Monday, October 21, 2013

Arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand, October 29th -- "Monsters University" from Disney•Pixar (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this movie from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.

Celebrate MU’s Homecoming on Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand
on October 29, 2013.

"This Fall, Disney•Pixar celebrates homecoming with the release of  “Monsters University” on Digital HD and Digital HD 3D on October 8, 2013, followed by the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector's EditionBlu-ray 3D Combo Pack3-Disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 29, 2013.          

After scaring up big laughs in theaters, the in-home release of “Monsters University” opens its doors to the movie in stunning high definition Blu-ray, and provides hours of all-new bonus material, in-depth behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, the animated theatrical short “The Blue Umbrella” and much more.  Directed by Dan Scanlon ("Cars," "Mater and the Ghostlight," "Tracy"), produced by Kori Rae ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Monsters, Inc."), and written by Dan Scanlon and Robert Baird & Dan Gerson (“Monsters, Inc.”), “Monsters University” marks Pixar’s 14th consecutive film to debut at number one at the box office. 

Ever since college-bound MikeWazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. “MonstersUniversity” bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up. 

Joining Crystal and Goodman as part of “Monsters University’s” monstrously talented voice cast are Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs), Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler). Featuring a score from recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning composer Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.," "ToyStory 3"), MU also includes music from Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia. 

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:
3-Disc Blu-ray 2-D Combo Pack  (2 BD + DVD)

High-Definition & Standard Definition Digital
·         Bonus offerings vary per select digital retailers
·         Campus Life – What's it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
·         Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike.  We'll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
·         Scare Games At Pixar, we play hard while we work.  The same people who keep the film production moving - producers, managers, coordinators and artists - are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions.
·         Welcome to MU – Sets aren't just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore.  This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves.  .
·         Music Appreciation – Randy Newman's scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process.  We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
·         Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time. 
·         Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We'll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film.  Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
·         Paths to Pixar - MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
·         Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.”
·         Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” - are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
·          “The Blue Umbrella” – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of "Monsters University." “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
·         Additional Bonus Features - Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!­

Bonus Materials for These Products:
·         Audio Commentary
·         “The Blue Umbrella”
Feature Run Time:                              Approximately 103 minutes

Rating:                                                   Feature Film: “G” in U.S. and Canada
                                                                “The Blue Umbrella:” “G”
                                                                Additional Bonus Features Not Rated

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My Thoughts:

Did you get a chance to see this movie when it was in theaters?  If not, now is the time to pre-order a copy of this Disney favorite to share with your family.  Unfortunately, the few times we had plans to go to the movie theater with the girls, either they were sick, or something came up.  So, we have eagerly been waiting for Monsters University to come out on DVD and Blu-ray, to watch it.  Thanks to the folks at Disney, I was sent an advanced screener copy of the movie.  Usually we watch movies as a family every Friday night, along with making our own pizzas and cookies, or ordering out.  But, with the girls and I being sick these past few weeks, I have been running out of ideas to entertain them when they grow restless after having laid around all day.  After watching the girls pace around the living room the other day, looking for something to do, I ended up surprising them with a viewing of Monsters University.  The day before we had made Monsters University Halloween cookies, which made for a great movie snack, served up with a tall glass of cold milk.

Last year when Savannah started taking a real interest in movies, I started sharing my growing Disney•Pixar movies with her.  For the longest time, she couldn't get enough of all three Toy Story movies.  It wasn't until recently that my husband put on Cars to watch, that Savannah got hooked.  Now, she is all about Lightning McQueen.  She has even traded in her princess light up shoes for a pair of black Cars shoes.  While my mom is not a fan of black boys shoes on her, Savannah can't get enough of them.  She was the one who spotted them in the store, and used her birthday money to buy them. Now, where she goes, she is sporty either her new Cars shoes, or a pair of slippers.  :-)

While Savannah has a special place in her heart for Cars, she instantly fell in love with Mike and Sulley.  Having never seen Monsters, Inc., both Savannah and Arabella had no idea what they would be in for.  Halfway through the movie, Savannah said she wanted to go to MU, as it looked like a lot of fun.  She wondered if the yellow bus that dropped the neighbor's kids off, knew how to get to MU. :-)  Since watching MU with the girls, they have asked that this upcoming week we watch Monsters, Inc.  This is one of my favorite movies, as I can't get over the animation.  So, if they behave in the AM, we will be snuggling on the couch after lunch to watch Mike and Sulley once again. :-)

This is one movie worth watching over and over again.  But, also make a point to check out the bonus features, as they make this new release that much more entertaining.  I am always impressed with the featurettes, deleted scenes, and commentaries that Disney adds to their new releases, and they didn't disappoint when it came to the release of Monsters University.  From Music Appreciation, Scare Games, Story School to Furry Monsters, Scare Tactics and Color and Light, you will find hours of extras that make up the bonus section.  My husband and I spent this past weekend after the girls went to bed, watching some of the bonus features.  I have to say that my favorite was "The Blue Umbrella" theatrical short.  The songs in this short is so peaceful and relaxing to listen to.  Here is a extended clip I was able to find on YouTube:

With the holidays fast approaching, Monsters University would make for a great gift for Disney•Pixar fans both young and old.  Let Mike and Sulley help you scare up some fun, as you enjoy with movie with your family.   I am so happy to have finally been able to see this movie, which I have been hearing family and friends rave about since its theatrical release.  Disney•Pixar has done it again, as this movie is definitely another film destined to become a classic, and will be enjoyed for years to come, just like Monsters, Inc. 

About The Walt Disney Studios:
For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel. Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE!. For more information, please visit

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