16 Things I Noticed Rewatching 'Monsters, Inc.' As An Adult
Ever since it was released back in 2002, Monsters Inc. has remained one of my favorite animated movies of all time. It's smart, sweet, feelgood and hilarious, and I've easily watched it more times than I can even count anymore. It's also happens to be one of those movies in which I notice something new with every single viewing of it. There are countless inside jokes, visual references, parodies and Disney Pixar easter eggs in Monsters, Inc. which I definitely didn't notice the first few times I ever saw the film. In fact, there's so many things you never noticed in Monsters Inc. that I suspect the film is likely harboring even more delightful secrets just waiting to be discovered.
It also comes as little surprise that Monsters. Inc. is so thoroughly stacked with such hidden details. The entire Disney Pixar universe (and, in fact, just Disney in itself) is notorious for being wonderfully self-referential and for featuring layers of hidden depths. Though Monsters Inc. is a classic movie in its own right, another reason why the film is so enjoyable to watch still is because all of those layers of the film are still an absolute delight to unravel. And within those layers are these 16 hidden details that you may not have ever noticed.
1. Boo's Real Name Is Mary
Whilst hiding out in Sulley's apartment, Boo does some crayon drawings which she shows off to her big, blue, furry friend afterwards. One of these drawings briefly shows her name signed as Mary at the bottom corner of it (which you can glimpse in the above gif). The name choice is likely a reference to the actress who provided the voice of Boo — Mary Gibbs.
2. The Scareboard Features The Names Of Pixar Staff
Including "Ranft" (in reference to Joe Ranft, a story developer on the film and one of the writers of Toy Story), "Jones" (in reference to Marcia Gwendolyn Jones, the story manager) and "Rivera" (in reference to Jonas Rivera, the art department manager).
3. The Sushi Chef Octopus In Harryhausens Restaurant Only Has Six Legs
This is in reference to the legendary stop motion film director Ray Harryhausen (after which the restaurant is named) and a six legged octopus which he created in the film It Came From Beneath The Sea. Harryhausen could only give it six legs due to budget restrictions.
4. A Subtle Background Nod To Finding Nemo
As we watch the sushi chef octopus preparing a meal, there's pictures of different fishes on the wall behind them. And one of them just so happens to be a clown fish who looks a lot like Marlin, little Nemo's dad.
5. Toy Story's Roly Poly Clown Makes A Cameo Apperance
It's subtly hidden away in the background of the final scene where Sully and Mike walk through the scare floor (or, the laughter floor as it becomes).
6. The Toy Plane From Toy Story Also Shows Up
You know, the one which hung from the ceiling of Andy's room and caused Buzz Lightyear to "fly"? Well, it's actually also one of the toys on the boy's bedroom shelf in the scare simulation of the first scene.
7. The Iconic Wallpaper From Andy's Room In Toy Story Is Also Referenced
When Randall his keeping camouflage game on-point by practising blending into the backgrounds of various walls, one of the patterns given to him is Andy's cloud wallpaper.
8. Sulley Has A Very Unusual Armchair In His Apartment
I've seen this film so many times and yet I've only just realized that Sulley's big, cosy armchair has a hole in the back of it to let his tail through.
9. There's A Major Reference To A Bug's Life
When Randall is thrown into the human World, he ends up in the exact same trailer from A Bug's Life (it even still has the same Pizza Planet Truck parked besides it).
10. Boo Owns A Couple Of Very Familiar Looking Dolls
As well as there clearly being a Jessie doll on the floor of Boo's room, a Nemo doll can also be spotted when Boo hands an arm full of toys over To Sully. Interestingly, Finding Nemo would be released a year later.
11. The Armageddon Gag
Movie buffs may have recognized a scene at the start of the movie in which the scare monsters do an impressive slow motion squad walk onto the scare floor. The sequence in question is a reference to the 1998 movie Armageddon that featured the scene (which itself was a parody of the 1983 film The Right Stuff), with Steve Buscemi's character, Randall, positioned in a similar place in the squad line-up as the actors character was in Armageddon.
12. The Fargo Gag
At one point during the film, Randall angrily tells his assistant "if I don't see another door in front of me in five minutes, I will personally put you through the shredder!". As fans of Buscemi might recall, his character in Fargo actually did get put through the shredder when he was fed through a wood chipper in the movie.
13. There's Hidden Mickeys All Over The Film
All Disney fans know to look out for hidden Mickey's in movies, shows and even their theme parks, and Monsters Inc. is no exception. There's a Mouseketeer hat in the opening credits (on the side of a small toy truck behind one of the doors), a very basic one drawn on the wall of the Abomnible Snowman's cave and there's also a drawing of Mickey on the easel in Boo's room.
14. Another Animated Classic Receives A Big Tribute
When Sully thinks that Boo has gone through the trash compactor he pulls some pretty impressive faces as he repeatedly passes out in horror from the experience. The sequence is actually a shot-fot-shot homage to the 1952 Looney Tunes classic cartoon short Feed The Kitty (in which a bulldog mistakenly believes that his adopted kitten has been made into a cookie).
15. Buzz Lightyear's Tea Supping Alter Ego Gets A Shoutout
The preschool teacher who brings her class for a tour of the Monsters, Inc. factory is called Ms. Nesbit. This appears to be a reference to the name Hannah assigns to Buzz (Mrs Nesbit) after she tries to turn him into one of her dolls.
16. The Emergency Code Name "2319" Is Hilariously Literal
When monster George Sanderson is discovered as having a sock stuck to his back, a panicked co-worker points at it before shrieking that they have a "2319" on their hands. What might a 2319 be? It actually couldn't be simpler and means White Sock ― W is the 23rd letter of the alphabet and S is the 19th letter.
Now that I've managed to clock up all of these Monsters, Inc. discoveries, I feel inspired to go back and rewatch the film, and countless other Pixar movies too, to see if there's anything else hiding in there which I'd never seen before.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Studios (15); Giphy