Those who feared this prequel to Monsters Inc could have been a damp squib like Cars 2 needn’t have worried – as this is nearly as good as the original.
Some may have thought Pixar had lost some of its morals, because – bar Toy Story – it hadn’t made sequels to its acclaimed films until it joined permanent forces with Disney so the House of Mouse could milk their franchises.
But this is arguably one you DID want to see, and even though we know how this world ultimately pans out for Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) – this is one worthy tale watching how they get there.
It opens with arguably one of the cutest Pixar characters yet, as a young Mike (Noah Johnston) makes it his lifelong dream to join Monsters Inc after an eventful school trip to the famous factory.
Years later he’s on his way to Monsters University – the ultimate scaring academy – to learn the tools of the trade, under the watchful eye of daunting school Dean, Abigail Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren).
Here he rooms with younger incarnations of the characters we know and love from the original – like Steve Buscemi’s Randall – and we see that Mike didn’t exactly hit it off with the laid-back antics of Sulley as their two egos collide.
But when a serious misdemeanour throws the two together with a group of Oozma Kappa house misfits – including the lovable duo of Squishy (Peter Sohn) and Don (Joel Murray) – they have to win the ‘Scare Games’ to stay in the university.
And while this may sound pretty generic, the final half hour provides enough surprising twists and emotional turns to really make this another worthy entry in the Pixar canon.
That coupled with countless comedic moments that put it up with there with Pixar’s best in terms of humour, this really does comfortably better the recent Despicable Me 2 – if you have to choose between them for a family night out at Showcase.
It may just lack the originality (and Boo) that made the first film so magical, but Mike and Sulley are now undoubtedly one of Disney’s finest ever duos – and pound-for-pound (sorry Minions, you’re still hilarious!) this is the BEST animation of the summer.
Voice cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Charlie Day, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Noah Johnston, Bonnie Hunt, Bob Peterson, John Krasinski, Aubrey Plaza, Bobby Moynihan, Bill Hader, Julia Sweeney, Beth Behrs, John Ratzenberger
Running Time: 1hr 45mins
Directors: Dan Scanlon