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Cady is a staff writer here at The Hudsucker. She is an English major and Writing minor at Grand Valley State University. Her dream is to be a novelist or to work for a publishing company. She enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Boy Meets World, The Voice and Back to the Future. Follow her on Twitter as @cadyelizabeth9

“Monsters University”: Not Up to the Pixar Standard?

Monsters University, released on Friday, is the latest Disney-Pixar movie and prequel to the 2001 movie Monster’s, Inc. It stars Billy Crystal as Mike and John Goodman as Sulley, and features the voice talents of Steve Buscemi as Randall, a future fellow Monsters Inc. employee, and Helen Mirren as the strict Dean Hardscrabble.

Image Credit: Disney

Image Credit: Disney

Mike is an over-eager freshman at MU’s Scaring School. During his classes he first meets Sulley, a lazy, too cool for school guy skating by on his family name. Their personalities clash at first and cause problems for each of them, resulting in the need to prove to Dean Hardscrabble that they are both worthy Scarers. This leads to a competition involving a bunch of students in fraternities and sororities at Monsters University. Mike and Sulley’s ragtag team has to learn how to compete with some of the school’s best Scarers.

The first ten minutes are the perfect way to begin the story, featuring a young Mike and the event that sparks his interest in and motivation for attending Monsters University. Little Mike is adorable! In true Pixar fashion, the colors are bright, the scenery is beautiful, and the level of detail in the animation is impeccable.

The middle portion of the movie is a little lackluster in terms of story. Once Mike and Sulley begin their school year, the movie seems to drag and the pacing feels a little off. It is great, though, to see how Mike and Sulley’s friendship evolves over time. The competition storyline seems a little generic and everyone has already seen it in countless movies, though there are definitely some unique and fun surprises during this particular competition.

The pace picks right back up at the end of the movie and it does have a great ending. While it doesn’t quite hold the same magic Monsters, Inc. dazzled audiences with, it’s still worth a watch for anyone who’s a fan of Mike and Sulley because this movie does well to establish their friendship. The beginning and end are the shining moments of the movie, with the ending setting up the events of Monsters, Inc. perfectly.

The college atmosphere of the movie is as close to believable as a G-rated movie about monsters could be, complete with big lecture halls, fraternities and sororities, hazing, and parties. The number of unique monsters we see in the movie is incredible and the visual aspect of the movie is fantastic.

It’s a decent movie that kids are sure to enjoy, but it just doesn’t match the magic of Monsters, Inc. or some of the other smash-hit Pixar movies from years past. What seems to be missing is the heart of the original. It’s not as compelling and nothing really jumped out and made it a great movie. It doesn’t seem to live up to the standard of “Old Pixar” which brought us gems like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles, but, overall, it’s nice to get to revisit the characters we loved all those years ago.

Overall: B-

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