes a little while to get going|
I really don't want to give the impression I'm slamming it. I really did enjoy it and diving into the world of Monsters University really was an experience in itself. Similar to that gushy feeling I get about fantasising about studying at Hogwarts (yep, still hacked off it's not a real place - surely it has to be real right?!), I could easily wander my mind into the Monster University campus with the thought of studying there a really warm fuzzy one. Small touches to the way they bought to life the campus were really powerful and catapulted you right into the scene, but it was way too slow to get into gear and the new characters could have been better I felt. The mature student character for example was just pure weird, a bit creepy and not that funny. Thankfully it did end on a big high. When the action kicked in it was back to usual Pixar standards and for the remaining hour my boy was engrossed (this was a relief as experimenting with putting his head though the seats in front resulted in him getting stuck and crying.)
|Don't worry Mike, when you're older you'll understand that bottom bunk is actually better.|
Would you watch it again? Yes, I will buy it on Blu-Ray, not DVD, its not the 90s. Its definitely a re-watcher and I felt like there was loads I missed and couldn't take in. Partly due to the head-stuck-in-seats-incident but also because of the detail and little references that were coming thick and fast on campus.
Rating (out of 100%): I give Monsters University a furry-slimy 80%. In university terms this would be a 2:1 - brilliant achievement but must not forget to bring it from the heart to reach the magical dizzy heights of scoring a 1st.