Grab your suitcases and pack your bags as it’s time once again to travel to Monstropolis. Monsters at Work is back this week after its great two-episode premiere with a new episode hitting Disney Plus today. Now that the series is in full stride, does it continue the pace of its initial two episodes or does it stumble and fail to follow the path? Let’s find out!
In this episode – titled “The Damaged Room” – we follow Tylor again and his adventures with the MIFT crew as they go and repair a human baby’s room. Not only that, but Mike and Sulley have to take care of said baby as well. With that said, some of the best parts of Monsters, Inc. are the human/monster interactions and the core of this episode was that same dynamic. I’m happy to report that this is the best episode so far thanks in part greatly to that dynamic.
I appreciated greatly that the episode started off with a callback to the opening scene of the original film. It was just awesome to revisit that moment. This episode was filled with callbacks, but the one I most appreciated featured my favorite bit in the original film (“Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me”).
Another thing I appreciate that the show is doing so well is the world-building. Monstropolis is a very interesting place and we saw very little of it in Monsters, Inc. Finally getting to explore the city through dynamics such as a baseball game that cleverly uses the Red Sox vs Yankees (watch out for that Green Monster joke) rivalry is just one of the ways Monsters at Work is succeeding in its world-building. The cast for the show is also really good on paper. And yet, their execution on screen has been even better. They fit into this world greatly and their performances really bring the necessary emotion to the characters.
This episode also took a big step in developing character relationships and that really made an impact on the episode quality-wise. Mike and Sulley are still the power duo you remember them as and even in supporting roles they shine ever so brightly. This is, again, highlighted by the human element this episode executes so well. Other characters that come to shine include Cutter, Tylor, and Val. Cutter is my standout so far when it comes to new characters, as every time she’s on-screen I’m just smiling from cheek to cheek. Alanna Ubach just does such a great job with the performance.
Another highlight this week was Mindy Kaling as Val. We finally got our first heartfelt moment between her and Tylor throughout the “we only took one class in college” gag finally hitting home in a different way. Val thinks she wasn’t noticed, but Tylor makes sure to let her know that she isn’t a nobody. It’s the first real emotional moment in the show and if it follows this path, they are going to be great.
Overall, Monsters at Work’s third episode is the best so far and it’s not even close. Mike and Sulley continue to be great while having a new cast of characters that are actually good. The show is feeling like a Pixar movie that is condensed into 30-minute episodes in the best of ways. Monsters at Work continues to harp on what made Monsters, Inc. so special, which makes it must-see weekly television for any die-hard Pixar fan. – Kenneth Colon
New episodes of Monsters at Work premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.
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