Disney Movie Monsters Who Could Find Work at Monsters Inc.

There are plenty of Disney movie monsters who make up the pantheon of famous Walt Disney animated villains and their many minions. Plenty of these monsters contributed to our nightmares as children and led to nightly rituals like being sure to keep our closet door at night or having our parents check under the bed. But in 2001 Disney Pixar’s Monsters Inc. gave a new perspective on the monster that lurked under our bed and behind the closet door.

Pixar Animation Studios showed us the monster world of Monstropolis, a world populated not by horrific nightmarish creatures, but by colorful characters of all shapes and sizes living their lives, and doing their jobs. The jobs of main character James P. Sullivan AKA “Sully” (voiced by John Goodman) and his best friend Michael Wazowski AKA “Mikey” (voiced by Billy Crystal) are both on the scare floor at Monsters Inc. where “We Scare Because We Care”. Scarers have an essential job of providing the city with energy through the power of kids‘ screams.

In the Pixar film prequel Monsters University released in 2013, we saw the development of Mike and Sully’s friendship, as well as the extensive work it took to be a part of the Monsters University scare program. And in 2021 Disney Television Animation developed the sequel series Monsters at Work, released exclusively on Disney+. This new series followed monster Tylor Tuskmon (voiced by Ben Feldman), a graduate of Monsters University who goes to work for Monsters Inc. just as the scare floor is being transformed into the laugh floor upon the discovery that laughter has more power than screams. But the time between Monsters University and Monsters Inc. must have seen hundreds of scarers in and out of kids‘ doors throughout the years while screams were still the most valuable resource in the monster world. Here are our picks for the characters from your favorite Disney movies who could also be employed at Monsters Inc.

The Trees of the Forest

(Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937)


Credit: Walt Disney Animal Studios

One of the most memorable sequences of the Disney animated classic, Snow White’s flee into the dark forest after the Huntsman tells her to run, is a scene that embodies fear. The dark branches of the forest trees transform into outstretched hands attempting to seize her, floating logs in murky waters turn into the open mouths of alligators snapping at her, and the glowing eyes of the forest creatures gaze frighteningly down upon her. But the trees, in particular, stand out as notably frightening featured prominently in the original Snow White’s Scary Adventure ride in Disney Parks. A child waking to the sight of a large tree in the corner of their room, and suddenly seeing glowing yellow eyes with branches that stretch out like long bony fingers towards them…that would certainly produce screams.

The Chernabog

(Fantasia, 1940)


Fantasia Night on Bald Mountain Chernabog

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The Chernabog is one of the great Disney movie monsters despite being featured in only one sequence of Disney’s Fantasia, his impact was one that has stood the test of time. In “Night on Bald Mountain” viewers see the demons and creatures of darkness from all corners of the night convene underneath the power of the great black-winged beast. Should this monster appear in your nightmares, you are not likely to want to close your eyes again. But should he somehow appear behind your bedroom closet door, you might never want to open your eyes again.

The Headless Horseman

(Ichabod and Mr. Toad, 1949)

Ichabod and Mr. Toad The Wind in the Willows The Legend of Sleepy Hallow The Headless Horseman

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The legendary headless man from the little town of Sleepy Hallow can quite literally scare you to death. Riding his red-eyed black steed, brandishing his sword, and lifting his flaming jack-o-lantern head, there is perhaps no more haunting image. Large and imposing, he could only appear for a moment. A closet door slowly creaks open to reveal in the darkness a small light, coming closer and closer, the sound of a horses’ hoofs becoming louder and louder until it seems as if he will ride right into the room before the door slams shut. Truly horrifying.

Maleficent’s Henchman

(Sleeping Beauty, 1959)

Maleficent's Minions Sleeping Beauty

Maleficent is the mistress of all evil, and more than capable of running her castle and carrying out evil plots. Unfortunately, some of her hapless minions misunderstanding her instructions leads to her vengeance plot being put off for years. She declares them to be idiots, and it’s highly likely they are consequently unemployed. The perfect placement for them for new positions is at Monsters Inc. While some of their ability to take direction is wanting, their small size and frightening appearances make them perfect for creeping on bedroom floors. Certainly, a round of study in the scare program could properly educate them.

Heffalumps and Woozles

(The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, 1977)

heffalumps and woozles, the many adventures of winnie the pooh

Credit: Walt Disney Archives

They’re black, they’re brown, they’re up, they’re down
They’re in, they’re out, they’re all about
They’re far, they’re near, they’re gone, they’re here
They’re quick and slick, they’re insincere
Beware, Beware

These creepy creatures can take on any size, shape, and color and are literally the stuff of nightmares. Particularly the nightmares of bears trying to protect their honey. With the ability to blend into the darkness and pop out at unexpected times, these little critters would be able to disguise themselves masterfully among children’s toys before giving them a very big fright.


(The Black Cauldron, 1985)

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

As I got older I forgot many aspects of The Black Cauldron‘s characters, setting, and plot. But there were exactly two things I never forgot, the haunting appearance of The Horned King, and the face of this little demon right here. With claws, wide large eyes, a sniveling snarl, and a strange raspy little voice like Maleficent’s minions before him, he is the ideal size for creeping about floors and hiding under beds. The idea of suddenly seeing that face at the foot of my bed induces a full-body cringe even now as an adult.


(Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, 1995)

Credit: Disney Pixar

Toy Story features several frightening-looking toys in Sid’s Room. None more so than Babyface, the one-eyed bald baby-mech spider hybrid. There is no explanation needed why a child sleeping soundly would be scared out of their minds by suddenly seeing these spidery legs scurrying around the floor.


(Wreck-It Ralph, 2012)

Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Turbo is one modern Disney villain that is highly underrated in terms of fright factor. The glitchy transition from King Candy to Turbo is frightening enough, but the 3-D rendering of the originally 8-bit racing character is truly nightmarish.  The yellow teeth and eyes that seem to glow mechanically, the wide joker-like smile, the strange grey wrinkled skin. Seeing that face in the dark would elicit screams from the bravest of kids.


(Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, 2018)

Credit: Disney Pixar

If Screenslaver was not simply a puppet of a villain with a greater plan in mind and rather a mechanical  Frankenstein-Esque creation in his own right, he would be a fine monster. With a genuinely harrowing appearance, I’d like to think that this monster would haunt the children whose parents forbade screen time after lights out, popping out suddenly on iPad screens for screams.

These were a few monsters, minions, and creatures who could go to work at Monsters Inc. It’s highly doubtful any of them would survive the transition from scream power to laughter, but it would be a joy to see these frightening monsters at work.

About Maggie Koch

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