Review: Learning to Establish Lifelong Friendships in 'Monsters University'

'Monsters University'
Two of our favorite characters, Mike (center) and Sulley (2nd right), return in 'Monsters University.' (Disney•Pixar)

Two of our favorite characters, Mike and Sulley, return to the big screen, this time to go to school, in the new animated family comedy from Pixar and Disney, Monsters University. Monsters University has a lot of heart with a strong moral worldview, though some monsters may be scary for very young children.

Mike has always wanted to be a "scarer," the top line of monsters who scare human children at night. Ever since being a young monster, he has dreamed of getting into the best scarer school, called Monsters University, and that day has finally come.

Attending his very first class as a screaming major, Mike is extremely excited—until he comes across James Sullivan. Sulley comes from a famous family line of scarers. Sulley is the opposite of Mike. He’s in the program because his whole family is known to be good scarers, but Sulley himself has become very lackadaisical. He never tries very hard, while Mike studies and works extremely hard. Even so, it is Sulley who gets into the best fraternity.

One day Mike and Sulley get into such an argument that they tip over the dean’s biggest accomplishment. The dean, named Hardscrabble, isn’t amused. As punishment, he kicks Mike and Sulley out of the program.

Completely in distress, Mike is saddened—until he is reminded of the scare competition. Mike convinces Dean Hardscrabble that if he and his team win the scare competition, he can come back to the scare program. However, if they lose, Mike will be thrown out of the university altogether.

In order to get more team members, Mike allows Sulley on his team, but the rest of the team is filled with underdogs. Huge odds are against their team, but they must learn to get along, work hard and strive for something together.

Monsters University is a great family movie, with plenty of wholesome laughs, heart and soul. The animation is great, and the plotline is clear. Mike and Sulley are great characters that must learn to work together even in the midst of their differences. They also learn that friendship and taking care of others are keys to success. However, some of the monsters may be too scary for very young children, so light caution is advised.

Content Watch: Very strong, wholesome moral worldview about working together, hard work, perseverance, friendship, taking care of others and rooting for the underdog, plus one monster is a New Age hippie; no foul language; some action violence, with monsters tripping and falling; no sexual content; no nudity; no alcohol use, but monsters have a college party; no smoking or drug use; revenge that's rebuked; and lying.

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