Being a said, "Disney Freak", that 'Monster's Inc.' was one of my favorite movie's from the early 00's, and that I have 3 girls whom the eldest was nicknamed "Boo" as a toddler with her brown pigtails, and big brown eyes, I was pretty excited when I heard there was going to be a 2nd 'Monster's Inc.' movie. The dvd has been bought at least 2 or 3 times in the past 10 years being re watched many times as one of my kid's favorite for at least a month or two.
When I heard that the movie was going to be a prequel I was honestly pretty disappointed. Pixar set it up so well for a sequel with Sully going back to see Boo at the end of the first. Boo was such a beloved character that I thought it was a travesty they wouldn't be bringing her back! I wanted to know what happened to her! I saw the previews for 'Monster's University' and sure they were cute but I thought to myself that it was probably going to be one of those sequel's that all the "funny parts" were in the previews. My girls have wanted to see it however so I knew I would end up seeing it at some point.
This week I got to go to the early screening with my 4.5 year old daughter, needless to say she was pretty excited! I wasn't expecting much and I'm glad to report that I was pleasantly surprised!
Once again we get to enjoy the talented performances of Billy Crystal (Mike Wazowski) and John Goodman (James P. Sullivan). Which in my opinion are some of the best animated character/actor combo's ever. We get to see an introduction to Mike in grade school with braces and being the runt of the class. We then fast forward to Mike and Sully as college Freshman entering the scare program at "Monster's University". Without giving away too much of the plot, I was surprised to see some other original MI characters at an early age in the movie and see how they become who they are in the original. We got a lot more back story to Sully and learn that he comes from a long line of scarer's that he is trying to live up to. We see that Mike and Sully weren't always best buds and how that journey takes place and honestly I thought it was a really great story!
The animation was absolutely fantastic. I remember back in 2001 thinking how real the first movie looked and I have to say that Pixar really outdid themselves with this one! I've said many a time that I'm not a huge 3/D fan but it was quite great in 3D!
As someone who has become quite familiar with the first film, there were lot's of subtleties I picked up on that carried over to the 2nd that made me go "Aww!" along with the rest of the theater. I laughed quite a bit! I really enjoyed the new character's they introduced as well! My favorite was probably "Art", played by Charlie Day. There were tons of other well known actors that made appearances in the film that I picked out pretty quickly. To name a few: Helen Mirren, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza, Bobby Moynihan, and Sean Hayes. See if you can pick them out when you go see it! It was also great to see cameo's from the first film, including George Sanderson (the monster that always breaches security and has to get his hair shaved in the First).
My only complaints are probably that it was a TAD long. My daughter got a little bored I think during the middle, but maybe not as much as I thought originally because when we got home she was telling me about her favorite parts and recalled quite a bit of things I didn't think she would. I'm not sure if other people picked up on my next complaint or not but I felt like Helen Mirren's character "Dean Hardscrabble" looked way too much like the Dragon from Shrek. It's not a huge deal but I felt like Disney/Pixar could have been a little more creative with such a main character, and my daughter also put the pieces together as we were talking about her on the way home. Does it ruin the movie? Certainly not, But it annoyed me a little! I also hate it when they show you things in the trailer that aren't in the movie... Don't expect to see Mike as a disco ball, because they don't show it!
All in all I give it a thumb's up, especially if you have kids and were a fan of the story of the first. It taught a great lesson in value and truth and was witty and funny! On the way home my daughter immediately said "Mommy, You and daddy need to go to Target and buy Monsersuniversy". So I would say it get's a Thumb's Up as well from the Pre-School generation!
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