CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Animation, Family
  • 2013
  • 110 mins

Monsters University

Monsters University

Synopsis

This Pixar prequel sends lovably monstrous duo Mike and Sully back to school for some funny life lessons on scaring.

About

As nerdy, swotty Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and complacent, entitled Sully (John Goodman) meet, compete, and eventually team up (with each other and a fraternity of prodigious pariahs) to win the coveted award in Monster University's annual Scare Games, this prequel to Monsters, Inc. (2001) also reveals itself to be a remake of Revenge of the Nerds (1984). Yet if in its day Revenge... represented a briefly satisfying moment in which the jocks - and all the Reaganite anti-intellectual machismo and swaggering entitlement that they embodied - lost out to marginalised Poindexters, then the Lambda Lambda Lambda geeks have long since grown up into a weird, wired world where nerd is the new normal, where Washington's biggest frathouse now has an African-American President, and where Eighties dweebs now run Microsoft, Facebook and even Pixar.

So times have changed, and now that Monsters University does not have to work so hard to sell its nerdy characters as lovable misfits, it can instead take what is arguably an even more audacious route (whether in the Eighties or today), by suggesting that winning isn't everything, and that some (American) dreams are destined to remain chimerical. Mike's aspiration to be top Scarer is constantly undermined by the fact that he is just not cut out to inspire terror - and yet through failure he gradually discovers where his real talents lie, and through hard work he eventually realises, by the back door, a different version of his ambitions. Likewise the film itself, though ostensibly focused on fear, is too funny to frighten, playing to all of Pixar's strengths: strong characterisation, well-written zingers, exquisitely imaginative visuals, measured lunacy and boundless heart. It might even inspire a new generation both to go to university, and not to be fratty brats when they get there...

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Billy Crystal, Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman
  • Writer: Robert L Baird, Daniel Gerson
  • Composer: Randy Newman

In a nutshell

A funny, furry entry for kids yet to experience the horrors of tertiary education, or the disappointment of dashed dreams.

by Anton Bitel

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness

    Director Mami Sunada spends a year behind-the-scenes at Studio Ghibli as the animation powerhouse finishes two prestige productions

  • Film4

    Hahaha

    Comedy-drama from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. Two friends, one a film director and the other a critic, discover their lives overlap more than they thought

    On Film4: 7 Nov 1:00AM

  • Film4

    Hong Sang-Soo Season

    A series of films unreleased in the UK from acclaimed and prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-Soo

  • Film4

    Tower Heist on Film4

    Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy & Casey Affleck lead an all-star cast in Brett Ratner's heist comedy

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • Halloween weekend is here! And tomorrow at 11.15pm, we're screening Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, starring the one and only @GroovyBruce.

  • RT @RadioTimesFilm: Halloween pick #1 "jolting Spanish zombie horror" [REC]3 GENESIS ★★★★ premiere 11.40pm @Film4 http://t.co/kTHfQYWeDA

  • @AuroraJellybean Enjoy! 🍷

  • @violetterror Ah, sorry it's not to your taste. How about Argento's Inferno later? Or The Evil Dead tomorrow? http://t.co/qbHZAHGshp

  • "He's the first one to kill a vampire in over a hundred years. I'd say that's earned him a drink." At 9pm, Hugh Jackman is Van Helsing.

Share