Monsters University (Blu Ray Combo Pack) Review
Posted by Tony Farinella on 11.01.2013
Sulley and Mike Wazowski meet in Monsters University, now out on Blu-Ray and DVD!
Pixar has produced work that speaks for itself in the animation world. When the name Pixar is mentioned, it is viewed as the standard in animation. Their films and their legacy is one of a kind and it stands the test of time. However, while they have released many classic films, they are not immune to disappointments and lackluster projects. Even though I was a fan of Cars 2, many have considered it the worst Pixar film and were extremely unhappy with it. Their latest film, Monsters University, is another sequel and while it is not a bad movie, it is rather run of the mill and ordinary.
With Monsters University, we learn how Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) first met and became friends. Wazowski has wanted to be a Scarer for as long as he can remember and it is his lifelong passion and dream. Sulley, on the other hand, has the genes already to be a Scarer and it comes rather naturally to him. This odd couple couldnít be any more different from each other but if they want to succeed and get ahead, they have to work together with a band of lovable misfits to win the Scare Games and get back into Monsters University and their Scare program.
They assemble a team that is lovable but far from scary, so this task is going to be easier said than done. Sulley has a hard time taking Mike seriously and doesnít have high hopes for his team. If it was up to him, he would do it all by himself and lead his team to victory. The rest of the gang is filled with two headed monsters, a five-eyed mommaís boy, and an old man who specializes in sales. Not exactly the scariest team known to mankind, but what they lack in scares they make up for in passion and excitement. If they want to succeed in the Scare Games, they will have to work together and work around their strengths and weaknesses.
Monsters University, as one would expect, is colorful, full of life, and gorgeous to look at, especially on Blu-Ray. The attention to detail is second to none and watching the film is always visually appealing as so much is going on in each and every scene. However, the film suffers in the story department as the whole thing just feels like a mini story that is stretched out to one hundred and four minutes. There just isnít a lot going on here and nothing that occurs or unfolds is all that unexpected or unpredictable. The usual Pixar heart is there in the final act and it is rather touching, but the rest of the film just feels like a cash in sequel to sell some more toys.
In the end, even OK or average Pixar is better than most of what is being released in the animation world, so it is worth seeing. Maybe the studio has just spoiled us and we expect nothing but greatness and when something is just OK, our expectations affect how we view it. The bottom line is that kids will love the film and it is filled with tons of cool monsters and colorful creatures. I donít foresee the film having great staying power, though, and it will probably be forgotten about moments after it is over.
Blu-Ray Info:Monsters University is released on a three disc Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital copy combo pack from Disney. The three discs included the Blu-Ray disc, special features disc, and DVD disc.
Video Info: Released on 1080p high definition with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this film is gorgeous on Blu-Ray and I was mesmerized by the world that was created here. It is quite stunning and eye popping. The visuals and all of the monsters are really fun to look at and the film held my attention as I was looking at everything that was going on around the university. It is bright, vivid, and colorful.
Audio Info: The English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is also just right and brings the sound right into your living room. It is a crisp and clear audio track that sounds beautiful. English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks are also available on this Blu-Ray. Subtitles in English, French, and Spanish are also included.
Campus Life (15:14): This takes you behind the scenes at Pixar and shows you what a day in the life of a Pixar employee is like, from start to finish.
Story School (08:38): This focuses on how important the story is to the success of a Pixar film and how seriously they take that responsibility.
Scare Games (04:30): The Pixar staff themselves had a Scare Games style competition and this shows what that was like.
Monthropology (05:47): This focuses on all of the various monsters created for the film and let me tell you, there are a ton of them!
Welcome to MU (06:09): On this special feature, they take you behind the scenes of how they created the University for the film and all that went into making it a reality.
Music Appreciation (07:29): Pixar favorite Randy Newman shows us how he works on this special feature.
Scare Tactics (05:16): Some of the creative scares that they came up with in the film are discussed here on this special feature.
Color and Light (05:16): On this special feature, the visual aspects of the film are detailed.
Paths to Pixar-MU Edition (07:40): Everyone has a unique journey and story to tell and here we learn how many Pixar employees found their way to working on this film.
Furry Monsters Technical Perspective (05:02): Sulley, one of the furriest monsters without question, is the focus of this special feature as they talk about creating him along with some of the other monsters.
Five Deleted Scenes (22:09): These are introduced by Director Dan Scanlon and mostly add a little back story to the proceedings.
Set Flythroughs (06:25): This shows off the amazing sets that were built for the film and takes you over them to give you a different view on them.
Commentary with director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae and story supervisor Kelsey Mann: A lot of work and detail clearly goes into making a Pixar film and everyone has a hand in making it work. It is informative and interesting to see it unfold as you hear from the people involved how it happened.
The Blue Umbrella Theatrical Short
The 411: I admired this film and I kind of liked it, but when it comes to Pixar, you expect to be blown away. Right or wrong, that is the case, and I responded to this film with a slight smile and shrug as opposed to overwhelming joy. If you did enjoy the film, there are a ton of special features, an audio commentary, and amazing visuals on this Blu-Ray to make it well worth your money. For everyone else, Iíd recommend it as a rental for a rainy day.