How The Monsters, Inc Franchise Addresses Nepotism

Monsters Inc nepotism

You might not have noticed but the entire Monsters, Inc franchise has a pattern within its three main properties: nepotism. It’s not apparent if you watch just the first film as there is no parental conflict. However, once you see at least, Monsters University, you notice that there is a lot of fatherly drama of sorts.

Not sure what we mean? In Monsters University, we discover that Sulley comes from a family of scarers, specifically, his father, Bill Sullivan. Throughout the first part of the film, he uses his nepotism to get ahead. This ends up getting him into a world of trouble when he and Mike start competing during the Scare Final and they knock over Dean Hardscrabble’s prized scream canister.

Hardscrabble then quizzes both Mike and Sulley and when they fail, she removes them from the scare program. Sulley is in disbelief because he’s a Sullivan and they always succeed. The Dean then says his family would be disappointed.

Sulley learns the hard way that just because he has a famous name, doesn’t mean he can get ahead without putting in the work.

Monsters At Work

The second season of the Monsters, Inc spin-off series, Monsters at Work dives into nepotism a lot in regards to Johnny Worthington. We learn very early on in the season that his father, Jack Worthington, was a legendary scarer who founded rival energy company, Fear Co.

Johnny then took over as the CEO after his father either retired or died.

Another nepotism (well, kind of) that we see is Roger Rogers, whose real is Henry J. Waternoose IV. Throughout his appearances, there is very little buildup to to the reveal. However, in the episode where Tylor and Val discover the truth, Roger is seen running from the scene of vandalism with red paint on his hands. He is later heard by Val and Tylor yelling at someone (later revealed to his dad) over the phone.

When Tylor exposes Roger to Mike, Sulley and the other members of MIFT, Sulley reveals he already knew who Roger was when he was hired. He adds that Rogers is not like his father.

It is possible that Roger changed his name to avoid being associated with his father. He mentions that his childhood nickname was Roger while the Rogers part of his name likely comes from his mother. He is too kind and sweet to be anything like his monstrous father. It’s also possible that he hid his true name from MIFT because he knew what their reactions would if they knew.

We know Fritz wouldn’t have cared what his name was, as he doesn’t check his employees’ files beforehand. But Roger was likely afraid that he would be put in the same basket as Henry III. This often happens in real life situations, especially in Hollywood.

The Real Life Comparsion

There are so many celebrities from famous families that is sometimes heard to escape the nepo baby label. It is even harder if they share the same last name. Some go so far as to change their surname to avoid being compared to their more famous relative. However, there are some who do share the same last name as someone more recognisable than them, yet the comparsion isn’t drawn.

One example being Ethan Peck. His grandfather was Gregory Peck. For the longest time, Ethan had no idea his grandpa was an actor. This was possibly done by Gregory on purpose to prevent his grandchildren from feeling like they had to live up to his legendary status. Ethan said in an interview once that as far as he was concerned growing up, Gregory was just “grandpa” to him.

Why Didn’t Roger Become CEO Of Monsters, Inc?

Okay, we know from the original Monsters, Inc film that the company as been the Waternoose family for several generations. Since Roger is Henry Waternoose IV, why wasn’t he asked to become CEO? Well, given his father was arrested for child exploitation, the last thing the company needed was the public thinking that Roger was like his dad.

Also, there is a possibility that the Board of Directors that Roz mentioned in the first episode, didn’t want another Waternoose overseeing the company. Another consideration they likely thought about is that Roger didn’t want the role. We know he fits in with MIFT just fine and was probably overlooked by his father anyway as his successor if anything happened to him.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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