School may soon be out for summer, but not for the creatures of "Monsters University," Disney/Pixar's new animated film now in theaters.
A whopping 12 years after the box office hit "Monsters, Inc.," comes the prequel, featuring the voices of Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, John Krasinski, Beth Behrs, Jennifer Tilly and Sean Hayes. The movie chronicles how two mismatched monsters Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan overcome their differences and become best friends.
"Monsters University" has a solid 77 percent rating on the movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
The word "meh" perhaps best sums up many critics' takes on the film. Overall, critics enjoyed the movie, but very few were blown away -- some aren't rushing to campus to enroll in "Monsters University." Still, a few were quite pleased, including Newsday's Rafer Guzman, who noted, "'Monsters University' has an emotional quality that its whimsical predecessor lacked. It has a happy ending, of course, but this movie also feels -- in its monstery way -- very real."
See what some other movie critics had to say:
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "It's all infectious fun, despite the lack of originality. In the art of tickling funny bones, Crystal and Goodman earn straight A's."
"Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: "'Monsters University' is so likable that it feels somewhat monstrous to criticize -- but nonetheless it isn't quite as funny as its predecessor, and some of the sequences toward the end feel a little flat... The Pixar bar, though, is awfully high, and not every film can be a 'Finding Nemo' or a 'Ratatouille.'"
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-: "'Monsters University' is exactly the rebound Pixar needed after 2011's Cars 2 left some wondering if the studio had lost its magic. The delightful story of When Mike Met Sully puts those concerns to rest."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "It should be remedial school, not an institution of higher learning, for 'Monsters University,' an alarmingly lame effort from Pixar, the Oxbridge of animation studios. A prequel arriving 12 years after its progenitor, 'Monsters, Inc.,' this marks the third sub-par film in a row from Pixar, after 'Cars 2' and 'Brave,' suggesting that the brain trust in Emeryville has lost a bit of its edge."
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap: "Falling squarely between the studio's classics and its decidedly lesser work, Monsters University is a solidly average Pixar effort, one that brings laughs to the kegger, but you'll be hard-pressed to remember it at the reunion in 10 years."
Besty Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: "Whatever the reasons, 'Monsters University,' the prequel to the mild-mannered 'Monsters, Inc.,' is mostly memorable for being fine but forgettable. The 12-year span between the two suggests trepidation."
Claudia Puig, USA Today gave it 3 out of 4 stars: "'Monsters University' may not be as inventive as 'Inc.', but it's an amusing and amiable addition to Pixar's roster of animated coming-of-age stories."
Tell us: Do you plan to check out "Monsters University"?