I wrote something similar last summer before Pixar’s “Brave” came out. Now with “Monsters University”, that idea seems to be cemented. Pixar is no longer the masterful studio producing classic after classic. We saw such original films like “Wall E” and “Up” that not only made us laugh, but made us cry and made us feel. The only time during its peak years it ever went back to sequels was for “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3”, both masterpieces in their own right. Turns out “Toy Story 3” may go down as the last great film Pixar made in its golden age. Since then we’ve gotten the downright bad “Cars 2”, the OK but startling formulaic “Brave” and now “Monsters University”. Don’t get me wrong. I love “Monsters, Inc.” But, according to the early reviews, even the positive ones say this is just mildly funny children entertainment. It’s a good, not great film. Why is that sad? Because once upon a time Pixar pushed the envelope, brining very adult themes into “kids movies” and making both older and younger audiences alike feel real emotions. Now we get essentially “Revenge of the Nerds” with Pixar characters. Gone is that heart that made so many Pixar films so great. Instead, we’re getting college gags. I suppose it could make for somewhat funny scenes. But you know, think about your favorite Pixar movies. It wasn’t about immature jokes and gags. In fact, for many of the films, the humor was secondary. We came for the heart, for the unique stories and memorable characters. And, if you think about it, the best moments from “Monsters, Inc.” came when Boo was involved. You take away Boo, you take away most of the charm from that movie.

For the first time since I’ve been a huge movie fan, I wasn’t excited for this summer’s Pixar release. In fact, I barely realized it was coming out this weekend. That’s a shame. Because once upon a time Pixar was the master of making great films. Looks like Pixar’s fairy tale is over.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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