Monsters University 3D review

Animal House-style antics fail to add any spice to Pixar's unimaginative animated prequel

It's hard to imagine that 2013 will ever be thought of as a vintage year for Pixar. Where once the studio offered breathtakingly original flights of animated fancy, this year saw it release the merchandise-led Cars spin-off Planes and this laboured prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc.

A run through of tired college movie tropes, Monsters University lacks the heart and wit of its predecessor and shows all the signs of a studio that has lost its way and is content churning out quick and easy sequels for undemanding kids. Pah.

Picture: The set includes two Blu-ray discs, one for the 3D version of the film, the other for the 2D one. Both are exquisite examples of 1080p imagery.

While the MVC 1.78:1 1080p presentation isn't the most immersive 3D you'll ever see, it's impossible to fault the clarity and convincing sense of depth contained in the image. Surprisingly, it's the smaller things that impress the most, such as the subtle volumetric effects evident in the close-up of Mike's cap in Chapter 4.

Naturally, the 2D AVC encode is a riot of vibrant colours, perfect black levels and meticulous textures. Simply marvellous.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Pixar's Monsters University comes to Blu-ray with a technically impressive Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack that exhibits the kind of clarity and precision fans have come to expect based on Pixar's acoustically-awesome earlier Blu-rays.

Our only issue is that the mix feels rather reticent to release its inner beast. Sure, Sully's roars pack plenty of low-end heft, and directional effects such as the scream canister flying around the lecture hall in Chapter 10 are entirely convincing, but such delights aren't quite as common as you might expect. It's a shame, because had the mix really embraced its monstrous side, then it could have been reference quality rather merely very, very good.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: The only extra feature included on the 3D platter is a stereoscopic presentation of the new Pixar short Blue Umbrella. A 2D version of this appears on the set's 2D disc, which also benefits from an audio commentary for the main feature by director Dan Scanlon, producer Kori Rae and story supervisor Kelsey Mann. And that's it.

So what has become of the third Blu-ray disc that was included in the US release? The one containing ten behind-the-scenes featurettes, four deleted scenes, four 'Set Flythroughs', promotional material and five art galleries? Well, that is available in the UK, but only as part of a Sainsburys-exclusive two-disc version of the 2D Blu-ray release. Which means that Disney UK presumably expects anybody who wants both the 3D version of the film and all of the extra features to buy two separate releases.

For a less expensive option, you could simply import the All-region US Monsters University: Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray set instead…

We say: Pixar's dull campus cartoon passes the AV test with honours on BD – but is a fail when it comes to extras

Monsters University 3D, Walt Disney Home Entertainment, All-region BD, £28 Approx