The Movie: 8/10
Fun. Heart. Beautiful. Monsters movies win me over every time, all two times:) Mike and Sully were introduced to use with Monsters Inc. a few years ago. They are best friends, excellent “Scarers”, and they have a lot of heart. In Monsters University, guess what, we get to see how that friendship came to be. I love it.
It’s such a great feeling as an adult to let loose on an animated movie and have a lot of laughs and giggles and a few tears. We meet Mike first which makes me go “awwweee so CUTE!” and I rarely think things are cute. He’s the optimistic, friendly little guy who no one seems to want to be friends with, but he perseveres. He finds out about the scarers at Monsters Inc. and then he is determined be one of them.
Later he gets into Monsters University where he meets the big fuzzy Sully, and that’s when we get to see how this unlikely friendship is forged. It’s not easy. Sully is the obnoxious entitled heirloom scarer from a legendary scarer. It’s not a new story, of course. I don’t care. I smiled from the first scene and didn’t stop through the entire movie. These two dudes are created in such a way that I don’t even think of them as animated characters, they just ARE Mike and Sully.
My fun times with Monsters movies, and Pixar make me happy, what else can you ask from a movie? Well, you can be afraid, do some deep thinking, be grossed out, be shocked, sure, but being genuinely happily entertained is a great thing.
Some of these new characters we meet are incredible. The dean of the University is fantastic. She’s a flying dragon centipede type creature with a seriously hard-core attitude. She’s the most creepy Pixar character I think I have ever seen. She’s intense, and of course is the villain of the movie, sort of, Pixar doesn’t really do villains the way we think of them. She’s demanding and expects the most from her students. Mike is not scary, so she wants him to understand this. Sully is scary but lazy, she wants him to get over his entitled attitude.
They have a competition to earn their way into her respect, but will they? It’s not as straight forward as you might think, which is awesome. The lessons in most Disney movies for kids is that you can achieve exactly what you set out to achieve if you just believe in yourself, Pixar makes the effort to turn that idea on its side just a little bit.
I would watch a Pixar movie every week if they would make them with all this kind of quality. After watching the entire Hellraiser series this past week I understand that my tastes are varied, in a good way, but nothing beats a good old fashioned inspiring tale of friendship….well, a dude with pins in his head coming to scare the bejesus out of you isn’t a bad thing either if you are in the right mood AND THE RIGHT AGE!! 🙂
Mike and Sully are classics to me now, and I didn’t even know them until I was well into my adulthood. I just want to see them with families and deal with a bit of middle age now!! Get on that Pixar!
- The Blue Umbrella Theatrical Short – Pixar’s latest animated short is a love story of two umbrellas on a crowded rainy street. I loved it and its worth the price of admission alone.
- Audio Commentary – Director Dan Scanlon, Producer Kori Rae and Story supervisor Kelsey Mann give us a fun and informative commentary that any Pixar fan will lap up. A lot of the commentary is focused on the difficulty of producing a prequel (fun fact this is Pixar’s first prequel.)
- Campus Life – One of my favorite extras on the disc. This is a look at a day in the life of Dan the director. A true fly on the wall look around the Pixar campus. You even get to see how lunch is served.
- Story School – Ever wanted to see how the story progresses during the making of a Pixar movie? This 9 minute piece looks at storyboarding and concept designs.
- Scare Games – Take a look at the scare games in the movie paralleled with the scare games in the Pixar offices. Lots of fun to be had here.
- Monthropology – There are a ton of Monsters in MU here we see how they were designed from early concept art to actual figures made by the artists.
- Welcome To MU – The design of the actual University is very important in the movie. Dan Scanlon talks us through almost like a miniature campus tour.
- Music Appreciation – A look at the music of a Pixar animated movie would not be complete without Randy Newman and here you have it.
- Scare Tactics – The team went through a lot of research to get that perfect scare. Here we see lots of people from Pixar being scary.
- Color & Light – A before and after look at the movie. What is interesting here is how much the lighting and color passes add to the movie. Computer graphics have come a LONG way.
- Paths To Pixar MU Edition – Several of the team members from Pixar explain how they ended up working for the iconic company. This is quite fun and a little inspirational.
- Furry Monsters – Here Pixar compare the original film from 2003 with MU. The fur technology is essentially the same there is just a lot more of it.
- Deleted Scenes – Four unfinished scenes with director’s commentary.
- Set Flythroughs – Four amazing looking HD flythroughs of the University, hit your pause button to take in all the details.
- Art Gallery – A huge amount of concept art broken down into categories.
- Promo Picks – All of the theatrical trailers, teaser trailers and posters for the movie.
- 3D Bluray DVD & Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5 and 9/10
There are two covers, one with all the characters which is kind of uninteresting, and the other with Mike duct taped to a wall….that one is really fun. I would have that on my wall right now!! The men us themed of course, cute.
Audio & Video: 10/10
The Ultimate Collectors Edition of Monsters University comes with the 3D & 2D copies of the movie on separate discs, both are absolute stunners and are easily in the top three transfers this year. The colors in the movie are stunning and Pixar use the aspect ratio that fills your entire screen. If you watched the original Monsters Inc on Blu-Ray you will be familiar with the aliasing effect that takes place on Sully’s fur, this is nowhere to be seen on Monsters University and holds up even under the closest scrutiny. The 3D version of the movie is the most impressive, with a subtle use of depth that really makes the campus feel alive, Pixar also use some of those old-fashioned out of the screen effects and monsters tentacles fly out of the screen on occasion.
Disney wisely use the Dolby True-HD 7.1 codec here and it really booms, voices are grounded and central and music really envelopes the audience. There are a lot of subtle effects during the Scare Games that take place behind you if you listen really close full conversations are being had by the students in the bleachers.
Monsters University on Blu-Ray is one of the best releases of the year, it’s not my favorite Pixar movie (a bugs life steals that honor) but the presentation here is hard to top. Another small feature I need to mention each of the four discs in the set has different artwork, a small thing but much appreciated by this collector.
Buy it, no need to check the price(even though it’s more expensive than I would usually recommend) Just save a few bucks and add it to your collection. You WILL want to watch it again, and probably again, even if you don’t have kids bee-bopping around the house. The extras are amazing, so you get a LOT for your money.
Overall Score 9/10