Monsters University is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Dan Scanlon is the director and Kori Rae is the producer. It will be the fourteenth film produced by Pixar and will be the prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. John Goodman reprises his role as James P. Sullivan, with Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, Frank Oz, and John Ratzenberger reprising their roles as Mike Wazowski, Randall Boggs, Celia Mae, Jeff Fungus and the Abominable Snowman, respectively. Kelsey Grammer replaces James Coburn as the voice of Henry J. Waternoose III, due to Coburn’s death in 2002. The film is currently scheduled to be released on June 21, 2013.
Preceding the film will be a short film called The Blue Umbrella.
Set about ten years before the events of Monsters, Inc., 18-year-old James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman), and 17-year-old Michael “Mike” Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) meet in college and are in the same fraternity, while planning to become scarers at Monsters, Inc. The film also explains that Sulley and Mike were once rivals but soon became best friends.
Plans for a second Monsters, Inc. film have existed since 2005. Following disagreements between then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Pixar founder and CEO Steve Jobs, Disney (who at the time owned the rights to make sequels to all of Pixar’s films up to Cars) announced that a sequel to Monsters, Inc. would be made by Circle 7 Animation. However, Disney’s change of management in late 2005 (which saw Eisner replaced by his lieutenant Robert Iger) led to renewed negotiations with Pixar, and in early 2006 Disney announced that they had purchased the studio. The Disney-owned sequel rights were then transferred to Pixar, leading to the cancellation of Rob Muir and Bob Hilgenberg’s version of the film and the subsequent closure of Circle 7.
A Pixar-made sequel was confirmed in 2010. On April 5, 2011, it was announced that the film’s release date would be June 21, 2013. It will be the studio’s fourteenth feature film. On March 29, 2011, it was confirmed that the film will be a prequel and the title Monsters University was revealed. The feature will be directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae. John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, Frank Oz, and John Ratzenberger will reprise their roles. New voice cast includes Dave Foley, Julia Sweeney, Helen Mirren, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Ken Jeong, Rob Riggle, and J. B. Smoove. On August 12, 2011, Billy Crystal was asked about his return to the role of Mike Wazowski and said, “I’m a little hoarse. I spent five-and-a-half hours today for our fourth session on Monsters, Inc. 2.”
On December 3, 2012, progressive metal band Mastodon announced via their Twitter page that they were writing a song for the film.