Boo Who? – ★★
It’s been 12 years since Monsters Inc. – yes you are that old. With such a gap for a prequel you wouldn’t think Pixar is cashing in, yet unfortunately that’s just what they’ve gone and done. When I first heard this was in development and then saw the trailer I was cautious, as it wouldn’t be able to have the most important character from the original, Boo. The little girl who passes from the human to monster world is the heart and soul of Monsters Inc. and without her the result is a bland, forgettable, unfunny film.
We start with Mike (Billy Crystal) as a little monster being excluded for his size and general weediness. On a field trip to the place where dreams are disturbed he realises his true calling as a scarer. Thinking the best place to study is Monsters University he knuckles down and before you can finish saying montage we’re there. He’s initially paired up with Randy (Steve Buscemi) but hang on, isn’t he his mortal enemy? Pixar have pulled the old switch-a-roo because in fact Mike initially hates Sulley (John Goodman) and we soon realise the entire film is going to be about teamwork, realising your weaknesses are really your strengths and all that other shite.The film feels like a much tamer combination of two frat house classics: Animal House and Old School. The fraternity that Mike and Sulley end up in is filled with un-cool losers ala Animal House and the only way they can stay is by winning a series of Monster Games ala Old School. Now, as this is a children’s film there is no bad language, nudity (who wants to see furry monster bits anyway? Quiet you!) or scenes of hilarious inebriation. Which is perfectly fine but ask yourself what child gives a flying furry monster about college?
The magic of Monsters Inc. was that they actually exist and go into your room at night to scare the holy ghost out of you. Then through some adorable scenes Sulley et al. realise what they are doing is wrong and they discover that laughter is more effective than screams at powering their beloved city. The inclusion of a child gives a extra level of realness for children and pulls on the heart strings for adults. Monsters Inc. is probably my favourite of the Pixar franchise, easily lending itself to countless re-watches but with University there is nothing really for children to latch onto and for adults they’ve seen the storyline countless times before.
All the voice acting is good but has it never not been? The animation is faultless but now that we expect this the story really has to deliver. With a pre-movie trailer for Planes which is basically “Cars in the sky” one has to wonder if the Pixar well is running a little dry?
Released in Ireland on July 12th 2013 nationwide