..

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY
Ultimate Collector's Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Voices: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Alfred Molina
Director: Dan Scanlon
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Studio: Disney/Pixar
Features: See Review
Length: 104 Minutes
Release Date: October 29, 2013

We've made a list of our strengths and weaknesses!”

I have an extra toe!!...not with me, of course...”

Film ****

What do you do when you have a couple of great and memorable characters? Send them back to school. Monsters University is a prequel to the Disney/Pixar hit Monsters Inc., and tells the story of how the company's greatest scare team came to be.

Mike Wazowski (Crystal) has had one dream his entire life: to be a scarer. His first day at Monsters University is a dream come true. He's a top student: he knows the textbooks back to front. He knows technique and approach. He can tell you the best scare for any individual child. The problem? He's not very scary.

James P. Sullivan (Goodman), on the other hand, is the opposite. Coming from a renowned family of scarers, he has the instinct and natural ability many would envy. But he doesn't think he has anything to learn from books.

The dean of the scaring school (Mirren) sees their weaknesses and tosses both out of the program. But all is not lost for our intrepid heroes...the campus holds a scaring contest every year. If Mike and Sully and a group of misfit fraternity brothers can manage to win the competition against some of the school's best and brightest, there may still be a chance. But it's a slim one.

Like it's predecessor, Monsters University may not be the most artistic or the most beautiful of the Disney/Pixar films, but they are certainly two of the most fun. There is a lot of room for imagination to roam free when you have a college filled with monsters, and this movie is a delightful joy from start to finish.

There's a lot of wonderful humor, but also a great lesson: Mike may be a hard worker, but his talents may lie elsewhere. And Sully has talent, but not discipline. Maybe between the two of them, a magic formula can be found...if they can learn to like one another first.

A lot of the magic comes from the magnificent and inspired voice casting of Billy Crystal and John Goodman. These actors create great on-screen chemistry without ever actually appearing on screen. Their charm, warmth and humor shine through, and bring real humanity to a pair of monsters trying to find their places in the world.

But of course, Disney and Pixar provide plenty of magic of their own, creating a wonderful, colorful world of fun and possibilities. A lot can happen on school grounds, and when you have a student body filled with monsters? Even more so.

This is the kind of movie that will keep a smile on your face from start to finish, and never leave you wondering why the creative team decided to tap into this well one more time. Monsters University is a great place to spend your afternoon.

Video ****

Outstanding...there's nothing quite like a Disney/Pixar film in 3D, and this disc delivers! Not only is the 3D quality top notch, but the overall coloring is amazing. You can see the subtle shades in Mike's skin and Sully's fur, which are both extremely realistic. Pixar creates worlds that you can lose yourself in, and this high definition transfer really makes the grade!

Audio ****

The uncompressed 7.1 audio is stunning, from the terrific music score to the big action sequences of the scare games. The surrounds are tastefully used throughout, and dynamic range is top of the class!

Features ****

The first disc includes the 3D version of the film, and the short film “The Blue Umbrella” (also in 3D), while the second is the 2D Blu-ray, featuring a commentary track from the director and producers and some coming attractions (including the debut of The Jungle Book on Blu-ray). The third disc is the DVD version of the movie.

Disc four is a Blu-ray and contains the remaining featurettes, including “Campus Life”, “Story School”, “Scare Games”, “Monthropology”, “Welcome to MU”, “Music Appreciation”, “Scare Tactics”, “Color and Light”, “Paths to Pixar”, and “Furry Monsters”, plus five deleted scenes with director introduction, set flythroughs, an art gallery, and some promo picks.

Summary:

You'll never dread back to school when back to school takes you to Monsters University. This film is a pure delight, with an amazing 3D Blu-ray package to boot.  This is one of the year's best releases!

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com