Monsters University is a tough one. It’s charming, cute and has an appropriately non-pushy don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover message, but it’s not all that funny. 

It’s entirely possible I’m not the correct audience. How much you enjoy Monsters University will depend on lots of factors, including but not limited to how much you enjoyed Monsters, Inc.; whether you favor the Brad Bird side of Pixar or the other sides of Pixar; whether you have small children; or are in touch with your inner child.

Another big factor is much how you like Billy Crystal. Find him funny and impish? You’ll enjoy Monsters University. Find him annoying and shticky? You’ll be squirming for the movie’s strangely long 103 minutes. 

The story finds Crystal’s Mike and John Goodman’s Sully meeting for the first time in college and getting their scare bona fides. Mike is told he’s not scary, and Sully is told he’s plenty scary but lacks the drive and ambition to be a good scarer.

Helen Mirren is excellent as the college’s no-nonsense Dean Hardscrabble, and it’s fun picking out some of the voices, which are famous but not in an OH-MY-GOD-IT’S-HIM sort of way. The Scare Games are a hoot. 


Directed by Dan Scanlon

With Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Helen Mirren

Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14

103 min.