Current Weather
The Spy FM

For Pixar’s ‘Monsters,’ A Sophomore Slump

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
June 21, 2013

It’s a big month for origin stories: first the Man of Steel, now the Eye of Green and the Abominable Furball of Blue — aka Mike and Sully, top scarers at Monsters, Inc. How did they become the best of the best, you ask? You didn’t ask? Well, Pixar’s got the answer anyway: They trained at Monsters U.

Sully, the big blue furball growled by John Goodman, is singled out on the first day of classes as a “monster who looks like a scarer,” which annoys Billy Crystal’s Mike, the green eyeball for whom scaring does not come nearly as naturally. He’s into studying; Sully’s into partying. Of course they end up rooming together.

And being bounced from the residence hall, too, by Helen Mirren’s bat-winged, centipede-legged Dean Hardscrabble, which leaves them no option but to join Monster U’s lamest fraternity, Oozma Kappa. There they’re joined by monsters of the decidedly cuddly variety. Scarejinks ensue.

It’s been 12 years since audiences fell for Mike and Scully’s digitized odd-couple act — or roughly an eon when it comes to advances in animation technology. Back when Monsters, Inc. came out, the digital wow-factor was provided by Sully’s lifelike turquoise fur. These days, the baseline is so much higher that differences in texture barely register. Scenes can contain not two or three, but dozens of tentacled, rubber-necked, silken-scaled and variously fuzzed monsters. A goodly number have what look like sewn seams around their mouths or faces — not unlike the toys they’ve doubtless inspired.

What hasn’t advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it’s basically surprise-free. Granted, you don’t want a G-rated monster movie to deliver many actual scares on its way to life lessons about working together. And for kids, this one won’t be. But some adults may be alarmed, if only by this latest evidence that sequelitis has infected Pixar.

Things started well with the Toy Story sequels, but more recently we’ve gotten a pedestrian Cars 2, now a passable Monsters University; just beyond that next reef, there’s Finding Dory. Here’s hoping Pixar shakes it off before the animators there start walking around like the rest of Hollywood — glazed, zombielike, with dollar signs clouding their vision. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

7PM to 8PM Folk Salad

Folk Salad

Folk Salad Hosts Richard Higgs and Scott Aycock play an eclectic mix of Folk, Singer/songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Red Dirt, and anything else we happen to like that week.

Listen Live Now!

8PM to 9PM For the Sake of the Song

For the Sake of the Song

Greg Johnson, owner of The Blue Door in Oklahoma City gathers the best Red Dirt musicians in the region for his show.

View the program guide!

9PM to 12AM SpyLab

SpyLab

Katie Wicks is our resident international superstar DJ. She hosts SpyLab, a dance mix show on Saturday nights and co-hosts the largest weekly dance party in OKC, Robotic Wednesdays. She has had two original dance songs chart in the World Top 100 Beatport charts. She has been hired to DJ in L.A., NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Portugal, Spain and Costa Rica.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center