There were few bigger cinematic surprises that came out last year than Pixar's Monsters University. Going into the movie I was apprehensive due to the terrible track record of prequels, but walking out I was amazed by the progression of the characters, the surprising and important message of the story, and by just how much I laughed throughout the whole thing. I found myself wanting even more from the Monsters universe, and in March Pixar and Disney will be delivering just that. Entertainment Weekly is now reporting that when James Bobin's Muppets Most Wanted hits theaters it will be preempted by a new Monsters University short called Party Central.
I actually had the pleasure of getting a very early look at the short film all the way back in August during the Walt Disney Animation/Pixar presentation at the D23 Expo. The six-minute short begins as Mike (Billy Crystal), Sully (John Goodman) and the rest of the Oozma Kappa frat try to throw an on-campus party, but find that the idea is a complete bust when nobody shows up due to a competing bash at Roar Omega Roar. In order to fix their problem they devise a plan to put some inter-dimensional doors to good use - and do so with some hilarious results.
Kelsey Mann, who worked as a story supervisor on Monsters University, both wrote and directed the short, and explained to EW where the inspiration for the story came from:
"When you first meet the Oozma Kappas, they go to their fraternity house and the first thing they say is, ‘Welcome to party central! We haven’t thrown a party yet, but when we do we’ll be ready.' I kept telling [Monsters University director] Dan [Scanlon], ‘I really want to see their party. We have to do it in the credits or something.’ Then when the idea of doing a short came up, we were like, ‘That could be the party!’"
Party Central has always been scheduled to get a theatrical release in 2014, but originally it wasn't going to be attached to Muppets Most Wanted. Instead, Pixar was planning on saving the short to debut in front of their prehistoric animated tale The Good Dinosaur. Unfortunately, back in September that feature hit a few speedbumps, and as a result was pushed back to 2015. There was some thought that the short could end up on the Monsters University Blu-ray/DVD because Pixar won't be releasing a film in 2014, but instead they chose Muppets Most Wanted as a theatrical fallback plan.
We can probably expect to see a clip from the short released online closer to the film's debut on March 21st, but for now you can look back on Monsters University and smile with the trailer below: