Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monsters University Review - 2½ Stars

Pixar conjures up a prequel to Monsters Inc. returning Billy Crystal as the round green M and M looking single eye with feet and John Goodman as the blue gremlin.  The story finds our heroes in their youth, before they find their place at Monsters Inc.  Here they enter Monsters University, hoping to earn their way to fame and fortune in the school scare program.  Crystal is funny and winning even as a cartoon character.  At Monsters University he’s held back by his lack of scare talent.  John Goodman presents the early days of a guy with the talent to frighten but a streak of laziness.  “Monsters University” hopes to draw in kids, especially little ones.  I wonder, though, since it’s a story about gremlins who live under the bed and scare little ones at night.  This might possibly be Pixar’s least attractive screenplay.  I laughed at times.  The story reminds me of “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds.”  Helen Mirren voices a very hard nosed school dean.  The boys enter the annual scare games hoping to regain admission to the school’s scare program.  The games give the movie structure and as they progress in the games you get a sense of how much longer the movie will run.  “Monsters University” is a nice try but not a great kid’s movie.  Does it deliver what it promises?  PG rated animated kid’s story.  Is it entertaining?  At times but a little long and sometimes a little frightening for the smallest among us. Is it worth the price of admission?  Mixed.  But hey it is family fare.