Mike and Sulley may have been inseparable pals in 2001’s Monsters, Inc.
, but that’s not how it started for these BFFs. Monsters University
takes us back to their college years, when Sulley (John Goodman) was the cocky bro who didn’t bring a pencil to class and Mike (Billy Crystal) was the Hermione-esque know-it-all who studied rather than partied. As Dan Scanlon’s film opens, the two don’t get along. But, after being kicked out of their major and faced with exile, they’re forced to work together with a team of misfits to prove they belong in the prestigious Scare Program. It’s an old formula that follows the story line of pretty much all college-underdog movies. But Monsters University
somehow captures the giddy ups and miserable downs of entering your first year of college—the wonder of first stepping onto campus, or the envy you feel toward the classmate who can carry four cups of coffee in his arms during finals. It does this while adding charming twists that keep things interesting (like the fact that the classmate with the coffee actually has four arms). Although not the best of Pixar’s lineup, there’s enough slapstick comedy for the kids and fast-paced banter for the adults to make it at least good for a laugh.