“Monsters University” a return to form for Pixar

“Monsters, Inc.” is one of the cleverest films I have ever seen. The concept of creating a monster world and giving it rules and ideas that come from how we have perceived monsters from stories or growing up as children is brilliant.

With the prequel, nothing disappoints. This time, we find Mike and Sully as college students who must come together to prove to the school that they have what it takes to be a top “scare student.”

“Monsters University” can be considered Pixar’s return to form after the disappointing outcomes of “Cars 2” and “Brave.” “University” is filled with all the classic humor and heart that you love from their previous work, with the addition of improved animation.

Almost every minute of this film is some sort of college or monster reference that, because of the impeccable timing, never gets old. It works as an “Animal House” or ”Revenge of the Nerds” parody, especially when our two heroes team up with the “losers” of the campus to compete in a scare competition.

This introduces us to all-new characters with bright personalities, who happen to lack the essentials to be a “scare major.” This is where most of the comedy comes in, seeing these characters in situations that are foreign to them, while Mike and Sully try to coach them through it.

While it may not be the original film that Pixar has been known for in the past, it hardly matters to those who are fans of the original. Yes, the story is predictable. A group of misfits must band together to win what they want and learn to love each other as a team in the process. Can you guess how this is going to end yet? Of course you can; you’ve seen movies before.

But this is done with so much wit and heart that you really forget how predictable it is and just go along for the ride. The development of Mike and Sully’s relationship is also something wonderful.

They had great chemistry in the original film, and now we get to see how the rivalry between them began, as well as the path that led to their becoming friends (and eventually co-workers).

I also need to give credit for the message this film offers. Usually, the norm for an animated family movie is to have its main character win in the end by achieving what they wanted in the beginning.

Without spoiling anything, I can tell you that the message is not as cute as that. We learn that “just because we want something doesn’t mean that we are meant to have it.”

I think that’s a bold message to preach in this type of film, but one that needs to be shared more often.

With a warm-hearted spirit, lovable characters, spot-on voice acting and some of the best animation to date, Pixar has created yet another winner to add to their already-crowded body of work.

It might not be the classic that the original “Monsters, Inc.” has become, but this new installment has found its audience and should connect with those in love with the first film, as well as newcomers who have not yet seen it. That said, if you haven’t seen the original “Monsters, Inc.” yet, do yourself a favor and see that as well.