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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Computer Animation > Horror > Satire > School > Monsters University - Ultimate Collector’s Edition (2013/Disney/Pixar Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy)

Monsters University - Ultimate Collector's Edition (2013/Disney/Pixar Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D + DVD + Digital Copy)

Picture: A/A/B Sound: A-/A-/B Extras: B Film: A-

Monsters University is the prequel to the insanely popular 2001 film Monster's Inc. Whereas many film franchises suffer once prequels start to arrive, the Disney/Pixar team has seemingly found a formula to create solid gold. With such imaginative hits as Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 under their belts the coming of Monsters University showed promise and what was delivered was nothing short of fantastic.

Monsters University tells the tale of how best buds Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal ) and James P. Sullivan [Sully] (John Goodman) met. Acting as a rather ingenious backstory, Monsters University explains that before monsters can be professional ‘scarers’ [as seen in Monster's Inc.] they must first attend one of the prestigious universities that teach the art of scaring. Recall that children's screams are what powers the monster world. At Monsters University, monsters refine and hone their skills; Mike and Sully being no exception.

Mike is a hardworking, over achiever who has wanted to be a scarer his entire life (backstory included); though not large or intimidating, he will let nothing stand in his way. Sully, on the other hand, comes from a long line of scarers and with natural talent on his side he puts little effort into his studies. So with their philosophies on scaring split, Sully and Mike are at odds with one another; leading to a career altering showdown during a final exam. Sully and Mike are suddenly expelled from the scaring program by the daunting Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren).

With their futures looking bleak, Mike devises a plan (through a series of wagers and loopholes) to get back into the scare program. Mike, Sully, and a band of several other misfits must compete in the university's Scare Games to prove they have what it takes to be among Monster University's best. Going to head to head with the jocks (Revenge of the Nerds style) Mike and Sully have their work cut out for them. With little skill and even less know how the crew of Oozma Kappa (OK) must pull together use teamwork to their advantage.

So how was the film? Though critics did not look as favorably on this film as the first; I would argue it is just as good. Monsters University may lack the originality of the base concept established in Monster's Inc., but what this film does is expand upon the existing universe. This is not a cash grab, nor is it a rehash of the original; it is simply a great film for kids and adults alike. Monsters University manages to grab your attention with stunningly realistic visuals and jokes that cater to the full spectrum of viewers. My wife was smiling ear to ear throughout the film and laughed at every pun, jab, and gag the monstrous crew was throwing out; that is saying a lot. The film will definitely be more amusing for college grads as there are a lot of ‘inside’ jokes on top of your stereotypical college jests (Revenge of the Nerds-type jokes if you will); but again the range of jokes will amuse even the most discerning movie goer.

In the end, Monsters University is so good it's scary.

For a look back at our reviews on Monster's Inc. please refer to the links below:

Monster's Inc. Blu-ray 3D


Monster's Inc Blu-ray/DVD


The technical features on this Disney/Pixar 3D Blu-ray are astounding. If I said it once, I've said it a thousand times; Disney/Pixar knows Blu-ray. The picture is presented in an AVC encoded MPEG-4, 1.78 X 1 Widescreen that looks beautiful from beginning to end. Whereas I am not the biggest fan of the 3D format Monsters University is flawless here on Blu-ray. With perfectly balanced colors, solid contrast, inky black levels, and a texture/detail like no other the Blu-ray is amazing and with those features appropriately amped up on the 3D Blu-ray this is demo quality material. The realistic atmosphere that this Computer Generated film is able to accomplish is awe inspiring and something that I commented on throughout the multiple viewings. Whereas in most cases I don't think 3D enhances the film at all, here 3D adds another dimension to the experience.

The sound is nearly as impressive in a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Track that uses the full speaker range. The speakers light up with life, music, dialogue, and various other complex elements that create a dynamic sound stage for the creators to display their masterpiece. Prioritization is solid and though not the best Pixar has had on Blu-ray it is very well done.

The DVD is merely a downgrade of the already perfect Blu-ray releases.

Disney/Pixar must have taken some past criticisms of their extras to heart (usually filled with senseless kiddie games); and has created a slew of bonus features that not only show the making of the film, but also manage to show what it is like to work at Pixar. Bravo. The extras include the following:

  • Digital Copy of Film

  • Audio Commentary

    • Director Dan Scanlon, Producer Kori Rae, and storyboard supervisor Kesley Mann all discuss the inner workings of the film

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Promo Picks

    • Monster Mash Ups

    • College Campaign

    • Theatrical Campaign

  • The Blue Umbrella Theatrical Short

  • Campus Life

    • What life is like at Pixar during the making of a film

  • Story School

  • Scare Games

    • Creators of Monsters University compete in a series of games inspired by The Scare Games

  • Monthropology

    • How to design monsters

  • Welcome to MU

    • How the MU campus was designed

  • Music Appreciation

    • The production of Randy Newman's score for the film

  • Scare Tactics

  • Color and Light

  • Paths to Pixar: MU Edition

  • Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective

  • Set Flythroughs

  • Art Gallery

- Michael P Dougherty II


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