Monsters University Review

Monsters University (2013)
Monsters University poster IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 (154,249 votes)
Director: Dan Scanlon
Writer: Dan Scanlon (story), Daniel Gerson (story), Robert L. Baird (story), Daniel Gerson (screenplay), Robert L. Baird (screenplay), Dan Scanlon (screenplay)
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren
Runtime: 104 min
Rated: G
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Released: 21 Jun 2013
Plot: A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University -- when they weren't necessarily the best of friends.

Plot Summary:

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.


  • Billy Crystal as Mike (voice)
  • John Goodman as Sullivan (voice)
  • Steve Buscemi as Randy (voice)
  • Helen Mirren as Dean Hardscrabble (voice)
  • Peter Sohn as Squishy (voice)
  • Joel Murray as Don (voice)
  • Sean Hayes as Terri (voice)
  • Dave Foley as Terry (voice)
  • Charlie Day as Art (voice)
  • Alfred Molina as Professor Knight (voice)

Tech-Ticker’s Opinion:

Not every sequel (or prequel) works. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why director Dan Scanlon and his colleagues at Pixar put so much effort into “Monsters University, to validate its existence. It’s that love for animated films, along with creativity and seemingly boundless imagination, that makes this prequel so good. The movie’s strongest asset is definitely its familiar stars. It’s great to spend quality time once again with Mike (Billy Crystal, never better) and Sulley (John Goodman, as awesome as always), who have to make it through freshman year at Monsters University. They both want to become Scarers. It’s easy for Sulley, who has the look of a frightening creature and whose father was a famous Scarer. For Mike, things don’t go as planned, and therein lies the tale, which I will not spoil. Director Dan Scanlon certainly keeps the fun coming, but it’s the Pixar animators who keep grown-ups as riveted as the kids with visual marvels that delight. They also understand that for a movie to have resonance it can’t be built on a foundation of a single joke. That’s why they pepper their film with plenty of laughs and more important, they make us care about these characters as if they were real. I think they can be proud of what they’ve achieved here, and I know that audiences of all ages will be grateful.

Tech-Ticker’s Opinion written by Anis Tabet

Run Time: 1hr 44Mins


  • The first prequel to a Pixar film.
  • Doug Sweetland, who directed the Pixar short Presto, was originally set to direct Monsters University, before being replaced with Dan Scanlon.
  • Mike’s parents were originally planned to be included in the story. They would drop Mike off for his first day at Monsters University. However, director Dan Scanlon decided to drop them from the finished film to make Mike seem just that much more vulnerable.
  • Professor Knight’s lecture hall is room A113, a reference to a room at CalArts where animation classes are taught. All Pixar films have a reference to “A113”.
  • Pixar’s “Luxo Jr.” ball appears as a drawing on the stone wall at the beginning of the first Scare Games task.
  • The area code on Don Carlton’s business card is (510), which is the same as Emeryville, California, where the Pixar studio is located.
  • WILHELM SCREAM: As Mike runs over a student with the floor waxer.
  • The Pizza Planet truck, first featured in Toy Story can be seen parked by the left of the ROR sorority house during the party. This truck is present in all Pixar feature film so far.
  • When Mike is riding the pig through a fraternity house, one can spot a poster of the 1976 KISS album “Rock And Roll Over” on the wall in the right corner.

Fun Facts:

  • Monsters University was founded in 1313—it celebrates its 700-year anniversary this year.
  • There are six different schools of study at Monsters University: School of Scaring, School of Engineering, School of Liberal Arts & Monstrosities, School of Science, School of Business and School of Aquatics.
  • The campus newspaper is called “The Campus Roar.”
  • The address of the Oozma Kappa fraternity house is the same address as the house where director Dan Scanlon grew up.
  • Popular Monsters University foods are chili cheese flies, top roarmen, hot sludge sundaes and clawpuccino.
  • Top Scaring techniques include Shadow Approach with a Crackle Holler, Stealth Roll with a Fully Exposed Roar, Seasonal Creep and Crawl,
Full Moon Scamper and Smash, Ogre’s Slump, Zombie Snarl, Johnson Crackle and Howl, Johnson Pounce
the Old, Johnson Slash and Pounce, and The Macdoogle Fake-Out.
  • In the film, the Scare final Mike crams for all semester is on Dec. 8—which just happens to be the birthday of director Dan Scanlon’s mother. Coincidence?
  • Directly inspired by a tradition that members of the “Monsters University” production team witnessed while on a university research trip, students entering the MU Hall of Scaring on their first day of school touch a statue’s toe for good luck.
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