Four years back on this day, Pixar Animation Studios released the prequel of Monsters, Inc.– Monsters University. The film received a mixed response and collected about $744 million at the box office, but we will look at it from the audience’s perspective. It is the kind of movie that one can just get down to watch with popcorn and coke and have a good time alone.
Monsters University goes back to the college days of Mike Wazowski and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan and how their rivalry turned to friendship. More than that, it is the story of how they turned to be the best monsters on the university campus. On its fourth anniversary, we have listed down the reasons for which audience found it appealing then, and love it now too.
Who would have thought of a course on scaring?
Pixar is known to come up with unique concepts like it did with Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. Coming up with such a bold concept and going ahead with it is a daring move. The story is fairly simple and nothing that is not heard of before, but various elements add up to make it interesting- Mike and Sullivan developing the bond of friendship, Mike’s constant endeavour to prove himself, Oozma Kappa barely making it to the various levels of Scare Games, and the basic learnings.
Silly characters and their silliness build the gags
The team members of Oozma Kappa (minus Mike and Sullivan) are the funniest monsters in the campus and it is only their dull-wit at times that sends you into bursts of laughter. More than the dialogues, it is their body language that forms the centre of all the humour in the film.
Lots of monsters and all are unique by themselves
Monsters University is Pixar’s most populated film. Is not it evident? Every monster is a unique creation- a mixture of insects, animals and reptiles or simply scarier versions of less seen species. The scream canisters – devices that store the scream energy of human kids – and various other objects add to the realism of the monsters’ world. Such elements help bring out the “haww” from the audience!
Lion and the mouse story lesson
Like every Pixar feature, this one too had some basic life lessons and morals. The clearest message was from Mike: however small one may be, one should dream big. The team Oozma Kappa was an indicator that each one is distinct and carries a different ability; hence one should not try to be like others and just be one’s own self. It also gives small instances of passion, determination, team-work, honesty and courage.
Bringing the film alive
Every small part of the movie is looked into to make it believable and appealing and a lot of research has clearly gone into it. From visiting several colleges to observe the college architecture, campus life and teaching methods to studying animals for creating characters, deep investigation has brought this beautiful film alive.
Monsters University, just like Monsters, Inc. transports us into a new world. Due to such innovative concepts and production value we always look forward to animated movies. Hence Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University will stay close to our hearts forever. It will be interesting if we would get to see a third part coming up in the franchise. Let’s wait and watch for the University to re-open some day!