Sequels are always a crap-shoot, and prequels even more so. But Monsters University, the upcoming origin story-spinning Pixar film starring the tall, blue and fuzzy and short and one-eyed heroes of the hit Monsters, Inc., actually looks like it’ll be a good time. There’s an element of the goofy, nostalgic college-movie spirit peppered throughout the promotion for the film, from the actual fake university website for MU that teased the film (complete with fake ".edu" address and all-star football quarterbacks with very quarterback-y names) to the new UK trailer released yesterday.
As it says on the tin, Monsters University details how Sully (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) met as Scaring majors (and roommates) their freshman (freshmonster?) year of college. Along the way, set to blaring trumpets and a popular Motley Crüe party anthem, they become rivals—Sully the cool, popular scaring expert; Mike the awkward, bookish retainer-wearing melvin—and try to out-scare each other, while encountering wild dorm parties, pranks, football games and frat monsters, all on a picturesque campus that may remind you of your wildest years. Don’t let the college nostalgia get to your head now. Watch.
With the release and reaction to Toy Story 3, it was clear that Pixar was onto something, appealing to the now college-aged audience who had grown up with the films. Now, after a pair of lukewarm releases (Cars 2 and Brave), the studio is marketing to the young-adult Pixar faithful with the upcoming Monsters, Inc. prequel, Monsters University, which looks at Sully and Mike’s college years. In what’s actually a pretty charming promotional exercise (if such a thing can actually exist), Pixar created a fake “.edu” website for the university in the film.
As far as a fake college website goes, the Monsters U site will look eerily familiar to anyone who’s gone through the university application process. Sweeping, brochure-panorama views of the campus, colorful CGI monsters biking on the quad and excessive school pride around athletics—the new football quarterback recruit even has a particularly quarterback-y name and the swim team conference champ won acclaim thanks to his worm-like body and seven legs propelling him to victory. There’s even a university news feed featuring academic studies and choir performances and information about Greek Life. Pandering it might be, but it’s comprehensive and, yeah, still cute.