"Monsters University" is the prequel, not sequel, to "Monsters, Inc." — a look at the early moments of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully's (John Goodman) friendship, not to mention their days before becoming the best scarers in the world. But the film arrives in theaters with a lot of skepticism, even from die-hard Pixar fans, who have criticized the studio for producing too many sequels and not enough original projects. But then again, Pixar is the studio responsible for "Toy Story 2" and "3," which rank among the greatest follow-ups in movie history.
Does "Monsters University" make the grade? MTV News scoured the Web for a variety of reviews, some of which celebrate its sense of light-hearted fun, and others that complain that same quality is the very thing that keeps the film from ranking among Pixar's best efforts. Here are a handful of critics' takes.
How Memorable Is It?
"Falling as it does squarely between the studio's classics and its decidedly lesser work, 'Monsters University' is a solidly average Pixar effort, one that brings some laughs to the kegger, but you'll be hard-pressed to remember it at the reunion in 10 years." — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
How Does It Compare To "Monsters, Inc"?
"Mostly 'Monsters University' is content to be a frivolous but enjoyable prequel. It won't win any awards for ambition, but on its own terms, it's satisfying, a movie that clearly embodies the credo that one character utters near the end of the film: 'It's okay to be okay.' " — Matt Singer, Screencrush
Will Parents Like It?
"The mildly amusing 'MU' is less an awful movie than a totally uninspired one. The under-5 set may find it funny, though I suspect their parents will be checking their watches a lot, as I did." — Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Does It Measure Up To Pixar's Best Efforts?
"Pixar spoiled us, conditioning audiences to expect greatness every time. That greatness has lately been in short supply, and even 'Monsters University' is more of a consistent pleasure than a real achievement. But it'll do." — Tim Grierson, Deadspin
Will These Monsters Make You Cry?
"Pixar's biggest obstacle at this point is their own track record. So many of their films have been so emotional that there's a certain expectation that all of them should be. It's unfair though. Pixar is using animation to tell all sorts of stories and not all of them have to make you cry to be worthwhile. We all like a good comedy too, right?" — Eric Goldman, IGN
How Fun Is "Monsters University"?
"I'll give the picture some credit for putting a little english on the ball in the last act. Even with the many dull patches (and few truly engaging moments) by the time the movie ends you're likely to have been tricked into thinking it was a bit of fun." — Jordan Hoffman, Film.com