This is also probably one of the greatest prequel films I've seen (don't get me wrong the bench mark isn't high), but Monster University genuinely succeeds as a standalone film. It never feels restricted by having to set-up the original and as such we can enjoy the story for its own merits. With the exception of the improved CGI you'd be forgiven for thinking this film was released first and that Monsters Incorporated was released as the sequel. In that regard this is exactly how a prequel should be done.
As to be expected the animation is incredible and the detail in every scene is phenomenal, from the main characters in the foreground to everything going on the background. You'll definitely need to see this a few times to catch all the additional bits hidden away.
I haven't been a fan of Pixar's increased leaning towards sequels/prequels in recent years, but Monsters University proves (as they did with Toy Story 3) that when it's with characters you want to see again the results can be great.
Bonus Review - The Blue Umbrella
Wow. Just wow.
As with every theatrical Pixar release there is a short before the main feature. This a little film called The Blue Umbrella which tells the story of (you guessed it) a blue umbrella and his love at first sight affections for a red umbrella.
The heart and emotion that goes into this five minutes as will follow relatively inanimate objects reinforces why Pixar is the gold standard when it comes to story. The animation is also the most realistic we've ever seen out of Pixar and is genuinely jaw-dropping.
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