My nine-year-old son Michael and I attended an early screening of Monsters University as guests of Disney earlier this week. I primarily went because Michael was so excited to see it. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised because I enjoyed the movie as much as he did. We both thought that this prequel was better than its predecessor, Monsters Inc. (The latter has been shown on television a “gazillion” times in the last couple of weeks!) You can see a brief trailer of Monsters University below:
Michael liked the Scare Games competition part of the movie the most. That portion was funny, fast paced and exciting so I’m not surprised that it would appeal to most kids. Personally, I liked the underlying themes of the movie most of all.
I appreciated that Mike’s character shows kids how to practically go after their dreams. (As a kid, he wanted to go to Monsters University in order to be the best Scarer that he could be. He worked hard during his early school years to finally gain admittance to the university.) At the same time, the movie shows that just because you have a specific dream, that isn’t necessarily what you’re ultimately destined to do with your life. (Mike is the hardest working monster, but he’s just not scary. It’s fine though, because he is fearless and a skilled motivator…which makes him an excellent trainer of Scarers.) I think that is such a valuable lesson for kids in this celebrity and sports-obsessed society that we live in. Perhaps a kid won’t have the necessary skills to be a sports star, but he/she could do just as well (if not better!) working behind the scenes as an agent, sports writer and such. It’s valuable for kids (well, everyone really) to realize that dreams usually have several different avenues in which they can be fulfilled.
I also enjoyed the “unlikely friendship” between Mike and Sulley. It reminds us not to judge potential friends based on appearance alone. Teamwork and honesty are two other traits are emphasized in Monsters University. I definitely think that this movie provides a lot of great conversation starters for parents to discuss with their kids.
Although Monsters University is rated “G”, some parents are asking about age recommendations due to the “scare” factor. Personally, I think that it depends on the kid. There were young kids (5 and up) in the movie screening that were just fine because they understood that the scary parts were not real. Kids have different temperaments though, so use your best judgment.
Monsters University opens today (June 21st) in theatres nationwide. If you decide to take your kids, I’d love to hear what they thought about it!