Wednesday 12 December 2012

UPDATED: Pete Docter AMA, Monsters, Inc. 3D Featurette and New Monsters U Images

The fantastic Pete Docter took to Reddit today, for an AMA (Ask Me Anything), answering questions about Pixar, his work past and present (including The Inside Out and Monsters, Inc. 3D), and some somewhat off-topic stuff. The Monsters, Inc. and Up director was cut off in mid-stream though, by an impromptu fire alarm at Pixar - which he reassuringly posted about upon his return:

"Sorry to report, Pixar burned down. All future films canceled. Sorry."

Luckily we got a few details out of Pete before the Emeryville campus became rubble. In response to the question "[is] there is any particular way you go about setting up and showing characters in your films?", the Brain Trust mainstay replied:

"Ideally, we try to introduce our characters in some way that makes them distinct and memorable -- sort of like the way you might tell someone about a wild friend of yours. You know, something like, "He's the kind of guy who calls you at 3am, not even realizing you're asleep!" We try to make characters that have a definite view on the world. Geez, talking about characters is tough... I keep typing and erasing -- it's kind of an instinctive thing. You just do what feels truthful and real, and try to exaggerate that."

Asked about his "greatest inspirations or influences", Docter said:

"Hoo boy, that could be a long list.... Walt Disney, obviously, and Jim Henson. They both created these amazing organizations devoted to making great characters. Chuck Jones -- amazing. Oops -- the fire alarm just went on! Gotta evacuate the building! (No joke!)"

Reassuring Pixar fans that his next film (the previously untitled Inside the Mind film, now apparently called The Inside Out) due on 19th June, 2015, will be as good as we've come to expect from him, Docter said that his favourite Pixar movie is "My next one!"

Now, onto the hard hitting questions:

"Did you grow up wanting to be a doctor, Docter?" asks clonethedodo, to which Pete responded "Yes, but I faint at the sight of blood."

Monohan66 inquires "Would you rather fight 100 Flik sized Sulleys, or 1 Sulley sized Flik?", and the lion-hearted director responded "One Flik sized Sulley. I could just step on them and then go off to lunch!"

Well, there you have that.

The 3D re-release of Docter's first feature film, Monsters, Inc., arrives a week today in the States, and IGN have a new featurette, with words from Docter, about the transition to 3D. The director talks about the enhanced dramatic effect the 3D adds to the film, saying "it takes it to another level", and, for what it's worth, I whole-heartedly agree (check out our exclusive, first-on-the-Internet review of Monsters, Inc. 3D here). Check out the featurette above.

Finally, Entertainment Weekly bring us two new images from Monsters, Inc.'s upcoming prequel, Monsters University! Monsters U isn't being directed by Docter (though he did give it his endorsement), but rather by Dan Scanlon (Mater and the Ghostlight), who gave EW a few salient words about these great new images - which show Mike (Billy Crystal) arriving at the eponymous Monsters University, and him and future-best friend Sulley (John Goodman) getting off to a rocky start:

"This is roughly around the time Mike and Sulley meet. They’re at a fraternity party, and this is Mike and Sulley getting off on the wrong foot a little bit."

UPDATED - 18:50 (GMT): Pixar's official Tumblr bring us a third (and hi-res) image from Monsters U, showing Mike getting roped into an inadvertent prank involving the odd looking school mascot that he's riding. Stitch Kingdom and Big Screen Animation also have the first two images in higher-res.

This is sure going to be a funny, and visually impressive, film! MU hits US cinemas on 21st June, 2013, and UK ones on 12th July.

Also, briefly, check out the tentative cover for Chronicle Books' upcoming The Art of Monsters University, which is now available for pre-order; although, given that the book's not out until 1st June, 2013 in the US, and a month later in the UK, you can probably afford to wait a while to pre-order it. The Art of Monsters U is written by Karen Paik (The Art of Ratatouille) with a foreword by director Dan Scanlon, and preface by John Lasseter and Pete Docter.


  1. Man, what an awesome guy. I cannot wait for The Inside Out, I just know it's going to be mindblowingly, amazingly spectacular - and that's an understatement.

    I love the MU images, I'm extremely hyped to see Mike and Sulley back; they've always been two of my favorite movie characters of all time. Why can't June 21 come faster??

    1. Yeah, you can't help but love him! And, indeed, all of his films.