On the absurdly long list of original programming for streaming service Disney+, the Monsters Inc. spin-off was one that raised some questions for me. Even with still so few details about the service itself, THR provided some information on Monsters at Work, which will take place six months after the original film. While this show will focus on new characters, Billy Crystal and John Goodman will indeed make appearances as Mike Wazowski and James “Sully” Sullivan.
Other returning cast members include Pixar mainstay John Ratzenberger as the Abominable Snowman, Jennifer Tilly as Mike Wazowski’s girlfriend Celia, and Bob Peterson as the slug-like administrator Roz. The new voice cast line-up consists of Ben Feldman (Superstore) as ambitious mechanic Tylor Tuskmon, who aspires to work with Mike and Sully, Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as his lifelong friend Val Little, Henry Winkler as “scatterbrained boss” Fritz, Lucas Neff (Raising Hope) as Duncan, a plumber, Alanna Ubach (Coco) as “officious rule follower” Cutter, Stephen Stanton (Star Wars Resistance) as bumbling custodians Smitty and Needleman, and Aisha Tyler as Tylor’s mother, Millie Tuskmon.
Curiously, this scoop has no actual mention of Pixar, the animation studio behind Monsters Inc. and its prequel Monsters University. Also not mentioned is any involvement from specific Pixar figures, such as Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter. Disney Television Animation is said to be behind the production of Monsters at Work, leading me to wonder what sort of animation style this show will have. Computer animation is undoubtedly a more costly and time-consuming process (look at Big Hero 6: The Series, which has a 2D animated style as opposed to Disney’s computer animation for the movie), but at the same time, Disney certainly would have the money for it, especially considering how big of an investment this new streaming service will be.
Monsters Inc. has never been my favorite Pixar film, but it is still a heart-warming and nostalgic property. The premise of this new show makes a lot of sense, expanding the world of the movie while paying respect to the two main characters that made it such a success in the first place. Having Mike and Sully in the background as the elder “legacy” characters is a good move, and watching them be idolized by a newer character means a lot, especially seeing how they got their start in Monsters University. And hey, who doesn’t love a good workplace comedy? It will be interesting to see how Monsters Inc. as a company has changed, especially as the factory now focuses on laughs rather than scares. Probably the closest we got was the Kingdom Hearts III Monstropolis world, but that world felt barren and lifeless, mostly taking place off work hours—plus, the characters were voiced by budget versions of Goodman, Crystal, and Steve Buscemi.
Monsters at Work will stream for Disney+ in 2020, with Disney+ still having a planned late 2019 launch. In the meanwhile, check out the nightmare video below.