It’s the return of Mike and Sulley Plus a bunch of DVDs the kids will like for Christmas
By Peter Covino
It was probably asking too much for Monsters University to be great entertainment for the whole family.
Coming off the heels of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters Inc., a wholly inventive animated tale, Monsters University just has to feel a bit redundant.
But that won’t matter much (and certainly didn’t in terms of box office) for Monsters Inc. fans in this sequel or in this case prequel, Monsters University.
Everybody’s favorite animated monsters Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) return with a story of how they first crossed paths at good ol Monsters U.
It’s a nice learning curve as Mike and Sulley are not exactly the best of buds starting out. Mike has always dreamed of being scary, but there isn’t much to afraid of with this little guy, while Sulley is pretty much the big hot shot on campus. They both learn a lot through the course of the film.
Monster fans will have to choose from the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD or On-Demand.
If you love these guys, the choice is easier. You have to at least opt for a combo pack so you can get bonuses that include a digital version of the film, not to mention other bonus features.
Joining Crystal and Goodman as part of “Monsters University’s” talented voice cast are Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs), Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler).
The multiple disc offerings also means there are lots of bonuses included in the Blu-ray combo packs. In addition to the Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions of the film, some of the bonuses featured are:
· Campus Life – What’s it like being on a production crew at Pixar?
· Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike.
· Welcome to MU –A look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves.
·Music Appreciation – Randy Newman’s scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a look at his creative process.
·Scare Tactics – How the animators channel their own innerselves to create those moments on screen. .
· Paths to Pixar – MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
More kid stuff
With the holidays rapidly approaching, the release of kid friendly stuff always multiplies. Here are some of the latest DVDs and Blu-rays geared toward the younger set.
The popular series featuring “the ghoulfriends of Monster High,” are back in a new adventure, Monster High: 13 Wishes (Universal Studios Home Entertainment).
It’s another school year at Monster High, and Clawdeen Wolf’s littler sister wants to be more popular and gets a genie to grant her not 3 but 13 wishes. It is a case of be careful what you wish for as Monster High is soon turned upside down.
The Blu-ray combo pack includes the Blu-ray, DVD and an Ultraviolet version.
Scoot & Kassie
With the holidays directly in mind is Scoot & Kassie’s Christmas Adventure (Universal), a new film starrig Luke Perry.
Kassie (Ariana Bagley) rescues a wounded former police dog (Scoot) in this story about how the hero dog saves Christmas from two crooks trying to rob a charity concert.
The disc includes deleted scenes and a gag reel.
One of the most popular DVD series is back with two new adventures, Thomas & Friends King of the Railway The Movie and Animals Aboard! (Liongsgate).
Thomas, who was created by a father for his son almost 70 years ago, has probably never been more popular, and the tradition continues in King of the Railyway. Thomas gets four new friends including new engine Stephen, based on the legendary Stephenson’s Rocket, one of the fastest steam locomotives of its day.
Thomas and friends use friendship and cooperation to avoid disaster and save the day.
The animated film is available on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, DVD and digital download.
Special features include The Search for the Lost Crown Game and three music videos.
In Animals Aboard (available on DVD exclusively from Target and also as a digital download and video on demand), Thomas and his railway friends are involved in five adventures about being kind to animals, doing good deeds and helping frineds of all shapes and sizes.
Another children’s favorite, Curious George also is back in Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest (Universal Studios Home Entertainment).
Halloween is over, but kids will enjoy this gentle tale about the annual Boo Festival all-year long.
Curious George and friends are on their way to the festival and also on a mission to find a legendary scarecrow who steals hats.
Adults may cringe, but little kids love Barney and he is back in Barney: Most Huggable Moments a 2-disc DVD set from Lionsgate.
The set celebrates 25 years of Barney with episodes never before seen on DVD. It’s a collection of stories, songs and 5 bonus karaoke music videos.
Videos include A Friend Like You, Everyone is Special, Being Together, The Friendship Song and Best of Friends.
Barbie and her sisters are off on an adventure in the Swiss Alps in Barbie & Her Sisters in a Pony Tale (Universal Studios Home Entertainment).
Barbie, Chelsea, Skipper and Stacie are involved in an all-new adventure filled with fun, humor and horses.
The Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD and Ultraviolet version as well as bonus outakes, a Barbie in the Dreamhouse music video, two webisodes and a trailer gallery.