Klips was kind enough to extend an invitation to me for the press screening a week before its release date so big thanks to them.
Let's step back in time to when monsters had to go to school and university in order to become the boogieman in the closets. This time, one-eyed green and nerdy Mike takes over as the lead protagonist as we follow his footsteps to becoming a Scarer after an eventful field trip to Monster Inc. Factory in his childhood. Eager Mike enrolls in the titular Monster University with the gusto of a wide-eyed freshman. He is roommates with future baddie, Randall Boggs the chameleon lizard and has an intense rivalry with future bestie, Sulley.
Think the House Bunny meets Harry Potter 4 meets the tameness and colour palate of Toy Story and you have more or less an idea of what Monster University is about. The movie does its best to recapture the hearts of former kids and teens now young adults while trying to draw in a new market of children with its vibrant colours and characters but it seems to fall short on both accounts for me.
While lovable, I found it hard to gain a sense of nostalgia with the characters probably due to the long hiatus between movies. The storyline is predictable but older viewers will enjoy the the bits of humor here and there. Nothing too memorable though. The concept of university and the importance of getting into the right programme will escape its young audiences although they will enjoy the bouncy energetic monsters and their antics.
On the plus side, I do like the environment of the university campus and resemblance of campus life in America. There is a Hogwart's like reputation about Monster University to it and a fraternity rivalry that stems from the age-old social pyramid.
The ending was the only part that breaks way from the usual university story mound and inserts a hint of reality that many of us, adults especially, can relate to. I am not going to tell you what, you will just have to watch it for yourself.
Would I watch it again?
Only if I had my baby cousin with me. She will definitely enjoy this as will family with young children. It is a lighthearted movie meant for the whole family. There is a good mix of humor, comedic stunts and a fair of cliche breakups and makeups thoughout the movie that allows 2 hours to pass quickly. It was a pity though that its release date has missed the school holidays by mere weeks as I believe kids will want to watch it.
Until then, here's a trailer of it.
By the way, the movie also starts off with a short feature film 'The Blue Umbrella' with a simple tale of love and getting through the storm to get that love. The Paperman, anyone? It's short and sweet and makes me want a blue umbrella with a face on it.
Monster University hits the big screen on 21 June 2013.