Monsters University: Dan Scanlon & Kori Rae Exclusive Interview

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Monsters University writer-director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae talk about their Monster hit. Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles from Monsters Inc.

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Interviewer: All right you two. Thank you so very much for visiting with Movie Fanatic. I have to start, because I think so much of the key to why Monsters in general works, whether this film or the first one, is Mike and Sulley. I mean those guys are so awesome together. What do you think it is about their onscreen chemistry or about those two characters that people just love them? Kori: Yeah, you... Dan: It's tough, you know. I think that they're friends. They clearly seem, even in the first film, to have known each other a long time. Kori: Right. Dan: They have that friendship that you have with certain friends where you can kind of goof on each other and it's Okay. Kori: Yeah. Dan: And I think that that's appealing. Kori: For sure. And it's the yin and yang of them both as characters so it's totally fun. It works. Dan: And they're very different than each other. And then John... Kori: Yeah... Dan: And Billy... Kori: Yeah... Dan: Really added then the next level. Kori: Exactly... Dan: Those guys have a real chemistry. They get along. They make each other laugh. And that's why, when we could, we recorded them together just to add that extra energy. Interviewer: Well, it sure comes through. And the other thing I was curious, what it was the appeal of going back in time to re-visit this world rather than going forward. And kind of by going back, what that provided you creatively. Dan: Well, we knew we wanted to make a movie that explored the relationship of Mike and Sulley more, and that's where the idea of going back came from. We thought what better way to see that than to just watch them meet, which then led us down the college path which we just thought it would be really entertaining. But that was the real reason to go back was to just really see if these guys had known each other for a long time let's see what that looks like. Kori: Right. And to see who they were back then. To also get to delve into who they were individually and how they became friends and what they kind of brought out of each other through the course of their relationship. So, it was a minefield of goodness. Dan: Yeah. Interviewer: Well, what struck me too is that, you know, in the Monsters, Inc. world that's very clearly defined. But by going back to college I mean you can create this entire universe that exists in a university that we all know having gone. I mean was that almost scary in the sense that it could have been so huge. How did you settle on fraternities, the scary games, I mean these types of temples within your story? Dan: Yeah, you're right. Sometimes when you have such a wide open possibility it can be too much. And that's where just focusing on the story really helped, and, in particular, Mike's story. We knew he was the heart of the movie. So we figured as long as we were always focusing on that, and adding the college on top of it, we were headed down the right path. And certainly adding the relationship between Mike and Sulley as well. Kori: Right... Dan: Interviewer: And, lastly, another great thing about this is the world expanded a bit by going back. We got new characters. The supporting players are just astounding whether it's Charlie Day or Sean Hayes. I mean as the supporting player cast came together weren't you guys just pinching yourselves? Dan: Oh absolutely. Kori: Totally. I kept saying really, they get to be on our show too? Interviewer: ` Nathan Fillion. Kori: Yeah. We were so lucky to get a lot of these actors. Dan: Yeah, it was comedy actor nerd fantasy come true for both of us, you know. Interviewer: I know. Kori: Totally. Dan: And they were all so sweet it's obnoxious. But we kept saying like, clearly, that's the nicest person we're going to meet on this movie. And then we'd meet the next one and go well, that's ridiculous, how could you be so nice.

Monsters University Review

When thinking of how to add to the monstrous legacy of the world of Monsters Inc., Pixar could not have made a better move than to go...

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