“Monsters University” is better than “Cars 2” but not by enough, and along with last year’s inspired but cluttered “Brave,” it offers unsettling evidence that Pixar’s Golden Age may be in the past.
It’s a prequel: The story of how cheery green eyeball Mike Wakowski (voiced once more by Billy Crystal), met big, blue, fuzzy Sully (John Goodman) at college. Visually dazzling and flatly scripted, it trundles along on predictable storytelling tracks; what’s missing is the Pixar double-punch of elegant concept and fresh surprise.
This is not a bad movie, and to small children it will be a very good one, but it’s closer to average than one would wish from the company that gave us “Up,” “Wall-E,” “The Incredibles,” and the “Toy Story” series. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.