By Dr. Craig D. Reid
What’s cute, fuzzy, makes you feel warm inside, and you just want to take them home and hug them? Elmo? Oscar? Fozzie Bear? Noo…or I should say boo.
That’s right, it’s the harum scarum diddle dum darum, Whipsee diddledee dandy dee dee, delightful frosh Mike (the hammy Billy Crystal) , BMOC Sully (the rambunctious John Goodman) and the rest of the frat lad, sorority sis, and college co-ed monsters, disguised as Pixar animated muppets in the give it the ole college try film Monsters University.
It’s Animal House meets Revenge of the Nerds ala Hunger Games, where fighting for scare and screams is fighting for freshman survival at the University.
Hail to the green, hail to the blue, hail to the alma mater.
True to its name, Monsters University boils, eyes, and fuzzes with cool creatures, a student body that puts any far out wannabe campus to shame.
Instead of wailing and screeching with mad-cap comedy and whirlygig wild and wooliness, Monsters University likens to a nudge-nudge, know what I mean toad-in-the-hole college-comedy of clichés
It’s rife with the typical villainous, exclusive-club frat boys, the unwitting outcast hero fraternity, which is OK, lot of goth and a pomp and circumstance, intimidating dean (Warthog’s School-like chime of Helen Mirren), who’s part gargoyle, dragon, bat, centipede and all around Queen of the scares.
Forced to work together to stay enrolled in the scaring program, Mike and Sully end up competing in a Hunger Game/Olympic Game that has Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers’ famous English puppet show of the early 1960s, The Telegoons, written all over it.
It’s totally fab to see and hear some of the same character from the 2001 Monsters Inc., but Crystal and Goodman’s voices have both aged although their characters haven’t.
Mike is of course the main protagonist, but the amusing rustic aplomb of Sully heel to best pal steals the shows.
Rivalry melts slowly into friendship, as their cherished odd couple chummery endears.
Scare floors and doors, scream-harvest canisters and the afeared practice of monsters visiting the bedrooms of little children gets all Frankenstein as we’re reminded that no matter what age we are, things that go bump in the night are not our imagination.
It’s a sticky sweet movie, with a rousing underdog theme for any outcast kid and adult having a hard time at school, work or home.
Working together, being honest at all costs and doing the best you can no matter what the job or circumstance are wondrous virtues that we can all benefit from…if the Monsters can do it, why can’t humans?