Monsters Inc. holds a special place in the “childhood movie” portion of my heart. So does 007: Die Another Day. I had a pretty good childhood.
Mike and the Cookie Monster return for a second film. The three key points to this throwback prequel are the animation, story, and humor.
Monsters are slimy, hairy, and very colorful, apparently, and so animation was crucial for selling a college of monsters. I am happy to say that the animation was very well done. Not only did the monsters look great, but the lighting and scenery was top notch as well.
Any film can have color, but the texture and depth that these characters have visually is impressive.
The story unfolds through Mike’s point-of-view. Choosing him as the anchor with which the viewers experiences Monsters University was a strong and correct move in telling the story.
References to the first film were subtle and done very well. They didn’t feel forced or overbearing. MU could have easily gone the nostalgia route, and there are elements that fans of the first movie will appreciate, but it’s a fresh new film, which is what we paid to see.
The theme of friendship rings loud and true.
The humor was very strong, though it isn’t hilarious right from the start. Once Mike rallies his fraternity, MU gets hilarious. I was laughing constantly after the world was established and the characters were introduced.
Over all, Monsters University was a T-Bone. If the movie had started stronger, I may have knocked it up a rating. Once the Scare Games begin, it’s pure hilarity and outstanding sequences. If you’re looking for a family film, MU is the way to go.