Movie review: 'Monsters Inc.' prequel is scary good - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
The one-eyed Mike and the furry Sully are back in “Monsters University.” They can't stand each other at school — until they have reason to team up.(DISNEY-PIXAR)


Movie review: 'Monsters Inc.' prequel is scary good
By Bob Fischbach / World-Herald staff writer


“Monsters University,” Pixar's long-awaited prequel to the 2001 monster hit “Monsters Inc.,” may not quite rise to the heights of the original.

But it's still Pixar, which means the animation is awesome and detailed, the voice work and character development are strong, and the story is can't-miss entertainment for kids and tweeners.

It may not offer quite as much as some Pixar animated features do for the parents and grandparents in the audience, but this is one older patron who enjoyed the story of misfits who triumph through teamwork and perseverance, from start to finish.

This prequel goes way back, to when round, one-eyed Mike (voice of Billy Crystal) was a grade-schooler with braces at Frighton Elementary. His class takes a trip to the scare floor at Monsters University, and that's it for Mike. He's found his calling. He wants to be a scarer.

Flash forward about 10 years, and Mike arrives on campus for his freshman year full of optimism. Just one problem: He may study harder than anyone and know the textbooks and techniques, but he's missing that certain something. Nobody believes he can be scary.

Not the intimidating Dean Hardscrabble (voice of Helen Mirren), a sort of centipede with bat wings. Not the elite fraternities drafting students like Sully (voice of John Goodman), the big, blue, furry guy who is a legacy student — his dad was a legendary scarer.

If you go...


Quality: Three stars (out of four)

Director: Dan Scanlon

Stars: Voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion

Rating: G

Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Theaters: Aksarben, Twin Creek, Bluffs 17, Midtown, Regal, Westroads, 20 Grand, Village Pointe, Oak View

Right away, Mike and Sully can't stand each other. It's the know-it-all versus the slacker.

But when the dean kicks them out of the scaring school, their only chance to get back in is to form a team of campus castoffs to win the Scare Games, which the dean herself founded.

Kids who know the original film will love learning how Mike and Sully became fast friends, and this takeoff on “Revenge of the Nerds” offers a positive message that anything is possible — even for kids who don't seem to fit in — if you want it badly enough and are willing to work at it.

It would be hard to imagine better voice talent than Crystal as feisty, enthusiastic Mike or Goodman as mumbling, bumbling Sully. And Mirren, as the imperious dean with squinty eyes, a pinched face and a tiny slit for a mouth, is simply a treat to listen to, whatever she says in that clipped Brit accent.

Sean Hayes and Dave Foley team up as a two-headed member of Mike and Sully's team, and Steve Buscemi voices sneakiness into Mike's first roommate, a chameleon. Alfred Molina is also good as a scary-arts professor.

“Monsters University” is preceded by a Pixar short, “The Blue Umbrella,” in which everyday items in a cityscape like a drainpipe, a mailbox, a roadwork sign and a manhole conspire to keep the hope of true love alive. It has the look of a live action, and it's a charmer.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1269, bob.fischbach@owh.com

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

Read more stories by Bob


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes
Record Store Day draws long lines, record collectors, good tunes

At Homer's Music in the Old Market, the first person in line arrived at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.


Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast
Coachella: Best of Day 1 includes The Replacements, Outkast

Rock Candy correspondents Joel Henriksen and Keith Finn check in from Indio to review Friday's top sets from the godfather of indie rock festivals.


What to watch: Series premiere of 'Tobacco Wars' on CMT
What to watch: Series premiere of 'Tobacco Wars' on CMT

Kentucky has some interesting industries: moonshine, ginseng and fire-cured tobacco. This series goes inside the high-stakes world starting with planting season.


Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet
Maha Music Festival announces lineup; might be its best yet

August concert promises to pack Stinson Park with indie rock fans.


A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.


Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.


New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.


Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.


Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef
Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef

Ryan Devitt will come to the restaurant as both a chef and partner to focus on farm-to-table style cuisine.


Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party
Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party

Over Easy is playing host to a west Omaha block party this summer.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved