When it comes to prequels, the only one I can think of off the top of my head that is excellent (let alone good at all) is…Muppet Babies! Maybe it’s the fact that I was three years old when it started airing in 1984, but I remember that show being absolutely brilliant.
With Monster’s Inc. being my third favorite Pixar movie (number two being Toy Story 2, number one being The Incredibles), I’ve been very excited for a while about Monster’s University, which at it’s core, is the story about how Mike and Sully met. The concept was great (a college for the monsters where they learn how to scare), but the execution fell a little flat for me.
In my opinion, Pixar is known for producing some of the most unique, original movie concepts out there, which living in the world of animation allows them to do. Monster’s University ended up feeling like a clone of Revenge of the Nerds, a story about a group of underdogs complete it’s own version of the Greek Games, The Scare Games. It wasn’t bad by any means, but I guess I just expect more from the studio that brought me such brilliant concepts as Toy Story, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Ratatouille and the original Monster’s Inc.
I really started to enjoy it about two thirds of the way through the movie, but that’s way too long for a movie to hook you in. Without spoiling anything, the last third of the movie was the most original part of it (when the Revenge of the Nerds parody ended), complete with laughs, a sentimental touch, and nods to the original movie.
Overall, I’d sadly give this movie a solid C. It’s nowhere close to being what Toy Story 2 was to Toy Story, but it had a much tougher road to travel being a prequel rather than a sequel. I say wait for it to be at Redbox or on Netflix rather than seeing it in the theater.