Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Hold on to your potatoes, fellas. I have a steady stream of Pixar, Marvel and Disney Studios news about to hit from the massive 3 hour presentation at D23.
First up, Monsters University! John Lasseter was on stage and said, “At Pixar, when we do a sequel we do it because we have a story as good or better than the original” and proceeded to segue into the Monsters Inc prequel. First he introduced a video of John Goodman and Billy Crystal in the sound booth giving well wishes to the fans. Goodman says that they really need the fans to be with them on this movie and probably should have been there. Crystal responds saying, “Well, I should be there, so I will be!” and appears on stage with a fully costumed Mike and Sully joining him and Lasseter.
Most of these cast appearances were just waves and good-byes, but we did learn a bit about Monsters University. We know the film will take place before Mike and Sully are working as scarers and Lasseter called the film a college movie set in the Monsters world.
But the story starts before that, in grade school as Mike and Sully don’t start off as the best of friends. They are very competitive and saying you want to be a scarer is like saying you want to be an astronaut. Everybody wants to do it, but very few can.
We saw a production painting of preteen Mike and Sully that wasn’t very descriptive, but show them in a messy bedroom (with bunk beds if my tired brain remembers correctly).
College Sully is skinnier and shaggier and college Mike looks about the same, but is wearing a retainer on his teeth (presumably to separate them more and make them less straight, scarier).
We also got a look at new characters, including the different cliques, including geek monsters, cool kid monsters (usually werewolf looking dudes in letter jackets) and even goth monsters, which mostly looked like Roz except dressed in black. There are monster professors, including stuffing literary professors (one was a dude wearing a “Latin is not Dead” t-shirt under a dinner jacket), eccentric drama department monsters and coaches, etc.
Concept art of the campus was shown. If you want to be a scarer you go to this particular college, which has the oldest scare-training building as the centerpiece of the campus. It is a stone structure, circular with odd window ports jutting out. The dorm rooms look a little haunted housey, with an old brick exterior.
Monsters University director Dan Scanlon said the heart of the story lies in the concept of college, a place where one goes to discover who they are and develop as personalities. The Pixar team spent a lot of time visiting campuses (Scanlon said “Most of us went to art school and have no idea what real college looks like!”) to find a reality to set their fantasy world in.
Voicing new characters are Joel Murray, Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney and…
Steve Buscemi!!! Yep, Randall will return. The assumption is he’ll be at school with Mike and Scully.
So, Buscemi is confirmed to return to the series and while we didn’t see any footage, it feels like they’re on the right track. Monsters Inc is a universe I’d love to see them explore (much more than Cars) and Scanlon was saying all the right things.
So there’s that. Look for a flood of more coverage from the different parts of the panel, including the first real look at THE AVENGERS! Preview: Loki to Stark: “I have an army!” Stark to Loki: “We have a Hulk!” Oh yeah, it was pretty sweet.