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Book Review: The Art of Monsters University

July 31, 2013

9781452112077_art-of-monster-university_normReleased June 11th, 2013

Page count: 172 pages

Size: 11.22” x 9.4”

The Art of Monsters University

By Karen Paik

Preface by John Lasseter and Pete Docter

Foreword by Dan Scanlon

Published by Chronicle Books

Distributed by Raincoast (Canada)


The Art of Monsters University Book Review by Erin V.  

The Art of Monsters University is filled with gorgeous lighting concepts and artistic ideas that went into making the film.  From the whimsical character designs to detailed architectural images of buildings that populate the Monster World, we really get to see some of the development that led the path to the film that we see today.

When you get down to it, Monsters University becomes a story of how when you follow your dreams that also means accepting that they might lead you to a different outcome than you first imagined.  We all know where the characters of Mike and Sulley end up, so watching them get there is a lot of fun and quite interesting.  As this book talks a bit about the story, with quotes from artists, director Dan Scanlon, as well as Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter, we get to see glimpses into their journey of figuring out how to tell this one right.  If you’ve seen the film, it’s clear they’ve succeeded.

One of the things that really stood out here for me, is reading how they kept the tone and feel of the original story, but modified it to feel like it could have been approximately twenty years prior.  The younger designs of familiar characters, as well as clunkier technological designs on the doors and buildings for an older look, are just a few of the things featured here.  Meanwhile, close attention was paid to the colour palette of the film in order to keep things feeling familiar and recognizable.

Overall, The Art of Monsters University is a great book for fans of the film to add to their collection.  It provides a wonderful glimpse behind the scenes of Monsters University.


To find out more about the The Art of Monsters University, or other books, you can visit Raincoast’s website here.

You can read our full theatrical reviews of Monsters University here.  

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