This Week In Home Entertainment: Monsters University, R.I.P.D. And Family Tree

By Jessica Rawden 2013-10-29 14:56:01discussion comments
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Monsters University box
Monsters University Blu-ray Combo Pack
Monsters University offers a Revenge of the Nerds sort-of plot following Monsters Inc.’s Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman) as they get through their painstaking formative years and finally make it to college, where they plan to become scare majors. Passing all of the scare tests proves a little more difficult than either young monster initially thinks.

It doesn’t help that Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren) has little faith in Mike and Sulley, believing they lack what it takes to be scare majors at Monsters University. Although she makes her point clear, Mike doggedly pursues the scare school and enlists Sulley and a group of other unlikely candidates to attempt to prove their worth via the university’s annual Scare Games. Those candidates include Don (Joel Murray), Terri and Terry (Sean Hayes and Dave Foley), Squishy (Peter Sohn), and Art (Charlie Day).

Much of the joy found in Monsters University comes from its nods to its predecessor. Peppered into the new plot are plenty of characters from Pixar’s original film. Randy Boggs (Steve Buscemi) has a pretty big role in the new movie, and The Abominable Snowman (John Ratzenberger) and Roz (Bob Peterson) also make an appearance. Monsters University works as a standalone film, but its loving winks to its precursor work for fans with fond memories of the original.

Monsters University is available in a 3D combo pack, a Blu-ray combo pack, a DVD, and digital release. We took a look at the Blu-ray combo pack, which comes with a DVD and Digital copy, but you can order any of the sets over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: Even if you were only a semi-big fan of Monsters University, there are still multiple reasons to purchase the set. The menu screen is gorgeous and gives you a pretty great look at the campus. Even more excitingly, the set features the accompanying short film, "The Blue Umbrella," which features a clever story as well as plenty of sight gags when a blue umbrella goes for a walk on a rainy day.

The short will probably be the biggest treat for older audiences, but there is a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff, too, located on the separate bonus disc that comes with the Blu-ray set. Most of these are great, but I particularly enjoyed the "Welcome to MU" segment, which gives viewers a look at the creation of the campus found in the film. Everything is incredibly detailed and up to Pixar standard, and it’s pretty interesting to see director Dan Scanlon explain some of the details fans may have missed.

If I have one complaint, it’s that most of these extras are geared toward an older crowd, but they should still be worth a watch for avid Pixar fans.

Other Special Features:
Audio Commentary
"Scare Games"
"Campus Life"
"Monthropology"
"Scare Tactics"
"Color and Light"
"Paths to Pixar: MU Edition"
"Furry Monsters"
Deleted Scenes
Set Flythroughs
Art Gallery
discussion
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