This is a pleasing film that might have you with a smile on your face right throughout the film – and not rushing out during the final credits, waiting to see the final good joke.
Those who delighted a decade ago, venturing into the world of Monsters Inc, will not find this film providing the instant joy of meeting Mike Wazowski and Sully for the first time. Rather, it is meeting up again with old friends.
As voiced by Billy Crystal at his humorous best (though with some pathos as his goal in life is to study to be a scarer at Monsters University and he can’t quite make it) and with John Goodman as his perfect foil. And for good measure, there is Helen Mirren voicing the imperious dean of the department, Dean Hardscrabble. It really is a top voice cast.
It should be said that Monsters University is not a sequel to Monsters Inc. It is a prequel. It takes us back to the little Mike (very little because Mike, round with his one eye, is little even as a grown-up). He hero-worships a genial monster who encourages him to study, and gives him an MU cap which becomes Mike’s treasure.
He grows up (still little) and goes off to university.
At this stage, the film is a happy variation on the youngster-goes-off-to-college movie, arriving, full of awe, seeing the students, invitations to join clubs, registering, finding his room, getting a roommate who is skilled in disappearing (and has to get rid of his glasses which don’t disappear). This parallel with the teen and young adult college movie is not a bad thing. We enjoy observing and smiling at the similarities - Peter Malone MSC, ACFOB.
Voiced by Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscem and Helen Mirren. Directed by Dan Scanlon. 110 minutes. Rated PG.