Tag Archives: Pixar

‘Monsters University’ Delivers Laughs, Lessons, and Likability

Monsters University combines two of my favorite things: Pixar movies and college. If that combo isn’t as big of a draw for you, no worries. The film is still worth your while.

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Mike and Sully weren’t always best buds. ‘Monsters University’ tracks their road to friendship. (Image: ign.com)

This prequel to Monsters, Inc. gives viewers a look into the lives of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) before their career at Monstropolis’ mega corporation. After going on a pivotal field trip to Monsters, Inc. in his youth, Mike sets his sights on becoming a Monsters University graduate. His expansive knowledge of the art of scaring gives Mike an edge at the start of the program, but he is soon upstaged by Sully’s thunderous roar technique and prestigious family name. Their rivalry escalates until they find themselves competing on the same team during the university’s annual Scare Games. With a group of misfit monsters in tow, they learn they must work together to succeed.

Although the plot of Monsters University is somewhat simplistic, the film manages to win over viewers with its commitment to character development. Mike and Sully’s stories become more rounded; we get to know them just as the two get to know each other. Through the course of the film they show equal parts strength and vulnerability, humor and perseverance.

The motley brothers of Oozma Kappa (OK) toughen up for the Scare Games. (Image: youtube.com)

Mike and Sully are not the only monsters with whom we get acquainted, however. We meet Randy Boggs (Steve Buscemi) when he is still a gawky chameleon who wants to be part of the in-crowd. We also get acquainted with the brothers of Oozma Kappa, including Don (Joel Murray), the non-traditional student with a history in sales and Squishy (Peter Sohn), a multi-eyed creature with a good heart. Overseeing all of these students is the formidable Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren), whose strict demeanor is as legendary as her all-time scream record.

Although the hijinks and personalities are plenty entertaining, it’s what we do not see that leaves the most positive impact. In typical Pixar fashion, Monsters University presents themes that are relatable and timeless: strive for your goals, celebrate your talents, and embrace the uniqueness of others. Those are messages that both monsters and humans can live by.

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Alright, Disney. Here’s What You Need to Do With Star Wars.

Since the announcement of Disney’s most recent purchase, fanboys young and old have been at odds as to whether this acquisition is a good thing or a bad thing. Some may think it blasphemous, but I think it’s a good thing.

[source: geek.com]

When Disney bought Marvel some time ago, I was greatly skeptical. I was going on the belief that they were going to ruin my childhood, due to their past decisions to make sub-par sequels to the classic animated films I grew up watching, nearly 20+ years after the originals were released. My thinking was that if they have no problem half-assing their way through those sequels, even having the nerve to want to make them, what would they do to my comic book superheroes? Needless to say, they proved me wrong. Marvel Entertainment has only gotten better, especially the films.

So when the news broke that they purchased all of LucasArts, I was pretty excited. Even more so when they announced Episode 7 in 2015. Huzzah, I say!

But in order for this new pairing to be absolutely worth it, some things need to happen.

[source: geekologie.com]

First, and I’m not sure if this has happened already, make Princess Leia an official Disney Princess. Royal treatment and all. Add her to the line-up and have her strolling around the theme parks with the rest of them, greeting the kiddies with a sarcastic wit that we know and love from our favorite Alderaan princess. What better way to improve the Disney experience?

Second, add a new section to the theme parks – A Star Wars section! All Star Wars, all the time. Not just the Star Wars Weekends that they’ve been doing, a year-round set of attractions. If they have to, build on to the damn parks. I want it to be its own park. And just replace Euro Disney with Star Wars. Everyone will be so much happier and I’m sure it would greatly improve business.

Third, bring the Star Wars Universe into the Kingdom Hearts Universe. SquareEnix just needs to scrap whatever they have for KH3 right now and start from scratch. I’ll wait. It would totally be worth it. Think about it….Lightsaber Keyblades! Sora and Luke Skywalker vs. Sephiroth and Darth Vader in one of the greatest sword fights ever! The epicness could not be rated, it would be off the charts. This needs to happen. And while they’re at it, since Disney also owns Marvel, they could bring in the Marvel Universe as well. Make it a three-part game.

How great would this be? [source: thefw.com]

Fourth, let Pixar make a series of animated Star Wars films. Freak yes! There would be no end to the greatness of those films. Everything they do is gold, nay platinum, so give them a chance. A movie about Han and Chewie’s adventures before the original trilogy would be amazing.

Finally, the new trilogy or trilogies. Make them worth it. Make them as good, if not better than the originals. Make us all believers again and make the naysayers eat their words of hate and disbelief. Star Wars fans need these new films to be beyond spectacular in order heal the hurt we felt after the lackluster debacles that were the prequels. So choose your writers, directors, producers, and especially actors wisely and don’t fail us.

It’s a short list of demands and some might think that I’m asking for too much but I think I’m asking for just enough. I know you can do it, Disney. The Force is strong with you.

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The Week in Geek: Oct. 12, 2012

I had a ton of great links. Then I accidentally exited the window and didn’t realize it for a few minutes. Now you’re stuck with what I remembered finding. Sorry, the internet is a fickle fig.

mario+luigi droids

What makes you think we’re the droids you’re looking for? Itsa me, Luigi, sir! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

You’re not the only ones trying to figure out what to be for Halloween. Professional Caricaturist Andrea Gerstmann gives everyone’s favorite droids a costumed makeover.  (via Neatorama)

These brother’s built an absurdly detailed Lego Batcave with more than 20,000 pieces over the course of six months. That’s impressive, but what I really want to know is if they managed to do all that and never step on a brick barefoot. (via Kotaku)

TJ has to make Sophie’s Choice…between two games.

John Gurdon won the 2012 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine and is generally considered to be, in technical terms, a Science Beast. However, in 1949, a high school teacher said pursuing a career as a scientist would be a “sheer waste of time.” Guess what Gurdon now has framed?

The New York Times has a fabulous profile on lady-geek entrepreneur/ voice actress Ashley Eckstein and her geek-with-boobies-friendly clothing company, Her Universe. Note: My birthday is coming up, and my closet is conspicuously lacking this.

Arrow premiered and now it looks like I won’t be the only one on staff watching the CW anymore!

oscar + bigbird droids

I’m going to make a Mitt Romney joke here because I’m liberal and topical! Image courtesy of Andrea Gerstmann Art.

The PS1’s graphics often looked like the “Money for Nothing” video, and the licensed games had a tendency to be a giant ball of suck. Topless Robot has six licensed games that not only rock, but still stand up to playing.

Yeah, I lack the skill to make these spectacular geek-o-lanterns. Could I interest you in a charmingly lopsided face? (via MentalFloss)

Just when you think the world couldn’t get any better, what with the crunchy leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes, and my wedding coming up (You know you care), Pixar releases a charming short, “Partysaurus Rex.” (via /Film)

In related news, Pixar has created a delightful website for Monsters University. Not the movie, the university the monsters go to in the movie. Oh. Pixar, thank you for filling my week with win! (via TDW)

Thinking thoughts about Angry Birds: Star Wars Gabrielle has.

Remember the eccentric billionaire who sad, “Bah!” to science and reason and set out to build his own Jurassic Park? Well science and reason have respectfully replied with a logical smackdown of your childhood hopes and dreams.

Steampunk and crafty (Aren’t all Steampunks somewhat crafty, or is that a stereotype?) people alike will be interested in Needles and Artifice, a book of Steampunk knitting patters.

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The Week in Geek: Aug. 17, 2012

Comic artist, writer, creator, and educator Joe Kubert died Sunday. The creator of Sgt. Rock was 85. In his memory pull up a corner of sofa and try your hand at a sketch or two.

Einstein a la potatoes

A portrait of Albert Einstein made out of potatoes. This makes me hungry…for knowledge of physics! Image courtesy of Quorkey on DeviantArt.

PBS brings us the little known collaboration between Julie Child and T-Pain in honor of Child’s 100th birthday.

TJ and John are at GenCon, and their first day did not go too well.

Marvel announced that “Avengers 2″ will be released in 2015. In other news, I have reminders on my phone for the release dates of all Phase 2 Marvel movies. Is that awesome or a cry for help?

This spoon art isn’t geeky, I just wanted to let you guys know what I want for my birthday.

Laura saw “The Campaign” and used the only election-related pun I know in her title.

Alex Alva has given us the Iron Man/Boba Fett mashup you never knew you needed to see. Click this link or, one day, fifty years from now, you’ll be aware of a nagging emptiness. Emptiness could only have been filled by looking at this helmet all those years ago.

Nikola Tesla > Thomas Edison. All geeks know this, and now The Oatmeal is raising funds for a (legitimate) Tesla museum. Give and know that you’re striking a blow against Cult of the Direct Current.

Einstein Yoda

Insert something technical related to relativity said backwards. Image courtesy of Rabbittooth on DeviantArt

Helen Gurley Brown, author of “Sex and the Single Girl,” longtime editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine (aka: Cosmo), and confusing figure for feminists everywhere, died Monday at age 90.

Disney Imagineers in Pittsburgh have created a technology that makes real plants expressive and interactive. I predict this is going to cause a crisis for more than one vegetarian.

Baby, what’s your sign? Just because I’m a Year of the Robot doesn’t mean we can’t still snuggle as we tackle the original MegaMan. Find out your Geek Zodiac here.

Lego’s 80 and looks back on its life in the most adorable Pixar-ish way possible. Gosh, I look forward to the day when I have kids, and I can give them Legos. And then I can spend the next ten years watching to make sure I never step on one.

The full trailer for WoW’s expansion, Mists of Pandaria was released. I didn’t realize there was so much generalized anger in the WoW community against Kung Fu Panda.

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