12 years is a long time to wait. So when Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters, Inc. was released this week, it naturally generated a lot of hype from Monsters, Inc. fans worldwide.
I was five when I first watched Monsters, Inc. and I only watched it twice when I was a kid so I couldn't remember the plot of the movie. All I remembered was that there was this little girl named Boo and a big fuzzy blue monster. Before I watched the movie, I was worried. What if I couldn't understand the movie because I didn't know the plot for the first one? Turns out, I had nothing to worry about.
Monsters University takes place before Monsters, Inc. (that's why it's a called a prequel --- I initially thought it was a sequel) and it follows Mike (the one-eyed green monster) through his journey to become a professional scarer. The film opened with little Mike being bullied by his peers at an excursion to Monsters Inc and his fascination with being a scarer. The film later proceeds to show Mike entering Monsters University, his dream school.
The movie was a real tear-jerker for me. Poor Mike was looked down upon by everyone, even by the university's dean, Dean Hardscrabble. He worked extremely hard but he just lacked the ability to look scary. Everyone told him that he would never become a scarer and he was expelled from the university for not being scary enough. He decides to sign up for the Scare Games with a fraternity called Oozma Kappa, which basically consists of the outcasts. Sully (the blue monster), his rival, was expelled for not being hardworking despite being the son of famous scarers and having a flair for scaring. Mike makes a deal with the dean to let him & his team re-enter the scaring programme if they won the Scare Games. Sully, deciding that it was the only chance he had to continue in the scaring programme, decides to join the team.
The movie mainly revolves around the Scare Games. Monsters University is your typical college sorority film, but animated and in place of humans, you have monsters --- male monsters. I don't usually enjoy college films (I find them way too catty) but Monsters University had many twists and a unique concept which makes it appealing not just to children, but also to teenagers (like me) and even adults!
A Pixar film would not be complete without humour and Monsters University was far from lacking in that department. With klutzy characters like Squishy (a five-eyed human-like monster who's not very bright and a momma's boy), the film will definitely make you laugh so hard you will have tears in your eyes.
Jokes aside, there are also serious moments which will definitely warm your heart. Viewers will get to see the blossoming of an unlikely friendship between Sully and Mike as they decide to put aside their differences to work together to achieve their goals. And if you've seen Monsters, Inc., you'll probably know that Mike and Sully eventually became BFFs.
Like every animated film, Monsters University contains many valuable lessons that we can all learn from, regardless of our age or where we come from:
- Never take what you have for granted. Sully is naturally talented in scaring but he decided to be complacent. Thinking that he's a shoo-in to be the star scarer in the university, he is proven wrong when he gets expelled from the school because of his laziness.
- Hard work takes you places. Although they were the social lepers of the university and seemed to be the least likely team to win the competition, Oozma Kappa worked extremely hard and made it to the final of the Scare Games. Although Sully cheated and cost the team their award, they made it to the finals without deceit with their hard work alone, although all odds were against them.
- Teamwork. Sully and Mike were the first monsters in the monster world to actually make human adults scream and they broke a monster world record with their accomplishment. It was only possible with their teamwork --- put Mike's brains and Sully's talent and the result would be DYNAMITE. Remember, kids, teamwork is important if you want to go far in life!
- Start from the bottom. After being expelled from Monsters University, Mike and Sully decide to pursue their dreams of working at a scaring company --- Monsters Inc. They start by working in the mailroom, slowly climbing up the ladder and eventually, they became an efficient scare team and became the company's best scarers.
I would give Monsters University a rating of 8/10.
Pixar has even set up a website for Monsters University, making it seem like the website of an actual university. Check it out at monstersuniversity.com!
Monsters University was definitely worth the 12-year wait.
Photo credits: © Disney Enterprises, Inc