Monsters at Work
20 years after Pixar fans first clapped eyes (or eye) on Sulley and Mike (John Goodman and Billy Crystal), Monsters, Inc is back in business, no thanks to the largely forgotten prequel Monsters University. A direct sequel to the original film, the new Disney+ series Monsters at Work finds the delightful duo in charge of the energy company as it transitions from scream power to laughter, which should really have been the premise of the second movie. Meanwhile the college-set prequel would have made more sense as a streaming spinoff. But that was before Disney+ – and, to quote a different Henry Winkler show, better late than never.
Winkler voices the head of the maintenance department at Monsters, Incorporated, where Ben Feldman’s character (just like in Superstore) shows up for a fraught first day on the job, his dreams of being a Scarer dashed by his reassignment to the basement. Basing the show in the bowels of the company gives it the bottom-rung camaraderie (or not) of Enlightened, The IT Crowd or Star Trek: Lower Decks – a smart decision, considering Sulley and Mike are now top of the food chain (although still subordinate to slug-like manager Roze – voiced by Bob Peterson – the twin sister of Roz from the first feature).
Where Monsters University underused the fuzzy Sulley in favour of an immature and irritating Mike Wazowski, here the pair are fully formed, alongside old favourites like snake-haired receptionist Celia (Jennifer Tilly) and the dim-witted door shredder operators Smitty and Needleman (Stephen Stanton, replacing the late Dan Gerson, who also co-wrote both movies). Those loveable characters, smart ideas and an a capella version of Randy Newman’s opening theme make a welcome return, and though Monsters at Work is not as fresh as the original film, its themes of switching to clean energy for the safety of young people and detoxifying workplace culture are even more pressing than in 2001.
Monsters at Work is released on Disney+ on 7th July 2021.
Watch the trailer for Monsters at Work here: