The Monsters Inc. franchise has expanded to include the streaming series Monsters At Work. Here’s why a series was a better option than a third movie.
Monsters At Work is the latest addition to Disney/Pixar’s Monsters franchise and choosing to continue the story as a streaming series is a much better option than making a third movie. The original Monsters, Inc. was released way back in 2001, introducing audiences to a new and hilarious world of lovable monster characters. Pixar followed its success in 2013 with Monsters University, a prequel film that introduced new characters while supplying backstories for the monsters viewers already knew and loved.
The story is now continuing in the Disney+ series Monsters At Work, which premiered on July 7, 2021. The series takes place several months after the conclusion of the first Monsters Inc. film and sees longtime pals Mike and Sulley assume their leadership positions at the Monsters Inc. company. When new character Tylor Tuskmon arrives to begin a career of frightening children, he discovers that the now laugh-based company no longer has any use for his scaring services. Along with a new cast of monsters, Tylor must discover a new purpose.
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Monsters At Work represents a bold new direction for the franchise. Not only is the new story a proper Monster Inc. sequel as opposed to another prequel in the same vein as Monsters University, but the long-form storytelling of the streaming series format will allow audiences to connect with a new generation of monsters. The biggest benefit of having Monsters At Work be an episodic series instead of a third film is the increased appeal that the Monsters universe will now have among younger audiences. With the original Monsters Inc. turning 20 years old in 2021, keeping fresh eyes on the franchise will only get more difficult as time goes on. With the convenience for parents of kids being able to watch at home, very young audiences are more likely to watch a streaming series rather than go to the movies. Making the show accessible to anyone with a Disney+ account is the best way to guarantee a growing audience, appealing to both new viewers and those who grew up with the original films.
The episodic format is also an ideal way to introduce the newest batch of monster characters into the series. If the franchise is going to continue into the future, the story will eventually need to expand beyond the antics of Mike and Sulley. As sad as it may be to consider, there will come a time when actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman will no longer be able to portray the beloved duo, and future Pixar Monsters Inc. sequels, prequels, and spinoffs will need to have a strong cast of new characters to follow. The Disney+ series allows audiences an extended period of time to get to know monsters like Tylor, Val, Fritz, and the other new faces.
In addition to franchise longevity, focusing on a TV show is also hugely beneficial to the quality and overall freshness of the franchise’s storytelling. Monsters University may have been an audience favorite, but its story was still limited by its necessary connections to Monsters Inc., and a third film in the series would likely have fallen into the same trap. The series has never been afraid to experiment and try new things, and entering the world of streaming allows for a fresh new spin on the story while removing the limitations of a Pixar sequel movie. With extra time and more room to grow the universe, introduce new characters, and continue to develop old favorites, Monsters At Work proves that the world of the Monsters franchise is ripe with storytelling potential and is more than deserving of the kind of expansion a feature film just can’t provide.
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