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Monsters University (G)
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This is a 2013 prequel to the 2001 film Monsters, Inc. It begins when Mike Wazowski is a little kid, and goes on a field trip with his class, to Monsters, Inc. (the power company where we know he and James Sullivan will work, when they grow up). It's then that Mike decides that he wants to become a scarer, so for years, he studies all he can about the job, in a montage that leads up to the main setting of the movie, when he goes to Monsters University, majoring in the scare program. (Incidentally, Mike and Sulley are once again voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman. And throughout the film, I kept thinking Mike was voiced by Nathan Lane. After watching the movie, I reread my review of the first movie, and found that I said exactly the same thing.) Anyway, Mike meets his roommate, Randy Boggs, for the first time. He also meets Sulley, who is expected to do great things, because his father is a famous scarer. Sulley is just naturally scary, and thinks that's all there is to the job. Mike, on the other hand, is not scary at all, though he has all the technical know-how for scaring. So he gets the best grades in class, while Sulley does not. Which leads to a rivalry between the two.

That rivalry leads them to accidentally destroy a precious memento of Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), who expels them from the scarer program, so they both have to start taking a different class, which they hate. Then one day, Mike decides to enter the Scare Games, in which several different fraternities and one sorority are competing. Mike needs to get himself a team, so he joins Oozma Kappa, which is basically your typical fraternity for rejects, as seen in any number of other college comedy movies. Sulley also joins the OK fraternity, though neither he nor Mike are happy to be working together. But Mike had made a wager with Hardscrabble that she would let them back into the scare program if their team wins the Games, and if they lose, they'll be expelled from the university entirely. Their main rivals in the Games are Roar Omega Roar, of which Sulley had previously been a member.

I don't really want to say any more about the plot. For the most part, it's pretty predictable, though reasonably funny. And of course in the end, Mike and Sulley become friends. And there were some things that I found rather clever (such as the difference between what scares adults versus what scares children). Anyway, it was a fun movie, though I didn't like it as much as the original. Oh, I should also mention that there's an amusing little bonus scene after the end credits. And there was a Pixar short called The Blue Umbrella, which played before the movie in theaters (though I didn't see the movie until 2014, on DVD). You should also check out the short Party Central.


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