By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
I’m a Pixar fan, and my favorite is “Monsters, Inc.,” so I was both excited and leery about the new prequel, “Monsters University.”
We go back in time to see the first meeting between Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) on the grounds of hallowed Monsters University.
Mike is a dedicated student who knows all there is to know about scaring, even if the one-eyed, green volleyball doesn’t look very scary. Sully is a natural at creating fear in others, but he’s got no interest in the finer points of terror.
Naturally, they don’t get along at first, but it doesn’t take long until they’re both on the bad side of Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), and have to find common cause if they hope to stay in school.
They fall in with a group of outcast monsters, who would be called nerds in the human world.
Mike tries to turn this ragtag bunch into first-class scarers, and the filmmakers find ways to surprise, as in how the unassuming Squishy (Peter Sohn) delivers the screams at a key moment.
There’s a radical departure at the heart of “Monsters University.” We’re often told in film that we can be anything we want to be, but the real world teaches us that’s not always true.
Talent matters, and anyone who’s had a dream dashed will understand Mike’s troubles. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t make up for the simple fact that he isn’t scary.
Fans of “Monsters, Inc.,” know going in that Mike will find where he belongs, but we don’t know how difficult that process turns out to be.
“Monsters University” is a bright, colorful film with the kind of excellent animation we expect from Pixar, and the student body is the very definition of diverse.
There are laugh-out-loud moments, and times when my son wanted to sit closer to me because he was afraid something bad might happen to the monsters on screen.
I debated back and forth about what grade to give, then remembered the drive home with the kids, how we were laughing and recalling our favorite parts.
I give “Monsters University” an A minus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7 She gives it a C. “Dull”
Raodkill Bill Wizard 106.7 He gives it an A. “I loved it. It was like “Monsters, Inc.” meets “Revenge of the Nerds.”