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(Kiddie cartoon prequel)
Remember those cute little monsters from “Monsters Inc.?”
The preschoolers you brought to that movie are now teenagers and much too sophisticated for the silly creatures. Find some more young ones and take them to the prequel, which finds the colorful, fuzzy, bear-like Sully (John Goodman) and the one-eyed pipsqueak of a monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), with Sully joining the freshman class of Monsters University. They must make it through the Scare Program in order to advance to the next level. That is a big problem, because neither one is very scary.
Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), a mean-looking, winged creature, the only really scary one in the movie, flunks them and sends them on their way. But the two losers are not about to give up. They join Oozma Kappa fraternity, which is made up of all the losers on campus, and compete as a team for the coveted Scare Games trophy and a chance to enter the next level.
The teams have to come up with innovated ways to frighten the test-dummy children. After one failure, they put their heads together and come up with a plan to beat their biggest rivals.
It is all pretty silly and after a while a bit boring, but the kids root for the underdogs, while the parents wait patiently for the long hour and 45 minutes to reach its inevitable end.
Unlike many Pixar movies, there aren’t a lot of double-entendres and puns for the older folks, but there are great messages for the kids about teamwork, being true to one’s self and friendship above rivalry.
The drawings are up to Pixar standards. We noticed many families avoiding the increased cost of 3D and, like us, settling for the 2D version. Rated G.