Believe me, we don’t like breaking this kind of news, but we regret to inform you that Monsters Inc is now twenty years old. But, in better news, Pixar have released a new short to celebrate. And it’s a silent, black-and-white version of the original movie.
Released in November 2001, Monsters Inc stars Billy Crystal as the one-eyed green monster Mike Wazowski and John Goodman as his best friend – a fluffy blue and purple monster named Sully. They work in a factory, harvesting the screams of human children as a source of power. Their lives are disrupted by the arrival in Monstropolis of human toddler Boo. It made $577 million at the worldwide box office.
It spawned a sequel – Monsters University – in 2013 which fared even better at the box office, earning $743 million worldwide. A spin-off television series – Monsters at Work – premiered on Disney Plus in July of this year.
The new short is in the style of early black-and-white silent Disney shorts, the most famous of which is Steamboat Willie – which marked the debut of Mickey Mouse in 1928.
The whole three minute and fifty second short film can be watched in a Pixar twitter post;
— Pixar (@Pixar) November 9, 2021
The short has been given a classic silent film piano score, has ‘scratches on the lens’ and the editing is jerky and jumpy – all authentic touches. It also has intertitles with the dialogue and some exposition printed on them. The ‘acting’ is also in more of a 1910s or 1920s style – with exaggerated movements and large gestures of emotion.
Perhaps the most famous sequence from the original Monsters Inc movie – where the villain Randall chases Mike, Sully and Boo through various doors, in and out of the human world – is rendered beautifully in the black-and-white short. The animation is reminiscent of German expressionism at times.
The final touch in the short is that it’s “presented in Scare-o-Scope” – like everything that Pixar do, it has been lovingly researched and is rich with details – the care is always evident.
Pixar released Luca on Disney Plus this year, a well-reviewed film set in Italy, about a human-sea monster hybrid boy. Next year, they have Turning Red, a film about a Red Panda and Lightyear – a film about the ‘real Buzz Lightyear’ starring Chris Evans.