When I took my 9-year old son to see Monsters University, I didn’t have high expectations. I’m always wary of sequels (or prequel in this case) and I’m usually disappointed after watching them. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this film.
I wouldn’t say that it was one of the best Pixar films (my favorite is The Incredibles) nor would I say that it was better than Monsters, Inc, but I will say that it was entertaining. My son enjoyed the humor and the visuals. I was more intrigued by the film’s message of hard work, dedication, and friendship. Although Mike and Sully were students, they taught us several lessons about life and success.
A few days after watching the movie, I compiled this list of 7 Life Lessons from Monsters University that I want my kids to learn.
Michael “Mike” Wazowski was a little monster with a big dream. Ever since he observed the scarers at work at Monsters, Inc, he knew what he wanted to do. Although his chances of becoming a scarer were equivalent to my chances of being an NBA center, Mike remained steadfast and determined.
Although no one believed in him, Mike was focused on achieving his goal. Although frat parties, school assemblies, and other extra-curricular activities called like a siren’s song, Mike focused on his studies and learned all he could about scaring. He read books, attended seminars, and practiced his skills regularly. His singular focus helped him to clearly define his goal and pursue it with passion. Sully, on the other hand, lacked focus and his poor preparation produced poor results.
Be a Leader
At a crucial point in the movie, Mike had to turn a rag tag group of misfit monsters into top-calibre scarers. At first, he tried to do everything himself, but he soon realized the importance of delegating, motivating, and making the most of his team’s talents. Mike set the example by waking up early, working hard, and sharing words of encouragement. When the team was discouraged, Mike took them on a field trip to show them what was possible if they didn’t give up. This excursion not only inspired the team, but it also made them believe in themselves.
Be a Friend
Mike and Sully had their differences throughout the movie, but they both realized that the needed each other more than the cared to admit. In one scene, Sully shows his vulnerable side to Mike because of the bond of trust and friendship they had formed. After that tender moment, Mike and Sully knew they would be life-long friends. We all need friends like that.
After Sully makes a huge moral blunder that affects his team and his best friend, he realizes that he has to fess up even if it means getting kicked out of school. He could have easily enjoyed the fruits of his deception, but he decided to tell the truth and live with integrity instead.
It’s Okay to Fail
Sometimes talent or hard work aren’t enough to ensure success. Mike and Sully had to learn this lesson by failing miserably. But they didn’t allow their set-backs to keep them down. They got up, dusted themselves off, and kept moving forward in pursuit of their ultimate goals.
Hard Work Still Matters
Although Mike and Sully experienced failure, they continued to persevere even if it meant working menial jobs. Through hard work, diligence, and a commitment to excellence , the duo limbed the corporate ladder until they finally achieved success at Monsters, Inc.
Question: What movie lessons do you want your kids to learn