Mike and Sully are back in the continuing story of Monsters, Inc

There are many arguments to be had over which Pixar animation truly reigns supreme. But when Monsters, Inc. debuted in November 2001 it achieved stunning box office figures and few animated pairings are as loveable as Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P Sullivan, otherwise known as Sully (John Goodman).

Sully (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal)
Sully (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal)

There’s since been a prequel film, Monsters University, which was released in 2013. And now, there’s a TV series launching on Disney+, reuniting us with the big, blue, furry scareman Sully, and his green, one-eyed work pal Mike.

The show features some new monster characters too, voiced by the likes of Mindy Kaling and Ben Feldman.

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Here’s the setting for the show: it’s the day after the Monsters, Incorporated power plant started harvesting the laughter of children to fuel the city of Monstropolis, which you’ll remember was all down to Mike and Sully’s discovery that laughter generates 10 times more energy than screams.

We’re introduced to an eager young monster called Tylor Tuskmon (Feldman), who graduated top of his class at Monsters University. Having always dreamed of becoming a Scarer, he lands a job at Monsters, Inc, but soon discovers that scaring is out and laughter is in.

Tylor is temporarily reassigned to the Monsters, Inc Facilities Team (Mift), where he has to work alongside a misfit bunch of mechanics while setting his sights on becoming a Jokester.

“It was horrifying to join to join this cast; I look up to everybody here and feel like I somehow crowbarred my way into a room that I don’t belong in,” jokes Feldman, 41, from Washington DC.

But it was definitely easy for the original stars to reprise their roles.

“I loved getting back into Mike – I don’t think he ever left,” says New Yorker Crystal, 73. “He’s pretty much my favourite character that I’ve ever played. I had so much fun with John [Goodman] on the first two films.”

“It’s a no-brainer; the script is so good, the animation is such high quality,” adds 68-year-old Goodman, who hails from Missouri.

Kaling loved taking on the role of Val, an enthusiastic member of the Mift.

“She’s so earnest and pure, and I normally play sociopaths, so that’s really nice,” jokes Massachusetts-born Kaling, 41.

The actress and writer – known for comedies like The Office and The Mindy Project – adds: “I love that I can watch this with my daughter. She’s three now, so we watched the first two Monsters, Inc [films] and there’s something so nice, having spent the whole year in quarantine and having stared at every single door in my house, that we’re in this world where the door of your bedroom could lead to this amazing place.

Feldman, who also stars in the sitcom Superstore, notes how there are lots of women behind the scenes writing for Monsters At Work.

“You probably don’t know that when you are just watching it, but I just think it’s great. And I’m excited for my daughter to be able to see an extension of the world of the movies.”

Monsters At Work launches on Disney+ on Wednesday