Sulley and Mike Wazowski weren't always happily employed as some of the top scarers of Monsters, Inc. In the prequel to Pixar's 2001 movie, Monsters University, out on DVD this week, the friends first have to overcome failure to find the way to their dream jobs. We recently spoke to Pixar employees whose career paths has similarities to those of our favorite scarers. See their advice for hopeful animators below.
The lighting art director of Monsters University, Dice Tsutsumi, recounted to us the tale of accidentally receiving the feedback form that was sent internally around an animation studio with his portfolio. Written on the form, was the comment "This guy isn't a painter." Except . . . Dice was trained in that specific medium. "You don't grow out of success" became a motto, and he made it a personal goal to show whoever wrote that message wrong, by persistently working on his craft.
As for the emotional core that has made Pixar's films so popular, sketch artist John Nevarez explained you can't just focus on one little aspect of your skills; work to develop them all. "Learn about storytelling. Drawing is just one part of the movie."
Ready to take on that advice, future animators of the world? Watch the DVD extra "Paths to Pixar" after the break as employees recount their many rejection letters before finding success at Pixar.