Monsters University, Pixar’s hotly anticipated prequel to Monsters Inc, is set draw ample box office returns and glowing reviews, as is the tendency of every Pixar film (well, almost every Pixar film).
Replete with the colorful gags, heart felt drama, and assorted smile-fodder for all ages is the content of setting of the film, a prestigious institute of higher monster Education. This strong choice by the folks at Pixar is a departure from their imaginative yet relatively safe universes of their previous films.
The wonderful trailer for this film, a pitch perfect send-up of college promotional material, indicates that this film will ride close to thematic material that exists in any other college film for adults. The young Sulley and Mike play pong. There are wild party scenes. Ingrosso and Axwell of Swedish House Mafia contributed music to the soundtrack.
Monsters University clearly wants children to have a safe look at all of the garden variety elements college culture, even it veers dangerously close to the vices and lasciviousness of undergrad life. And it has a G rating, which is difficult to get this day and age, for any film.
Pixar however, is sparkling clean, even while it touches upon divisive dramatic material. Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3, and Up all dealt with the loss of a loved one, and Up is the only movie to reach the PG rating. Wall-E approached the demise of the planet earth with a silken touch. However, a college setting is culturally embedded with no-nos for younger viewers, and I can almost guarantee you there will be an Animal House reference or three. Moreover, the characters are all monsters trying to scare small children. This time, Pixar emphatically danced over the laser beams, so to speak.
I wish I'd had a film like this to explain college to my younger self. However, therein lies the heartiest Chestnut: Pixar can bring out the adults' sense of nostalgia for children’s play, and college life, at the same time. It could double the amount of inner child in your soul by the film’s end. An ambitious promise, but worthy of Pixar nonetheless.