Building a 700-Year-Old School
The Production Team Blends Research and Imagination to Construct an All-New Monster World
The world of "Monsters University" required artists to explore multiple eras in order to design the campus
exteriors and interiors. And their to-do list was long -- from grand lecture halls -- inside and out -- to dormitories
and fraternity row. Add to that the recreation of Monsters, Inc. itself -- in two different time periods.
The first film gave filmmakers a place to start, says "Monsters, Inc." director Pete Docter. "The guys did a lot of
research for the first film. We realized that architectural details like flowers or leaves wouldn't mean anything to
monsters, who would prefer ornaments like fangs, claws and teeth. The 'Monsters University' team really picked
up on that and pushed it even further."
Building the university setting was a monumental task. "I think when we first got started, I didn't have a specific
look in mind for the school," says director Dan Scanlon. "But as we did research, as we looked at a lot of different
schools, we found that the ones that interested us the most were a little more sprawling. We wanted the school
to feel like it had history -- without being too stuffy. We wanted a really high-end institution, but we also wanted
it to feel fun. We talked a lot about the idea of having rolling hills on campus and curving paths and buildings
behind buildings, so that it felt like there's always something around the corner. That's what college life is like,
after all. That became one of the cornerstones of the school."
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