Billy Crystal & John Goodman Happily Reunite To Enroll at 'Monsters University'

I was in my first year of college when Monsters Inc. came out. It was a grand time when the world was at my fingertips and going backwards wasn’t an option. As time moved forward, I never really thought much about Mike and Sully except when I could randomly catch them on TV. 11 years later, it’s almost like time travel was a possibility because Mike and Sully have returned to embark on their first year of Monsters University.

Reprising their roles from the Pixar classic, Billy Crystal and John Goodman find Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan on opposite ends of the scholastic spectrum. Sulley, a legacy at MU thanks to his father and his natural knack for scarring, is lazy and almost too cool for school. Mike on the other hand, has read every book and memorized every technique. But all of his hard work doesn’t hide the fact that he is simply just not scary. Butting heads at every opportunity, when both students find themselves in an academic predicament, their desperation leads to them joining forces to save their college careers.

“I think the reason they work so well together is that they complete each other. I think Sulley really, really needs Mike Wazowski. It makes him complete and lets the air out of him a little bit,” explains Goodman. “Especially in this film, when they’re not completely formed monsters yet, they learn from each other. They learn how to adapt, how to let go of their per-conceived notions of themselves and of the world. They’re good for each other.” Says Crystal, “It was so fun to revisit them at this time in their lives. It was such a brilliant idea to put them in that time period where they’re about to become who they’re gonna become. Playing with John is phenomenal because we work together in the studio and we act together. We’re playing them and we feel them. I think that’s why their relationship on screen is really great. Because it’s a real thing.”

While Goodman and Crystal are far from college age, both actors could still relate to the struggles of their characters and the general inconsistencies of the undergrad experience. “That’s what is so fascinating, frustrating and great about life is that you’re constantly starting over all the time. I love that,” explains Crystal. “I was a drifter for a while. I just was desperate to fit in with a group. I was lost, treading water, trying to find my way,” says Goodman. “I didn’t really know what I wanted until I found acting in a theater department and then everything fell into place and I had a passion about something. I started living my life.”

“The most important element of this movie is that Mike has a dream. The dream may not work out and then he has to re-adjust and recalibrate,” adds Crystal. “He does that with the help of his friend, who tells him who he thinks he is and he starts to believe it himself. Mike’s really my favorite character I’ve ever played in anything I’ve done. He's just fearless.”

Monsters University hopes to ace the box office this Friday, June 21st.