A Deep Dive into ‘Monsters at Work’: “Welcome to Monsters Incorporated

Tylor Tuskmon has waited all his life to be a scarer. He was top of his class, he looks scary and his dad was a scarer. Sound familiar? You may wonder why I’m doing a deep dive into Monsters at Work and I wondered if I should do a review or deep dives. Pixar warrants deep dives; plus, I can’t help but think that there’s a lot more to learn from this series than we think.

So we start with MIke and Sully being promoted, basically, to CEOs of Monsters Inc. Now if you recall, Monster Inc has had a major overhaul. They don’t scare to care anymore. They learned that making children laugh generated more power than scaring them. While the series doesn’t tell us how long after Monsters Inc. this series takes place, but based on my favorite part of this episode, I’d say not too long after. When Tylor goes to his orientation, they play the original Monsters Inc. marketing video and the guy is screaming updates throughout the video. I laughed way too hard at this scene. Whoever thought of that scene needs a raise and immediately.

Now, we’ve all had this conversation before–college versus no college. Val and Tylor have an interesting conversation about her not finishing college while Tylor did. Val, in a way, makes the point that although Tylor finished college and she didn’t, they managed to end up in the same place. You could argue that Val has a leg up on Tylor because she has a job while Tylor has to work his way up to jokester or to lead…whatever in MIFT.

You know what I love about this show? The focus on the show is on the maintenance monsters at Monsters Inc. Both movies, both Monsters Inc. and Monsters University, focused on being a scarer. It was the supreme job and either you were a scarer or you did something else but they never really said what else you could do. There was that class about making the canisters for the scare doors but I don’t know what the other monsters in the city do–that is until now.

You know what I also never thought about? The overhaul of Monsters Inc. The entire city runs off the work of this one factory and when they changed the format of the factory, it reminded me of a few things. Working in news, a lot of things have changed in the past five years. We went from manual cameras to robotic cameras, from a manual system to a more automated system and even our producers are producing from home. Major changes have taken place but we still have to air ten or more shows a day. There’s not time to shut down and regroup. That’s what’s happening at Monsters Inc. They have to keep powering the city so there is no time for a break. Everyone has to keep going. So that means no one had any time to prepare to be jokesters, folks like newly graduated Tylor.

You ever have that moment where your dreams were crushed or they simply changed? This is what Tylor is experiencing right now, but do Mike and Sully know something that Tylor doesn’t? Remember who Mike and Sully were in college. Fast forward to who they are now. They are not the same Mike and Sully but they have more of an appreciation for where they are based on how they got there. Is this the lesson for Tylor?

I can’t wait to see how much Tylor learns about himself as we go on this journey with him. Pixar always pulls at the heartstrings but knows how to make it fun!

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