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MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

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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