#Pixar: we all know them, and we all love them. It is the groundbreaking, #Disney owned animation studio that single-handedly changed the movie industry. Indeed, Pixar’s movies are so cherished that they have fans clamoring for sequels to pretty much every property. 2016 saw the release of #FindingDory, the long-anticipated sequel to the firm fan-favorite Finding Nemo.
After finally getting to see Finding Dory after so many years, could we see another of their hit movies get a sequel? We have a particularly monstrous one in mind...
Could We Be Heading Back To Monstropolis?
Yup, the fantasy caper Monsters Inc, which explores how a company of monsters generate electricity from the screams of human children, celebrates its 15th Anniversary today. Yes, fifteen years...feeling old? Because I sure do now!
Heart-warming, inventive and featuring one of the funniest ever sequences in an animated movie (see above!) Monsters Inc. proved to be so popular that Pixar were bound to cash in on it. And they did so several years ago, producing a prequel, which charted the early friendship of the original monster protagonists Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman).
Yet, as ever, we fans desire more! So when its director Pete Docter recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss Toy Story 4, they immediately quizzed him about a follow up to the 2001 hit movie. Is there going to be one? Well, the good news is that he didn't rule it out:
Indeed, the only stipulation that Docter gave was that:
“It would have to be really compelling, which is hopefully the benchmark for all of our sequels, anyway.”
Since Monsters University came out 3 years ago, many fans assumed that was the last we'd see of Mike's and Sully's adventures — but it looks like that might not be the case!
Seeing as Pixar is the company behind such awesome movies as the Toy Story trilogy, The Incredibles, Up, Inside Out and Ratatouille, I think we can certainly say that whilst the benchmark is high, we have a lot of faith in their capabilities to come up with a fresh idea for Monsters University 2. But with Incredibles 2 set to enter cinemas fourteen years after the first movie, and with a span of thirteen years between the releases of Finding Nemo and Dory, why is there such a gap between Pixar's movies? And why would there now be such a huge one between Monsters Inc. movies?
The Direction Dilemma
These huge time spans are down to Pixar's mantra of quality over quantity. As we've previously heard, Pixar is very stringent with their stories, and mostly produce sequels and prequels only after they have got the consent of the original director. Additionally, they are notoriously fastidious about getting their stories right:
“It’s hard, because as we get in there, we realize you don’t want this to just be another regurgitation of something we’ve seen...to find something new that hasn’t been done...’
This striving for new ideas and freshness is something that we’ve heard about when Brad Bird discussed working on The Incredibles 2 – and heck, apart from on the divisive Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur, this attention to detail has paid off so far.
Unfortunately, in Pixar's current release schedule there is no mention of Monsters Inc 2, nor is there any time (given their other projects) for the movie to be made until after 2020. Even then, Pixar isn't look to create more sequels or prequels. Its President, Jim Morris, has recently stated that in the next decade, they'll be doubling down on new, fresh stories and dialing back on their sequels.
Even so, Monsters Inc. 2 is still a possibility, however much the odds are stacked against it. So, if Pete Docter gets the chance, what could we see in Monsters Inc. 2 if it happens in the future?
What Do the Fans Want?
The first film ended with Boo’s door being repaired by Mike so that Sulley could go and visit her. Therefore, it seems logical that a follow up could focus on the development of Sulley and Boo’s friendship. Certainly, the internet has written an extensive amount of fan fiction revolving around an adult Mary (yup, that’s Boo’s real name!) reconnecting with her furry childhood friend. Funnily enough though, Docter revealed that this was actually one of the original pitches for Monsters Inc!
“Part of that idea was like a Peter Pan-type thing, where [Wendy] had been visited by Peter Pan as a kid and had sort of half-forgotten who he was...’
There’s definitely a lot of potential in this idea, but it’s probably better that Monsters Inc didn’t go down that original route; after all, what makes it work so well is the fact that it is so unique and innovative. Riffing on Peter Pan in the first movie would have made it a little less so. But now that we have got to know that could we see this idea adapted for the sequel?
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Could We See Boo and Her Kitty Reunited?
There is a lot of promise in the idea that Sully and Boo/Mary could meet each other once again. It could tie into meaty themes such as the curse of ageing and time, and the connection between an adult and their younger selves. Sound familiar? Well Toy Story 3 tackled these ideas very touchingly back in 2010, and let's face it, its one of the best animated films of all time for a reason. Monsters Inc 2 could work exceedingly well if it took a leaf out of Toy Story's book, in this respect.
Certainly, the multitudes of fan fiction have embraced these themes, so will Pixar do the same? Unfortunately not, since it seems that Docter and the minds at Pixar are not massively keen on that idea:
“We purposely went with a prequel for Monsters University because we didn’t want to answer some of the questions about what happens to Boo, and how does she grow up, and things like that...’
Ah, bummer. Docter didn’t fully rule out that story line, going on to say that it could be done if Pixar found a new angle on it. Admittedly, leaving the Sulley/Boo friendship as it is could be a good move. The ending of the first film was a tender and deftly handled bit of film making, and tacking another story on to it may dilute its power. Plus, I'm not sure that my emotions could handle seeing them meet up again after all this time! Especially if she's forgotten him!
But that doesn’t mean that the idea of a Monsters Inc. sequel can’t be exiting better that some there is still a lot to be excited about.
A Monstropolis Movie Is Most Wanted!
Fans will no doubt love the idea of reuniting with Sulley and Mike. Their witty banter and the supreme voice talents of Crystal and Goodman are what make them so lovable and endearing to audiences. The movie works because of them, and there is a lot of joy to be had simply seeing Wazowski and Sullivan find fresh adventure in the wider monster world, which is filled with possibilities for a new movie.
The most obvious routes would involve the villainous Randal (Steve Buscemi) and Mr Waternoose (James Coburn) seeking revenge for their respective imprisonments, or an adult, or group of adult humans discovering the monster world. On the other hand, given that the previous films have revolved around Monsters University and Monsters Inc, there are a lot of opportunities to expand the onscreen world.
Are there rival companies to Monsters Inc.? Do their bosses need to be convinced by Sulley and Mike that they should convert to laughter factories instead of scream extractors? Or could we simply see Mike go on a mission to retrieve his original car after this funny fiasco?
Either way, there are a lot of avenues that Pixar could go down. Reading this interview, we can’t help but sense that though #MonstersInc2 is not an immediate priority for the acclaimed studio, it is definitely on their minds, and it could very well become a reality.
Another movie with Mike and Sulley? Bring it on!
Do you want to see a sequel to Monsters Inc.?
[Source: Entertainment Weekly]