Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — The very concept of a sequel or prequel may start often off as a well-intentioned way to continue the adventures of our most beloved characters, but the more celebrated the individuals of any given franchise are, the more slippery the slope is while trying to please an audience guaranteed to be divided. No matter the investment or tiptoeing to try and not bring about geek rage, some viewers will ultimately always be disappointed and feel as if the filmmakers have ruined some holy vision of what they loved about what came first.
Today’s title, though animated, features some of those very examples and while I was actually thrilled to see them coming back to the screen after more than a decade, also remained cautiously curious as to whether or not those involved were going to present more of a commercial endorsement for movie related products instead of a script with a meaningful plot. Thankfully this turned out not to be the case and while I still consider Pixar able to be at the top of their potential game, they steered clear of simply pumping out a cash grab much like the so-so efforts of a certain car related second chapter. “Monsters University” not only managed to capture some of that same magic that made the scary duo so memorable years ago, but in effect enhanced that special magic with a depth worth exploring.
The story starts off actually quite early with an endearing look at how the shorter of our two familiar characters, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), is first inspired to enter the world of professional scaring. Bringing back that familiar and inspiring determination to not allow the things that make him different keep him down; we are caught up right away in this quest that eventually leads to the place with the same name as the flick.