Despite the desperate pleas of the internet, Mike Wazowski and James Sullivan have no current plans to be whisked away on a cat bus to the land of Studio Ghibli. But the stars of Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University are set to hit the small screen in their own expanded universe with the Disney+ debut of Monsters at Work this summer.
Disney+ has spent the last two year expanding its biggest properties on its hugely successful streaming service, with Star Wars' series The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch and Marvel's WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier netting huge ratings ahead upcoming shows like Loki and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This will mark the streamer's first expansion of the Pixar world.
Monsters at Work marks the second television spinoff of Pixar's properties following the animated Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. It's also Disney's second attempt to spin a beloved franchise into a workplace comedy, after ABC's adult-focused Office spoof The Muppets flopped in 2015.
The streamer dropped a short trailer for Monsters at Work yesterday, and while it was short on details, it looks to build upon the rich and layered world established in the first films.
Here's everything we know ahead of its release.
The show will be a direct follow-up to Monsters, Inc.
Released in 2001, Monsters, Inc. was an early hit for Pixar, taking place in a world where blue-collar monsters braved the world of humans to harvest children's screams as a source of energy. It was followed by the 2013 prequel Monsters University, which followed the eager-but-diminutive sentient eyeball Mike (Billy Crystal) as he sought to prove himself worthy of professional scaring degree, along the way befriending giant blue beast Sulley (John Goodman).
Monsters at Work will take place in the aftermath of Monsters, Inc., which saw Mike and Sulley rise to the rank of heroes when they discovered children's laughter — not frightened screams — provided a stronger and more easily replenished source of energy.
Based on the preview, the show will follow a restructuring of the Monsters, Inc. power company as career scarers are tasked with reinventing a literal culture of fear as one of laughter.
Mike and Sulley have been promoted
Given they're responsible for the tectonic shift in their workplace — and that their discovery led to the downfall of their scaremonger boss — the original film's sluggish secret puppetmaster, Roz, promotes the pair to management positions, where they seem to be overseeing the slapdash MIFT (Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team).
That move up the corporate wrung puts the lovable pair in a more antagonistic position, and could result in considerable conflict as they transition from the Scare Floor to a posh new office.
The line "scarers are out, jokesters are in" should also provide the show with considerable conflict. Monsters University showed how competitive a field Scarer is, and how generations of monsters were trained in the art of frightening kids. Monsters, Inc., meanwhile, showed the extremes monsters will go in order to maintain the status quo.
Think of their world as an analogue to coal- and oil-workers resistance to solar and wind energy and you've got the recipe for a surprisingly contentious reaction to the very concept of making kids laugh as one group of workers is forced to adapt or be replaced.
Original cast members are returning
As with most Pixar sequels, much of the core cast is set to return. Goodman and Crystal's will reprise their bander, as Sulley and Mike, along with Bob Peterson's croaking slug Roz.
Additionally, the show will see the return of Jennifer Tillyas Mike's smitten and snake-haired girlfriend, Bonnie Hunt's fish-faced Ms. Flint and Pixar MVP John Ratzenberger as disgraced snow-cone aficionado Yeti.
New monsters are joining up
Monsters at Work is bringing in a group of ringers to fill out its ranks. Mindy Kaling will return to her Office roots in workplace comedy as MIFT team member Val. (Kaling replaces originally cast Kelly Marie Tran of Raya and the Last Dragon.) She will work alongside Henry Winkler's lovably bumbling Fritz.
Superstore's Ben Feldman will voice Tylor Tuskmon, a recent MU grad struggling to adapt to the new world after a lifetime spent dreaming of glory as a Scarer. Archer alum Aisha Tyler will play Tylor's mom, with Ratzenberger reportedly pulling double duty as his father.
Monsters at Work debuts July 2 on Disney+ and runs for 10 weekly episodes.
See where Monsters, Inc. lands on Time Out's ranking of Pixar films
And find out which Pixar classics made Time Out's list of the 100 best animated films of all time