Last week Disney Pixar animated film, Monsters University was released on several formats including their 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand. It was the perfect week to kick off Halloween as they are monsters after all. It is also a perfect gift for this holiday season, helping you cross off some items on your gift list!
My 7 and 5 year old saw Monsters University in the theater with their dad but I hadn’t yet and was dying to see it. Obviously I was happy to receive a copy for review and get it a bit early. My middle son Warren absolutely loved the film. But my oldest Lucian, wasn’t so thrilled after leaving the theater. He claimed he didn’t want to ever watch it again. I wondered why? Everyone else I knew loved the film and Lucian loved Monsters, Inc.
My husband came to the conclusion that watching slightly scary part at the end in a dark theater made him not such a fan of the movie. When it arrived in the mail, Warren jumped up and down but Lucian wanted to have no part in watching with us. After a little coaxing (and leaving the light on) Lucian decided to join us. Afterwards said he was glad he watched it again and didn’t even remember what he didn’t like the first time around. This time he loved it and never would explain to me what he didn’t like before.
I loved the movie for all it’s laughs and heartwarming story line. There are so many things this movie teaches about friendship and following your dreams. And seriously, could little Mike be any cuter?
At first I was disappointed the follow-up movie to family favorite, Monsters, Inc would be a prequel and therefore not include the character Boo. Now I’m thankful to fully understand the relationship between the characters in the first movie. It is a well-written and executed addition to the Disney•Pixar family. And after being a bit disappointed with some of the other feature films released in recent years, I’m excited to see their work shine again!
Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. “Monsters University” bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up.
Joining Crystal and Goodman as part of “Monsters University’s” monstrously talented voice cast are Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs), Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler). Featuring a score from recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”), MU also includes music from Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia.
Bonus Materials Include:
- Campus Life – What’s it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
- Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike. We’ll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
- Scare Games – At Pixar, we play hard while we work. The same people who keep the film production moving – producers, managers, coordinators and artists – are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions.
- Welcome to MU – Sets aren’t just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore. This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves. .
- Music Appreciation – Randy Newman’s scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process. We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
- Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.
- Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We’ll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film. Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
- Paths to Pixar – MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
- Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.”
- Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” – are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
- “The Blue Umbrella” – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of “Monsters University.” “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
- Additional Bonus Features – Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!
(Bonus offerings vary per select digital retailers and combo pack purchased. Look at product description for full list.)
Disclosure: I received a sample for the purpose of this review however all thoughts remain my own.