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Internship for Credit

Monsters University (2013)

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Caveat: This review of “Monsters University” will spare no spoilers. These are ultimately immaterial to your enjoyment, but by all means read no further if you do not wish to be spoiled. Alonso Duralde over at The Wrap very aptly compares the film with “The Internship,” and that comparison is not as far-fetched as one might think. The two aren’t almost identical, say, the way that “Olympus Has Fallen” and “White House Down” are: “Monsters University” is naturally far superior just as one would expect from anything by Pixar. If nothing else, it’s actually hilarious whereas “The Internship” was not. Nevertheless, both films involve a lovable odd couple rallying a squad of misfits through a series of obstacles in hopes of attaining the holy grail — in the case of “Monsters University,” seats in the prestigious scare class as opposed to lucrative full-time gigs at Google.

Although “Monsters University” is the prequel to “Monsters, Inc.,” its plot is nowhere near as elaborate. Come to think of it, the challenges that Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sullivan (John Goodman) must face at college aren’t even as intricate as ones Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn were tasked with at Google — even if “The Internship” spared you much of the complexity of it all, besides maybe the quidditch tournament.

The stories do share the moral that underdogs can have their day through teamwork. This is, however, where the parallels end. Despite the fact that it’s animated, “Monsters University” is a lot more realistic than “The Internship” in this sense: The outcasts do ultimately prove triumphant; but just as moviegoers are expecting the happily ever after, Mike discovers that Sullivan has actually cheated in order to achieve the desired result. Consequently, both are expelled. From the epilogue, we learn that they ultimately enter Monsters, Inc. via its mail room and rise through the ranks to their dream jobs as scarers. Much to the surprise of moviegoers, the film turns out to be an anti-Disney anti-fairy tale in which you don’t get special treatment even if you are special, but you can still achieve your goal even if life isn’t the way you’ve planned.


Opens on June 21 in the United States and on July 12 in Britain.

Directed by Dan Scanlon; written by Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird and Mr. Scanlon; camera director of photography, Matt Aspbury; lighting director of photography, Jean-Claude Kalache; edited by Greg Snyder; music by Randy Newman; production design by Ricky Nierva; produced by Kori Rae; released by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. This film is rated G by M.P.A.A. and U by B.B.F.C.

WITH THE VOICES OF: Billy Crystal (Mike), John Goodman (Sullivan), Steve Buscemi (Randy), Helen Mirren (Dean Hardscrabble), Peter Sohn (Squishy), Joel Murray (Don), Sean P. Hayes (Terri), Dave Foley (Terry), Charlie Day (Art), Alfred Molina (Professor Knight), Tyler Labine (Greek Council VP), Nathan Fillion (Johnny), Aubrey Plaza (Greek Council President), Bobby Moynihan (Chet), Noah Johnson (Young Mike), Julia Sweeney (Ms. Squibbles), Bonnie Hunt (Mrs. Graves), John Krasinski (Frank McCay), Bill Hader (Referee/Slug), Beth Behrs (PNK Carrie), Bob Peterson (Roz) and John Ratzenberger (Yeti).


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