The creator of Disney Plus’s new Monsters at Work series says that the workplace comedy goes beyond scares and laughs as an emerging love story.
The creator of Disney Plus’s new Monsters at Work series says that the workplace comedy goes beyond scares and laughs as an emerging love story. Monsters at Work debuted on the streaming service on July 7 as a direct sequel to the main events of Monsters Inc. before the film’s epilogue. The series was first announced back in 2017, but production slowed last year as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the show’s writers were able to draw some inspiration from the real life transitioning workforce for the series.
Though the show does feature the return of Billy Crystal and John Goodman in the iconic roles of Mike Wazowski and Sulley, Monsters at Work centers around the character of Tylor Tuskmon, played by Ben Feldman. Tylor, who is a recent graduate of Monsters University, arrives at Monsters Inc. directly after the events of the 2001 film in which Sulley, as CEO, revamps the company from scaring to joking. Unprepared for the company’s new policy, Tylor is then transferred to maintenance, a position he dislikes immediately.
Speaking in an interview with ComicBook.com, Monsters at Work creator and executive producer, Bobs Gannaway, revealed that Tylor’s initial disinterest in the maintenance team at Monsters Inc. is exactly what separates Monsters at Work from the classic workplace comedy and turns it into a love story. Of course, it isn’t a classic love story either. Instead, it’s a story about learning to love despite expectations and circumstances. Read what Gannaway had to say about the development of Monsters at Work‘s love theme below:
At some point when we were writing the show, in the middle of production, someone in the room, one of the writers says, ‘It’s a love story.’ It is. Tylor Tuskmon shows up with his goal to get on that former scare floor. He wants nothing to do with this new group. This is like, ‘I’ve been thrown in the basement with this wacky group and I’m in love with this other place,’ but over the course of the series, he starts to fall in love with this group. At the end, ultimately he’s got to make a choice. We knew we were working towards that choice, but that’s kind of like a love story in a certain sense.
Besides the series’ shift into a focus on character development, Monsters at Work also noticeably employs more female characters than the original film did. Mindy Kaling stars as Val Little, who is a former classmate and fellow mechanic with Tylor, and even Mike Wazowski’s one-eyed, snake-haired girlfriend, Celia Mae (Jennifer Tilly), is featured and has now been promoted from receptionist to Laugh Floor supervisor.
Monsters at Work is not only familiar because of the film’s legacy, but because it emulates the kind of struggle many in the workforce are going through around the world at the moment. The new series shows how the power of adaptation can create new opportunities despite perceived problems. Viewers who are heading back to work in different environments than they left could perhaps relate or learn a thing or two from watching Tylor Tuskmon do it too.
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