Another weekend, another batch of brand-new trailers. This time on Weekend Trailer Roundup, we start with Monsters University, the upcoming prequel to the 2001 Pixar animated film, Monsters Inc.
Monsters University seems destined to be underwhelming. Out of all the films Pixar has put out in the past eighteen years, Monsters Inc. certainly isn’t the one crying out for a follow-up, especially when Boo, the emotional core of the original, seems to be a non-factor in the prequel. And when watching the trailer in the context of Pixar’s current state of sequel-crazed madness (with both this and Finding Nemo 2 on the horizon), it’s easy to dwell on the elements of Monsters University that seem to be a little on the stale side. The big gags are all softballs- granted, this is a kids’ movie, but previous Pixar outings and their respective trailers had equal laughs for all ages (if you need proof, just rewatch any of the trailers for Up). I don’t see a whole lot of grown-ups getting a big belly laugh out of the slug-like monster that tries and fails to get to class on time. The other major aspect on display is the rivalry between future friends Mike and Sully; again, this is fairly well-worn. Mike’s all brain and no brawn, Sully’s all brawn and no brain. It doesn’t take a lot of foresight to predict their friendship growing out of a mutual “I help you, you help me” situation.
Yet something so bluntly straightforward might just be new creative ground for Pixar. Save for one or two exceptions, Pixar crams an enormous amount of creativity into the settings and genres of their films, and once you get past the unique setting of Monsters Inc., its prequel is clearly a typical college frat comedy without the R rating. Even the bigger, more dramatic stuff saved for the end of the trailer seems like classic genre material- the stuffy dean, the big group of students sneaking around on rooftops and barging into hidden rooms and being chased by campus security. It may not be what’s expected of Pixar, but I’m genuinely more curious to see this one as Pixar’s take on Animal House then when it was just a prequel to Monsters Inc.
Coming up on the Weekend Trailer Roundup- Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring.