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Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

November 2, 2001

VOICE STARS: John Goodman
Billy CrystalSteve Buscemi
John Ratzenberger
DIRECTOR: Pete Docter

From Pixar Animation, the Academy Award winning creators of Toy Story, comes Monsters, Inc.

Set in Monstropolis, the film follows the misadventures of James P. 'Sully' Sullivan (John Goodman) and his best friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), who both work at Monsters, Inc., a factory that collects the screams of human children which is the main power source in the monster world.

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"We stress story and character at Pixar. We spend 2½ years on story development to make sure the story is great. With live action the director will shoot each scene from many different angles, and that produces the coverage that goes to the editing room where they'll have a lot of choices from which to edit the film together. Animation is far too expensive to produce coverage. We have one chance to animate every single scene, so we need to make sure it's right. The way we do that is, we edit the movie in advance of production by making a version of the movie just using the storyboard drawings."
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"The only regret I have in this business was passing on doing the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. To be very honest, I don't think I was right for it. I thought Tim Allen was that guy. Mike Wazowski is a better fit for me."
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"Having an actor in mind helps us solidify what the character is all about. As we start to make a list of actors that we think will be good for a role, we go to their older films, strip out just the audio and put it underneath a picture of our character, and that's the way we audition actors. We animated a piece of Mike to a piece of dialogue from one of Billy's earlier movies, and we showed it to him. He just loved it."
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"They used lines from My Giant. It was the scene where I say, 'The size of the hero depends on the size of the giant. Without Goliath, David is just some punk throwing rocks.' I said to John, 'I love Mike, but he shouldn't sound like me.' I'd did a character on Saturday Night Live who was a masochist named Willy, so I took that and edged him up, gave him some Expresso and made him nuts. This part is like Jiminy Cricket on speed. Once I had that it was very freeing."
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JOHN GOODMAN on using his voice to create the character:
"At the end of a four hour session, I'd be really tired because you've got to throw a lot of muscularity into what you're doing to make it sound like you're moving around. It doesn't take much to make me tired anyway. You'll read the scene once and read each line three times. Then they throw everything out and re-write it!"
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Sully, voice by John GoodmanPETE DOCTER:
"The character of Sully is this tough quarterback, he's the star of the team, he goes to Monsters, Inc. and scares kids, and then as the story goes on we find out that he has this soft, sensitive, compassionate side. The physical sound of the voice was so important - Sully is eight feet tall and extremely powerful - we were looking at Kodiak bears as references. John Goodman has this wonderful quality to his voice, yet he's a teddy bear. His comic timing is absolutely superb."
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"I don't see Randall as a villain, he's a monster who is a little bit more competitive than the rest and probably insecure, so he likes to put on airs of superiority. I just approached it like a regular character."
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"When they were drawing Hamm (the piggy bank) in Toy Story, they were using my character from Cheers, so when they put a voice to him they gave me a call and I said, 'Sure, I'll do it,' and I've been with them ever since. When we were doing Toy Story 2 they told me, 'We've got a part for you in the next one,' and that's all I needed to know. I also do their landscaping and some car detailing!"
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Text by Judy Sloane. More here: PAGE 2Back to top

Visit the official Monsters, Inc. site • All images above © Disney Inc.
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

Film Review, March 2002 cover
March issue, now available
Xpose, December 2001 cover
December issue, now available (with Billy Crystal interview)
Starburst 280, published early Nov 01
December issue, now available