DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Monsters University, Blu-ray3D+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)

A fun family 3D animation feature, though not quite the winner of the original Monsters Inc. effort.

Published on October 17, 2013

Monsters University, Blu-ray3D+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)

Monsters University, Blu-ray3D+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2013)

Voices: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi
Director: Dan Scanlon
Studio: Pixar/Disney 111866 [10/29/13] 4 discs box set
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 3D 1080p HD color
Audio (3D): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 & 2.0, DVS 2.0, French DD+ 7.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: 3D animated short: The Blue Umbrella
Length: 104 minutes
Rating: ****½ 

With this sort of prequel to Pixar’s Monsters Inc. of 2001, they show the story of how the  two mismatched monsters of the first movie became friends while in monster college together. The results are not quite as hilarious as the original, but still worth seeing. In the first film, the monsters were terribly concerned of getting “infected” by the little children that they came out of the closet to scare. In this one, they both want to make a success of college and become great Scarers, but their competitive spirit overcomes them and results in their getting expelled.

The idea of Monsters University is to identify and perfect the real Scarers among the many new students each year. Helen Mirren’s voice is Dean Hardscrabble, who is pretty scary herself and must be impressed by those students who want to get ahead. Billy Crystal is his usual kick as the little green one-eyed monster who has more confidence, enthusiasm and determination than any of his classmates. But in spite of being well-versed in the history and techniques he needs to reach his goal of becoming a top Scarer at Monsters, Inc., Mike has some roadblocks, and along with his partner Sully is forced to team up with a group of little misfit monsters who comprise the lowliest frat group on the campus, the O.K. (Oozma Kappa).

Sully (the voice of John Goodman) has a family legacy that makes him overly confident at Monsters University, but he quickly learns his family ties can only get him so far. He has to work hard if he wants to live up to his Scaring potential. The various monsters on the campus are hilarious and must have required a lot of imagination and work by the Pixar animators. Most of the expected campus life bits are part of the film, but filtered thru the various little monsters. The older guy in the fraternity is some sort of octopus, and makes great use of humor concerning his tentacles, suckers, and the sounds they make.

The 3D effects are terrific—even better than the original since they were created for it and not done in post-production. The surround effects were also excellent, at least they sounded so until I had to switch to stereo headphones later in the evening. The little animated 3D short The Blue Umbrella is a darling piece of work and well worth viewing, but I was unable to get the “inside look at the world of monsters” promoted on the box. Another video disc programming error, I guess.

—John Sunier




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