Now that Pixar is in the sequel business, it’s fair to ask if they’ve lost a step. Their once completely fresh slate of films is now being peppered with revisits. What are Cars up to? And, let’s check in with Nemo and Dori in 2015. This thinking led to an interesting premise: what about a prequel, setting up the friendship of two fearsome favorites, Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc.? Monsters University charts that relationship from their less than cordial meeting to their eventual trust and reliance on each other.
It’s cute and fun, to be sure. And were it not spun from one of the great family films of all time, that might have been enough. But the story falls flat under the burden of those expectations. That's not to say Pixar can't make a good sequel. We know they can based on their flagship Woody/Buzz franchise, which has been revisited twice. Unfortunately, Monsters U is a lot more Toy Story 2 than Toy Story 3. Now in theaters. (G) Grade: B-
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