Pixar are a little nostalgic these days. The behemoth that was Toy Story 3 had monstrous success at the box office, mainly due to the reminiscence the college storyline provided to newly adult fans of the series.
Monsters University is clearly attempting to recreate the successes of Toy Story 3, indulging tried and tested characters in a new setting in the hope of another revenue machine. However, the mistake that Ratzenberger & co. have made is forgetting elements of plot and character along the way.
This is not to say that Monsters University is a complete failure. It retains some trademark Pixar humour and brilliant invention, however all of the depth experienced in their other films seems absent. Mike and Sulley’s journey from rivals to friends is the only story in this film, whereas other characters’ roles could have been explored more fully. There are some great new characters (Art, voiced by Charlie Day, steals the show) but they remain largely distractions and not agents of the action in the film. The main story is an intriguing one, but it remains only mildly entertaining (and noticeably short) on its own.
Monsters University had the makings of a stellar family film, the likes of which Pixar have been grasping at for years. However, it remains a decent nostalgia trip, nothing more.
- Monsters University review (Scanlon, 2013) (jrodgermoviereviews.wordpress.com)
- ‘Monsters University’ Crosses $700 Mil at Global Box Office (variety.com)
- How Pixar got into a pickle: Has the studio lost its way? (independent.co.uk)