~I received Monsters University Ultimate Collectors Edition for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~
If you have a little monster at home, chances are you’ve seen Monsters Inc.! Monsters University is the second film, however, it is more a prequel than a sequel to the original. It tells the story of how Mike and Sully became friends and how they began working at Monsters Inc. Starting out with a young little Mike visiting Monsters Inc. for the very first time.
Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. “Monsters University” bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up.
I love the depth that Disney/Pixar puts into the characters in this film. Although some parts of it are the typical story that anyone who has been to school knows, the Jock vs. the Nerd, there are a lot of surprises and twists. Such as why Randy turns into an evil Scarer set to destroy Mike and Sully in Monsters Inc.
The Oozma Kappa team are the best! Art, Don, Terri, Terry and Squishy are hard not to love. Although at first they seem as if they don’t have a monster-ish skill in their misshapen bodies, they wind up surprising everyone – including Mike and Sully. I loved seeing how they took these adorable cuddly looking monsters and shown the potential for what they could be.
Honestly though, the story at its heart is about finding oneself, acknowledging our weaknesses and playing on our strengths. Although Mike isn’t the scariest of the bunch, he shows that he has more to offer in himself than even he realizes. It’s nice to see Sully, who originally thinks Mike doesn’t have what it takes, be the one who finally stands up for him. There are a great many lessons about adulthood in this film and I believe that is what I love about this movie the most. It’s very real and Mike and Sully are great at sharing with children how not all endings come as you expect them, but you can always make your own happy ending.
Paths to Pixar – Monsters University on Disney Video
There are a lot of great Bonus Features on the Ultimate Collectors Edition as well! Some of the features for Digital depend on the retailer, so make sure to check and see if these are available.
- Campus Life : What’s it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
- Story School: This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike. We’ll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
- Scare Games: At Pixar, we play hard while we work. The same people who keep the film production moving – producers, managers, coordinators and artists – are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions.
- Welcome to MU: Sets aren’t just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore. This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves. .
- Music Appreciation – Randy Newman’s scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process. We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
- Scare Tactics: Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.
- Color and Light: How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We’ll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film. Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
- Paths to Pixar: MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
- Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.”
- Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” – are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
- “The Blue Umbrella”: This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of “Monsters University.” “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
- Additional Bonus Features : Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!
Judah was really excited to see Monsters University Ultimate Collectors Edition. Up until we had received it, he had been making Monsters University wooden toys at Lowe’s and had gotten two badges with Mike and Sully. He had little figurines and Daddy even bought him a Monsters University hat so he could be like Mike!
Recently we have been checking out these Monstrous Halloween Activities! You can print them out with your kids for Halloween.
Monsters University Ultimate Collectors Edition just released today in time for Halloween. What better family friendly to watch than one with two of the best monsters on the planet! You can snag the film while you are out and about, or order it on Amazon for $24.99.