"Monster's University" yields laughs, not screams

July 30, 2013, 5:51 p.m. | By Abir Muhuri | 9 years, 4 months ago

Fun for all ages while Mike and Sulley get schooled in scaring

Mike and Sulley were two monsters destined to become the best professional scarers of their time. But before their frightful glory and big-shot success at "Monster's Inc.," they faced their most thrilling and trialing four years as they trained to scare. Get ready to enroll with Mike and Sulley at "Monster's University."

In a flashback film, detailing Michael "Mike" Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. "Sulley" Sullivan's (John Goodman) path to the scare industry, the two characters come to Monster's University to attend the School of Scaring. However, their dreams quickly shatter when they break the prized "scream can” of Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), Headmistress of the University, and are kicked out. The only way to enroll back into scaring school is to win first place in the School Scare Games. The stakes are high, as Mike and Sully must either win the Scare Games with their fraternity team, "Oozma Kappa," or say goodbye to Monster's University forever.

Contrary to its name, Monster's University is not scary at all. Rather, it's a fun-filled blend of familiar freshmen college life and funny-looking monsters with an array of eyes, tentacles, and heads. As expected with Pixar animated college setting is a treat to watch as well, filled with intricate gates, lecture halls, and campus settings, much like any Ivy League in our human world. In addition to Monster University's prestige, Mike and Sully compete with the many other fraternities, all representing the typical college stereotypes. Whether it's the wild frat parties and rush week events, or studying the intricacies of Scare Theory, the audience can relate to Mike and Sully's first year experience.

Acting-wise, Goodman clearly translates a cocky and confident Sulley from the beginning of the movie, to a more reflective, mature individual. Character development is not as evident in Crystal's performance as Mike, who starts out as focused yet misfit, but doesn't change to become the true scarer he wishes to be. Furthermore, in Pixar motion pictures, animators have an equally important role in character portrayal as the voice actors. From the two-headed synchronicity of Oozma Kappa brothers, Terri and Terry (Dave Fooley and Sean Hayes) to the shrilling dragon wings of Professor Hardscrabble, Pixar animators complement the voices of the monsters with equally impressive appearances.

Overall, Monster's University does a good job at keeping the audience engaged with the plot, especially during the sequence of tournaments, which crescendo in intensity towards the final round of the Scaring games. Monster laughs keep the younger audience members content as well, from Mike's constant trials with being small and one-eyed to Oozma Kappa's goofy pranks.

Monster's University is a treat for all ages. While a young adult can relate to the fallacies of frat life, kids and teens can appreciate the furry, slimy, and one to five eyed creatures that we know and love as "monsters."

Monsters University is Rated G for General Audiences and is now playing at local area theaters (includes Regal Majestic 20, Regal Rockville Stadium 13, Regal Bethesda 10, and AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18)

Tags: pixar Billy Crystal Helen Mirren John Goodman Monsters Inc Monsters University

Abir Muhuri. Abir is enthusiastic to be one of the Entertainment Editors for Silver Chips Online. When he is not editing stories, watching movies or sampling tasty restaurant menus for Chips, he enjoys listenting to flamenco music, reading and sleeping. More »

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