Box art for Monsters University

Monsters University

  • Rated G
  • HD and SD formats available

anime & animation, comedy

Discover how Mike and Sulley first met at Monsters University.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 5
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
2 out of 5

Monsters Inc. prequel is a fun college comedy for all ages.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monsters University -- a prequel to Pixar's hit 2001 comedy Monsters, Inc. -- tells the story of how Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) met in college. This animated comedy has fewer frightening antagonists than the original, but it does include several scenes of monsters trying to scare simulated (or in a couple of cases real) kids. The flying Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) is a scary sight, and there's some mild bullying and pranks from the popular fraternities and sororities toward Oozma Kappa (Mike and Sulley's frat of misfits). Some scenes imply a little bit of college "partying" (characters hold red party cups, the contents of which aren't discussed), and there's one kiss. Fans of the original comedy will recognize certain characters and themes, which ultimately emphasize friendship, teamwork, and perseverance to overcome your fears.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about whether Monsters University lives up to your expectations. Do you wish it had been a sequel instead? Which do you usually prefer -- sequels or prequels?
  • How does Monsters University depict the college experience? Parents, talk to your kids about which aspects of university life are realistic.
  • For those who've seen the first movie, what does the prequel explain about the friendship between Mike and Sulley or the way Randall dislikes them? What else do you learn?
  • The movie is about monsters, but it's not intended to be scary. Do you think that combination works well for young kids?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It] conforms to Pixar's] apparent drift toward the average, with toy sales taking priority over originality.

- Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, Friday, June 21, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Monsters University is a well put together film from Dan Scanlon.The introduction of this 90 minute monster extravaganza is simply adorable. A young Mike Wazowski grabs attention and while the film may loosen the grip a bit, it never lets go the rest of the way. The story plays out nicely with a solid cast of characters to play it out.The humor is subtle and effective. This isn't a laughing machine of a picture, but it has its moments of laughter when warranted. Visually, Monsters University is crisp and clear with vibrant colors to dazzle the eyes.Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles. No arguments here. Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, among others, fill out the rest of the monster cast without disappointment.Once the scare games have come to a close, Monsters University lives up to its title and comes out as a great watch.

- skactopus, Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 stars

The boys are back in town only its not a sequel but a prequel and we gonna see how 'Mike' and 'Sulley' became friends. Yep its back to school for this next adventure into the world of scaring. Mike is off to Monsters University to become a scarer, only problem is he's not very scary, but he's book smart, so he learns all he can on the art of scaring. Sulley is a bit of a jock and thanks to his privileged family background he has a good reputation and following. He's a good scarer and indeed scary but not so book smart, so in essence these guys need each other. Even more so after getting kicked off the scaring programme they must both work together with a team of nerds to win the scare games and get back into the scare programme (the word 'scare' is used by the bucket load in this). My initial thoughts on this were skeptical I admit, another prequel which seems to be the trend these days, why not a straight forward sequel. These thoughts were virtually obliterated as Mike jumps off the bus and enters into the Uni. Do I really need to talk about visuals here? one word...awesome! these animated films just get better and better. Everything just looks so damn real! the slimy monsters look slimy, the furry ones look perfectly furry, everything has such a solid realistic sense and weight about them its fantastic. The colours are bright, bold, vivid and gosh darn beautiful. On top of that the detail here is astounding, everywhere you look in each frame or scene there is something going on. Of course being set within a school there is plenty to create, plenty of visual gags, homages, in-jokes, parodies etc...the possibilities are pretty endless and sure enough its all covered here. Yeah sure a lot of it is cheesy and cliched, we've seen many of these high school-like pranks and party scenarios with jocks and dweebs before, its an old concept, but it all looks good enough to eat. Its actually pretty cool to see a very young Mike Wazowski, he looks so adorable, I really felt sorry for the little guy when he gets pushed around. Once he's grown up a bit and voiced by Crystal that cuteness falls by the wayside but never mind. I really liked all the other characters in the school, it must have been hard to create so many unique looking creatures, there are some that look a bit lame, a bit similar, a bit Dino-esque but in general a nice selection. The middle aged textile salesman monster 'Don Carlton' was a great little creation although he does look somewhat like Mario. I really did like some of the fraternity monsters especially, the monster that looked like an eagle with horns and his mohawk/mullet-like hair. I also liked how they came up with stereotypical types of monsters which parody reality...the goth/emo kids, the girly cheerleader types, the porky kids, the poindexters etc...I REALLY liked the brief appearance of the scream can design teacher haha like an overly hairy Muppet. It was also cool to see 'Randall' back as for some reason I didn't expect to see this guy. So not only do we get to see how Mike and Sulley become friends we also see how Randall comes to hate Sulley. The scare games predictably do go the way you know they're gonna go, but the finale scaredown is cool and fun to watch. What I liked is the actual ending to the film doesn't play out as you'd expect, there is a little twist and the good guys don't totally win in every way you'd expect them too...which is cool. There are absolutely tonnes of good morals, good values and good lessons to be learnt in this film, a great motivational spirit lifter for all ages (especially the younger gen of course). Maybe a little bit more for the kids this time but still thoroughly entertaining, the perfect underdog story, or should that be undermonster? zing!.

- phubbs1, Thursday, October 10, 2013

2 stars

I wasn't a huge fan of the original Monsters Inc, or any of the other new wave of Computer animated 3D type films of the l;ate 90's. This was down to them all being preachy and telling the same story over and over again. It's like every American cartoon has to teach values on acceptance and individuality. It's tiresome, yeah it looks good and the people who made it are very clever etc but the story should be key. I'm a firm believer that cartoons of this ilk should just play for laughs and I really thought this one would, it's what the trailer suggested anyway. Overall I'm disappointed, it's better than the first but I certainly didn't love it.

- SirPant, Thursday, November 21, 2013