When I think of Pixar, which is practically a brand name for me and so many others, Monsters Inc. holds an unique place in my appreciation for the company. Whereas the older I am, the more I appreciate the message and filmmaking present in Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up; Monsters Inc. really just feels like unabashed fun. The movie's concept and gags always felt like they were at the forefront, but that isn't to say there was a heartwarming theme below its surface. Monsters University is very similar in that regard. It's a lot of fun and it covers a lot of demographics (for lack of a better word) by being a family film that also has jokes that relate to the college experience. You could see this movie play well with a younger audience, but I'm sure the gurus at Pixar realized that the crowd that fell in love with Mike and Scully back in 2001 are probably now in college or have graduated. I only bring this up because this applies to my group of friends and I, but also based on word-of-mouth reactions that I've heard, a lot of other people as well.
The film is funny and is a mix of what a perfect prequel or sequel should be- something new with enough of the familiar touchstones for us to remember why we loved the original in the first place. The movie also has quite an ecclectic voice cast and it was great to see so many supporting players also be fully formed characters.
In short, it sits right next to Monsters Inc. if I were to evaluate and rank the Pixar canon, but that's not a bad thing by any means.