MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Review of the First 40 Minutes of Footage from Our Recent Set Visit

Posted April 24, 2013 by Rick in Movie News

monsters-university-slice3

There was a visit to Pixar Animation Studios for Monster University and those who attended were treated to the first 40 minutes of footage from the film.  The first act had the task of reintroducing audiences to young – and less mature – versions of Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman).  At the end of the first act new characters are introduced by their names and are differentiated by their personalities.  Those who attended claimed that they can’t wait for the full film since the first forty minutes was amazing.  WARNING:  Be aware that there are spoilers!

Before we see the college version of Mike, a flashback of him as a little elementary school monster on a class field trip to Monsters, Inc was shown.  The purpose was to show that Mike was the smallest monster and he was taken advantage of by his classmates and relatives.  He felt safe with his teacher, Karen Graves (voiced by Bonnie Hunt).  Inside Monsters, Inc., the kids take a tour of the Scare Floor are are treated to a visit by the popular Scarers, including “Frightening” Frank McCay (John Krasinski).  Mike pushes his way through the back of the class and through the line and ends up in a hazardous territory as he takes an unauthorized Scaring trip with McKay.  The scare inspired him to be a Scarer himself for Monsters, Inc.

The flashback scene is essential to the movie because it gives a quick summary of Mike’s story and his purpose at Monsters, Inc.  We meet Sulley in college along with Mike and the plot unfolds around their friendship but Mike is the center of the story and his story captivates the audience from the start.  By the time he gets to college, we recognize him as the Mike we know from the first film.  We discover that he’s excited about showing everyone who’s the smartest in class.  Due to his pompous attitude, he rubs people the wrong way.

Of course some of the Monsters, Inc. characters in Monsters University are reintroduced.  Who can forget Randall (Steve Buscemi)? Although there will be old characters, some new characters will be introduced on campus.  I think people won’t worry too much about the previous characters since the new characters have enough personality to go around!  Along with Mike the protagonist, there must be an antagonist who happens to be Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren.)  The filmmakers tried to change things up a bit by creating a great female Scarer, rather than the usual macho-men monsters.

Look out for Sulley later on in the film because it takes a while for his entrance.  Sulley is trimmed down a bit from his bulkier self in Monsters, Inc., but he’s got boldness and knows how to make a statement.  He’s the total opposite of Mike because he doesn’t take his exams seriously while Mike constantly studies.  I guess it’s because Sulley is a natural scarer and he’s not the job in the bag.  On the other hand, Mike has to work twice as hard and keep his head in the game otherwise, fail and you’re out.

Of course things go wrong with these two, and they mind themselves kicked out of Scare School.  The only way to enroll back in is to prove their worth at the school’s Scare Games, which is a Greek competition that rewards the top team.  The bad side is that Mike nor Sulley are in a fraternity but they get help from Oozma Kappa.  They’re a group of Tri-lambs that live in the house of brother Scott “Squishy” Squibbles (Pixar’s Peter Sohn).  After the introduction ceremony welcoming Mike and Sulley as part of the gang, the footage cuts off and leaves us wanting to see much more.

Monsters University allows you to enjoy the amazing creation of some of the most skilled artists in the industry with the solid backing of some of the best storytellers in the world.  Talk about a great combo!  Monsters University is sure to be a crowd pleaser and a near-perfect companion to Monsters, Inc.  Get ready for a double feature!

Monsters University opens June 21st!