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Disney+ Monsters at Work (1 Viewer)

Jake Lipson

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I liked the first two episodes a lot. It is a little weird to see a Monsters story without Mike and Sully at the center, but they did a good job establishing new characters and I will be tuning in next week. Although the brand is very much associated with Pixar, the show is produced and animated by Disney Television Animation rather than Pixar's artists. They've actually done a very good job replicating the look and feel of the monster world from the movies on a television budget. Sometimes when a movie gets adapted from a movie, there's a distinct step down in terms of the look. But this does feel like it's taking place in the same space we're already familiar with from the films.

However, there's one thing that bugged me about the premiere, and that is Tylor being completely in the dark about the change to laugh power before he gets to work. I know they were going for maximum shock effect by having him find out on the job that his dream job doesn't exist anymore. However, it feels a little disingenuous because the arrival of Boo into the monster world received so much news coverage In the movie. The downfall of Waternoose and the change to laugh power is such a big change to the state of this world that it seems like a stretch for him to be completely unaware of it before showing up at work. I mean, does he never watch the news? Do his family and friends all never watch the news either? It just feels like you'd have to live under a rock not to know what's going on when the change is that significant.
 

Sam Favate

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We watched the premiere, and it’s fun, even if it’s off to a more or less predictable start. We’ll continue to watch as new episodes are released.
 

Jake Lipson

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Has anyone else been watching this week to week?

It doesn't have the online buzz of a MCU show but I've really been enjoying it. Today's episode introduced a character who was particularly zany and weird.
 

TravisR

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It's a fun and funny show that has nice characters. Unsurprisingly for Pixar, it's something that kids and adults can enjoy. They're doing a nice job of juggling featuring Mike and Sully and the new group of monsters. Having recently seen Monsters, Inc. again, I have to give them credit for really sticking to the continuity established in the movie and picking up right from there.

And one great thing is that I'm watching a TV show that I don't have to rush to watch in the morning so it doesn't get spoiled by social media. There's not much chance that, say, Fritz is going to be killed off in the season finale and that I'll have that ruined on Twitter. :)
 

Jake Lipson

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Unsurprisingly for Pixar
Pixar is not actually making this and never has been. It's under the Pixar section of Disney+ because Pixar created the Monsters brand, but they are not doing this show. Most people probably understandably think that they are, but it is produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. If you look through the credits on any given episode you will see the names of various animation studios employed to help out with the work.

That being said, I agree that they have captured the world established in the films pretty well and I enjoy watching it. It doesn't quite have the weight of the films, but as a series designed to spend more time in the world, it's pretty fun.

I think the weirder it gets in terms of zany characters, the more I like it. The plots are kind of pedestrian but the biggest laughs for me so far were
when the snail from Monsters University took an entire day to get into starting position for the bowling tournament last week
and
the inspector with the case of sentient eyes going all over the factory this week.
Mike's comedy class for this week was the best yet.

And one great thing is that I'm watching a TV show that I don't have to rush to watch in the morning so it doesn't get spoiled by social media.
I watch it at midnight every week just because I want to. :)
 

DaveF

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I keep thinking I should check out Monsters at Work, but I keep forgetting about it. Maybe this Fall — I’ve got a full roster of fun shows with Ted Lasso, Schmigadoon, and Central Park, so no room right now for another lightweight show.

How much will I be missing having not seen the last Monsters Inc Goes to College movie? Do I need to make a point to watch it before starting the new series?
 

TravisR

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How much will I be missing having not seen the last Monsters Inc Goes to College movie? Do I need to make a point to watch it before starting the new series?
Not that I can tell. The new characters do reference the school but there's nothing that would confuse a viewer that hadn't seen Monsters University.

That being said, Monsters University is a fun movie and worth checking out when you get a chance.
 

Jason_V

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I’ve been keeping up on the show either Wednesday morning before work or at night after work. It’s cute and fun. Each episode is its own contained story while there is a character arc for Tyler.

I’m pretty sure I know how the season ends for him, but I don’t care. It’s a nice little diversion from all the more serious tv shows out there.
 

Jake Lipson

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Do I need to make a point to watch it before starting the new series?
Travis is right that you don't really need it from the perspective of understanding. I also want to make clear that I like the show before I say what I'm about to say. That being said, there's no reason to watch a non-Pixar Monsters show if you haven't seen both movies that Pixar actually made. Even though the show is very enjoyable, there's no world in which it should supersede an actual Pixar production with Mike and Sully for you.
 
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Jake Lipson

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After last week was the weirdest and funniest episode yet, I thought this week was probably the least interesting. The entire function of MIFT is to keep the Monsters, Inc. facilities running and they can't handle a vending machine? Really?

I know this is a show that is partially aimed at kids, and it's bright and colorful and funny and kids probably love it. But we're now six episodes in and we rarely see MIFT do any work. Basically it seems like most of the time we just see them hanging around the basement. Surely there must be some kind of fun way to make their jobs a fun and interesting part of the show. The monster world is so cool that they should be able to find an inventive way to use the job to illuminate cool things there that are unique.

Also, it seemed like the connection between the A-story with MIFT and the B-story with Mike and Sully was especially thin this week.
 

TravisR

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After last week was the weirdest and funniest episode yet, I thought this week was probably the least interesting. The entire function of MIFT is to keep the Monsters, Inc. facilities running and they can't handle a vending machine? Really?
Good point. I just went with it because even the best comedies have episodes where the plot dictates that the characters have to be dumber than they actually would be in reality.
 

Jake Lipson

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Edit: I had this under a spoiler tag earlier, but the character's name is in the episode title so no one can click into the episode without knowing anyway. Therefore, I guess it's not a spoiler.

Here is an interview with John Ratzenberger about returning as the Abominable/Adorable Snowman in this week's episode.

 
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Jake Lipson

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I thought "Adorable Returns" was by far the best episode yet. It made excellent use of the Adorable Snowman character. This could very well have been "Look who's back from the movie!" cameo. Instead, they found a way that was organic and interesting for him to return. It progressed Tylor's story and added in a meaningful way to the mythology of this world. The implication in Monsters University that he was banished for tampering with the mail actually did feel like the character was being thrown in for an insubstantial cameo. This episode actually found a way to deepen that story point without doing anything to diminish it from the film. I really, really liked this episode a lot. This was great. If some of you reading this have only sampled the show and aren't watching every week, this episode is one to check out for sure.
 

Jake Lipson

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Another great episode this week that had me laughing a lot and really invested with the characters. I think this had the least amount of Mike and Sully yet, and was much more firmly centered on Tylor, but that's a good thing. Mike and Sully still appear, but they often get a B-plot, and there isn't really a B-plot this week. Everything (prior to the Mike's Comedy Class tag at the end) is advancing the A-plot, which I think is what made it really effective. I liked the show from the beginning but I think they are really getting better as they go along,;.
 

Jake Lipson

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In episode 9, I get what they were trying to do with Tylor, his character development and priorities. It was absolutely a big episode for in terms of his arc.

However, it wasn't one of my favorite episodes. The MIFT gang was acting weird, even for them, in regards to a deceased coworker and I felt the episode was perhaps a bit too over the top regarding mourning.

It is also notable for being the first episode with no Sully at all, and Mike was only in his customary Comedy Class tag scene, not part of the main plot.

Next week is the season finale.

Although the show has never reached the heights of Monsters, Inc., I don't think any TV show ever could have done that, so that is not a fair standard to judge this by. That being said, they have certainly done a good job every week making me enjoy a visit to that world. So I hope that continues and I will miss the show when the season ends.
 

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