Revenge of the Monster House

IN THE tradition of Animal House and Revenge of The Nerds, Pixar Animation makes a foray into the college/university movie genre with Monster's University.

Unlike the previously mentioned movies, the focus is more on the under-dogs winning the day and defeating the "jocks" than gross-out humour and copious amounts of alcohol and female nudity.

This is probably just as well seeing as the target audience is under-13s...

This is a prequel to the runaway 2001 hit, Monster's Inc, and shows the audience how the winning team of Mike and Sully came about.

The premise is a good one, tried and tested. The story is basically the underdog competes against insurmountable odds and somehow pulls it off.

In typical Pixar style the humour is on two levels, one for the kids and one for the adults. But a comparison between this and Despicable Me 2 left me a little cold.

There aren't as many laugh-out-loud moments and this could possibly be because this movie takes itself pretty seriously.

Two exceptions to this are the running-the-gauntlet-through-stinging-anemones scene (nearly wet myself) and the very final scene at the very end of the credits (poor little guy!).

Some new blood in the voice department compliments the old stalwarts of Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi.

Dame Helen Mirren is memorable as the truly frightening Dean of MU, Alfred Molina is the kindly Scare Professor and Nathan Fillion is the all American Quarterback equivalent in the scare stakes at Monsters U so, completely against type, is quite unlikeable.

In an animated forum it works to a degree. However it is a little slow in places.

It also doesn't work for the real little ones, a fact that was painfully obvious three quarters of the way through when not one but three screaming toddlers inflicted themselves upon the rest of the audience for the remainder of the movie.

My advice is to get a baby-sitter and leave the under-5s at home, because they won't understand it, will get bored after an hour or so, and will just torture the rest of us.

Special mention needs to be made of the animated short that screens before the movie. This was also a Pixar offering called The Blue Umbrella. I thought this was magical and an absolute delight!

Pixar have a real knack for anthropomorphizing inanimate objects to such an extent that the audience invests themselves in the challenges of these every-day items as if they were possessed of human emotions.

I loved everything about this; the design, the characters, the story line and the outcome. I cannot stress enough that it is worth it to get to the screening early if only to see this short.

n I give Monster's University a 5/10 rating because it's not nearly as funny as Despicable Me 2. I give the parents of the three toddlers a 2/10. When they play up, take them outside!

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