Monsters University: As good as the original, if not better!

Published: August 22, 2013

The movie is colourful, both in essence and in animation. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

After waiting for a good 12 years, Pixar fans are now able to experience the magic of ‘monsters’ on the big screen. These aren’t just any ordinary monsters; this is Monsters University – the prequel to Monsters Inc. (2001).

The movie begins with Michael, ‘Mike’ Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P ‘Sulley’ Sullivan (John Goodman) getting admission at the Monsters University’s Scarer Program. They both dream of becoming the best scarers of the Monster world. Although Monsters Inc. showed Mike and Sulley as best friends and the leading scarers, their university days aren’t as good; Mike is a hard working student but Sulley is an overconfident teenager who plays along on his family name, for his father was a legend in the scaring business.

The movie executes this plot beautifully and it is just as adorable as it sounds!

I will not be writing anything with regards to the animation because as always, Pixar’s efforts to render animation were simply flawless. Although an animated film, the story was a compelling one indeed. It had good lessons to impart to youngsters, the foremost of which was that no matter how well reputed any university is, it is the curiosity, and the thirst to learn that makes a good student great.

Photo: Facebook page, Monsters University

Monsters University has a number of  hilarious scenes that will have you in fits. It also has some very witty lines which are thoroughly enjoyable. During one scene, which is my personal favourite, Johnny J Worthington III, president of Roar Omega Roar tells Mike, who is a member of Oozma Kappa that,

“When you lose…no one will even remember you.”

In reply, Mike says,

“When you lose…no one will ever let you forget it.”

Mike’s confidence is inspiring indeed!

Photo: Facebook page, Monsters University

Another one of my favourite moments in the movie is after Mike and Sulley survived their time in the real world. Since Dean Hardscrabble had closed and sealed the door, the only way for the two to return was by creating enough energy that would automatically open the door back in their world. It was impossible, and the Dean knew it. With Mike’s strategy and Sulley’s scare, the human adults’ screams not only opened the door but also filled all the cylinders with screams and burnt the door from which Mike and Sulley returned.

The look on Dean Hardscrabble’s face was priceless. Dean, who didn’t pay heed to anyone or anything, looked stunned when she said,

“You two did something no student has ever done before; you surprised me.”

Although Monsters University is a prequel to Monsters Inc., the directors and producers have maintained the continuity between the two movies very well. In Monsters Inc., Randall “Randy” Boggs (Steve Buscemi) was the arch nemesis of Mike and Sulley. In Monsters University, although Randall was Mike’s roommate, we eventually find out why he went against Mike and Sulley.

I must say that Monsters University is a funny and an inspirational animated movie that explores the perils of being a college freshman and highlights the bonds that student create with their studies, their dreams, and their classmates.

Photo: Facebook page, Monsters University

I felt a surge of excitement and inspiration after watching Monsters University. The colourful movie, both in essence and in animation, was enough to make us realise that life is not about grades or becoming part of the best communities in college. In fact, life is about sharing, caring, and believing in yourself.

Moreover, Monsters University depicts realistic college experiences and only Pixar could pull out such storytelling, showing the growth of the character that realises his ultimate potential.

Photo: Facebook page, Monsters University

In the end, Monsters University is a roller coaster ride of laughter, witty humour, friendship, competition and above all, a display of animated greatness that can come only from Pixar Animation Studios.


Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The author is a freelance writer and blogger and writes for various English dailies of Pakistan. He tweets @omariftikhar

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Indi

    I didn’t even know that there was a sequel being made. The first film,Monsters Inc., was one of my favorites along with Mulan and Shrek.Recommend

  • Parvez

    From what my 7 and 9 year old grand daughters tell me…………you are spot on correct.

  • Sanya

    My friend dragged me to see it although I hadn’t seen the first part but it was amazing haha!Recommend

  • Critical

    Its actually a prequel as it happens in en earlier time when Mike and Sully are college students…..

    Yup,it was good….though I still loved the first part moreRecommend

  • Spigot !

    Grow Up !Recommend

  • Indi

    @ Critical

    A prequel. I see.That clears it up. Thank you.Recommend

  • Aloo parantha

    @ Spigot

    The title is pretty clear about what the blog is about.If you missed that- the pictures were the next clue. If you were too grown up to read this,you could’ve avoided it easily.Recommend

  • Spigot !

    @Aloo parantha:
    it was suppose to be a sarcastic comment.Take it easy Moral Police.Recommend

  • Moral police


    Wonder if the author appreciated your sarcasm…Recommend

  • Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

    @Moral Police and @Spigot

    I am open to all kind of feedback, comments, sarcasm, compliments, and suggestions. I wrote this review because I have seen all Pixar movies multiple times and it may seem odd that a grown up like me is fond of watching animated movies. Actually, I haven’t abandoned my inner child, that is why I love the colorful side of life, specially animated movies! :-)

    And yes, I did appreciate your sarcasm Spigot :-) Recommend

  • Dr.N

    @ Author

    Nothing childish about watching animated films. I find that the movies have two different kinds of humour esp.movies like Shrek part one and two- one for kids and another for adults..Anyway,my 63 year old father who’s a retired engineer ,greatly admires the quality of the animation nowadays and watches these films enthusiastically. When Monsters Inc. first came out,he was amazed at being able to see strands of Sully’s fur move.Recommend

  • Andie

    Just saw this with my daughter (we’re 51 & 25) and your review is spot on. It’s great to see a movie that exceeds one’s expectations, and this one did just that.

    As to the discussion of whether animated films are “kid’s movies”, I will never outgrow a well-made animated film!Recommend

  • Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

    I’m loving these comments. @Author yes Sully’s fur were a creative genius by Pixar where they had to render nearly 5 million hair on Sulley’s body that automatically move when Sulley’s body move. Animators work for hours to create and render scenes and the creative effort and hard work they do is unimaginable. It is for their hard work that Pixar reigns as the best animation studio in the world.

    @Andie Thank you for your comment. Yes, you are right that animated movies aren’t only targeted to kids, even grown ups are amused by the story and the animation while the moral stories, such as that of Pixar, inspire viewers of all ages :)Recommend

  • Dr.N

    @ Author

    5 million strands… I did not follow those technical details,when my father was talking about it years ago…I wondered why he was so impressed.He is an alumna of IIT,Madras.
    Thank you for your reply.Recommend