Back to School with Monsters University. An Interview with John Goodman and Billy Crystal.

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Go back to school with us as we celebrate Monsters University. This prequel to the 2001 successful film, Monster’s Inc. introduces us to a whole new set of characters and how James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) became friends.

We had the opportunity to sit and chat with John Goodman and Billy Crystal at a recent Press Conference to discuss their new film. If you’re interested in hearing the full audio of the conference Click Here to jump down. To read the full Spoiler Free movie review Click Here.

mu2Since he was a little monster, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) has always dreamed of becoming a Scarer, a prestige role in the Monsters world. After being accepted into Monsters University (MU) Wazowski might finally have that chance, well so he thought. That’s when he met James P. Sullivan “Sulley” (John Goodman) and things took a turn for the worse. Directing this prequel is Dan Scanlon (Cars, Mater and the Ghostlight, Tracy) who joined Pixar in 2001 as a storyboard artist. He makes his animated feature directorial debut with Monsters University. Both Goodmand and Crystal were asked what it was like working with Dan. “Dan is a hipster.” “Dan is like – he had totally different energy than Pete Docter” commented Crystal. Goodman added that “he had great sensibility and he would read with you.” He continued by saying that “if the other characters weren’t there he reads with you. He’s got a good energy to feed off of.”

Billy Crystal is known worldwide for his film roles in “When Harry Met Sally,” “City Slickers,” “The Princess Bride” and “Analyze This.” The Emmy Award sinning comedian was also seen starring alongside Bette Midler in the 2012 film “Parental Guidance.”

John Goodman is no stranger to film. He can be seen in Ben Affleck’s drama “Argo,” “Flight” and “Trouble with the Curve.” He has also lent his voice talents to many animated films including “The Emperor’s New Groove,” “Tales of the Rat Fink” and “The Jungle Book 2.”

So what would set Sully and Wazowski apart from each other? And how did they ever get along? “The fact that he’s a blowhard. No, I think the reason they work so well together is that they complete each other, in a way. I think Sulley really, really needs Mike Wazowski.” added Goodman. Crystal went on to say “For me, Mike is fearless. He’s really the favorite character I’ve ever played in anything I’ve done.” Both Goodman and Crystal demonstrated to have a good working relationship with each other and since they both did the first Monsters Inc. movie, they knew of one another’s strengths and weaknesses. This also makes for a great on-screen presence for both characters. Crystal continued by adding “I love this guy, and playing it with John is phenomenal because we work together in the studio, and we can act together. We’re not just reading lines; we are performing them, and we’re playing them, and we feel them. I think that’s why their relationship on screen is really great because it’s a real thing.”

While filmmakers were certainly able to hit the ground running when it came to creating their cast of characters for “Monsters University”— they had three key returning characters and a blueprint for the monster world from “Monsters, Inc.—they still had their work cut out for them. Watch this short interview clip about the animation process:

We then asked both guys what it was like working with Helen Mirren, Crystal responded with “She is Dame Helen, and I wish we also had been around her when she was working. She’s just fantastic. She gets it. Helen Mirren plays Dean Hardscrabble who is the Dean of Monsters University.

We had a great time at the press conference and excited to see Monsters University on the big screen. Make sure to read our movie review and lets us know what you think when you see the movie. Monsters University opens in theaters Friday June 21.

Full Audio from Press Conference:

Check out disney.com/MonstersU, like us at facebook.com/PixarMonstersUniversity, and follow us on twitter.com/disneypixar. Rated G by the MPAA, the film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in 3D in select theaters.

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