Director: Dan Scanlon
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Helen Mirren
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
I really enjoyed Monsters University. Though the common and obvious comment to make is that it isn’t up to Pixar standards. Sure, this is no Wall-E, no Up, no The Incredibles and no Toy Story. However I have grown to find this constant comparison of every new Pixar work to their finest rather tired and unfair, demonstrating how differently animated cinema is treated to live-action. Yes, Pixar is not like any other film studio however, when a film studio releases a new live action film, we don’t all say it was good, but…and then proceed to compare it to the greatest work that studio has ever released, a work that had different writers and directors. Monsters University doesn’t have the emotional impact that was previously Pixar standard, and it will not be as memorable as their other efforts, however it is still beautifully animated, inventive, funny and sweet.
As should be expected from Pixar and modern animation, this film looks fantastic. I was particularly stunned at just how life-like the animation of human beings has become and while some may find fault in this film’s screenplay, there is none to be found in its visuals. The 3D like all uses of it, is questionable, however this may be the brightest 3D film I have seen and the first time where I didn’t feel the dimming, darkness issue that I have with other 3D films. The voice acting is solid across the board, with some more recognizable than others. I was pleasantly surprised when the end credits rolled and I found myself realizing many actors had been in the film unaware to myself. In many animated films it becomes jarring as the voices of celebrities are easily and instantly recognizable, however in Monsters University it appeared as if every actor took it seriously, became somebody else and augmented rather than distracted from the experience.
The film is just shy of two hours however never felt long and absolutely flies by. It’s fast paced and constantly keeps you entertained. Is it clichéd and predictable? Yes, it’s very much a kid’s movie. However the film is incredibly inventive both visually and in its story and humour, meaning that the film never feels generic or stale despite its many familiar and safe elements. While not hilarious, the film does have some very funny moments and I found myself laughing out loud at a couple of parts, and with a smile on my face throughout.
Pixar are masters of family entertainment and while this film may lack the originality, emotion and longevity of its other efforts, this is still top tier children’s cinema. It’s appropriate, sweet, well-natured and just avoids overstaying its welcome. Will you remember it months down the line? Perhaps not, but will you enjoy it from beginning to end whilst watching it? Absolutely.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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