Monsters University Release Date: On June 21 Billy Crystal and John Goodman Go Back to School


Ladies, would you like to attend a university where guys can ogle you with not just two eyes but five? Maybe this ad from Pixar’s upcoming Monster University will change your mind.

A prequel to the 2001 hit Monsters Inc., the latest Disney-Pixar offering takes audiences back to the days when our heroes Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) were in college, learning all the skills they would need to someday work in Henry J. Waternoose’s factory. The trailer, promoting the in-movie university, actually does not feature the film’s protagonists. Instead, it is a fantastic parody of all the terrible late-night commercials for various educational institutions.

The trailer, which made its TV debut during Tuesday’s Rose Bowl, subtly references Monsters Inc. when it describes the university as a place “where the power that drives us can’t be contained.” So, while the movie is technically a prequel (a first for Pixar), its story will perhaps still bear the markings of its predecessor. Also, considering the fact that Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi are all slated to return from the original, the movie will feature quite a few familiar faces.    

What this advert seems to suggest is that Pixar is back in form. After having their reputation somewhat dented by titles such as Cars 2 and Brave, the company seems to have returned to what makes them awesome: being just as much fun for adults as they are for kids.

In fact, the adults are the only ones that can really appreciate the beauty of this trailer. Kids wouldn’t really know about cheesy college commercials, because Phoenix and DeVry probably don’t market when Arthur and Calliou are on. The adults, on the other hand, will be able to see the nostalgic feel that the trailer evokes with its serene music and momentary black-and-white filter.

And if the trailer is already a mature and satirical look at the commercialization of education, the film’s official website is even better.

Just like the commercial, the website is modeled as an advertisement for the actual university. There are sections for admissions, financial aid options, an alumni login tab, and even an events calendar. The best of all, perhaps, is the academic Requirements section that actually suggests taking practice Monster Aptitude Test (MAT) multiple times, because it really is a proven method for success.

They even provide you with a sample question to see how ready you are for the exam, completely slapping the College Board and its pathetic SAT system that awards retakes (see if you can solve the question below without Princeton Review helping you).

One hundred furry sophomores meet for five minutes in the Quad. Four different fur colors are represented. Fifty percent of the students are blue, 30% green, 15% red, and 5% orange. Between the 100 students are 644 arms. Assuming the arms are proportionately distributed, what is the probability that a randomly observed high five will be between a furry green hand and a furry red one?

A. 18%

B. 22%

C. less than 1%

D. 4.5%

E. 13.92%

Ultimately, all of this just shows us that Pixar is back. While kids may have enjoyed some of their recent efforts, the company’s recent films were kind of boring for adults. With this latest trailer and website, however, the adults should be taking far more notice than the kids. Just as Monsters Inc. irreverently parodied everything from energy exploration to office life, Monsters University tackles the somewhat pathetic situation of education in our society.

Monsters University is in production at Pixar and is slated for release in June 2013.