Monsters University

By this point, it’s fair to say we’re well into Pixar 2.0, a period for the studio that’s not quite as fondly thought of as original Pixar. And yet, Monsters University is a worthy addition to the Pixar canon all the same. Unlike Cars 2‘s unwanted focus or Brave‘s promising but somewhat slight story, Monsters University takes two of the most popular characters in Pixar history—Mike and Sully—and puts them in a new surrounding: college. Since the film’s a prequel, in some way we know how this will end, but the journey the film takes is what makes it work. By subtly (and not so subtly) tweaking certain clichés about college life. It helps that Mike and Sully are two of Pixar’s most beloved characters. We know that they end up best friends, but seeing the journey they take to reach that point is filled with enough twists to make the story interesting. Pixar may no longer be the critically-acclaimed powerhouse it was a few years ago, but if they keep it up, they’ll still tower over DreamWorks and other animation studios.

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