CinemaCon: Pixar's 'Monsters University' Reactions + 'Lone Ranger'
by Alex Billington
April 18, 2013
Welcome to Monsters University! Disney held their big 2013 presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday morning, kicking things off with an impressive glance at their upcoming slate (which includes all Marvel Studios, Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm movies coming up). But the biggest surprise of the day was a screening of Pixar's Monsters University in its entirety. It seemed mostly final (unlike when they screened a rough cut of Toy Story 3 here three years ago) and is an excellent follow-up that made me quite emotional by the end. We also got to watch almost 20 minutes of footage from Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which I was actually entertained by (it is another Jerry Bruckheimer movie) although it was overshadowed by MU.
Following the Disney presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and I met for a fun video blog discussing reactions to Monsters University and thoughts on The Lone Ranger footage.
I really, really love Monsters Inc, it's perhaps my favorite Pixar movie (but as Peter says in this video blog, that's an impossible discussion to have). Here was my first tweet as soon as it ended: "While there is no Boo, Monsters Univ. has as much heart as Monsters Inc. I love love love the message in it, another wonderful Pixar movie." The message in this that I refer to can't be fully explained as it involves spoilers at the end, but it is a "gutsy" (as Peter calls it) message for a Pixar movie. In summary, it's about believing in and being true to your passions even if it means being different than what's expected. Beyond that, it's best savored for the full experience. I hope the message in this connects with everyone else emotionally as much it did with me.
In all honesty, it's nearly impossible for any animated movie to ever top Monsters Inc, but Pixar certainly does their best to try to live up to that classic story with Monsters University. It's a much different movie, with part of the plot pulled directly from college comedy classic Animal House, but made with heart and a passion for intimate, humorous but heartfelt storytelling. It has some surprisingly dark twists near the end, but the film gets better as it goes on, even when you think it hits a dead spot, things pick back up. By the end I was feeling the emotions swell up within me: a combination of sheer joy that they pulled off this sequel, and a simultaneous sadness/happiness for the characters and their discoveries at that moment in the story.
I'm looking forward to the release of Pixar's Monsters University this summer so I can see it all over again and get further lost in the detailed and splendid world of Monsters U. "Building tomorrow's scarers today."