It's been 10 years since we've seen Mike, Sully, and the other hard-working scarers of Monsters, Inc. on the big screen, but rest assured Disney-Pixar is working hard to bring Monsters, Inc. 2 to fruition. But what will the movie be about?
So far, Pixar's story plans for the sequel have been kept under wraps. In January we reported a rumor that Monsters, Inc. 2 may actually end up being a prequel about Mike and Sully's college years, when they were bitter rivals. If Pixar did go that route, it could be a lot of fun...but, again, it was just a rumor.
Odds are we won't learn anything about Monsters, Inc. 2 until Disney decides to tell us about it. However, that doesn't mean we can't talk about the Monster's, Inc. sequel that might have been.
That's right, long before Pixar started work on a Monster's, Inc. sequel, a Disney animation studio called Circle 7 was tasked with continuing the franchise. For those not up on Disney-Pixar history, Circle 7 was an animation studio created during the brief period of time when it looked like Pixar and Disney might break off their partnership. The team at Circle 7 worked on concepts for several Pixar sequels, most of which were planned for direct-to-DVD releases.
When Disney finally acquired Pixar, John Lasseter decided to scrap the work that Circle 7 had done on the sequels in favor of starting fresh. However, that didn't mean the hard work of the artists and writers disappeared completely. In a recent blog post, screenwriters Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir shared some of the artwork that was created for their Monster's, Inc. sequel, Monster's Inc. 2: Lost in Scaradise.
The pair created an animatic with some of their script overlaid as subtitles. The basic story is that, some years after the original film, Sully wants to reconnect with Boo. When they go to see her through the closet door, however, they find out that she's moved. In an effort to find her, Mike and Sully get stuck in the human world. The animatic doesn't show much, but it's still very interesting to watch. Check it out below.
[Update: The original video has since been removed by the creators, but you can watch this reupload here.]
Last year, Bob and Rob also released some of the concept art for Circle 7's take on Toy Story 3. As explained on their blog, Bob and Rob's Toy Story sequel would have focused on Buzz Lightyear being recalled to his original manufacturer in Taiwan. While even they admit that Pixar's version of Toy Story 3 was a perfect way to end the franchise, I think that their idea was actually pretty good too. Can you imagine the Toy Story gang on an international mission to save Buzz from destruction?
Check out some of the unused concept art from Circle 7's aborted version of Toy Story 3 below. The first picture shows what would have been their version's opening sequence, which, like the actual Toy Story 3, was an action sequence from Andy's imagination. The second picture shows the Buzz Lightyear factory in Taiwan.
While I would never give up the Pixar films I've come to know and love, my heart goes out to the people who worked on these sequels - only to see them cast aside. It sounds like Circle 7 had some decent ideas for the Pixar franchises, and, while I'm happy that Pixar and Disney merged, I'm definitely curious to see what Circle 7's movies would have looked like.
What do you think of the Circle 7 artwork for Monsters, Inc. 2 and Toy Story 3?