'Monsters University,' 'Monsters, Inc. 3D' Footage Unveiled During USC-Notre Dame Football Game

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Disney didn’t provide attendees with a varsity jacket embroidered with their last names or even an old-school letterman’s sweater, but the studio earned a “Gimme an A” for effort introducing footage from two upcoming Pixar projects, Monsters, Inc. 3D and Monsters University.

Inviting a small group of reporters to the University of Southern California campus in advance of the school’s football match-up with Notre Dame, Disney screened scenes from each film which were contextualized by Production Designer Ricky Nierva.

Monsters, Inc. is the latest Pixar film to be converted into 3D, and it opens December 19. The re-release offers a great reintroduction to the world of the film prior to the June 21, 2013 opening day of Monsters University, a prequel.

In terms of stereoscopic entertainment, Nierva screened probably the single best sequence from Monsters, Inc. – the epic chase through the hall of doors that provides the film’s climax. As Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) flee Randall (Steve Buscemi) in search of Boo’s bedroom door, the depth of the great cavernous room is palpable, and the action flows smoothly from one shot to the next.

In Monsters University, audiences get to see Mike and Sully as they first meet one another, and as their great friendship is born. In the scene that was shown – in 2D, it should be noted – the duo arrives at a fraternity house that vaguely resembles one from Revenge of the Nerds: it’s populated entirely by outcasts and oddballs, and the house is run by none other than one of the pledges’ mothers.

After a brief introduction of the new characters, all of whom are eager to see Sully – albeit Mike not as much – in action as a scarer, the pair are shuffled off to their room, a cramped space they’re assigned to share. As they contemplate the circumstances that led them to being thrown together in the most embarrassing fraternity on campus, they’re ushered downstairs for an initiation ceremony – which is subsequently interrupted by the house mom, who’s dutifully doing her son’s laundry.

After the screening, the group toured campus en route to the stadium, outside of which was ESPN’s tailgate party. In addition to a classic game-day spread of hot dogs, ribs, macaroni, and of course beer, a DJ played a surprisingly eclectic spate of songs as attendees got in the mood for some football.

Funniest was the moment when the DJ unexpectedly asked the crowd, “Who’s seen Lincoln?” and then failed to follow up with any sort of explanation or context. Disney, who distributed Lincoln, later assured Celebuzz that the shout-out was not in fact evidence of corporate synergy, but quite possibly symptoms of undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder in a disc jockey who at least three times during his set exclaimed, “this is my favorite song!”

Monsters Inc. 3D opens in theaters December 19. Monsters University opens June 21, 2013. Watch the trailer for Monsters University below.

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