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By KATHRYN KELLY
In 2001, Pixar Animation Studios gave the world the delightful film, “Monsters Inc.” This entertaining saga follows the adventures of two monsters, Mike and Sulley, as they go about their daily lives trying to save the city of Monstropolis from being overrun by human children.
Now in 2013, Pixar has again given the world an enchanting look into the world of monsters. Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) are back in action, but this time they are not the top scarers they will soon become. In this new prequel, they are not even friends; instead, they are college rivals attending the top scaring university in Monstropolis. Mike is a studious bookworm who has dreamed of becoming a scarer all his life. Sulley, on the other hand, attends college for the fun of it and scoffs at Mike’s determination to study hard and make good grades. The story follows this rivalry as each monster slowly learns to appreciate the other and accept his strengths and weaknesses.
There are some clichés and predictable scenarios present in “Monsters University” as in most children’s movies. However, many of these clichés will go over the children’s heads as they are targeted toward adults. One major example of this is the representation of the fraternities and sororities at Monsters U. The fraternities and sororities are misrepresented as brainless jocks and cheerleaders who solely attend college for the party lifestyle. Young children will recognize the themes and actions of right and wrong in this film, but it is the adults in the audience who will recognize these vintage caricatures and appreciate the homage to their own collegiate experiences.
“Monsters University” is also full of endearing themes of friendship and acceptance. Misfit fraternity Oozma Kappa is perceived by the popular groups as mediocre because of their strange and unusual monster members. Mike Wazowski is also at first unwilling to be associated with the unlikeable fraternity, but after being wholeheartedly accepted into their circle he finally sees past the monsters’ exteriors and embraces them as friends. Eventually following his rival now turned best friend’s example, Sulley also learns to accept the unpopular monsters, and together they achieve a new standing at the university.
“Monster’s University” is a delightful hour-and-a-half of fun, readily enjoyable by both children and adults alike. Children will love seeing their beloved monster friends again and following along with their new adventures, and adults will enjoy the film as much as their children if not more for the scenes of college life and the witty humor that Pixar has become known for.