3D Blu-ray Review “Monsters University”

monstersu-bluActors: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Charlie Day, Sean P. Hayes, Dave Foley, Nathan Fillion,Aubrey Plaza.
Directors: Dan Scanlon
Number of discs: 4
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: October 29, 2013
Run Time: 104 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
3D: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

If you have asked me back in May 2011, I would have said that Pixar could do no wrong. Since then they have released “Cars 2” (which isn’t as bad as people say), “Brave” and now “Monsters University”. “Monsters Inc.” is one of Pixar’s greatest films and introduced us to our favorite characters Mike and Sully. So when I heard that they were making a sequel, I am sure everyone was excited to get to see the boys back in action again with “Monsters University”. I enjoyed the film since I love these characters but it feels like it is missing the charm of the first one and doesn’t deliver anything special. Pixar is taking 2014 off for the first time and not releasing a new film till 2015. Hopefully they are looking to amp it up with “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur”.

Returning for the prequel includes the voices of Billy Crystal (voice of Mike), John Goodman (voice of Sulley) and Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs). Joining the cast includes great talent including Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Joel Murray (voice of Don Carlton), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), John Krasinski (voice of Frank McCay) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler). Overall the voice cast is impressive and easily the best part of the film.

Official Premise: Disney Pixar proudly presents the hilarious story of how two mismatched monsters met and became lifelong friends in a movie screaming with laughter and oozing with heart. Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he’s dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. With their dreams temporarily dashed, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

Monsters University will be available for purchase as a 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack including Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. I am happy that Disney has gotten on board now with Ultraviolet digital copies. In terms of deliver Disney delivered a fantastic 1080p transfer presentation. The colors are crisp and overall look really great. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track also sounds quite stunning and really sounds great. I am a huge fan of 3D usually and I even enjoyed “Monsters Inc.” in the third dimension, but I wasn’t overly thrilled with the 3D on “Monsters University”. There was some added depth but nothing that really scream “Damn this film should be in 3D”. I have a feeling that if my daughter ever wants to watch this film again, it will definitely be in 2D.

In terms of special features, they are very impressive for sure despite my feelings on the film. “Campus Life” is a chat with the production crew at Pixar. “Story School” is a documentary takes us through the production and the new story of Mike and Sulley. “Scare Games” talks about the creation of the film’s competitions. “Welcome to MU” talks us into the world that was created for the film. “Music Appreciation” takes us through Randy Newman’s score (which I really was’t thrilled with). “Scare Tactics” talks about bringing the characters to life. “Color and Light” focuses on setting the tone for the film. “Paths to Pixar – MU Edition” features the crew sharing their own back stories. There are four deleted scenes with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.

Since I didn’t see this film in theaters, I was very curious about seeing Pixar’s latest show “The Blue Umbrella”. When it comes to shorts, they always deliver but my favorite short from Disney has to be “Paperman”, which debuted in front of “Wreck-It Ralph”. “The Blue Umbrella” follows two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall that fall eternally in love. It is cute and clever but not one of my favorites. Some additional bonus features include an audio commentary track, some promo materials from the college and theatrical campaigns, a “Flythrough” for the sets and an art gallery.

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