The Voices Behind 'Monsters, Inc.'
Fifteen years ago Wednesday, on November 2, 2001, Monsters, Inc. arrived in theaters. Featuring the voices of John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Tilly, and Bonnie Hunt, among others, the Pixar movie followed Mike Wazowski and Sulley, two monsters tasked with scaring children for their company, Monsters, Inc. The movie quickly became a critical and commercial success, bringing in more than $577.4 million worldwide and earning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “If I Didn’t Have You,” and nominations for Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, and Best Animated Feature. In honor of 15 years of Monsters, Inc., see the voices behind the beloved movie, ahead.
John Goodman as Sulley
John Goodman brought James P. “Sulley” Sullivan to the big screen. The Golden Globe winner voiced the lovable blue monster after earning previous vocal credits for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie and The Emperor’s New Groove and filling his résumé with on-screen roles in Revenge of the Nerds, The Big Easy, Raising Arizona, Sea of Love, Always, Arachnophobia, Barton Fink, The Flintstones, Roseanne, The Borrowers, Fallen, Blues Brothers 2000, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Big Lebowski.
Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski
Billy Crystal starred opposite John Goodman, voicing the green managerial monster Mike Wazowski. The famed actor took on the gig as one of his first major voice roles, spending the previous decades in front of the camera. Crystal had racked up prior credits for Running Scared, Throw Momma from the Train, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally…, City Slickers, Forget Paris, Hamlet, Fathers’ Day, and Analyze This.
Mary Gibbs as Boo
Mary Gibbs was just five years old when she lent her voice to Monsters, Inc.‘s adorable little girl Boo. The role was Gibbs’ second gig, after previously voicing Baby Kiara in The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride in an uncredited turn. She largely abandoned acting after Monsters, Inc. hit theaters and now works as a yoga instructor.
Steve Buscemi as Randall Boggs
Decades into his career, Steve Buscemi joined Monsters, Inc. as Randall Boggs, a purple monster who finds himself in competition with Sulley. The actor had previous credits for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, King of New York, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, Billy Bathgate, Reservoir Dogs, Rising Sun, Airheads, Living in Oblivion, Desperado, Fargo, Escape from L.A., The Big Lebowski, and Armageddon at the time of the movie’s release.
James Coburn as Henry J. Waternoose
James Coburn signed on to play the CEO of Monsters, Inc., Henry J. Waternoose. The late actor, who died at the age of 74 the year after Monsters, Inc. hit theaters, had spent more than 40 years in Hollywood when he took on the voice role. His prior credits included turns in Ride Lonesome, The Magnificent Seven, Klondike, The Great Escape, Charade, In Like Flint, and Affliction.
Jennifer Tilly as Celia Mae
Monsters, Inc. found its receptionist Celia Mae in Jennifer Tilly. She voiced Mike Wazowski’s love interest after spending more than a decade picking up credits in Moving Violations, Johnny Be Good, High Spirits, Let It Ride, The Getaway, Bullets Over Broadway, Bound, and Liar Liar.
Bob Peterson as Roz
Bob Peterson found his spot in the movie as Roz, an integral part of the Monsters, Inc. organization. Peterson voiced the monster as his first major acting project after lending his voice to a short in 1997. He went on to voice Mr. Ray in Finding Nemo and Dug in Up, co-directed Up with Pete Docter, and earned screenwriting credits for Finding Nemo, Up, The Good Dinosaur, and Finding Dory.
John Ratzenberger as Yeti
John Ratzenberger voiced Monsters, Inc.‘s Yeti a few decades into his career. He became the abominable snowman after earning credits for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Outland, Toy Story, One Night Stand, and A Bug’s Life, and spending more than 10 years as Cliff Clavin on Cheers.