Title: Monsters University
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Dan Scanlon
Robert L. Baird
Music: Randy Newman
I haven’t revisited MONSTERS, INC. (2001) since its original release, so a decade later, forgive me for no photographic memory to scan the connections between it and its prequel (all I remember is Mike and Sullivan duo). But start afresh, MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is no less entertaining than any other Pixar-labelled “high-art” animations, although it doesn’t reach the peak where the one-two-three punch WALL-E (2008), UP (2009) and TOY STORY 3 (2010) has thrived.
It is a standard college comedy, reminiscent of Harry Potter trio’s adventure in Hogwarts, Mike being a male version of Hermoine the know-it-all, studious but more aggressive and pertinacious; Sullivan is the golden boy who struts and banters for popularity with his inborn stature and family prestige. So from foes to friends they have to learn their lessons in a hard way, Mike being an overachieving geek in the wrong game and Sullivan squandering his time and talent and taking a lofty goal for granted, twist number one; next step, an underdog’s team work to crown the champion in the scary competition, but an indiscreet but understandable machine-rigging undermines the victory, this is twist number two; then an extravaganza into the toxic human world comes to a climax shows the pair’s true potentiality and produces the twist number three; then unlike the conventional happy ending in Disney world, the twist number four heartwarmingly brings them into a niche place and avers one maxim, there isn’t only one way to reach your goal.
Since Mike and Sullivan aren’t exactly the funny wisecrackers, all assortment of monster sidekicks not only have to arrest your glances but also elicit laughters, frankly speaking, the belly-laughing moments are not so frequent as RIO (2011) for instance, and occasionally it loses momentum in its execution of the story, the five rounds of competition are unevenly exposed. Randy Newman’s music is still uplifting and all-age friendly, but the excitement doesn’t register anymore, still the brand of Pixar is aiming to a youngster-slanting demography for the sake of maximizing the profit, but the story of undergraduates and fraternity could be more nostalgic to adult audiences, its wavering standpoint may cause detriment and set a barricade to retain the golden medal as the torchbearer in the business above and beyond its unparalleled production team.