Monsters University 3D

Featured In Issue 181, November 2013

3D Picture5
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Dan Scanlon
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. (Gary Reber)

This four-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition includes a 3D Blu-ray Disc™, a Blu-ray Disc, a Bonus Blu-ray, and a DVD. Special features on the Blu-ray Disc containing the film include the featurette The Blue Umbrella (HD 06:46); commentary by Director Dan Scanlon, Producer Kori Rae, and Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann; sneak peeks; and upfront previews. The Bonus Disc includes the following featurettes: Campus Life (HD 15:14), Story School (HD 08:38), Scare Games (HD 04:30), Monthropology (HD 05:47), Welcome To MU (HD 06:09), Music Appreciation (HD 07:29), Scare Tactics (HD 05:16), Color And Light (HD 05:16), Paths To Pixar: MU Edition (HD 07:40), and Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective (HD 05:02); five deleted scenes; Promo Picks, which includes Monsters Mash Up (HD 04:01); College Campaign, with College Commercial (HD 00:32), March Madness, and Admissions (HD 01:33); and Theatrical Campaign, which includes four trailers: a teaser trailer (HD 01:10), Back Then (HD 02:25), One Night (HD 01:10), and the Japan trailer (HD 02:23); Set Flythroughs, which includes The Campus (HD 02:06), The Scare School (HD 01:15), Frat Row (HD 01:15), and The OK House (HD 01:48); an interactive Art Gallery; and a digital copy.

The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3D picture definitely makes MU's dean's list for top-tier animation. The imagery is fantastic, with a delicious color palette that is absolutely spectacular! This is a true reference picture. As with the original Monsters, Inc., the black-level performance is exceptional. Blacks are dead black and in a darkened, preferably black, environment the black backgrounds behind the closing credit sequence should be pure and solid with no trace of gray. Images are gorgeously rendered, with monster fur and scales perfectly textured. Colors are bold and vibrant, with the deepest blacks and hues that simply pop off the screen. Even in the darkest scenes, while the rich hues are subdued they are perfectly distinguished. Resolution is absolutely breathtaking, with utterly jaw-dropping detail and edge definition. Fine textures are precisely rendered throughout. The picture exhibits excellent contrast and "shadow delineation," with children's dorm rooms and bedrooms appearing realistically moonlit when the lights go out. The imagery is impressively three-dimensional and pristine, with convincing depth and dimension. The negative parallax extends the Monsters' tentacles and limbs out from the screen. The sense of dimension is so very, very natural. There are no signs of distraction, such as crosstalk ghosting or other artifacts, for a picture that will surely delight viewers of all ages. In terms of image quality presentation, as with Monster's, Inc., Monsters University is without a doubt one of THE finest reference-quality discs ever released. The image quality is thrillingly scary! (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is based on the theatrical Dolby Atmos and Surround 7.1 mix. The added two channels are positioned to the far left and right back of the soundfield instead of to the 90-degree side positions. While not an optimal approach to 7.1 channel positioning, when the system is arranged for this presentation format, the spatial soundfield result is impressive, far more dimensional than just reproducing the soundtrack on a 5.1-channel system. Other than the spatial expansion, dynamics are impressive and nuances are finely resolved, for impressive effect. As with Monsters, Inc., fidelity is outstanding, and the tonal balance sounds remarkably well balanced. In addition to the splendid directional attributes of this soundtrack, a particularly distinguishing asset is the rendering of sound effects. They have a particularly distinct, articulate character, and the wide-ranging creativity translates to some very interesting and often poignant sounds, which give certain visuals particular "definition." Voices sound very natural and quite well placed with the visuals, with directionality of voices across the screen. The music has a warm, rich character, with an expansive widescreen presence and aggressive surround envelopment. Deep bass is powerful, occasionally intense, and with a particularly clean-sounding attribute. Extension in the main and .1 LFE channels is detected to sub-25 Hz frequencies, and the latter is prominent in activity, when selectively engaged, as when Scully scares the bejesus out of the campus police with his frightening display of power. The directionalized surrounds consistently serve very effectively in creating a seemingly natural holosonic® presence. They also are distinguished by the selective instances for which they dramatically come alive with poignant separation and cross-channel pans. And while there is no dedicated back surround, usually a factor with enhancing the sense of directionality behind you, the sense of center back imaging works very well for this soundtrack. The 7.1 mix imparts a seamless, fully enveloping, and spacious surround presence. This soundtrack is an absolute winner in terms of recording quality, frequency, and dynamic range, and of course, creativity. This is true reference quality! (Gary Reber)