Prequels are rarely a good sign. I always get the feeling that whenever I see a prequel for an already existing movie, I feel like the studio is throwing up their hands and just saying "We've given up". And I would be lying if I said that thought didn't cross my mind when I first heard about Monsters University, which I originally thought was going to be a short, kind of like how we all thought there was going to be a fourth Toy Story, but it turned out to just be something on the Disney Channel. I thought the case was the same here, and it turns out I was wrong, this was an actual full length movie. And besides, I figured this kind of prequel already had its ending written in. They graduate from college and go on to work for Monsters Inc. And that is where the movie's real strength lies, the fact that that is not how it ends. I don't want to ruin too much for you, but I will say that it certainly threw me for a loop. And I like that it's a children's movie of all things that tried this sort of course. It reinforces the theme that sure, life doesn't always work out the way that we want it to, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give up on our dreams. It's a humbling message to see our characters go through all of this adversity and not get the results that they wished for, but it's also empowering to see how they do end up getting their dream job, which is of course working for the title company, Monsters Inc. Is this a perfect movie? No, there are some shortcomings in the script and even though this is a prequel and a children's one at that, but I felt like there were too many winks to the audience saying "Well, you know how it goes from here". I love Steve Buscemi, but I felt that his role as their rival to be was a little underdeveloped, except for one line at the end, which is one of those winks that I was just talking about. And while it did bog me to the point that it's worth mentioning, it didn't keep me from enjoying the rest of the movie, it didn't even bug me while I was watching the movie, I just thought of that point now while I was writing this.
With all that aside, I do recommend Monsters University, because let's face it, it's a Pixar film. If you have blood in your veins, you're obligated to see the film at least once, whether for it's heart or for it's clever humor, and there is quite a bit of both to be found in there latest film.
Final Grade: B +, I'd see it again, maybe buy it on Blu Ray