‘Monsters Inc.’ prequel: Billy Crystal gets schooled by Pixar

Aug. 13, 2011 | 1:33 p.m.
monsters inc1 Monsters Inc. prequel: Billy Crystal gets schooled by Pixar

"Monsters Inc." (Pixar)

Billy Crystal is getting schooled by Pixar — and he couldn’t be happier about returning to the “Monsters Inc.” universe and working again with fellow beastie John Goodman.

“We’re having a blast together,” Crystal said Friday after a marathon recording session for “Monsters University,” which is planned for summer of 2013. “It’s really a great script, it’s really funny.”

Crystal was on stage Friday night at a 20th anniversary screening of “City Slickers,” where he was joined on stage by surprise guest Daniel Stern for a sparkling night of humor and emotion — both spoke warmly of Jack Palance and Bruno Kirby, their “Slickers” costars who both died in 2006. I was the moderator on stage and I also asked Crystal about his return to the role of Michael “Mike” Wazowski, the lime-colored, one-eyed scene-stealer from “Monsters Inc.”

“That’s why I’m a little hoarse. I spent five-and-a-half hours today for our fourth session on ‘Monsters Inc. 2.’ And I have to tell you something, it is hilarious. The Pixar people are geniuses. It’s 10 years since the first movie. Yeah, it’s crazy. And it’s a prequel. They’re in college. It’s how they met, it’s how Michael and Sully meet, and plan to become scarers at Monsters Inc. — so this movie ends where the other one starts.”

The film again puts Crystal side-by-side with Goodman, who plays the hulking and hirsute James P. “Sulley” Sullivan. “John Goodman is a genius and he’s great and we’re really funny together,” Crystal said to a loud ovation from the audience at the American Cinematheque event. The 63-year-old Crystal didn’t elaborate on new cast members or the details of the plot beyond saying: “It’s college pranks with monsters. And I wear a retainer. Mike has a retainer.”

— Geoff Boucher


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7 Responses to ‘Monsters Inc.’ prequel: Billy Crystal gets schooled by Pixar

  1. George Costanza says:

    Ugh a prequel!!!
    So now Pixar is taking their cues from creatively bankrupt Hollywood.

    When are they going to learn how dramatically innery something becomes when you know the outcome.
    Sully and Mike cannot die. They cannot NO longer be friends. There is nothing you can risk because we know it turns out well in the end.

    AND BTW what made the first one so great was the implication of backstory with Mike and Sully and the whole universe. Now they will explain it and ruin like Star Wars.

    Good grief.

  2. Drewkers says:

    Please, it will be fine, it's Pixar. Their only weak entry so far has been Cars 2 and I doubt they will mess up Monsters Inc. When you say "Suly and Mike cannot die. They cannot no longer be friends", etc…Did you expect that stuff in a Disney/Pixar movie? Did you really think they would end any movie with the main charactrs dying or not hating each other?

  3. Geek Chick says:

    God forbid people just like the characters and want to see them return. You know, it is possible to create a sequel/prequel just because the characters are cool and have more story to tell. I am actually surprised they are going back to Monsters, Inc. It is one of my favorites but not necessarily the most marketable of the group. Finding Nemo and The Incredibles are more obvious choices if they are in it just for the cash. Just my opinion.

  4. Sam says:

    I can see where Costanza is coming from. There was closure to the Toy Story saga in part 3, which made it so meaningful and one of the best movies of all time.

  5. LKS says:

    Get grip people… it's a kids movie and Pixar to boot!!! My daughter is going to be thrilled and we can't wait either! Bring on the monsters, yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

    • Jonathan says:

      Hear, hear! It's a kids' movie, and you know that you will go see it with your kids or nephews/nieces or whatever, because you want to see it too, but are afraid to admit it. Get rid of any preconceived notions that the movie will suck just because it's a sequel. Come on, you know you want to….

  6. Liza says:

    I am so excited but a little confused… how could it be when they first meet? In the original Monster's Inc trailer, Sully makes reference to when him and Mike were in 5th grade together… and in the movie I'm nearly positive that Mike has a line like "you've been jealous of my looks since the 4th grade, pal."

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