Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) are freshmen in the new movie Monsters University.

Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) are freshmen in the new movie Monsters University.

Reel Reviews: Things that go bump in the dorm

Mike and Sully return in a look back at their early years in Monsters University

  • Jun. 28, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Before Mike and Sully (voiced by Billy Crystal and John Goodman) worked for Monsters, Inc. as professional Scarers collecting scream energy from children, they were young monsters who met at Monsters University.

While visiting the scare room floor during a grade school field trip, Mike Wazowski, a small, round,  friendly looking green cyclops was inspired to become a Scarer by an alumni of MU. Mike worked hard his whole scholastic career to be accepted into MU’s illustrious Scare School. James P. Sullivan, on the other hand, a large, fanged, hairy blue monster with a ferocious roar, coasted into MU on his fearsome appearance and father’s famous name.

When Mike and Sully meet, it is a clash of personalities that leads to confrontation.

An accident forces the school to expel Mike and Sully unless they can prove that they have the dedication and skill to win MU’s annual Scare Games, where fraternities and sororities face off against each other. With Sully’s weak work ethic and Mike being considered decidedly not scary, the only fraternity that will have them is a rather pathetic group of outcasts called Oozma Kappa.

Will Oozma Kappa be able to work as a team and win the Scare Games?

Can Mike and Sully put their differences aside and graduate?

We say, “It’s bright, colourful, fun and fearless.”

TAYLOR: There were some very young kids at this film that got a little scared and a few older kids that got a little bored, but on the whole I thought Monsters University was well-received by its target audience. I enjoyed it.

HOWE: I thought it was better than the original Monsters Inc. The idea of them having to go through college and having their fair share of problems along the way (just like in real life) was very well done. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s ask someone a little younger for his thoughts, seeing it is aimed at his age group.

FENIN: I liked the gurls in pink, who hissed showing their spiky teeth and red eyes. The slug was very funny.

TAYLOR: I enjoyed the Monster’s take on college life. In many ways the film pokes fun at the symbolism and ceremony of teenage academia, but obviously without being naughty.

Fans of the first film will not find Monsters University lacking in any way, in terms of humour, vibrancy, fun or even metaphysics.

Mike, Sully and all the other monsters, despite seeking employment in the shadows of our kids’ bedrooms, still live in some other dimension and rely on technology for their infiltration. I’m not saying that the crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the first film are true, but I’m convinced that the filmmakers we’re aware of them when they made the sequel.

HOWE: There seemed to be more jokes in this than the original, and not just aimed for the younger audience. I found myself laughing more than a few times throughout the whole movie, which made for a nice change.

Normally I find the comedy tails off towards the last 15 minutes or so, but not this time. I was thoroughly entertained.

— Taylor gives Monsters University 4 magic doors out of 5.

— Howe gives it 4 scream canisters out of 5.

— Fenin gives it 5 monsters out of 5.

The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Brian Taylor & Peter Howe review films for The Morning Star, appearing every Friday and Sunday.