"Monsters University" is a great family movie that won't drive the parents up a wall

I have to cop to a bias: I'm a Pixar nerd. The better they get, the more I like 'em. I can't think of a film I've left feeling unhappy. It's been leading the industry in CGI and the latest installation of the "Monsters" franchise steps their game up a bit more.

That's not to say that I don't see them for what they are, but you can't do five-star dining every night. Sometimes you just want crunchy poofs of dubious origin. "Monsters University" serves up visual poofs really well. This recent "Monsters" prequel shows how Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan became friends. I really had my doubts about the premise. Would the college setting be lost on kids? Would the monsters be too cutesy and Barneyesque for parents?

I was pleasantly surprised. They worked it out. From the first frame to the last, it's a riot. It's also pretty stuffed with clever references that fans have come to expect. Dean Hardscrabble (voiced by Helen Mirren) and Squishy (Peter Sohn) were my absolute favorites. See it. Pay full price for it. You're welcome.

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