Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Sophie's Film Choice #9: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

Having been meaning to see this long- awaited prequel since it was released on my return from Disneyland in June (yes, I have been there 3 times in 5 years, what of it?), it's hard to believe that it took until the August Bank Holiday weekend to catch up with my favourite monsters.

In hindsight, perhaps this was not the best day to choose. Far from the quiet and empty screening I imagined, the cinema was crammed full of shouting, restless and... loquacious little terrors. A constant stream of noise created a chaotic ambience whilst I was trying to enjoy my trailers- even if it is just advertising a film about a speedy snail, show that snail respect people!

'Did you not hear the dress code either?'
However, as soon as the Pixar short began, I was immediately soothed and delighted, watching the cute umbrellas flirt with each other and found myself, as always, rooting for inanimate objects (such is the Disney way). By the time the feature film began, I was ready to enjoy it with as much zest as I enjoy any Pixar film; the first shot of a seemingly normal pigeon which turns out to be two- headed set the tone for the unexpected sense of humour that carries 'Monsters University' to a deserved place in the Pixar Hall of Fame.

Detailing Mike Wasowski's time at University, and the unusual beginnings of his friendship with James P. Sullivan, the film explores ambition, hard work vs. talent, and that sometimes neither is the route to success. Using the typical American college formula of the cliques (Jocks, Girly Girls, Emos and Misfits), the monstrous aesthetic works surprisingly well, lending itself to some intricate and hilarious gags. Some of the best moments are Sully stealing 'Archie the Scare Pig', the pair trying to cross an especially formidable librarian, and some killer moves thrown at the fraternity party.

And the winner of 'The Great Monster's Bake Off' is...
The campus setting allows for some great new characters, the underdog fraternity 'Oozma Kappa' providing consistent laughs whilst being thoroughly endearing. Consisting of a 'mature' student with tentacles, a character named 'Squishy' (enough said), a two headed semi- dancer (only one of the heads likes to dance, embarrassingly) and a philosophical 'Hug in a Mug', the team pull together through a highly satisfying montage. Also watch out for the mother. Loading the washing machine. Just watch her boogying and enjoy.

The best pairing of brains and brawn since Woody and Buzz, Mike and Sully tug at our heart strings once again, showing us that teamwork is more important than glory. Also, Mini- Mike (with braces) is the cutest large green eye socket that I've ever seen, and for that alone, I am sold.

Whilst the plot of the prequel may be less tight and more predictable than 'Monsters Inc', 'Monsters University' makes up for it through the wonderfully crafted humour, well observed and detailed characterisation, and of course, absolutely stunning visuals. In fact, in some scenes, it's hard to believe it isn't real. Apart from the monster bit, I suppose.
Sully didn't quite understand the concept of 'Jazz hands'....

No comments:

Post a Comment