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65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 578 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan weren't always an inseparable pair. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University reveals how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends. [Walt Disney Studios]

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 21, 2013
    100
    True to the spirit of the original film, "Monsters Inc.", and matches its tone. But it never seems content to turn over old ground.
  2. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jul 12, 2013
    80
    The animation is photoreal – startlingly and mesmerisingly so. And the depth of feeling the tale of their friendship evokes is matched only by your incredulity, as you paw at your eyes six minutes later, that you are crying about two computer-generated umbrellas.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    The visuals are impressive, while the goodhearted and endearing story is a little slight.
  4. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Jun 21, 2013
    65
    What hasn't advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it's basically surprise-free.
  5. 63
    Monsters University is a prequel that is far more conventional, not nearly as witty or clever as that original.
  6. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 18, 2013
    60
    Monsters University feels not like the work of artists eager to express something but like that of likable pros whose existence depends on getting a rise out the kids. It's like the scares Sully and Mike spring on those sleeping tykes: technically impressive but a job un-anchored to anything more meaningful.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 21, 2013
    40
    What Monsters University fails to do, though, is to scare up any real emotion.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 150
  1. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    I was pleasant with Monsters University. I was disappointed with Cars 2 and Brave then I had to see this movie because I love Monsters, Inc.I was pleasant with Monsters University. I was disappointed with Cars 2 and Brave then I had to see this movie because I love Monsters, Inc. It turns out that Monsters University is surprisingly imaginative and hilarious, with clever moments and insightful animation. Expand
  2. Jul 11, 2013
    9
    (skip to the last paragraph for a concise one-sentence summary and a number)
    I don’t know why, but I felt powerfully attached to Monsters
    (skip to the last paragraph for a concise one-sentence summary and a number)
    I don’t know why, but I felt powerfully attached to Monsters University. It may be because Monsters Inc. was one of my favorite Pixar movies of all time. It may also be because I am currently around the age of our protagonists, so I can attest to their struggles. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because Mike Wazowski and James Sullivan are the best frenemies to hit the big screen since Pixar’s older Woody and Buzz.
    Mike Wazowski is determined, but at a disadvantage, since he isn’t scary. James Sullivan is laidback, but at an advantage, since he’s scary as hell (he’s also legacy, but I’d rather not rant about legacy kids on a film critique). So why is the banter between these polar opposites so amusing to children and adults alike? It’s because they’re both a little obnoxious. They’ve got enough sour taste in each other to animate the screen almost as well as the crisp-clear animation software used to make the film (which is seriously praiseworthy).
    Technique-wise, the film rarely fails. Sure, the plotline may be a little formulaic and linear, but the plot twists are just enough to keep both the story and the character development moving. Even near the end of the film, you’ll find some sappy emotion we’ve come to expect from Pixar.
    In conclusion, this is what I have to say: Monsters University is not only the best and most charismatic animated film of the year thus far; it is also a testament to Pixar’s glory years and a sign that maybe Cars 2 and Brave were just a depressing phase that Pixar is hopefully passing. (I’d also like to laud Helen Mirren’s character, Dean Hardscrabble. She is one tough cookie you’ll both enjoy and fear watching)

    FINAL SCORE: 85 (excitingly great ----------o---------- almost perfect)
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  3. Jun 21, 2013
    9
    If you're like me and you were extremely disappointed with "Brave" and "Cars 2" then SEE THIS MOVIE! It only proves that Pixar still has thatIf you're like me and you were extremely disappointed with "Brave" and "Cars 2" then SEE THIS MOVIE! It only proves that Pixar still has that magic touch that many skeptics were saying had faded. I saw it on an unfortunately small screen and I was still excited the entire time. This movie is also worth seeing in 3D. The animation is amazing. #seeit Expand
  4. Jul 17, 2013
    8
    I went to see this with my 8 year old.He enjoyed it but I'm a bit more critical when it comes to Pixar films these days.No 3D for me and I'mI went to see this with my 8 year old.He enjoyed it but I'm a bit more critical when it comes to Pixar films these days.No 3D for me and I'm glad I didn't need to pay extra for it.the film is pretty funny in parts and the scare games was the funniest part in it.It just lacks something like the old Pixar films used to have. Can't put finger on it.The first Monsters Inc is still funnier than this one but not a bad attempt by Pixar anyway. Well done guys. Collapse
  5. Jan 6, 2016
    7
    For Pixar, Monsters University stops the bleeding. In the wake of two disappointing films, 2012's lackluster Brave and 2011's misfire Cars 2,For Pixar, Monsters University stops the bleeding. In the wake of two disappointing films, 2012's lackluster Brave and 2011's misfire Cars 2, the animation company has returned to solid footing with a prequel to their 2001 entry, Monsters Inc. Although there is undoubtedly a financial foundation for mining past successes, Monsters University is nevertheless a charming, family friendly endeavor and, although it falls short of the best Pixar has brought to the screen over its long association with Disney, it's nevertheless worth a trip to the theater, especially for kids.

    As was true of Monsters Inc., Monsters University gets most of its mileage out of the atypical friendship between the big, furry Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) and the little green Cyclops Mike (Billy Crystal). Since Monsters Inc. effectively wrapped up going-forward story possibilities, the creative team elected to go the prequel route, so this is the tale of how Mike and Sullivan met, overcame an initial rivalry, and became friends. Although pitched at a level that won't bore adults, the film's content is kid-centered, complete with life lessons about the values of friendship, cooperation, and believing in oneself and others.

    Monsters University's plot thrives on predictability although there is a moderately surprising twist toward the end that allows the proceedings to extend by about fifteen minutes and provides an opportunity for a little more depth. For adults, the movie is less about narrative than enjoying the back-and-forth repartee of Mike and Sullivan, who have all the chemistry of, say, Felix and Oscar. These two are mismatched buddies in the classic sense and Billy Crystal and John Goodman have no difficulty sliding back into the roles they originated a dozen years ago. And, although Monsters University will appeal strongly to young viewers, it's not juvenile in its approach or content. As a result, those who enjoyed Monsters Inc. as children need not be ashamed of being "uncool" by watching Monsters University in their teens. (G-rated movies are generally shunned by anyone over age 12 who isn't a parent.)

    Computer generated animation has long since reached a plateau level where the artwork results in the kinds of "oohs" and "aahs" that it once did. We rarely notice the richness of detail evident especially in the background the way we once did because every animated film boasts this - it's expected. Monsters University maintains the standard of quality expected from Pixar although, as is too often the case, the incorporation of 3-D is of dubious value. Seen in 2-D, this is a bright, cheerful motion picture. The tradeoff for getting things to pop off the screen is that the colors aren't as vibrant. I feel like a broken record making this comment: some animated films benefit from 3-D but it's hard to argue that Monsters University is one of them.

    Pixar's decision to develop some of their most popular movies into franchises hit a rough patch when Cars 2 failed to perform up to expectations. Monsters University, however, makes the argument that this may have been an unfortunate exception. Although the second Monsters movie won't challenge Toy Story 2 or Toy Story 3 as the best sequel to emerge from the studio, it's a strong enough animated film to rise to the top of summer family-friendly fare. The energy and comedy are strong and the only thing off-color is the palette when seen through 3-D lenses. This isn't a home run for Disney/Pixar but it's a solid double.
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  6. Jul 2, 2013
    7
    I don't see why there is so much hate for this movie. I'll admit it's not Pixar's best film, but it's definitely not it's worst. I enjoyed allI don't see why there is so much hate for this movie. I'll admit it's not Pixar's best film, but it's definitely not it's worst. I enjoyed all of the references it made to the first film, some are hidden, so look out for those. This movie had a lot more action than I expected. It also had it's fair share of comedic moments, but not as much as I expected. This movie introduces a whole plethora of new characters with spectacular actors to do the voices such as Helen Mirren as Dean Hardscrabble, Nathan Fillion as Johnny Worthington, and my personal favorite, Charlie Day's character, Art. Don't listen to the critics, this movie is still filled with loads of Pixar-y goodness that any fan of animated films will enjoy. Expand
  7. Mar 24, 2014
    0
    The movie should have been called "A couple of losers in the University"
    And the moral for kids is: Don't waste your time studying. You can
    The movie should have been called "A couple of losers in the University"
    And the moral for kids is: Don't waste your time studying. You can be a "successful loser".
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