Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
When it’s comes to “Monsters Inc.”, it stole our hearts and of course laughs (spoilers alert, haha). Over the last decade or so the film continues to entertain and stands as one of Pixar’s most impressive films and we have been waiting to see more adventures with Mike and Sulley. Twelve years later, we are getting a prequel to the animated hit titled “Monsters University”, which follows the duo in school before they were on the scare floor. This book is being released by Chronicle Books, who handles most of the art of books for Disney and Pixar. They were also the publisher behind the art of for “Monsters Inc”. If you were a fan of that book, this is another gem from Chronicle. If you have never seen that book, this one really takes you into this film’s universe and makes you want to rush out and see this new film immediately.
The layout of the book is great and really has that college campus feel. I enjoyed the fact that you also get to see aspects of “Monsters Inc.” that were not shown in the first film. There is tons of great concept art, which I am a big sucker for. All the images are super crisp and high quality. Additionally there are various character profiles, sculptures, storyboards and more. Even though our lovable Mike and Sully are still the main characters, there are tons of new faces and they get some time to shine in this book as well. When I see a movie, I like to have some surprises so I usually won’t go too deep before seeing it but this was a nice introduction to get us ready to meet them. “The Art of Monsters University” also includes some very informative behind-the-scenes interviews with the film’s artists. I like that they get to step away from the drawing board and speak out.
The book is authored by Karen Paik, who works in the development department at Pixar. She has worked on various projects including “Ratatouille”, “Up”, and of course “Monsters University”. If you are questions her work as an author she also authored the wonderful companion book “The Art of Ratatouille”, as well as “To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios”. So she not only brings her inside view from working at Pixar. She was also involved with this film hands on and allows us to get that inside view. There is also a great preface from John Lasseter, the head honcho for Disney*Pixar films, along with Pete Doctor, the director of “Monsters, Inc.”, “Up” and writer of “Monsters University”. The foreword is by Dan Scanlon, the director of Monsters University, also a great ending to a great book. Don’t miss this!