Monsters University: Why Mike and Sully Are the Students of the Future

Barry Lenson

I went to see “Monsters University” yesterday. What a great summer flick. But even though the plot is just as fluffy around the edges as Sully’s computer-generated fur, it does contain some truths about what it means to be a student today.

Here’s what I mean . . .

  • Mike and Sully don’t reach their dreams on the first try. Yup, they get into Monsters University and try to earn their dream degrees as Scaring majors.  But they get thrown out of the program, and even out of the university. Like lots of students today, they have to become adult learners outside of the university. (Actually, they’re adult monster learners, but let’s not split hairs.)
  • A traditional university doesn’t serve them well. Monsters University is modeled on traditional big American universities with their fraternities and sororities, activity days, football games, and other trappings.  Although Mike and Sully have fun, they have to find their own paths to success after that traditional university fails them. Sound familiar? Something similar is happening to lots of students today.
  • They rely on their own resourcefulness to reach their dreams. After they are kicked out of Monsters University they take jobs in the mailroom of Monters Inc. Then they do what lots of people do today – they work their way up through the ranks. They finally become fully ranked Scarers at the company.  These guys are flexible and resourceful, just like today’s adult college students.

Okay, I know I’m reading far too much into the plot of this fun film. But after you see it – and you know you will – why not let me know how right or wrong my analysis is?

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