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Michael Malone

‘Monsters’ Get Back to ‘Work’ on Disney Channel

Monsters at Work on Disney Channel, Disney Plus.

Season two of Monsters at Work, the series spun off from the Monsters, Inc. movie, starts on Disney Channel April 5, then turns up on Disney Plus May 5. The animated show features Tylor Tuskmon, who starts as a Scarer at Monsters, Incorporated just as the energy company discovers it gets more mileage out of children’s laughter than cries of terror. He hopes to make it to the Laugh Floor and be a Jokester, along with Mike and Sulley. 

The new season sees Tylor working closely with his pal Val. When he considers a job at a rival energy company called FearCo, some at Monsters, Incorporated start to question his loyalty. 

Ben Feldman voices Tylor and Mindy Kaling plays Val. Billy Crystal plays Mike Wazowski and John Goodman is Sulley. 

Kevin Deters is the Monsters at Work showrunner and executive producer. He came to the show for season two, after having worked on the films Mulan, Tarzan and Lilo & Stitch, among others. He said the friendship between Tylor and Val is at the heart of season two. “Their friendship is really put to the test when things start going wrong at Monsters, Incorporated,” he said. “As a result of that, Tylor is put in a bit of a bind, and his friendship with Val is really brought into question.”

Feldman played Michael Ginsberg on Mad Men and Jonah on Superstore, and he’s in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, which starts season two on AMC next month. Deters described Feldman as an intensely prepared actor. “He had great questions and really invests himself into the character,” he said. “And he brings a lot of rapid-fire delivery — he talks as fast as anybody I’ve ever met. So we really tried to incorporate that into the character.”

He said Kaling has a knack for speedy delivery too. “She brings a lot of enthusiastic energy to the character — Val speaks lightning-fast and is always really excited about exploring new opportunities,” he said. “We’ll see in season two that she really needs to realize she can stand on her own two feet.”

Monsters, Inc. came out in 2001. Monsters University, which saw John Krasinski join Crystal and Goodman in the voice cast, was released in 2013. 

Deters noted how Crystal and Goodman still bring loads of enthusiasm to the characters they’ve played for a couple of decades (Monsters, Inc. was released in 2001), and how Crystal is “always one to riff on things” during production. “He brought a lot of really wonderful moments to it,” he said. “We incorporated many spontaneous moments and some improvisational lines.”

The banter between Mike and Sulley that was central to the movies appears in the series, too. “We loved that partnership and that friendship in the films, and really wanted to honor that as much as we could,” Deters said.

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