Film review: Monsters University – Disney Pixars’ scarily good prequel to the classic Monsters Inc.

This year Pixar release Monsters University, the prequel to hilarious hit Monsters Inc which was released in 2001. It’s taken 12 years of work for the films prequel to make an appearance on our screens, but does this film live up to its beloved counterpart?


The film takes a look back at when James P “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) and Michael “Mike” Wazowski (Billy Crystal) first start honing their scaring skills at prestigious college – Monsters University. While eager book worm Mike doesn’t have the easiest start to his life at university, lazy college jock Sulley seems to be ‘scaring circles’ round his professors and the rest of his peers with minimal effort (much to Mike’s annoyance).

Disney/Pixar's Monsters University European Press Junket

Unsurprisingly these two characters do not get along through most of the films duration, it is only when they are expelled from the university after getting on the wrong side of terrifying Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) and forced to work together that they begin to see the potential friendship in one another.

Along with these two familiar faces, Pixar has created a whole host of other crazy, lovable, not so scary monsters. These are introduced to our screens as the audience get to know the rather unsuccessful and hopelessly uncool brotherhood of Oozma Kappa- a group of college misfits which Mike and Sully have rounded up for their team in order to win the Scare Games and allow them a place back in Monsters University.

The movie has an abundance of hilarious characters which both adults and children can really relate to, it is a very fun and child friendly film however I do not recommend taking children under the age of six to see this movie. Judging by the screams and crying that came from some of the audience members; I think the younger children found it hard to differentiate from when the monsters were being intentionally scary, to when they were trying to be funny.


Visually the film was great fun, with lots of engaging colours, backgrounds and shots that will keep the children (and us adults) entertained throughout. A large portion of the movie is dedicated to the aptly named ‘Scare Games’ in which different teams have to compete in an array of frightening activities to become the annual winner of this formidably difficult, infamous competition.

Anyone who is a fan of The Hunger Games or Harry Potter (especially the Tri Wizard Tournament) will love this film, as the scare games presents an element of both films, with the sense of excitement and competition becoming a clear theme which captivates the audience throughout the film. Along with all the fun and excitement the movie encapsulates, it also produces a strong educational message for kids and adults alike- that you have to pursue your dreams no matter how other people try to discourage you, a significant, positive statement that can resonate with all of us.


If you’re looking for a chance to escape the miserable summer that we seem to be having and are in need of some laughter and fun then I can definitely recommend Monsters University as a great choice for a family day out.

Although the film was really fantastic, I felt that it fell just short of the brilliance that its predecessor, the original Monsters Inc, had.

Monsters University is released 12th July 2013.

Take a look at the trailer:

And here is the press conference video with Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock,” “The Queen”) voice of Dean Hardscrabble, director Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), and producer Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”). Fantastic!!!

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