With Monsters University slowly moving out of theaters, you can bring home Pixar’s 2013 feature film on Blu-ray Combo Pack on October 29th in the US and November 25th in the UK. Can’t wait that long? You’re in luck, MU will be available for High-Definition Digital Download on October 8th in both 2D and 3D. Head past the break to read about the bonus features that are to be included.
The folks over at SoundWorks Collection recently caught up with Tom Meyers discussing the work that went into the sound design of Monsters University. Their comprehensive sound profile looks at everything from the source audio to the surround sound panning in Pixar’s latest film.
Monsters University in theaters across the US on June 21st. Be sure to read Pixar News’ review of Monsters University & The Blue Umbrella and order the MU soundtrack & ‘Art Of’ book.
Pixar News is returning to the weekly roundup format for the summer, breaking down the Pixar happenings of the past week all in one blog post.
Pixar rolled out the blue carpet for the Monsters University premier this past Monday at the El Capitan theater up in Hollywood, the following weekend brought Pixar’s second biggest opening weekend to date, and meanwhile the Monsters University soundtrack shocked many listeners when a key song was nowhere to be found.
This and a whole lot more in this week’s Pixar News Roundup.
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The World Premiere of MU and The Blue Umbrella
The El Capitan Theater hosted the world premiere of Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella last Monday, with Hollywood Boulevard playing host to the blue carpet capped with the MU archway.
Last Saturday, I had the chance to catch Monsters University a second time, but this time, it was to be followed by a Q&A session with Director Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae. After the credits rolled, ASIFA Hollywood Vice President Jerry Beck came on stage to moderate the interview, however I feel that Scanlon and Rae handled Beck’s weak questions and lack of preparedness rather well resulting in a interesting interview.
Beck fumbled a few times, calling MU is sequel and saying that Scanlon is from Ohio (he is from Michigan), but he finally got around to asking Scanlon about how his roots in 2D animation translated into 3D: “In a lot of ways when I started [MU], I didn’t understand how 3D animation worked, but luckily, I have a great producer who got a great team around me. My job is really to give them context of what emotions Continue reading
With the release of Monsters University rapidly approaching, the marketing team at Disney•Pixar has been busy. MU is posed to be a summer hit, and the Disney Parks team has teamed up with Pixar to bring elements of Monsters University to life to promote the film.
Theming monorails has become a common practice at both the Anaheim and Florida resorts, and while the monoral wraps have been overdone before (becoming more of a moving billboard), the MU wrap creatively integrates with the monorail.
See more pictures and video over at the Disney Parks Blog.
Mammoth Mike Wazowski Projection
Over in Epcot, the theme park press was treated to a massive projection of Mike Wazowski on Spaceship Earth to announce the return of One More Disney Day (rebranded as an ‘All-Nighter’), a special 24-hour celebration at Disneyland in Anaheim and Magic Kingdom in Florida.
The All-Nighter event marks the start of the ‘Monstrous Summer’ marketing campaign. Mike can break the details down for you:
In Florida, Magic Kingdom Park will feature a “Monsters University” theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” day parade and make appearances in Tomorrowland. There will be extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.
In California, you’ll be able to party the night away at both parks with special entertainment including: a “Monsters University” “TLT Monstrous” Dance Club and Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland and late-night Character Pajama Party in Mickey’s ToonTown at Disneyland park. The new Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre at Disneyland park will become a Royal Dance Hall late at night with a live band and dancing; and guests of Disney California Adventure park will find Monstrous photo opportunities with new “Monsters University” “Dorms” in Hollywood Land and a new “Monsters University” float leading the Pixar Play Parade.
The folks over at Pixar Times put together a great piece about the collaboration between Pixar and Disney Parks.
New Concept Art
Monsters University has moved in to Disney’s Holywood Studios Magic of Disney Animation building, bringing to light new concept art.
These and a whole lot more over at Mousesteps.
Merida to be Crowned
Pixar made their foray into the royal theater with Brave and Princess Merida, the first Disney princess created in Emeryville. Up until recently it wasn’t clear whether or not she would join her fellow royal princesses, but nearly a year later, we have an answer as the announcement came not more than a week ago that Merida will become an official Disney Princess on May 11th.
Stitch Kingdom is reporting that Merida is slated to become the 11th Disney Princess with the traditional coronation ceremony at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Merida has already made her Disney Parks appearance on both sides of the US, bringing long lines to her meet and greets.
Monsters University has started it’s run of advance screenings and I was lucky enough to be in one of the cities hosting a college student screening of Pixar’s 2013 feature film. MU is the first prequel for Pixar, putting it under a different heading than other Pixar films, but while you think you may know where our favorite scaring duo ends up, the folks up in Emeryville have created a humor-filled and emotion-packed story of how Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan came to be the top scarers at Monsters, Inc.
Toss on your favorite Randy Newman soundtrack, grab a pack of MU fruit snacks, and settle in for Pixar News’ review of Monsters University.
Setting the Stage
The theater was first greeted by a video of Director Dan Scanlon, who set the scene by giving a quick background on the film and asking that the audience refrain from giving spoilers. Don’t worry, this review is spoiler free.
We are able to travel to a time where Mike and Sulley are just getting acquainted. And where better to make friends than at university? MU shows the scaring duo’s rocky road to friendship, with hilarious college hijinks mixed in between. Its underlying message is a powerful one which will resonate with all ages. Numerous twists and turns in the story keep you intrigued, with some very raw and emotional scenes in the third act. I went into the theater thinking that it would be a straightforward story, Mike hates Sulley, Sulley hates Mike, they learn to work together and they become best friends; but the amazing story line packs in so much more than that.
Think about the Pixar humor that we have come to know and magnify it one hundred times. From Animal House references to the college pranks, MU comes out kicking with joke after joke. The college setting makes for some very fun humor (the stereotypical orientation leader, club signups, etc) and the meticulously designed world is full of subtle and broad wit. The entire theater was laughing so hard at a few of the jokes that I even missed some of the succeeding dialogue!
Speaking of humor, many of the characters provided comic relief. As the trailers have shown, Art is quite the character, you can rest assured that his humor goes far beyond the scenes in the trailer and his “I can’t go back to jail!” line. The conjoined Terri and Terry also have some quite hilarious moments and a couple of heartfelt ones as well. I personally enjoyed Squishy and Don Carlton the most. Don is one of the few minor characters with a touching story arc running the length of the film. Squishy along with his mom are just plain hilarious, both individually as well as within the mother-son dynamic.
There was just enough of young Randall to make him a part of the story, while playing him down enough so as to not make this feel like Monsters, Inc. The casting of Hellen Mirren as the rather scary Dean Hardscrabble was perfect. The character design of Dean Hardscrabble is truly amazing and the stills really don’t do her justice, her centipede-like body in motion is truly astounding while at the same time making you cringe.
Randy Newman returned to score Monsters University and he came up with a very fun theme that is used throughout the film (which can be found in the most recent trailer). Newman shifted from the polished jazz sound of Monsters, Inc. in favor of a pepband/brassband hybrid. Drumline cadences and grooves also made up a significant part of the soundtrack.
When Scanlon introduced the film, he noted that it was 99% complete with some soundtrack tweaks till needing to be made. I noticed 3 tracks which had themes from the Monsters, Inc. soundtrack, however I am not sure if this is the 1% that still needed work or if they were playing homage to Monsters, Inc.
All in all it is a very grooving soundtrack, and though it doesn’t compare to past Pixar greats such as Ratatouille or Up, it can definitely stand on its own.
Animation and Scenery
The settings were absolutely stunning. I was absolutely engrossed in the beautifully crafted campus; the meticulous attention to detail is superb. The lighting added so much to each scene, from the bright and radiant first day of school to the frat house parties. I am by no means an expert on animation, but just in comparing MU to Monsters, Inc. it is very easy to see that the quality and fluidity of animation has significantly improved. The fact that the animation didn’t stick out to me is also a good sign.
The emotion in MU is very relatable and you are able to build a whole new set of emotional connections with Mike and Sulley. Though you may think you already have the story figured out, Monsters University is sure to surprise you with its many twists and turns. Echoing the intricate plot line of Toy Story 3, there are several point in MU where it seems like there is no where to go, but then another door opens up. The origin story of Mike and Sulley is quite incredible, and to quote Slashfilm, “You may know where Mike and Sully end up, but you’d never be able to guess the course of actions that brings them there.”
Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella in theaters across the US on June 21st. Be sure to read Pixar News’ review The Blue Umbrella and order the MU soundtrack & ‘Art Of’ book.
Monsters University will bring back several beloved characters with voices to go along. We already know that Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi will reprise their voice roles, however there will be several new voices that are new to Pixar films (and a few who are more familiar).
Among the familiar are Bonnie Hunt who lent her voice to characters in A Bug’s Life, Cars, Toy Story 3, several shorts, and even Monsters, Inc. (though she will be playing a different character in MU). John Ratzenberger is also set to return, which isn’t surprising as he had become known as ‘Pixar’s Good Luck Charm.’
Several new voice actors have been announced in an exclusive article over at EW, including John Krasinski (The Office) who will be playing “Frightening” Frank McCay, a Scaring super star at Monsters, Inc. Bobby Moynihan (SNL) provides the voice of Chet Alexander, a yes-monster member of the Roar Omega Roar (ROR) fraternity. Julia Sweeney (The Goode Family) lends her voice to Ms. Squibbles, indulgent mother to Monsters University sophomore Scott “Squishy” Squibbles. Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) provides the voice of Carrie Williams, fearless leader of the Python Nu Kappa (PNK) sorority.
New to Pixar (but previously announced), include Sean P. Hayes (Will & Grace), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), and Helen Mirren (The Queen).
Monsters University has been selected by Marcel Jean to open the 2013 Annecy International Animation Film Festival alongside The Blue Umbrella. The festival kicks off on the 10th of June.
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. It is one of the four international animated film festivals sponsored by the ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association.
Video of the announcement and ticket info after the break.
No big college experience is complete without the scores of frat guys and sorority girls and Monsters University is no exception. From Oozma Kappa (OK) to Python Nu Kappa (PNK), there is a fit for everyone in MU Greek Life.
Yahoo Movies has posted several class photos of these various fraternities and sororities, featuring scores of new characters including the the President and Vice President of the Greek Council, voiced by Aubrey Plaza (from Parks and Recreation) and Tyler Labine. Be sure to check them out after the break. Continue reading
Though you’ll have to wait another couple of months for The Art of Monsters University, Disney has released a batch of beautiful concept art from Monsters University.
With work from several artists including Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo, the group of work provides a great range of concept art from early pencil sketches to digital paintings. Be sure to check them out after the break! Continue reading