Monsters At Work episode 1 recap – “Welcome to Monsters, Incorporated”

July 22, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Disney+, Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Welcome to Monsters, Incorporated” continues the beloved brand with a good fusion of comedy and sentiment that all ages should enjoy.

Previous EpisodeView all
3.5

Summary

“Welcome to Monsters, Incorporated” continues the beloved brand with a good fusion of comedy and sentiment that all ages should enjoy.

This recap of Monsters At Work episode 1, “Welcome to Monsters, Incorporated”, contains spoilers.


It’s becoming increasingly obvious that a big part of Disney’s strategy for Disney+ is to use it as an excuse to gussy up their legacy content and kick it back to the corner while it still has some curb appeal. We’ve seen this with live-action reboots such as Mulan and rejuvenations of properties like High School Musical. Now we’re seeing it with Monsters At Work, a new series spinning out of Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. The weekly comedy brings back most of the cast from the 2001 original and has roped in an impressive menagerie of new monsters for what is essentially a workplace sitcom with Pixar’s usual family-friendly-but-here’s-one-for-the-parents tone.

Monsters At Work episode 1, “Welcome to Monsters, Incorporated”, reworks the opening of the original film, with a monster in a simulation of a child’s bedroom, preparing to terrify them. The monster is Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman), a budding scarer who seems like a shoe-in for the role at Monsters, Inc., except for the fact that the company is undergoing a pretty radical directional shift after the film and now wants to focus more on making kids laugh rather than making them cry. That leaves Tylor somewhat adrift as Mike and Sully become CEO and Chief Executive Vice-Deputy Administrative Director of Comedy Resources Management, respectively. (Mike makes the latter title up.)

With no need for Scarers anymore, Tylor is sent to the Monsters, Inc. Facilities Team, or MIFT, presided over by Fritz (Henry Winkler) and including Tylor’s old college classmate Val (Mindy Kaling), along with Cutter (Alanna Ubach), Duncan (Lucas Neff), and Banana Bread (Dee Bradley Baker, the vocal virtuoso primarily of The Clone Wars fame). It’s a range of personalities, from Val’s bubbly positivity to Duncan’s creepy ambition, and it’s a bit overwhelming for Tylor, who takes one last run at being a Jokester and fails rather miserably. But at least he gets a pep talk from Sully, and his official hat and badge from Roze, sister of Roz, an ostensibly different character also played by Bob Peterson.

Monsters At Work episode 1 strikes a great balance between comedy and genuine sentiment, and also finds a neat middle-ground between kid-friendly hijinks and moral lessons and edgier jokes obviously skewed towards an older audience. It’s also rife with nods and winks and callbacks to other Pixar properties, especially the two Monsters outings, so it’ll be a delight for long-time fans on Easter egg hunts. The setup has plenty of potential for interesting drama, but it remains to be seen whether the show will – or even cares to – capitalize on that going forwards.

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