The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monsters University

Monsters Inc. was released in 2001 and plans for a second movie were stalled in 2005 following disagreements between Disney's Michael Eisner and Pixar's CEO Steve Jobs. Change of management and the movie was confirmed in 2010. The 14th Pixar movie was directed by Dan Scanlon who also wrote the screenplay with Daniel Gerson and Robert. L. Baird. The story reprises the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman as the two unlikely friends Mike Wasowski and James “Sulley” Sullivan.

When Mike (Billy Crystal) was a small one eyed green monster he was inspired to become a “scarer” when the class visited Monsters Inc. on a field trip. “Scarers” are like the heroes to most monster children. They collect scarer cards and memorize the stats. Scarers are the ones who frighten human children at night so their screams will energize the monster world. Monsters are not necessarily evil or frightening, so proper techniques are needed to illicit the most intense reactions. Scarers must also take in consideration certain profiles of the child because each fear is unique to each child. The Scare School at Monsters University is the best school to train. It's Mike's dream to attend, but despite his eagerness to start his career, he is unfortunately not a scary monster. Not like Sulley (John Goodman) whose size and sound would be a natural for Scare School, plus he comes from the famous Sullivans and has a reputation to uphold.

Naturally Mike and Sulley lock horns with each others attitudes. Mike is smart, diligent, and works hard at his classes. Sulley just gets by on his physique. Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) can see that these two lack the potential to be good candidates and they are soon kicked out of the program. The only way to have a 2nd chance is to win the Scare Games where the school fraternities compete to earn a place in Scare School. Mike and Sulley are forced to join the OK frat of nerdy, wimpy monsters to compete.

Pixar used to mean exemplary animated movies. The bright colors, the details in texture, the wide range of characters with every combination of eyes and appendages as there can be. It's fun to watch, The story line could have been taken from any other teen movie that's out there, but only this one has monsters. As with any story the good guys are undermined by the over confident fraternity who wins all the time. Mike becomes single minded and focused trying to train his guys until he realizes that teamwork is the best way to win. And the rivalry of egos and wills between Mike and Sulley goes on until they figure out they need each other. These are life lessons for kids, that are covered in most movies. No matter how inept and nerdy one looks and acts, everyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard and not give up no matter what. And friendship will get you through anything. So glad they didn't break out in a song.
(Review by reesa)

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