I cannot properly express how freakishly excited I was when I learned that a sequel to Pixar’s monster hit (forgive me, I know not what I pun) Monsters, Inc., was in the works. That film is among my favorite animated flicks of all time, and rules the top of my Pixar picks list (sorry Nemo). That’s not to say I wasn’t a basket case of crazy wondering if the Disney/Pixar merger was gonna take a giant Cleveland Steamer on my heart. Don’t worry, Boozers, my chest, and other extremities, remain shit-free since 2003 (don’t ask). But I digress. This movie was everything I could’ve hoped for, and more; the same old faces paired with some new hijinks and shenanigans (and humorous heart throughout). I left the theater after watching Monsters University almost as psyched about life as Rebecca Black is about Fridays.
Monsters University begins back in the world of Monstropolis where society is powered by the terror and screams of children. The top energy extraction experts are “scarers” and train at University to become their scary best. Our film returns to, once again, follow Mike Wazowski as (a tiny eyeball) he’s dazzled and amazed by the wonders of being a scarer and learning to be the best at Monsters University. The movie really gets going when he meets James P. “Sully” Sullivan at college and their lifelong chronicles ensue. First as enemies and later on as friends, the cry-namic duo’s scare-tacular antics land them in hot and then even hotter water. Will the magic of friendship prevail? Will good triumph over douchiness? Will popped collars ever make a comeback? You’ll just have to watch this frightfully delightful gem to find out!
Monsters University could have, quite easily, relied on its former success and nostalgia with Monsters, Inc. to coast through a sequel that might have otherwise lacked impetus on its own. Instead, this film is a singularly spectacular display of technique and a flawless example of family fun. All the same dynamic voice talent, from Billy Crystal (Mike) to John Goodman (Sully) to Steve Buscemi (Randall) are back, and they deliver on some one-of-a-kind shit. Animated films are crucial in that regard, they’re half what you see and half what you hear. It’s a make-or-break formula and Monsters University doesn’t let you down with this A-Team.
In addition to having all the right voices, Monsters University has spectacular character development in and of itself. If you think you already know everything there is to know about Mike and Sully, trust me, you don’t. We learn so much more about them (and the supporting characters) throughout the course of the film, and it’s the better for it. This movie has surprises around every turn and a strong message of friendship and integrity to boot. Monsters University is the Frosted Mini-Wheats of cinema… Kids won’t know what kind of next-level inspirational shit has hit them until long after this film ends. Healthy AND delicious, y’all (not unlike yours truly (slow wink).
There’s something to be had for everyone in this dazzling display of animated kickassery. Adults will have just as much of a blast with this film as the ankle-biters will. The humor is sharp and fast-paced. The writing is tight and on-point. And above all, there’s never a reason to stop laughing. I would bear-hug the motherfucking SHIT out of whoever made this marvelous, magical, bonanza of sheer awesomess given half a chance. Seriously. If you delivered John Goodman’s coffee ONCE on this production, I’ll probably french you. Don’t even get me started on what I’d do if you actually touched his soundboard.
There’s never a wasted moment, the plot is well-paced, and it has a reason for everything (and everything in its time). So don’t waste any of YOUR time and sit down to this as fast as you can. It’s Revenge of the Nerds meets House Bunny for the terminally furry. In the immortal words of Shakespeare, “Get thee to a theater!” (there may or may not be historical inaccuracies with that statement). That said, don’t write this off as just another shallow kiddy flick to park your spawn in front of for a few hours of kid-less bliss. It has more depth than could ever be imagined, and more heart and humor than could ever be expected.
Sidenote: See this in 2D if you have the opportunity; it’ll save you enough to buy a beer after the film (the 3D is good but doesn’t warrant the extra expense).
Monsters University is a charming, heartfelt, family affair that will tickle your funny bone and delight even the most hard-hearted bastard without fail. Don’t miss it.
Do a Shot: every time you see a popped collar. Rent a liver for this one.
Take a Drink: for every training montage and/or demonic Mary Poppins appearance.
Take a Sip: anytime you see or hear a reference to Monsters University/MU.
Take a Drink: whenever you hear Sully talk about being a Sullivan and/or someone tells Mike he isn’t scary. Trust me. This WILL pay off.
Take a Sip: every time you see greek letters. Ex. “OK” and/or “ROR”.
Shotgun a Beer: when Sully and Mike blow their load. You’ll know when.