Monsters University

10 Movies…That Are Unnecessary Prequels (To Prepare You For ‘Monsters University’)

Once Disney took a more draconian handle on Pixar, it was inevitable that they’d make the tiny, massively-gifted studio start churning out sequels and prequels to their most marketable hits. A couple years ago, they made Cars 2, which focused on Mater, the character that sold the most toys, and later this year we’ve got an offshoot called Planes. But first, Monsters University, in which we get to see the monsters from Monsters Inc. learning the job skills they’ll need to one day land a job at Monsters Inc.

Here are 10 other unnecessary prequels.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

You want to know how Harry and Lloyd met? They met in high school. Where the hell else were they going to meet?

Oz The Great and Powerful

All about how Professor Marvel made his way to Oz and how everything went to shit before Dorothy showed up. However, the entire premise of this movie doesn’t make any sense, because Oz was dreamed up by a little girl in a dream and didn’t ever exist.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Useless in the sense that they’re making another movie about how Wolverine learned to schnickity-schnickity.

Puss in Boots

These Shrek movies are an orgy of cheap pop cultural references kids cynically designed to sell Happy Meals and stuffed toys, but apparently the story is really filled out if you know more about the backstory of Antonio Banderas’ lazy Zorro impression. KIDS LOVE ZORRO.

Alien vs. Predator

In which we find out that the Alien is so mean, so bloodthirty, so evil, is because when he was young, he was soured on life after a romance gone wrong with Predator, the one that got away.

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

I like how the word “prequel” is in the title, to let us know that this is a bad idea straightaway. They would still have had to put that word in the title if they’d called it what they should have called it, which is Adventure Priest Goes to Africa.

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

If you like rock puns and lesser Baldwins, this movie is stone-cold awesome.

The First 9 1/2 Weeks

Finally, some backstory so all that fucking has some meaning.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

When the word prequel entered the public consciousness and Star Wars was no longer bulletproof, this movie is not as bad as you remember, particularly Space C-SPAN and the frequent use of the word “yippeeeeee.”


I have no idea what’s going on right now. By the end I was pretty sure this was both a prequel to Event Horizon and a sequel to Starship Troopers.

  • Dylan Palmer

    I can’t believe I have actually seen Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas. That was a rough one but not as bad as I expected.

  • Iam_Sparticus

    Prometheus was somewhat a prequel, but it at least opened some more doors to some very interesting concepts despite some holes left. I wouldn’t have put this as unnecessary.

  • Jestre326

    You do know that Oz is a real place, right? True, in the movie, it was dreamt up by Dorothy. However, in the books, it is a real place. Dorothy even brings Autie Em to live there with her. Just letting you know your facts are wrong…

  • Tom Khan

    The Star Wars prequels were not unnecessary. They could have just been handled much better, especially Episode 1: George Lucas should have got others to write the screenplay and to direct, those who can actually write a good screenplay and are good directors, neither of which he is. In addition, they could have avoided even thinking about creating Jar Jar Banks. And they could also have really thought about casting both versions of Anakin instead of someone as incompetent as Jake Lloyd or as limited as Hayden Christensen (just because he did well as Stephen Glass in Shattered Glass doesn’t mean he can do well as Anakin Skywalker). Then you’d see why Episode 1 doesn’t belong on this list because you’d see a difference with a good screenplay, a good director, a good child actor (like maybe Haley Joel Osment who wasn’t yet filming the Sixth Sense), and no Jar Jar. It was possible to do all that to make it better than it was, but they didn’t.

  • john

    Read the wizard of oz books series, there more on par with loard of the rings.

  • James Tracy

    Episode 1 has almost no reason to actually exist. 2 and 3 yes, but 1 takes place so early, it barely matters to the other 5

  • Chris

    “In which we find out that the Alien is so mean, so bloodthirty, so evil,
    is because when he was young, he was soured on life after a romance
    gone wrong with Predator, the one that got away.”

    What the hell did I just read?

  • Chris

    psst: I don’t think this guy reads books.

  • Ike

    This is an exceptionally lazily written article.

  • Iam_Sparticus

    Funny how Lucas fell off the cliff as far as writing and directing goes after he did such a bang-up job with THX-1138 and American Graffiti. The guy really lost his edge.

  • Anthony Donovan Stokes

    This is a horrible list. Prometheus, X-Men Origins, Puss in Boots, and Oz Great and Powerful where all prequels that either delved into a character or element that people wanted explored or were even requested by fans. Should’ve made this top 5

  • DwDunphy

    17-to-19 year old woman is strangely sexually attracted to a slave boy of ten years old. She risks everything in order to make sure her guardian secures boy for her future pleasure and impregnation.

  • DwDunphy

    You just read the synopsis of an A-Vs.-P movie I’d actually consider seeing.

  • DwDunphy

    Your response to this article is seven words long. You can debate the merits of the piece all you want (you certainly weren’t amused) but you must at least see the irony in your protest.

  • Tom Khan

    Well, what if Lucas actually got a good screenwriter to write the screenplay and a good director to direct? Even the already-deceased Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand was a better director that Lucas, that’s for sure. And what if he actually cast a good child actor as Anakin? Anyone would have been better than Jake Lloyd, as long as if it’s actually a good child actor, and finding one isn’t necessarily impossible. Lucas even realized how incapable of acting Jake Lloyd was afterwards. And most of all, what if he never decided to create a character like Jar Jar Binks or anything similar? Discovering Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan becoming his master, and Palpatine beginning to rise to power are among good reasons for it to exist, but it shouldn’t have been handled the way it was. So what do you have to say about those questions I asked? Couldn’t you picture how much better Episode 1 could have been than what we actually got?

  • MSJ

    The reason X-Men Origins is unnecessary is because they are making another origin story? What are you talking about? If you are talking about The Wolverine, that one is confirmed to take place after X-Men 3: The Last Stand.

    And if Prometheus is a sequel to anything, it’s Blade Runner. Not only did they share thematic elements, the Blu-ray even suggests that they exist in the same universe.

  • James Tracy

    We can play the what if game all we want, but gungans, naboo, darth maul, qui gon, and the trade federation had almost no correlation to any of the story continued in 2 on. The important parts of episode 1 was roughly 20 minutes. If episode 1 was completely redone, yes it would have significance, but as it stands, it is very forgettable and and stands apart from 2-6.

  • Harry Palm

    No, it didn’t. It was a sloppy mess that was made just so Fox could drain some more milk from the ‘Alien’ teat.

  • Harry Palm

    As someone who lived during a time when there were only three Star Wars movie, I can absolutely attest to the fact that yes, all three Star Wars prequels were totally unnecessary.

  • Iam_Sparticus

    Fine, go back to watching the AVP films then. At least Prometheus expanded the teat.

    BTW, in reference to your user name, you might want to cut down on that activity, they say you could go blind.

  • Tom Khan

    At least good writing is better than the bad writing we got. And it’s for a good professional screenwriter to decide what is forgettable and decide how he/she can make the story work and carry it, not you. George Lucas is not a good screenwriter or director so he was less in that position than you are, especially because his script sucked.

  • Tom Khan

    Not if there was actually good screenwriters writing all three scripts instead of Lucas (maybe Jonathan Hales and Tom Stoppard would have made a better script alone with Lucas), he actually got good directors instead of him, he actually cast decent actors for both versions of Anakin and made sure he’s no whining teenager, and not even think of creating Jar Jar Binks and maybe the Gungans at all. Trust me, you’d see a difference.

  • Slop_j30

    Agreed. A prequel is always starting off in a tough position because everyone essentially knows where the story is going to end up. The anticipation of a potential whiz-bang ending is one of the joys of seeing movies of this type, but when you knew from the jump that widdle Anakin would become Darth Vader, that anticipation is completely gone. Lacking that, it was still possible to produce entertaining movies, but Lucas gave himself a degree of difficulty he was woefully unprepared to overcome.

  • vankrasn

    I always assumed Alien to be a female, laying all those eggs and such.

  • James Tracy

    There is a big difference between script and story. While the script was full of cheese, George Lucas’s story for part 1 was largely ineffective because it had little continuity from the other movies. If anything, setting 1 in a time much closer to 2 would have definitely solved some problems

  • Tom Khan

    Quit fishing for excuses to hate it more than you should. The story wasn’t as bad as that godawful script, but it could have been better. A decent screenwriter might have made the story better. Just because there’s less continuity with the other movies doesn’t mean a good screenwriter can’t make the story actually work, regardless of it being 10 years before Episode 2. They could’ve done it better than Lucas could without a doubt.

  • Tom Khan

    Just because it was inevitable Anakin would become Darth Vader without a doubt doesn’t mean good screenwriters and directors couldn’t have done it right (unlike Lucas). And it doesn’t mean they couldn’t have gotten good actors instead of the incompetent Jake Lloyd (who has never been praised for his acting before and after Episode 1, and Lucas acknowledged his incompetence) and the too-limited Hayden Christensen. I’d especially like it better if Anakin weren’t part zombie, part whiny teenager.

  • James Tracy

    I’m not fishing for excuses, its the truth. Ecp 1 might have been marginally better with better dialogue, but if a good screenwriter followed George Lucas’s story, you would still have jar jar, over the top politics, and pointless pod racing. Half of episode 1 was filler and that is something any screenwriter wouldnt have been able to fix. Again, difference between story and screenplay. With a story by George Lucas, you still would have been stuck with a lot of the drag.

  • Tom Khan

    Well, I meant keep Jar Jar out of the screenplay at all costs and telling Lucas that wouldn’t work at all. I didn’t say follow the ENTIRE story. What doesn’t work in Lucas’ story the screenwriter would veto. The politics might have been better and less over-the-top if someone good at it translated it to be better and less over-the-top. And the Podracing scene was awesome! Don’t knock that either! I’d say it’s a breath of fresh air for an uneven movie with bad writing, bad directing a goofy CGI character who should have never been created, and an incompetent child actor. I’m sure there are many who liked the Podracing as well. Like everybody, I hate Jar Jar, and wish he was never created, and a better screenwriter could veto Jar Jar whenever he/she wants. And I agree the writing sucked and should have been done by competent professionals. But now knocking the Podracing scene IS fishing for excuses.

  • James Tracy

    1.) the screenwriter technically wouldn’t be able to veto anything, since Lucas is the executive producer and has unparalleled creative say.

    2.) Podracing was a decent action scene on its own, but was completely thrown into the plot, and has little to no bearing for the rest of the movie, let alone it is never mentioned again in the saga. A good writer doesn’t just shoehorn in action sequences for the sake of having action, but rather, has the action feed and build and tell a full cohesive story. For that reason, I will knock it. Call it fishing all you want, but its a distraction from the real plot and is really only filler to take up runtime.

    Look, I don’t know why you are defending episode 1 so much. Perhaps out of loyalty to the series, perhaps you were young when it was released and didn’t know any better than to like the fact that it was for little kids, not for former fans of the series. But let’s just be honest, if ep 1 wasn’t a star wars movie and just a potential 1st movie in a different series, it probably would have flopped, and there would be no sequels, much like the golden compass.

  • Ed Prior

    I’ve never heard of this site before. Got linked here from somewhere else. I won’t be coming again. What a ridiculously poorly written article. If you can’t be bothered to do this properly, then maybe just don’t bother at all in future.