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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
= 29/40 = 73%