“If you’re not scary, what kind of a monster are you?” That is a question posed to the new class of scarers at Monsters U. Monsters University is the story of Mike Wazowski, the adorable little monster we met in 2001 when he hit the big screen with his best buddy Sulley in the hit Disney/Pixar film Monsters, Inc. This new film is the prequel to that very popular movie and tells the story of how Mike and Sulley met and ultimately became the best friends we all know and love.
If for some reason you have been living under a rock for the past decade and are not familiar with the story of Monsters, Inc., don’t worry. This movie is a stand-alone film, however there are many characters in this story that are also in the 2001 movie, which makes it more entertaining for those who know the earlier film.
This story unfolds with a young Mike Wazowski sporting braces and traveling on a field trip with his class to Monsters Inc. where he decides he wants to be a scarer. Mike lives his life waiting to go to Monsters University and major in scaring.
John Lasseter, Executive Producer of the movie, said, “College is the time when we all have so much optimism and confidence that we can change the world. We have dreams and goals. We’re unstoppable. And then reality sets in and we start hitting closed doors. It’s what you do when you hit a closed door – it’s what you do when your dream is shattered that really formulates who you are.” That is the crux of this film.
Mike is filled with idealism and optimism. Even when the odds are against him, he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
“A big part of this film is facing reality,” says Kelsey Mann, story supervisor on the film. Yes, little Mike Wazowski is not the scariest monster on campus and maybe not cut out to be a scarer, but he gives it all he’s got, and even though his goals and dreams take a detour, he does come out on top, although in a different place than where he imagined he would be.
Billy Crystal who voices the little one-eyed green monster, said, “It’s easy to think that these characters can’t possibly have any depth or feelings because they’re monsters, but they do. They’re young men figuring out who they are and what they want in life – and then what life actually has in store for them. What’s great about these movies is that they don’t just entertain, they also have a wonderful message.”
College life not only changes the future for Mike, but also for his soon-to-be best friend, James P. Sullivan. Sully is a legacy at the school. His father is a hero in the scaring world. Sully feels he is entitled to be a scarer and is into all kinds of college pranks, but quickly discovers that he must work for his place at the university and cannot rest on the laurels of his dad.
And Randy Boggs is an insecure young monster who wants to be part of the cool gang. In the beginning of the film he is not the Randall Boggs we know from the 2001 movie.
While Monsters University is a fun film with a great message for everyone, I found one thing missing. That is little Boo. She was not even born when Mike and Sulley started college, so there is no way she could have been any part of this movie. And, as we all know, in the monster world human kids are toxic. There is one scene in which human kids come into play, but that is minor. The main focuses of this film are the determination of Mike Wazowski, the budding friendship between Mike and Sulley, and the message that even though we might desperately want something, sometimes our lives must take a different path in order for us to fulfill our destiny.
Monsters University is rated “G” for all ages. It opens June 21, 2013 in 3D and 2D.
Photos Courtesy Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Quotes: Press Production Notes.