Monsters at Work: It’s Laughter We’re After

Sulley and Mike in Monsters at Work. Courtesy of Disney.

Monsters at Work starts the day after Monstropolis decided to go after laughter rather than power their city by scaring children.

A number of Monsters Inc. veterans return including Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman). However, we’re introduced to some new monsters including the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team (MIFT). While Mike and Sulley are series regulars, they’re not particularly the main stars of the series. No, this honor belongs to new Monsters University graduate Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman). Tylor gets offered a job as a Scarer after graduating at the top of his class at MU. Unfortunately, this comes right as Monsters Inc. is going from specializing in scares to laughter. Tyler has no background in comedy. Nothing worse than one’s dream crashing in front of their eyes! The show’s humor drives from Tyler not really being able to adjust to his new role with the MIFT team.

The MIFT assignment reunites Tylor with a former MU classmate, Val (Mindy Kaling). Fritz (Henry Winkler) heads up the department. Other members include Duncan (Lucas Neff), Cutter (Alanna Ubach), and Banana Bread (Dee Bradley Baker). Realizing that he needs to become a jokester if he wants to land on the Laugh Floor, Tylor enrolls in Mike’s new comedy classes. With the quick switch to laughter, it means there are more power outages and they come fast and furious. There just aren’t enough jokesters in the Monsters Inc. wheelhouse and Mike can’t just power up Monstropolis by himself!

Bobs Gannaway developed the ten-episode series. He’s a Disney veteran so the universe is in good hands under his watch. Plus, Pete Docter also worked with the show by providing unused concept art. It’s pretty fun to see the art get reworked into the series. Disney sent press the first two episodes for viewing. I think there’s a lot of potential here to go ahead and greenlight a second season. Obviously, time will tell in seeing how the overall story plays out. The big thing here is that we get to explore areas we didn’t see in the movies. The humor is certainly on par with the Pixar movies. To be fair, it’s been a while since I watched the movies. I’m honestly surprised it’s taken this long to get on the air. It’s a direct sequel to the 2001 film while also working as a spin-off series.

Randy Newman’s theme for the Monsters Inc. opening credits returns in the series. The theme appears in a capella form. However, Dominic Lewis takes over composing duties. Meanwhile, the second episode has a catchy tune, “Comedy Can Be Dangerous, by Randy Rogel. Billy Crystal sings it so beautifully in a way that only Mike can.

Monsters at Work brings the funny while managing to keep the Pixar spirit on screen.

CAST: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Ben Feldman, Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler, Lucas Neff, Alanna Ubach

Disney+ releases Monsters at Work on Wednesdays starting on July 7, 2021.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.