I was invited to attend this premiere as part of a blogger weekend. Airfare and lodging was provided, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
After an exciting walk down the blue carpet, enjoying the biggest tailgate party in Hollywood and getting a bit star struck it was time for the world premiere of Monsters University.
The big question, would it live up to the beloved Monsters Inc.?
I am pleased to announce with a resounding “YES!” that it does.
Monsters University is a quick-witted tale of how our favorite Monsters, Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan (Sulley) became friends and superstars in the monster world. And this movie will be a monster success.
While there are a million reasons to enjoy Monsters University, this former sorority girl was immediately transported by to her college days and enjoyed the overall playful fun poked at the Greek organization. How many times have I wished I could go back to school and enjoy it all over? With Monsters University I was able to do just that, at least in spirit for the moment.
Although the overall college theme is beyond the understanding of small children, the central idea of feeling left out is one we can all relate to. And it is one of the themes that allow the movie to appeal to adults and children. In true Pixar fashion, there is humor for every age to connect with.
That One Line
Before I go on, I must mention “That one line.” A lot has been said about the one line in Monsters Inc. that could spoil the enjoyment of Monsters University by diehard monsters. While I did find the discrepancy odd for Disney standards when I first thought about it, after watching the movie I agree with the directors that it was best to just “let it go.”
The line I am referring to is when Wazowski says to Sulley, “But we have been friends since the 4th grade.”
Clearly the premise that the pals meet for the first time in college contradicts this prior statement, but we must all give filmmakers a little leeway in not knowing upfront that the wild success of Monsters Inc. would lead to the story of Monsters U. Forgetting the exact words of that line, the sentiment remains – Wazowski and Sully have been friends for a long time. And through Monsters University, you will delight in learning how that friendship began and how it almost never got off the ground.
We also learn how Randall Boggs became the pair’s arch-nemesis.
To See in 3D Or Not?
While a fan of the heightened depth 3D generally lends to story telling, in this movie I did not feel the 3D was necessary. Sure, it added something. But The Lion King and Oz The Great and Powerful the effect was not necessary to feel immersed within the story. (However, Monsters U paraphernalia is highly recommended to get you into the right mood.)
When taking my own children, I will save the extra dollars (for a treat) and go to the HD version instead of the 3D.
Arrive Early & Stay Late
While I tended to forego morning classes in college for afternoon ones, there is good reason to arrive at the theater with extra time to spare for Monsters University — Blue Umbrella. The six-minute, animated short that runs just prior to the movie is as visually stunning as it is a cute story. Created with a brand new technique using photo-realistic lighting, shading and composting the short ranks right up there with Paperman in my book.
And you might as well pull an all nighter. Ok not really, but it is worth staying through the credits. There’s a little something at the end to make you chuckle.
Children Of All Ages?
This is a question I have been wrestling with since watching the movie, and while I don’t like to caution mom and dad away from a good great movie. I do not think I will take my daughter to see this in the theater; I will wait for the home release. The reason is that the monsters take their scare education seriously, and there are some parts that are a bit scary.
No, nothing that warrants a PG-13 rating – I still fully support the PG rating. But I know my daughter, and I know that pretty much everything scares her at least a little bit. Seeing it in the theater would probably be too intense for her, while viewing at home (probably in segments) is much more manageable for her.
There will be toddlers who will LOVE this movie, but there will also be five year olds (like mine) who need extra handholding. As always, mother knows best.
UPDATE – We did not see this movie in the theater because I just wasn’t sure. But we did finally see the movie at home — it was a hit. My five year old could not understand what parts I thought would be to scary for her, and my two year old kept asking for, “More Monsters!” So, if you had hesitation like me in the theaters, check it out at home. Plus, I loved the movie even more the second time!
And not seeing the movie in the theater will not hamper my daughter’s love for her very own Mike Wazowski plush.
I enjoyed every moment of Monsters University and rooting for the ultimate underdog, I can’t wait to share the movie with my family.