‘Monsters U’ Director & Producer Tell Us Why Pixar Monsters Have Mullets
Sulley (John Goodman) & Mike (Billy Crystal) in Disney-Pixar's 'Monsters University'
There's a common theme amongst Pixar employees: Whenever they're talking about a Pixar film, they seem to be in a really good mood.
Director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae certainly aren't exceptions to this theme. Or at least they weren't when we spoke with them recently about their new film, “Monsters University,” a prequel to the hugely popular "Monsters, Inc." (2001), which scares up memories of the best classic college comedies, only with a whole lot more monsters and whole lot less depravity.
In the Q&A below, Scanlon and Rae educate us on the four-year process of getting the film made, why you'll see some monstery mullets and popped collars, and what are their favorite classic college comedy tropes. And, of course, in typical Pixar style, they do so with a smile.
So, talk me through the whole thing; how did you get on board and where are we now?
Kori Rae: It all started probably a little over four years ago and the brain trust and Dan and a bunch of people got together to see if there was an idea there, just to talk about the monster world and to see if there was an idea there to make another film. That’s kind of where the idea of going backwards came from.
Dan Scanlon: Yeah, we wanted to make a movie just to turn that focus more on Mike and Sulley's relationship. That’s where we thought that going back and seeing how they met would be the best way to do that, which led to, "My god, we could have it in college!" And that would be so much fun with different gags and stuff.
I imagine you guys had to watch about a thousand college comedies. This has every college comedy set piece, but just spun completely around – I mean without any of the gratuitous nudity and drinking, and stuff. What were some of the films that you guys watched to get the structure and the set pieces that you guys played around with?
DS: Yes, it’s funny, in every Pixar movie we watch a lot of films in the genre of the film that we’re going to make and also films with similar themes. This was certainly no exception. We watched just a ton of college movies. For some reason, we noticed all of them seemed to take place in the 80s, I don’t know why that was such a big time but for college movies. As a result, even though we like "Monsters Inc." and "University" to be in no specific time period, we gave a little touch of 80s to the movie, just a few kind of monstery mullets and popped collars, just to kind of give it that feel.
Out of all the new characters, who is your favorite?