Monsters University: Movie Review

Dan Scanlon’s Monsters University (2013) is the sequel to the wonderful Monsters, Inc. (2001). No, wait, it’s its prequel. And I could already open a parenthesis on the need for prequels, since I can hardly remember one worthy of note. Was there a need to explain how Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) became close friends and inseparable colleagues?

Above all, even before the film begins, I know how it ends because I’ve already seen the characters living adventures years later, so I’m already a little less interested in what the film can tell me.

Furthermore, it’s very rare that a prequel fits well with the story of the film that follows it but came out before. And this time, too, this prequel contradicts the first film according to which Mike and Sullivan were inseparable friends since they were kids. According to Monsters University, instead, they met at the university. But this isn’t important.

The point is: Is Monsters University a bad movie? No, it’s not, and the quality of drawings and animations is impressive, superior to the already very high quality of the first film. It’s just that… it’s a somewhat useless film, which has left me very little. Let me be bad for a moment and say that it feels like a DreamWorks movie: slapstick comedy, repeated clichés, simple jokes, and nothing more. Which I’m sure for a young audience is more than enough, but I was disappointed after enjoying so much Monsters, Inc. which is much more than that.

There’s nothing wrong with Monsters University, mind you. The new characters are fine, above all the headmaster (Helen Mirren), the old ones are a pleasure to watch, and the plot develops smoothly, albeit in a fairly predictable way (there’s even the standard moment in which the two protagonists separate and then are happily together again shortly after). Except that the movie lacks the originality of the first film and its clever messages that made it a pleasant viewing for both young and older viewers.

So, do I recommend watching it? Well, why not? As I said, it’s not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination (it’s not Dreamworks! Ops… sorry), but I don’t think I will revisit it anytime soon. I’d rather rewatch the first one, ciao!


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