Mike and Sully will soon return in Monster’s University, a prequel to Disney’s über-successful movie Monster’s Inc. In preparation for the movies’ release the developers at Disney Interactive have just released Monster’s University Storybook Deluxe, a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad that is certain to be a hit with kids who are anticipating the film’s release. As it begins, the story draws the reader in, inviting her to create an ID -– just like at a real college! Kids can also return later to create additional IDs for their siblings, friends, or even their stuffed animals.
The reader can also decorate her face with monster stickers if she likes. Next, it’s time to choose a major: scaring, computer science or philosophy? You decide. After creating the ID, the reader arrives at the main screen where she has a choice to read or play. At this point she can also visit the settings to turn off the sound or music, or change the language from English to one of 5 other options.
The story introduces us to Mike, whose dream is to enter “the best scaring program in the world” at Monster’s University. As the story of how Mike and Sully became BFFs unfolds, the reader receives gentle prompts to investigate the app’s hot spots. Upon opening the game section, the player chooses a monster as her avatar. The five games are variations on a theme. To earn a passing grade the player must use tilt controls to avoid obstacles. Players earn rewards for successfully completing each game.
Despite all the fun kids will have reading and playing with this app, there are a few drawbacks. There were glitches in the ID-creation section. The app froze if I tried to use a photo from the camera roll or if I took a picture, then didn’t accept it for the ID and wanted to try again. The story section lacks word highlighting. Additionally, the app includes advertising in the settings section that takes the reader directly to the app store.
In summary, Monster’s University interactive is a fun, colorful companion to its namesake Disney movie. Mike and Sully fans of all ages will love this deluxe storybook app, which user humor to champion the power of friendship. Hopefully, the developer can address the glitches in the ID-creation section in an update.
What we love: Impressive graphics, funny! What we'd love to see: No more ads in the settings section, addition of word highlighting. Summary... Reading & gaming fun for all ages,certain to be a hit with kids who are anticipating the film.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
This review was originally published by TheiMums.com on May 31, 2013. The iMums – Amanda, Alison, Mary and Grace – are four mothers from different parts of the world dedicated to educating parents about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products available for their children.
Founded in August 2011, the four iMums have 11 kids among them ranging in age from 1 to 17 and bring a global perspective to their app reviews. The original iMum Amanda being from Australia, Alison is in America, Grace is from Singapore and Mary is from the UK but is currently living in America. At less than a year old, the Australian-based blog already boasts hundreds of reviews on family friendly iOS and MacOS apps and products.
Guest writer, Emily Becker, is a US-based freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. Follow her on Twitter: @whatwentwrite. She also writes for PadGadget at http://www.padgadget.com/author/emily/
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
30 - 45 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 8 +
English • French • Spanish •German •Italian •
Synopsis of Movie Plot (book app is based on film):
Take a trip back in time to when star Monsters, Inc. employees Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) and James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) were just two promising young students at Monsters University in this frightfully fun Disney/Pixar prequel. Long before they were lurking in closets for a living, Mike and Sulley were just two Scaring majors at Monsters University, dreaming of the day they would make children shriek in terror.
When their heated competition to be the most fearsome in their class gets out of hand, however, Mike and Sulley find themselves ejected from the prestigious Scare Program, and they are forced to seek the aid of their oddball friends in order to get their education back on track. Dan Scanlon (Tracy) takes the directorial reigns for this prequel featuring additional vocal contributions by Steve Buscemi, Dave Foley, and Julia Sweeney. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi