We may not be getting a Pixar feature this year, but that didn't stop the animation studio from putting out an all-new short film, featuring the stars of their 2013 flick, Monsters University. I was able to catch Party Central (alongside the fantastic new Muppet pic, Muppets Most Wanted) on Thursday night, and I am happy to report that it was a delight to watch on every level.
In the new short, the members of Oozma Kappa start the night off feeling rather bummed out, as no one has bothered showing up to their party. But low and behold, their pals Mike and Sulley burst through the door, carrying with them something that should help get the party going. Mike fires up a door station, and chaos ensues.
Without giving away too much, Party Central has everything you'd expect from a Pixar short; humor, wit, and just the right amount of inventiveness. The original Monsters University cast is all back, making the short all the more enjoyable. Mike, Sulley, and the rest of the characters all make welcome returns, and one could argue that Squishy's mom, Sherri Squibbles, ends up being the star of the show. Of course, the gags are all really funny (no surprise there), making the short a fun 6-minute laughing session. Its fast pace keeps you engaged until the very end, and when it does end, you can't help but wish there was more.
So really, no complaints here. Pixar's latest short is not just a blast, but it is testimony to the studio's impressive range when it comes to short films (and features too, for that matter). They are capable of crafting innovative, artsy shorts like La Luna and The Blue Umbrella, yet they are also able to produce fun, fast-paced romps like Party Central, which also give us a chance to revisit some of their most beloved characters without having to make another feature film with them.
In conclusion, even if you don't like the Muppets (and if that's the case, shame on you!), see Muppets Most Wanted if only to catch Party Central, which makes the price of admission all the more worth it.
And to Pixar; please, make more Monsters shorts.