Pixar Animation Studios review: Monsters University

Pixar's 13th film.
Pixar’s 14th film.

http://putlocker.ac/watch-monsters-university-online-free-2013-putlocker-v1.html

My opinion right after watching film

My opinion right after watching the film is that I liked the overall message of the film, and it is one that needs to be expressed more to the youth of today. What I don’t like is that the existence of this film was because the producers chose to ignore continuity, which was probably a sign that they should not have touched it. This film was very predictable, but I do think that it brilliantly expanded the world building from Monsters, Inc., and answered a lot of my questions about that film. Honestly, my opinion has not changed in the last 3 years regarding this film.

Production

Like Toy Story 3, and the Finding Nemo sequel, there were plans to make a sequel to Monsters, Inc. This was during the time where there were issues between Steve Jobs, and Michael Eisner (and Ratatouille was bring debated as to whether it would belong to Disney or another distributor), since they owned all of the properties up until Cars. It involved Mike and Sully going into the human world to find Boo, and the two disagreed as to what to do. Luckily for Pixar, Circle 7 Animation Studios was shut down, and Eisner was replaced by Iger, cancelling all plans for a sequel.

The film was dropped for 3-4 years, and plans were made at around 2009 to make a prequel to the film. It was announced in 2010, and was supposed to be released in November of 2012, but it was pushed back to 2013. The studio was aware of the duo’s first meeting taking place in the original, stating that they knew one another since the 4th grade. Despite this, the people working on the film wanted to set the film in college because they wanted to see the two characters develop their relationship when they were young adults, when everyone discovers themselves.

This is the first film to use a new lighting system called Global Illumination, as it uses path tracing to deliver more realism to imitate the lighting in the real world. Countless universities were used for research sites, like Harvard, Stanford Universities, and the University of Alabama to study the architecture, Greek life and student life. The producers spent many weeks at a fraternity.

Story 

The film starts with a school field trip with Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal)’s class, and it is instantly established that he is a loser, and that no one sees him as someone who deserves to care about Monsters Incorporated. When the other students do not let him see the scarers do their work, he sneaks behind one of the scarers, and enters Earth to see what happens first hand. Both come out (with him stunned), and the scarer gives the little boy his hat, since he was unaware that Mike was in there. This moment caused Mike to set his destiny, and he studies his ass off to get into Monsters University. No one cares about his speech regrading growing up, and he goes to his room, only to find out that a nerdy Randall (Steve Buscemi) is his roommate. It is interesting to see that the two have more in common than we once thought, and to see them as friends. Mike is the one who gives him confidence about his ability to appear invisible, and to use it for their major.

We meet Professor Knight (Alfred Molina) and Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), and she is deliciously intimidating. She tells them that it is her job to make great scarers greater, and not to make mediocre scarers less mediocre, so whomever fails the test at December will be expelled from her program. James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) shows up late with none of his stuff, but everyone is impressed with him, because his father is one of the best scarers in the world. It is interesting that we never hear from, or meet his father, so it has me wondering if he passed away. It is instantly set up that Mike is smart but not scary, while Sully is scary, but not smart.
We meet Professor Knight (Alfred Molina) and Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), and she is deliciously intimidating. She tells them that it is her job to make great scarers greater, and not to make mediocre scarers less mediocre, so whomever fails the test at December will be expelled from her program. James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) shows up late with none of his stuff, but everyone is impressed with him, because his father is one of the best scarers in the world. It is interesting that we never hear from, or meet his father, so it has me wondering if he passed away. It is instantly set up that Mike is smart but not scary, while Sully is scary, but not smart.

After Mike refuses to go to a party with Randall, Sully ends up bringing a pig to their dorm room, thinking it is his. Mike tells him to beat it, but when the pig escapes the room with Mike’s hat, the both of them chase after it, but Mike captures it, and Sully gets all of the attention. Apparently the pig is the mascot of another campus, so it is a code of conduct of some sort to steal it. A douchey fraternity Roar Omega Roar, and the leader named Johnny Worthington (Nathan Fillion) recruits Sully, Mike tries to take credit, and Sully tells him that the fraternity is for scarers who has a chance. This causes a montage scene, where Randall and Mike work hard to study for their grades, while Sully fools around, and progressively gets worse in school. A rivalry is set between the two of them, and while the conflict between the two of them is realistic (since Sully actually divulges in it in this movie), it is still utterly predictable, and the stakes are even smaller and less impact, since we KNOW where it will end up. Not only because of the predictability, but because this is a prequel.

It is time for the finals, and Roar Omega Roar tells him that he has to pass and beat Mike in order to officially become a part of the fraternity. Mike and Sully get into a petty roar fest, which causes Hardscrabble’s record breaking souvenir to be broken. She seems to take it well, but she ends up schooling the both of them while testing them on spot. I LOVE her. Anyways, she removes the both of them from the program, and Sully blames this on Mike. This gets to the point that when they return, Sully does nothing but stare at and glare at Mike for ruining his chances, with the latter not even paying him any mind. We also see that Randall has moved out of the dorm, and into Roar Omega Roar; taking Sully’s spot. Mike sees a poster about the scare games underneath a poster in his room.

Since the Scare Games is the only way that he could return into the space programs, he forces the Oozma Kappa fraternity, but they do not consider brothers Terri (Sean Hayes) and Terry (Dave Foley) as two people, since they share the same body. Sully forces himself on the team, and they finally have enough members. With the both of them sharing the same room, and neither being impressed with the team (since the two are the only competent ones on the team) of course means that they both will eventually bond.
Since the Scare Games is the only way that he could return into the space programs, he forces the Oozma Kappa fraternity, but they do not consider brothers Terri (Sean Hayes) and Terry (Dave Foley) as two people, since they share the same body. Sully forces himself on the team, and they finally have enough members. With the both of them sharing the same room, and neither being impressed with the team (since the two are the only competent ones on the team) of course means that they both will eventually bond.

Honestly, I do not even need to write much about regarding the story, since we know what will happen, but I am currently sick as I am writing this, and prefer to not watch the shitty films of 2016. Since I am tired of writing about the story right now, I will say that it is extremely bothersome that the producers and directors decided to make a movie that would cause a HUGE plothole in their older film, especially for a company who has proven time and time again to care about story more than most other companies. I am trying to be optimistic, and I feel like I am doing a good enough job.

Anyways, the scare games take place, and they are last in the first round. They only escape that round because one of the teams cheated. Mike decides that he needs to train all of them, but Sully refuses to partake in it, since he is the only one who is naturally scary. His lack of intellect almost causes them the next round, and he realizes that something needs to be done. Since some people found it cool how they got past the librarian, they were invited to the Roar Omega Roar party, which ends up being a set up to make them look like fools. To make matters worse, Randall is the one who puts the final nail in the coffin regards to their humiliation.

They do not let this get to them, and Mike and Sully take the group to Monsters Incorporated to inspire everyone else. We learn that the both of them know a lot about the scarers, and start to bond over it. They make it through the next two rounds, and are in the finals with Roar Omega Roar. Hardscrabble tells Sully that they will lose because Mike is the only one in the group who is not inherently scary, and the finals is a calculation of all the individual performances. This causes the big guy's confidence to wane, and he tries to teach Mike how to be scary.
They do not let this get to them, and Mike and Sully take the group to Monsters Incorporated to inspire everyone else. We learn that the both of them know a lot about the scarers, and start to bond over it. They make it through the next two rounds, and are in the finals with Roar Omega Roar. Hardscrabble tells Sully that they will lose because Mike is the only one in the group who is not inherently scary, and the finals is a calculation of all the individual performances. This causes the big guy’s confidence to wane, and he tries to teach Mike how to be scary.

It is time for the final match, and Randall loses the match to Sully (who bumps up his team’s much needed low score), and declares that he will never lose to Sully. Mike is the last one to face off against Johnny, and he beats him. Where things become unpredictable is that he comes to a realization that his machine was tampered with between rounds, and Sully was the one who tampered with it to make him feel better. Mike is only discouraged even more, and Sully tells him that he wanted to give the team a chance. Feeling bad, he tells Hardscrabble what happened, and she instantly expels him. They are interrupted when the campus emergency bells start ringing. We know that it is Mike who set it off, since he went to the human world to prove to himself that he is scary.

He enters a girls camp, and they all think he is cute instead of scary. This somehow ends up with the police swarming the camp to get him, but he runs off. Sully runs through the door to get Mike, who lashes out at him for being given everything in his life for being cool. Mike is shocked when Sully tells him that he is terrified about everything in his life, and that he was expelled, and a disappointment. The two make up, and the police chase around to get them, unbeknownst that Hardscrabble shut off the door, since it is too dangerous. Mike tells Sully that he needs to scare the cops to get them to power the door enough to run through, which works……. a bit too well. The room in the university is damaged, and Hardscrabble expels them for making a mockery of her program.

The two say their goodbyes to Scott (Peter Sohn), Don (Joel Murray) who is now dating Scott’s mother Sherri (Julia Sweeney), and Art (Charlie Day) as they move out and leave the university. The two now friends say goodbye to one another before Mike boards on the bus, but Sully stops the bus to declare his love with him tell Mike he is awesome, and is shocked when Hardscrabble approaches the to wish them well, and to tell them to keep shocking people, since they are the first students to surprise her. The two end up taking jobs in Monsters, Inc. as mailmen, and work their way up. In the post-credit scenes, we see appearances from the white monster (the one stuck in the human world in the original), Waternoose, and we see in the locker that Celia gives Mike her number and a picture. All of the monsters we met in the film (except for Sherri) ends up being a scarer at Monsters Inc.

I remember saying 3 years ago that this film is better than Frozen, and I still stand by that. This film shocked me a lot more (more so in the third act), and despite the HUGE plothole, it was a strong prequel to Monsters Inc. I do not think this story really needed to be made, and I have to take points off for the plotholes and the predictability, but this film is by no means bad.
I remember saying 3 years ago that this film is better than Frozen, and I still stand by that. This film shocked me a lot more (more so in the third act), and despite the HUGE plothole, it was a strong prequel to Monsters Inc. I do not think this story really needed to be made, and I have to take points off for the plotholes and the predictability, but this film is by no means bad.

Characters

I will sum this up pretty quickly. The older characters were given some nice and much needed development (which there was a lack of in the first film), but the new characters were not really funny, and were barely present in the film to receive much focus themselves. At the same time, it was easier for us to care a bit less, since we know where the main characters will end up.

We kind of knew that he was the smarter one out of the two, since he handed all of the paperwork and the statistics, but they took this, and made him into more of a nerd, which was a smart decision. I always found him more compelling than Sully, and it was smart how they turned the plot for him. They could have made him a successful scarer, but there are some things certain people are not capable of doing, and it’s not in their fate. It is a strong message that more people need to learn.
I am glad he was bumped into a deuteragonist, and we do learn more about him. Because his family has a more prestigious and a respectable reputation, those traits are instantly given to him, and he expects for those skills to carry him through. Planning is something he needs to learn, and while he is a bit too much in the beginning, you grow to like him. People only take so much of someone who goofs around, and someone with no substance for so long.
randall
It was interesting to see that him and Mike were FRIENDS at first, but him wanting to be cool and the best meant more than a solid friendship. It does make sense that his hatred in the original film is geared to Sully than Mike. Despite that, he was much more in the background for the newer (and lesser) characters.
She is the only new character that evoked something out of me. She has many of the characteristics of the classic Disney villains, but she is not evil. Hardscrabble just cares a lot about her program, and wanting the best to represent it. Very refreshing.
She is the only new character that evoked something out of me. She has many of the characteristics of the classic Disney villains, but she is not evil. Hardscrabble just cares a lot about her program, and wanting the best to represent it. Very refreshing.

None of the other new characters did not do much of anything, and there is way too much of them for me to go over now. I will most likely make a post discussing all of the characters in the franchise.

Animation

The animation is VERY detailed, from the skin to the scales, hair, liquids. and the buildings. The lighting hit the characters and objects perfectly, giving off a realistic feeling. The colours are really well too. The designs are very unique and interesting to look at, and the set designs make the school look really good, and add some uniqueness because of the different sizes of the monsters. Pixar never fails to impress. I have to mention (the only part in this section that I did not copy and paste from 2013) is that you can tell the studio improved with the human girls in the characters. Comparing them to Boo made me realize how the textures of skin and hair improved, and how realistic they looked.

Music

Randy Newman did the music for this film and to be honest, it is one of his better works. His work does not sound the same as the others (like PatF, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story franchise). There is a bit more of a youthful flare in the soundtrack, and has a college film. Pixar soundtracks and scores are always good, so good job Randy.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on June 21st, 2013, it made $268,492,764 in North America, and $475,736,673 elsewhere, adding up to an international gross of $744,229,437. It is the seventh highest-grossing film of 2013, and currently the seventeenth highest-grossing animated film of all time. This was a huge success for Pixar, but it was outperformed by Despicable Me 2 and Frozen.

Critically, it received favourable enough reviews. Many people claimed that for a prequel that no one asked for, they did a pretty good job with it, since it has the same charm and heart as the first film, and carried most of what made that film good. Despite that, others complained about the film being way too predictable, and claiming it to be one of the weaker Pixar films.

Looking at its accolades, you can tell that Pixar took a hit for 2013. It only won 3 awards; 2 Annies for storyboarding and editorials, and the final one being a Hollywood Film award. It was completely snubbed by the Academy Awards, which did not even happen to Brave the year before.

Reception Today

I remember recapping this when the film was released, but I honestly do not think much changed regarding the reception of this film. Most people do see this as one of the weaker (some see it as the weakest) Pixar addition, and continued the belief that Pixar is going through a slump.

Final Score

Story: 7/10

Characters: 6/10

Animation: 9/10

Music: 7/10

= 29/40 = 73%

Next time…

I reviewed both Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur last year, so the next (and final) film is…..

Review: December 18th, 2016.
Review: December 18th, 2016.
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8 thoughts on “Pixar Animation Studios review: Monsters University

  1. I guess I can see where people do take issues with this movie, but honestly, I find this film harmless. It’s not Pixar’s greatest work, but I don’t think it’s the worst, either. It avoids the absolute bottom of the barrel for me.

    I think an actual sequel to this movie would be kind of interesting. Seeing Mike and Sully interact with an older Boo and her questioning their existence and whether she should be seeing them or not would be very interesting, I think. But with Pixar saying no more sequels (or at least, not for a long time) after the release of Toy Story 4 in 2019, I doubt it will happen. Maybe that kind of movie should have happened instead of this one. It probably did in an alternate universe. Ah well.

    Keep up the great work and see you next time!

    1. They absolutely should have done a sequel, instead of a prequel that no one asked for. Now that we have it, they could have made it a lot worse, though I think I’m only saying that due to the strong final act. I’m sure we will get more sequels in the 2020s, so there is still a chance.

  2. Great review! The first two acts of this film are very predictable and are filled with a bunch of cliches that we’ve seen from other college films. It also doesn’t help that this is a prequel. We already know that Mike and Sully will be friends, so it just makes the plot even more predictable than it already is. The side characters were forgettable and I found Sully to be really unlikeable at the start of the film, but he does get better as the film continues. I thought Randall was really underplayed in this film. In the beginning, he’s shown as Mike’s new friend, but after a while, the film would forget about him instantly. It would have been nice if the film went into more detail about how he went from being Mike’s friend to Sully’s biggest rival. But all they did with him was just make him pop up in a few scenes and he doesn’t have that much impact on the plot.

    The third act of this film though is really good and I really liked the message of the film. Just because your dreams don’t work out doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or you aren’t good enough. It just means that dream is not for you and that there is something else that you’re good at, that you haven’t discovered yet. This is exactly what Mike discovers. He discovers that he’s not scary and he never will be scary no matter how hard he tries, but he discovers he is a great leader and a great coach. The ending to this film really did touch me and I applaud Pixar for telling this message, especially since it’s a message you don’t see that often in films and especially in animated films.

    Overall, I don’t think Monsters University is one of Pixar’s best films, but I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot of people say it is. It does have its problems, but I think the third act is what keeps it away from being a bad film.

    1. If Randall was the protagonist or had a larger role, the film could have easily been one of Pixar’s best. If we saw how him and Mike became friends, and then how the typical popular person who is given everything disrupts everything for him, imagine how strong that would be.

      Whenever there was a unique opportunity presented in the film, it is almost always wasted. That was easily the biggest missed opportunity. Since no one asked for a prequel, and there is always a sense of predictability to them, you need to make them really unique to make it stand out. I think because it was a predictable prequel makes people see that it is one of the worst. I have heard people say this is worse than Cars 2.

      This film gained several points solely due to the ending.

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