Monster’s University Review

monsters university

Confession: I’m not the world’s greatest fan of animated movies.

And yet, with three kids, I’ve watched my fair share. And I’m working on liking them more – since it makes movie night a lot more tolerable!

So when the nice folks behind the new Monsters University movie offered to let me bring my kiddos to help review this film, I knew I’d have to get over myself because they would LOVE it.

And they did.

So much so that they were still talking about it three days later, which gave me Mother of the Year status all week. (I’ll happily take it where I can get it!)

The funny thing – I actually enjoyed Monsters University, too.

I think it’s a great choice for movie night with your children.

But don’t worry – While it’s definitely a “kids’ movie,” there is plenty of humor aimed at us grownups. I loved the ironic twists on the college experience, which went right over my boys’ heads, but definitely  made me chuckle.

The movie portrays the “backstory” behind the Pixar-created characters we first meet in Monsters, Inc. — Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James “Sully” Sullivan (voice by John Goodman).

As my nine year old said, “It’s like how the first Star Wars was actually the fourth one” – or, in other words, Monster University takes us back in time to Mike and Sully’s early days when they first met.

Sully, as it turns out, was the spoiled “rich kid” child of  celebrity scarer. Mike, not surprisingly, was the hard-working outcast, whose positive attitude and never-say-quit ethic managed to get him into the best “scaring program” in the country.

The dynamic between the two main monsteres leads to some (highly) entertaining antics throughout the film – until, of course, they both manage to look themselves in the mirror and realize how much they need each other. (Think “you complete me” without the romantic music.)

Monsters University was unreservedly a great movie to see with my 10 and 7 year old sons; but while there were some preschoolers and even toddlers in the theatre, I don’t think I would have taken my four year old to see it. And here’s why:

As you probably remember from Monsters Inc., the job of a scarer is to, well, scare little children. Despite this premise, there is remarkably nothing actually scary in the whole movie – a sentiment echoed by both my elementary-aged boys.

I’m not sure my four year old would concur, however. Dean Hardscrabble (voiced by Helen Mirren), for example, is a half-centipede, half dragon who flies around intimidating slacker students. Despite her underlying softness (which gets revealed toward the end of the movie), I’m certain her character would definitely have frightened my sensitive daughter (who, by the way, turns away when Swiper comes on during a Dora episode).

Are you planning to see the new Monster’s University? I’d love to hear what you think!

Disclaimer: I was provided with three complimentary tickets to see an advanced screening of Monster’s University. I was not required to share my opinion of the film. All opinions are, of course, my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

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