The multiverse according to Monsters Inc / Monsters University | tomatoes

When Studios Pixar was still in full swing, Monsters Inc. – 96% It represented an unprecedented event, which managed to please all kinds of audiences. The Mike Wazowski gag, the “Bo”, printed on every shirt or toy, and finally, Sully’s good-natured charisma that gave the saga its heart.

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But the universe of this animated film also contains extremely attractive elements for its audience. The narrative device of the doors to different points on Earth, and, from the perspective of the world of monsters, to a new world, drew on the tradition of the fantasy genre to establish the operation of Monsters Inc.

Portals to another world are highly recurring in the fantastic genre. These can have a physical form, through doors —Coraline and the secret door – 90%—, tunnels —dark- 84%-, cupboards-The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – 76%-, Mirrors –Harry potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 80%—, labyrinths —Labyrinth – 66%—or even movie screens—Poltergeist: Devil Games – 31%—and television—last great hero, although they can also manifest in an invisible way and without apparent repercussions at first glance. However, these portals can come into existence within a story through a metaphorical way, generally marked with shadowy aesthetics or transition between light and dark. Of course these transitions from one world to another can vary in their allegorical meaning, since these trips happen from one time to all; from this world, between life and death, to a different timeline, between childhood and adulthood and many more variants.

Although “pocket” gadgets are also known that can perform this same task, such as amulets —The Sandman- 76%—, rings —The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – 91%—or books—The endless story – 81%. The worlds separated between these portals usually do not have much similarity to each other. This journey between worlds frequently works as a parallel with a path of healing or atonement, a topic closely linked to the modern fantasy genre, which maintains the ritualization of the portal as the maximum expression of this spiritual purification quality.

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Although this does not happen in such an explicit way in the Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University – 78%, the truth is that all these elements are found within its history. On the one hand, the journey of Sully and Mike in which they intertwine their lives with that of “Bo”, has as a consequence a crucial change in the life of the world of monsters, when it is realized that laughter is more powerful than fear. with repercussions throughout the energy industry. In the prequel, the world of human beings serves as the context for Sully and Mike’s friendship, and this place serves for the resolution of all conflicts in the story.

On many occasions, the theme of the portals goes hand in hand with a chosen character who is worthy of discovering the secrets that he keeps inside. But both Pixar animations manage to satisfactorily turn this topic around, placing the doors in the center of the mundane and much more attached to the reality that we know in the day to day of our world. Magic as an everyday element linked to the work of a power plant even seems to contain nuances of science fiction, but there is no doubt that this narrative resource follows many rules of magic, like everything imaginable and possible in a new universe.

The concepts of “another world” and the “secondary world” defined by Tolkien as an autonomous world or place that is not tied to mundane reality—in his essay about fairy tales—, are often used interchangeably, but in recent years, thanks to the input of John Clute and John Grant with their work The encyclopedia of fantasy in 1996, the definitions have taken their own courses. In an “other world” any kind of rules are possible, including those occupied by fairy tales and wonder worlds, while the secondary world is not normally meant to be governed by arbitrary rules.

A secondary world may or may not have a connection to ours through fantastic portals or thresholds, while also having a certain level of similarity to mundane reality. Clute and Grant point out that Narnia is a secondary world, but since its protagonists are constantly going back and forth between one world and another, it can also be described as an other world.

Actually, when you think of Pixar, animation often goes hand in hand with stories that are equally as amazing as they are moving, with which the public manages to empathize greatly. And precisely the inclusion of these narrative concepts is a reason for this, however, the second reason is equally or more important, since it is the point where the rules are broken and characters like entire worlds are reimagined for the understanding and assimilation of a contemporary audience.

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While the canons of the fantastic point out the existence of these distinctions between an “other world” and the secondary world of Tolkien’s work, the stories of our time manage to mix genres and narrative resources in order to continue surprising us. But in order to understand the percentage of innovation in the script of these productions, it is always important to be able to visualize the gender rules that they already follow.

It is possible that in the entertainment industry there is no other exhibitor of the power of magic and fantasy —from a traditional point of view— like Disney, who in turn managed to give a twist to their stories through more complex ways, such as the projects launched by Pixar since its acquisition in 2006. From its first projects, the animation studio managed to capture a large number of worlds from a peculiar perspective, capable of moving, moving and entertaining. With the idea of ​​highlighting the possibilities of fantasy in different narrative contexts, the researcher Rosemary Jackson reaches into the background of fantasy—ancient myths, legends, folklore, and carnival art—to point out that there are no pure genres, and fantasy is no exception.

In the case of children’s fantasy movies —particularly the one created by Disney— the atmosphere of the supernatural, magical or mystical, serves as a device that only separates the real from the impossible, but also contains a cultural and social meaning. This is exemplified by the use of monsters in the story, series completely regulated by human behavior, which turn their backs on their narrative roots linked to disruption and social disobedience, but this exchange of significance can only add to the narrative structure, both from the universe and from his comedic and entertaining affect on his audience.

Although the idea of ​​doors as portals reflects a certain simplicity, it should be borne in mind that the fantasy worlds used by Disney allow the viewer a deep analysis, but at the same time easy to digest, where through simple allegories and Close to the everyday, issues that can become painfully realistic are addressed.

The fantastical nature of the characters and the setting built within these “other worlds” provides its wide audience with an emotional distance that can help them analyze sensitive ideas, as important as they are universal, more objectively than in other genres. This is the most important quality of speculative fiction, since it allows fantastic characters and imaginary worlds to be the medium to help us better understand reality.

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The multiverse according to Monsters Inc / Monsters University | tomatoes