Pixar Previews Monsters University – Prequel to Monsters Inc.

I’m a little at odds with this preview because I really loved watching Monsters Inc. It was such an amazing movie. I almost cried at the end and I ain’t afraid to say that. As much as I’d love there to be a sequel/prequel sometimes I gotta admit that there really can be too much of a good thing.

I still want it to do well though but until I’ve watched it I won’t be able to know for sure if it’s more Toy Story 3 than Cars 2. In the meantime here’s what I feel is wrong with the premise of this movie.

Firstly Pixar seems to be going back on their stand to never do sequels. Imagine a world with Finding Nemo 2, where Nemo gets lost… again… What-would-be-the-point? Sequels (I’m glaring at your Dreamworks) only seek to cash in on the success of the original movie and further the ‘branding’. In the end all these movies just feel tired. I don’t ever want to get sick of seeing Wall-E, coz Andrew Stanton’s masterpiece is just so fresh the way it is, as a one and only movie. (You listening Pixar?)

Secondly, (and more importantly) the thing that made Monster’s Inc so amazing was the revelation that monsters themselves were scared of children. Great dramatic tension was milked from this reversal of roles with Boo terrorizing monster town and Mike and Scully learning about the great conspiracy to kidnap children by the power plant owner. Assuming this prequel is also centred on Scully’s dreams of being a Top Scarer for Monsters Inc (I’m seriously doubting this would be the case) what would be the point? We know all about the background stuff, the mystery is cheapened by the fact that we already see the truth about how things really are. Him still pursuing this dream with all it’s falsehood just wouldn’t make for a good movie.

What I think this movie is more likely to be about is a buddy story showing us how the duo became so inseparable. But really is there enough material to fill a feature length movie? What would be the great revelation there? I’m guessing they’ll go on adventures, we get to see more of their world, how their society is structured, maybe even an adventure where they overcome amazing obstacles and become wiser and more selfless in character. This would explain why younger Scully seems so needlessly cruel to the hapless Mike in this preview, something that really grates on my nerves as he’s the more level headed and soft hearted of the two in the first movie, which is also ironically now the 2nd movie thanks to this prequel. Darn you film studios!

I’d like to stress this point again that what made Monsters Inc so great was the originality of the concept. It flipped conventional thought about monsters in wardrobes on it’s head much to the delight of children (and child-like adults). Unfortunately they can’t use this idea again. Even a sequel wouldn’t have been able to produce anything new and original. I really really hope that the scriptwriters have come up with something so great, sooo mind-blowingly original that the 1st movie is blown to bits by this new one. Seriously, it’d have to be Godfather 2 or Toy Story 2 level good to be that good.

Maybe I’m being overly critical here but seriously, I don’t see the point in such a movie being made. Monsters Inc was perfect as a stand-alone film. Need they milk this further? Where will it all end? Monster’s highschool, Monsters pre-school and finally Monsters Nursery?

As I mentioned above, Pixar shouldn’t have to resort to this. They have so much talent and refreshing story ideas that I can’t believe this is happening at all. Pixar, what hath Disney done to thy pedigree?

Pixar embodies creativity and perfection. They are relentless in their fine-tuning of both storyline and technical polish. Their movies have never ceased to leave me spell bound, lost in the narrative whilst still having me rolling in laughter or face damp with tears. I have not looked forward to the yearly offering of any other film studio so much as I do Pixars. But with Brave being released this year to mixed reviews and Monsters University coming out next year I guess I’m going to have to wait till 2014 for some more Pixar original magic.

(via kottke)


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