By Julie Samrick
Did you know not a single G-rated movie has ever bombed at the box office? So why aren’t there more of them? Instead kids’ movies of late are almost entirely rated PG or PG-13. It’s a breath of fresh air to welcome Monsters University this summer. The prequel to the 2001 megahit Monsters Inc. shows how the lovable monsters Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) studied the art of scaring children in college before doing it for a living.
Monsters University won at the weekend box office because it has something for everyone. Adults will enjoy the humor and benign references to college life. Teens and 20-somethings were kids themselves when Monsters Inc. came out in 2001, so will love seeing the whole story come full circle. A new generation of children aged five and above will enjoy Monsters University even if they haven’t seen Monsters Inc.
The scariest part of the film is the character Dean Hardscrabble (played by Helen Mirren.) “The movie almost should be PG because of her,” my seven-year-old said. She might be frightening to some children.
My daughter’s seven-year-old friend chimed in with another good point. “They should have made this movie before Monsters Inc.” If possible, rent Monsters Inc. first to get a refresher before watching Monsters University. It’s fun to see how the characters are depicted in both. For instance the bad guy in Monsters Inc., Randy, begins as Mike’s shy, socially awkward new friend in the prequel.
The movie is mostly entertainment, but parents can talk with kids about themes like teamwork, first impressions, and why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Kid Focused Grades for Monsters University
Compelling story line- A
Strong message- A
Leading character is a role model- A
Sexual content – A (one kiss)
Language and Violence- B+ (bullying language like “stupid”)
Suited for the whole family- A
Overall Kid Focused Grade: A
Rated G, Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
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