Film: Monsters University is a sometimes funny, sometimes surprising prequel and very enjoyable film overall. Definitely my favorite Pixar film since Toy Story 3. Check out my lengthy review on the Pixar Podcast for more details.
Image: This is a really a stunner. The 1.78:1 image looks amazing and is another Pixar demo worthy film to show off your home theater to your friends and family.
Audio: Pixar has included a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track and it sounds very impressive. There’s also a collection of 5.1 tracks in both French and Spanish.
Extras: Disc 1 includes Saschka Unseld’s charming The Blue Umbrella and it looks fabulous. Disc 1 also has an audio commentary for Monsters University with director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae and story supervisor Kelsey Mann. The rest of the extras all presented in glorious HD and are found on a separate Blu-ray:
- Campus Life (HD) (15 minutes): A day in the life with Scanlon and crew as they walk us through the production team’s various meetings, voice recording sessions and more. A very insightful piece.
- Story School (HD) (9 minutes): MU story artists and writers (Kelsey Mann, Adrian Molina, Robert Baird, Dan Gerson, James Robertson, Jeff Pidgeon, Dean Kelly) talk about the story and share storyboards, concept art and much more. It’s nice to see John Lasseter and Pete Docter involved too.
- Scare Games (HD) (5 minutes): Having fun is part of the creative process and here’s a look at how the team blew off some steam.
- Monthropology (HD) (6 minutes): Monster design in all its glory with Pixarians Dan Scanlon, Sanjay Bakshi, Adam Burke, Jason Deamer, Andrew Gordon, James Robertson, Scott Clark and Ricky Nierva.
- Welcome to MU (HD) (6 minutes): Pixarians Dan Scanlon, Robert Kondo, Ricky Nierva, John Nevarez, Dice Tsutsumi, Dale Ruffolo, David Eisenmann, Nathan Fariss, Craig Foster, Eric Andraos, Amy Allen and Matt Aspbury guide us through the look and feel Monsters University.
- Music Appreciation (HD) (7 minutes): A look at the scoring session for the film at Sony Studios with Dan Scanlon, music editor Bruno Coon and composer Randy Newman.
- Scare Tactics (HD) (5 minutes): Animators such Andrew Gordon, Scott Clark, Adam Burke, Michael Stocker, Robert Russ and Dan Nguyen discuss dailies, animation lingo and share how they capture the perfect scare.
- Color and Light (HD) (5 minutes): A great featurette on how color and light add depth to the film with Jean-Claude Kalache, Dice Tsutsumi, Sanjay Bakshi and Dan Scanlon.
- Paths to Pixar: MU Edition (HD) (8 minutes): Pixarians Dan Scanlon, Dice Tsutsumi, Kore Rae, John Nevarez, Jae Hyung Kim, Andrew Gordon, Aaron Hartline, Kelsey Mann, Sandy Karpman and Cassandra Smolcic, discuss first jobs and how they ended up working at Pixar Animation Studios even though they dreamed of other careers.
- Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective (HD) (5 minutes): A look at how much the technology and animation has changed since the original Monsters, Inc.
- Deleted Scenes ((HD, 22 minutes): A nice collection of four deleted scenes with Scanlon intros.
- Movie Night
- Drama Class
- Promo Picks (HD) (14 minutes): All the various trailers, TV spots, and promos are collected here.
- Set Flythroughs (HD) (6 minutes): Very cool set flythroughs of the MU campus, Frat Row, The Scare School and the Oozma Kappa house.
- Art Galleries (HD): This has become a Pixar Blu-ray regular feature. A wonderful look at the art of the film in five areas:
- Color Keys
- Development Art
Summary: Another gorgeous looking and sounding Blu-ray from Pixar. It’s filled with insightful extras and is a pretty honest look at the creative process. The only glaring omission is a the Cine-Explore visual commentary featured in other releases. The recent MU Party Central short would have been great too (but that probably wasn’t an option as these discs were already pressed by the time The Good Dinosaur was delayed). I’m also still waiting for an exhaustive documentary that covers all facets of bringing a Pixar film to life. These are minor nitpicks as Monsters University is another instant Blu-ray classic and a worthy addition to your collection.