Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monsters University not so Monsterous

It is good family fun and has a few moments of humor, but Monsters University, the Monsters Inc. prequel, lacks the warmth and heart of the first film.  It was to a certain degree little more than an animated version of Revenge of the Nerds in animated form without the nudity, swearing and less than family-friendly  material.  The charm or the original along with the cheap attempts of "cartoon" walkons like (spoiler alert) the Abominable Snowman and Roz, the movie just doesn't connect. I should also point out there is a scene after the credits, but unfortunately I didn't know this and did not see it, but I know what it is.

I know.  I know.  I have friends who loved the movie and more than a few critics loved the movie, but Pixar has lost its edge seeming to go more sequel rather than the cutting and creative edge magic.  Alright, I will give you that Toy Story 3 was a good one, and I enjoyed Brave but Cars 2 and the upcoming Planes just don't look like anything but retreads (sorry for the pun). There was a relationship in the original Monsters that just never seem to occur in the second story. The relationship between Mike, Sulley and Boo never occurs between Mike, Sulley and the Oozma Kappa brothers.

Like most prequels, Monsters University suffers from the fact that everyone knows what's going to happen in the future.  The questions are do we really care how Mike and Sulley became friends or more aptly why Sulley puts up with Mike? Do we care if we find out how Randall became Sulley's enemy? The answer for me, was surprisingly, "No."  John Goodman said in a recent interview that Pixar and Disney never really intended to do a sequel when the first was released.  That may be also one reason this one lacks the originality and soul of the first. There was never meant to be one.

One of the things that have made other successes for Pixar are the careful blending of  grown-up humor with plenty of jokes for the youngsters. Honestly, I felt that this blend was a bit far between.  It was similar in the experience for Cars 2.  The humor was almost too sophisticated for my grand kids who we took. They didn't get it. Monsters University was fun but very predictable.  It was okay.  I will probably not buy it on DVD.  It is, however, a good film for kids.