Thursday, February 14, 2013

Grading The Monsters University Trailer

I have admitted to being apprehensive towards the future of Pixar. While Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece, Brave is unfairly maligned, and the jury has yet to deliberate on Monsters University...the fact remains that since being acquired by Disney, Pixar has produced two sequels, a prequel, a princess film that treads familiar territory, all while a second installment of Finding Nemo is being developed. 

Granted the worst of the bunch is without a doubt Cars 2, which itself given more hate than it deserves, and ALL of Pixars upcoming projects sound like the 'why didn't I think of that' kind of ideas we are used to getting from the studio. However, Monsters University cannot help but feel like  the wall between the continuation of previous ideas and the road towards much anticipated fresh ideas from Pixar. 

But now a new trailer has been released and the verdict thus far is...

I like it. In fact, I really enjoyed what we have been shown so far.

Now I certainly have my reservations. The story does not seem to have much to it beyond the predictable concept of two individuals, whom we know are best friends in the future, starting off as enemies only to become friends through their rivalry. Let's face it...most of us can probably predict the kind of speeches and narrative developments that will occur throughout the film. It is a little unsettling, but as someone who defends Brave (or any film for that matter) for being able to take a familiar story and present it in an enjoyable and quality manner...I have to give Pixar the benefit of the doubt and hope that even if the story for Monsters University does not offer any surprises, it will at least deliver clever amusement within that familiar story. (I just hope they don't make Randall the "friend who becomes the enemy" character...that wouldn't help an already potentially cliched story).

Which brings me to what excites me about this trailer. The humour. Granted the humour is of the "It's just like real University...but with monsters!" which did not work well AT ALL for Cars and their motor vehicle pun induced style of jokes. That said, here the comedy seems to be endearing and I will admitt that I got a few good laughs from the footage. The characters seem loveable, the jokes are clever, and if nothing else the film looks to be filled with high energy fun and excitement. 

I was not enthusiastic over the idea of a sequel/prequel to Monsters Inc. (a film I love) primarily because it felt so pointless. After much thought my opinion has changed. Much like how the Toy Story film series aged appropriately alongside those who children when the first film was released, Monsters University has the benefit of being released at a a time when many of those who grew up on the original film are now University students themselves. Ironically, in spite of taking place before the first film, Monsters University has managed to tell a story suited perfectly to those whom may be the films ultimate target audience. As a university student myself, consider me excited for another nostalgic trip to the past with old friends James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski.

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