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MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

SYNOPSIS:
A look at the relationship between Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) during their days at Monsters University - when they weren't necessarily the best of friends.

Review by Louise Keller:
It is the sheer wit and charm of Pixar's quirky, multi-coloured characters that make this cleverly conceived prequel such an enjoyable romp. Revisiting the delightful reality of Monstropolis established in 2001's Monsters Inc, it may have been a long time between scares and screams, but it is definitely worth the wait. Monsters University quickly reminds us of the innovative premise - that children's screams are collected as an energy source with the all-important role of the monsters being to scare the living daylights out of them. I love the film's uniqueness and the relationship between Mike (Billy Crystal), the rotund one-eyed geeky green monster on spindly legs and Sulley (John Goodman), the turquoise "mountain with fur" with purple spots is nothing short of magical.

They might be experts in their field in Monsters Inc, but when we meet Mike and Sulley on campus at Monsters University, where the trees are as colourful as the monsters, they are hoping to be accepted into the sought after Scare Faculty. Trouble is, it is not that easy and there is much to learn about each other - and themselves.

Director Dan Scanlon has co-written a superb screenplay with Robert Baird and Daniel Gerson that firstly allows us to get to know the melange of characters, intertwining the relationships, aspirations and philosophies as the narrative is established. I watched the entire film with a happy smile on my face; the humour is visual as well as character driven as Mike and Sulley battle the odds to join forces and reach their goals in a bumpy ride of an adventure punctuated by mishaps.

Reassuming their key roles as Sulley and Mike with great conviction, Goodman and Crystal are once again a perfect fit, while Helen Mirren makes an impact as the daunting University Dean with retractable red wings, who constantly frowns her disapproval. The creativity of the creatures' conception is stimulating with monsters of all shapes, sizes and colours including ones with two heads, suction tentacles and I like the three-eyed long-legged girl-monsters with legs that look like poodles after a visit to the beauty parlour.

Essentially a buddy movie, the film's themes include maximising the use of differences to best advantage and to work together as a team. Funny, uplifting and ultra colourful, Monsters University is a treat for the whole family.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (PG)
(US, 2013)

VOICES: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Alfred Molina, Aubrey Plaza, Bonnie Hunt, John Krasinski

PRODUCER: Kori Rae

DIRECTOR: Dan Scanlon

SCRIPT: Robert L. Baird,

MUSIC: Randy Newman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ricky Nierva

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 20, 2013







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