Movie Review: Monsters University

IMDB, Monsters University“Monsters University” on IMDB

Comedy, 104 Minutes, 2013

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it until they prove me wrong: Pixar doesn’t make bad movies.  They just don’t.  Some of their movies are worse than others, but none of them are bad.  This one is, in fact, worse than others.  It’s a super cliched story.  Mike and Sully, bestest friends for life, are introduced when, get this, they didn’t like each other!  They join the worst fraternity on campus and have to compete against the best fraternity… who are also total jerks!

Still, it’s a good movie.  Predictable as a one-horse race, but fun and warm and clever.  There are all the wonderful little Pixar callbacks and in-jokes that fans expect and some really great casting.  It’s not among the best Pixar movies, but it’s comfortable and you’ll laugh.

So, instead of writing a long review that ends like you’d expect, I’m instead going to spend this time to suggest that Pixar consider producing their first adaptation: Richard Adams’ “Watership Down“.  This isn’t just a classic adventure, it’s the classic adventure.  The book has sold more than 50 million copies and never been out of print.  Yes, Pixar, get out of the sequel business and bring one of the greatest stories ever told (with rabbits) to the screen!

This story fits perfectly with Pixar’s corporate personality.  Like “A Bugs Life” [IMDB]  it’s an intricate look into what most think is a familiar world but, upon deeper inspection, is actually totally alien.  Similar to “Toy Story” [IMDB] it features a band of fast friends overcoming great odds.  As in “Up” [IMDB] we have an arduous journey undertaken by untried explorers who discover that their own strength is significantly greater than they ever dreamed.  There’s also General Woundwort, who, let’s be honest, would be the best villain Pixar ever put to the screen.

We also have the simple fact that the medium is finally ready for this.  With “Monsters, Inc.” [IMDB] Pixar solved the technical problems of fur.  With each film their environments have gained fidelity, detail and depth.  Their characterizations have always been their strong suit and are more than up for the challenge presented.  The medium is ready for realistically depicted, yet still anthropomorphized animals and Pixar is the studio that can do it right.

So, Pixar, how about it?


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  1. I love Pixar movies, but I was not a big fan of Cars 2 and Brave.

    1. I’m with you on “Cars 2” – I think that would actually be the worst Pixar movie (even tho’ it’s still pretty good). “Brave” I’m torn about – I loved the sensibility and the setting and the characters and the look… but somehow the actual story left me pretty cold. I had more problems with Ratatouille but they’re definitely both in the bottom half of the list… along with this one (and, if I’m judging correctly, “Planes” as well).

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