Disney Pixar's Monsters University or MU, is like a top-shelf aged filet mignon from the Capital Grille. On the one hand, this particular piece of meat comes dry and unseasoned. There is no pizzazz or oomph to every bite. Yet the fact remains that it is a filet from what I consider to be the finest steakhouse in America. In plain terms, Disney Pixar's Monsters University is full of amazing stunts and characters that are stunning in appearance, but the storyline is vanilla and hackneyed all the way through. We have scene (punnery folks) this movie before and it is called Animal House. The only two differences are that Disney Pixar's Monsters University has been both cartoonized and adapted for children.
Mike (Billy Crystal) is a cycloptic little green animal with a brain that would make Einstein slightly envious. Sullivan (John Goodman) is the extraverted of the two. Before they were best friends however, Mike and Sulli had become roommates under a trying situation in college, at none other than the famous and revered Monster's University. After all, at what other institution of higher learning would a monster learn how to terrify four year old girls when her parents are busy doing other things? When Mike and Sulli are through with their one-upsmanship, the Dean herself, Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), of MU decides to expel them from the prestigious scarer program. Mike had been so academically ultracompetitive that he had forgotten to try to achieve the one goal everyone else had; to be scary! Sulli comes from a long-line of scarers but he is arrogant and not a little overconfident. When Dean Hardscrabble removes them from the scarer program, Mike decides to enroll in a scaring competition to prove his merit. He hardly ever lacks for confidence. He also demonstrates fine leadership skills as he enlists the most downtrodden fraternity on campus, as well as Sulli himself, to be his partners in the competition. In order to remove them from school permanently, Dean Hardscrabble (quite a wordsmith if you ask me) declares that if they lose, Mike and Sulli will be expelled from the University. Should they win, both along with their newfound fraternity brothers (a band of misfits even among monsters) will be welcomed back into the scarer's program.
Disney Pixar's Monsters University is a film about friendship and perseverance. While there is nothing distasteful or odious about the movie, it lacks anything that I would consider to be a knockout punch. The movie is bland, dry, lacking in humor, and there are few exciting moments. With Monsters University, Disney went for broke with the CGI and neglected the storyline. This film would make a wonderful DVD, but it grossed over $100 million dollars based on reputation only. Word-of-mouth would actually cause it to nosedive at the Box Office. Overall, Disney Pixar's Monsters University is a movie that is more memorable for not being memorable than it is for any other quality reason. Two roars down folks.