It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
In two new images from the Pixar prequel Monsters University (out June 21), we see the friendly green cyclops Mike Wazowski (voiced again by Billy Crystal) being held up in the air by his classmate and future Monsters, Inc. co-worker Sulley (voiced by John Goodman).
“This is roughly around the time Mike and Sulley meet,” says director Dan Scanlon, who made the Cars short Mater and the Ghostlight. “They’re at a fraternity party, and this is Mike and Sulley getting off on the wrong foot a little bit.”
The movie reveals that they started out as enemies, constantly one-upping each other with elaborate practical jokes. The other creature clutched in Sulley’s paws is a mascot-like figure, sort of a freaky version of a goat (note the horizontal pupils).
“It’s the monster equivalent of a farm animal. It is not a student,” Scanlon explains. “This is part of a college prank.” Except Mike doesn’t want to play along, and he probably doesn’t bounce as good as Sulley thinks, either.
The other thing we learn about Mike is that even though he is quite spherical, he was also quite square back in the day.
Here he is arriving at school on his first day, eye wide with delight and retainer twinkling on his nubby little teeth.
Obviously, this is before the fall — that one involving the weird little goat-monster in the photo at the top.
Pixar goes through a rigorous story process before moving forward with a film, and even though there were a lot of possibilities for a sequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. the brain-trust there settled on a prequel while discussing what they knew about the backstory of Mike and Sulley.
“We really show off their differences,” said Monsters University producer Kori Rae.. “Mike is the go-get-’em, anything is possible, blue-skies-all-the-time kind of guy. He’s the super hard worker. And Sulley is just different in the fact that he’s a
great scarer. Mike has to work for things, and Sulley is just naturally talented.”
Of course, one resents the other — Mike because he envies Sulley, and Sulley because he doesn’t like this little guy hustling on his turf.
For those eager to skip to the happy ending, Monsters Inc. will be returning to theaters in 3-D next week, starting Dec. 19.
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