Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Monsters University" (2013)

“If you can dream it you can do it.” –The Lie of Walt Disney

Pixar has seemed to struggle a bit with creativity lately. This seems to be the influence of Disney—the company not the man. With princess stories and sequels being the extent of their output lately, fans were likely concerned with the prequel, “Monsters University.” Even if “Monsters Inc.” is one of their best efforts.

Prequels are tricky. The audience already knows where the story is going so why stick around until the end? In this case we know that Mike is going to grow up to become the scarer’s assistant who discovers that laughs are more powerful than scares, so how do you tell a compelling story about his journey up to that point? How about by tear down one of the more destructive lies we tell children in this culture.

This is where “Monsters University” goes from being just another charming, well-made story to brilliant. Mike is a kid with a dream and the dedication to do everything necessary to achieve that dream. He wants to be a scarer when he grows up. The only problem? He isn’t whatsoever scary. And that is the kind of story more people need to tell.

The truth is that we all have our own aspirations and plans for the way we want our lives to be. We also find ways to mess things up, even when we achieve them. The problem is that we have a refrain that we continually repeat to children that is a lie. We tell them they can do anything they want to in life. Instead we need to tell them the message of this film. You can’t achieve everything you dream of, but you can make the best of what you are given. Who knows? It can often end up being better than the dream.

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