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Monsters University

31st July 2013 | Posted in Film & Cinema
They're the monsters that have been sneaking into your bedrooms to collect your screams since they first hit the cinema in record breaking fashion back in 2001. So how does the follow up to Monsters Inc stack up to a film that took the world by storm? Monsters University is the obviously easy to assemble follow up, done in Star Wars-esque fashion, tracking the antics of the lovable monsters Sully and Mike on their journey through University and into the working world-right up to the start of the beginning of the original film. Made by Pixar, the same studio that bought us some of the most iconic animated films in history, it seems that the production company's recent struggling form has caught up with one of their biggest triumphs. Monsters University was billed as their return to making animated films that stretch beyond the kids in the audience, and into the hearts of teenagers and adults alike. Pixar needed this fresh outing into the world of Monsters to be as appealing to an older audience as Monsters Inc was. Sadly, Monsters University falls way short of the mark. So what went wrong? How have the likes of Sully, Mike and Randal lost their roar? Well, the first point to make is an obvious one: did Pixar even need to make a sequel? Sure the proposition of making a tonne of money would have played a key factor in making this film, but at the same time, sometimes it's better to just let something be brilliant in its own right. I mean, look at Home Alone. 1 and 2, absolutely amazing. But 3 and 4? Stop it. You're not Macaulay Culkin and you know it. So there in lies the basis that this film leans far too heavily on, before you've even sat down to watch it. It's predecessor. Nothing can succeed whilst it tries to thrive off the success of something that came before it, and Monster University is no exception. Throwing together a host of traditional American values, this film is like a genre car crash that's been watered down with childish charm to make it stick, and chucked in an animated plastic bag to try and keep it all together. Expect scenes that you'd expect in an American sports film, then some dire frat prank sequels, along with the cliche, over played geek and jock situation. Yawn. Fair play, Pixar have tried to mix in the fact that these guys are Monsters at University, and not the likes of Will Ferrell in 'Old School', but they just haven't thought out of the box enough. Drawing a host of brightly coloured, oddly shaped monsters with huge teeth in a class room isn't enough to make a stir. Now obviously, this is still a kids film at heart. So cue the emotional sob story of 'we were enemies but now we're best friends for life'. AWWWWW. No. Boring. Sadly, this is the premise of the entire film, but it just follows such a typical trend that it does nothing to surprise. Watching it gives the sense that anyone could have written this film. It slogs through, and will leave a few people entertained, a few feeling like they were just glad to see their favourite characters do something other than terrifying little kids, and everyone else wondering why they didn't just wait for the DVD. Monsters Inc University is worth a watch-just don't rush yourself to do it. Pixar should have left the original alone, instead of making us wait for a film that was over ten years in the making, and leave us feeling pretty damn disappointed by the end of it. Check out this trailer- if you loved Monsters Inc for it's one liners, quips and innocent hilarity, then you'll find the majority of what Monsters University offers in the same vein right here:

Ryan J Gray

 

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