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Would you listen to this? Blame it on the little guy, how original. He must've read the schedule wrong with his one eye!
~ Mike in the Monster, inc. Teaser Trailer
Mike in teaser (online-audio-converter.com)
🎶Hey, I'd never told ya this, sometimes I get a little blue.🎶 (Sulley: Looks good on you.) 🎶But I wouldn't have nothing If I didn't have you.🎶
~ Mike singing
If I Didn't Have You (mp3cut.net)

Michael "Mike" Wazowski is one of the two main protagonists (alongside Sulley) of the 2001 Oscar-winning Disney/Pixar's film Monsters, Inc. and the main protagonist of its 2013 prequel, Pixar's 14th full-length animated feature film Monsters University. He is Sulley's best friend, assistant, and former arch-rival, Randall's former friend turned current enemy and Celia Mae's boyfriend.

He is voiced by Billy Crystal in both films and Noah Johnston as Young Mike in the prequel.

Background

Personality

Mike Wazowski is a proud and confident monster, partly defined by his friendship with James P. Sullivan, whom he works with as his Scaring Assistant, and drives him through an exercise regimen like a strict coach. They're best friends, roommates, incredibly devoted to each other, although Mike seeks to improve their careers, partly because of the hard work and everything they've ever put into their jobs. He tried hard to make sure they won the Olympic games so that he could prove he was able to be there.

Mike has a romantic side, shown by his dating Celia Mae, whom he tells Sulley "is the one," presumably the one Mike wants to tie the knot with, and refers to as his "schmoopsie-poo," although he has a self-absorbed side, as he once commented "[he] oughta marry [himself]."

Like all monsters, Mike believes that human children are toxic with a poisonous touch, and his perfect world comes crashing down on his date with Celia when Sulley shows up with a human girl, whom he is much more afraid of than Sulley, believing the kid is "a killing machine," seeing her as a threat, to his and Sulley's lives, well-being, their careers, referring to her as "it," a "thing," and not as a child, and was determined, if not desperate, to get rid of her, evident by wanting to put her back in the human world through any door, not just her own. Another reason he was warded from her might have been a pent-up resentment towards children when he realized they weren't scared of him.

His patience with Sulley was strained and tested to the point where Mike finally turned his back on Sulley but caved in, realizing that Boo was innocent, the bond Sulley had made with her was strong, and he followed Sulley back to help him save Boo from Randall Boggs and Mr. Waternoose.

After stranding Randall in the human world, and exposing Waternoose's plan to the CDA, Mike gave Boo his fond farewell, tell her it had been fun, showing he too had come to care about her when they shared a hug.

In Monsters University, Mike was vaguely the same but, due to youth, had a richer determination and planed to become a Scarer in MU's prestigious Scaring Program. As a child, he'd been overlooked for being smaller than everyone but was inspired by Scarer Frank McCay to become one himself. With hard work and studying, he was accepted into MU and confidently strove to succeed.

However, Mike's determination to prove he had what it takes led him to join the Oozma Kappa fraternity as a last-minute resort to enter the Scare Games. But because Mike cared more about his goals than the fraternity, his recklessness and lack of cooperation almost cost them losing the first round of the Scare Games, and it was only by the Jaws Theta Chi's cheating they were permitted to stay in the Games. After his team's humiliation by the hands of Roar Omega Roar and seeing his team losing their spirit, Mike took them to Monsters Inc. to inspire them and started training them, showing immense skill and potential in coaching. With Mike's hard work, the team progressed through the rounds; Mike also became appreciative of his team.

Unfortunately, Mike's shame of not being scary came back to affect him following the games' conclusion, where, determined to prove everyone wrong, Mike stole a key into the door lab and entered the human world to scare a child, only to realize the hard way, that Sulley had been right when the children aren't scared of him at all.

When Sulley comes through to find him, Mike expresses his sadness, stating he thought if wanted it enough he could prove he was something special and accused Sulley of not understanding him whereupon Sulley admitted his faults and, to Mike's shock, Sulley admitted he acted scary because he was terrified of the expectations he would have to live up to.

As Sulley pointed out, Mike's greatest strength is his fearlessness, despite not being scary himself. So much that even Dean Hardscrabble was impressed by Mike's hard work, and had encouraged them, particularly Mike, to keep surprising others and wishing them luck. Thanks to his perseverance, Mike was able to get him and Sulley their dream of being a Scare Team after a period of hard work.

Physical Appearance

Mike is a spherical green-skinned monster with a single emerald green eye. He has slender arms and legs, both with claws, but he has four fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot. On his head is a pair of short horns with dark gray tips, and a mouth with jagged teeth. His eye and mouth take up the majority of his body. At work, he wears a blue Monsters, Inc. helmet.

History

Monsters University

I can't believe, I'm officially a college student!
~ Mike
Unfortunately, as a young child, Mike didn't have many friends, shown when he and his class went on a field trip to Monsters, Inc., and he was partnered with the teacher. Mike was amazed by the scare floor and the scarers themselves, and one scarer, "Frightening" Frank McCay, told him that he learned how to be a scarer at Monsters University. Mike secretly followed Frank into a door he was scaring in, much to the shock of his class and teacher. Frank was amazed, not even knowing Mike had been in the room with him and gave him his Monsters University cap. Mike decided from then on, that he would grow up to be the best scarer of all.

Years later, thanks to his hard work and lots of studying, Mike is accepted as a freshman at the prestigious Monsters University, majoring in scaring. On his first day, Mike befriends his roommate, the nerdy and shy Randall "Randy" Boggs, who desires to be popular and has difficulty controlling his camouflage power.

While studying for the scare final one night, Mike encounters a fellow scare student, an arrogant, playful, all-brawn, large blue monster that is also a lion named James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, who inadvertently sneaks into Mike's room with Archie, the mascot of rival college, Fear Tech. After greeting each other, Archie steals Mike's hat and escapes. Mike and Sulley follow Archie outside where they have the struggle to capture Archie. When they do catch Archie, Sulley is invited to join Roar Omega Roar, the top fraternity on campus. Mike tries to join, but an argument with Sulley ignites a rivalry between the two.

Eventually, Mike and Sulley's petty competition gets out of hand and causes Dean Hardscrabble to drop both of them from the program and Sulley to be kicked out of his fraternity. Unhappy in his new major of Scream Can Design, Mike decides to prove himself by entering the Scare Games, a college competition to determine a monster's scaring abilities. However, the competitors are teams from MU's fraternities and sororities.

But hope arises when he joins Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of misfit monsters, consist of Art, Scott, Don, Terri & Terry. Mike reluctantly lets Sulley join the team so they can enter, and makes a deal with Dean Hardscrabble for the entire Oozma Kappa fraternity to be allowed in the Scare Program if they win, but for Mike to leave Monsters University if they lose the games. Sulley is concerned since Oozma Kappa has a high level of ineptitude when it comes to scaring, but Mike decides to train them to be scarier.

Despite Mike and Sulley's rivalry, Oozma Kappa unexpectedly advances through the first rounds of the Games. During a party at ROR house, the ROR pranks Oozma Kappa and humiliates them in front of the whole university. Mike arranges a secret visit to Monsters, Inc. to lift their spirits, causing Mike and Sulley to begin to like each other, and with Mike's help and training, Oozma Kappa makes it to the final round against ROR.

Even as the final round arrives, Sulley has a hard time believing Mike can be a good scarer. So in the final round, he manipulates the equipment so that Mike can register a perfect score and allow Oozma Kappa to win the tournament. When Mike discovers this, he is heartbroken and decides to prove to everyone that he is capable of being a good scarer. So, he breaks into the door lab and uses a newly-crafted door to enter the human world at a summer camp, but his plan goes wrong and he fails to scare the kids.

Sulley soon enters the door to look for Mike. After finding and reconciling with Mike, the pair attempt to return but Dean Hardscrabble deactivates the door until the Child Detection Agency arrives, trapping them in the human world. Mike realizes that the only way to get back into the monster world is to generate enough scream energy to power the door from their side. Using both Mike's knowledge and Sulley's natural abilities, Sulley and Mike can scare the investigating adults to the point that they can make it back through the door. Their actions prompt their expulsion from the university, but before they leave, Hardscrabble acknowledges that Sulley and Mike have surprised her and she wishes them luck. Mike and Sulley decide to take jobs at Monsters, Inc. in the company mailroom, and over time, work their way up to janitors, then cafeteria workers, a scream can wranglers, until they become part of the scarer team, thus establishing the story for Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

In the film, Mike works as Sulley's assistant at work on the scare floor at Monsters, Inc. and is his best friend and roommate. He is Celia Mae's boyfriend and is constantly watched by Roz, who seems to dislike him for always bringing in paperwork late. While at Harryhausen's for Celia's birthday, Sulley appeared out of nowhere to tell Mike that he had led a human girl into the Monster World. Putting her into a Monsters, Inc. gym bag, Sulley tried to show him, but the human girl got out of the bag and wreaked havoc all over the restaurant. The two secretly took her out of the restaurant before the CDA found her and disinfected the entire restaurant.

When they learn that Randall and their boss Mr. Waternoose are in on a scam of draining children of screams, while Sulley tricks Waternoose into confessing, Mike records the confession and smugly replays it to watching CDA agents. After Waternoose is arrested and Sulley becomes the CEO of Monsters, Inc., Mike becomes his assistant as well as a laughter for the newly established laugh floor. He also secretly rebuilt Boo's door to let Sulley see her occasionally.

Mike proves to be not only a great assistant but a great "laugher".

Personality

Confident and driven, tenacious and ambitious, from the earliest age Mike Wazowski was driven to fulfill his childhood dreams - becoming the greatest scarer of all time.

To fulfill this, during his years at Monsters University Mike was determined and somewhat obsessed. He never showed any interest in becoming popular or surrounding himself with the "cool crowds" (unlike Randall) and he took his learning extremely seriously (unlike Sulley) and because of this never partied or distracted himself, usually remaining in his dorm or studying. Whereas over monsters rely on their scariness or appearance, Mike was not as blessed and very much dedicated to sharpening his abilities by the use of educating himself throughout his time at Monsters University. He was extremely intelligent as evidenced by his high scores, correct answers throughout his classes, and in this area, he was able to beat Sulley despite being much less scary than he was.

Underneath his confident demeanor, Mike in reality is full of self-doubt. Having been told all his life that he is not scary and will never achieve his life-long ambition of becoming a scarer, Mike was more driven than ever to prove everyone and secretly himself wrong. Mike can also act confrontational if he feels wounded. When Sulley says he doesn't belong at Monsters University before the Scare Finals he responds by mockingly roaring at him which results in a duel and the two accidentally end up getting themselves expelled from the Scaring Program. Also, he wagered with Hardscrabble that if he wins the Scaring Games he would be allowed to re-enter the Scaring Program after previously being expelled by the latter and finally, entering the human world to prove that he was scary after Sulley had cheated to win after angrily claiming that "he didn't have it".

A fatal flaw Mike developed throughout his teenage years was not knowing his limitations. As he was aware (or maybe subconsciously aware) that he was not scary, Mike deluded himself into thinking he was a cut above the others rather than face the stone-cold reality that the dream he had been hoping to achieve his entire life was unobtainable, and thought that he was scary enough to carry the entire team of Oozma Kappa. After winning his team the Scaring Games, Mike was overjoyed but later outraged when he discovered that Sulley cheated by lowering the setting on his go. The knowledge that his teammate and friend did not think that he was scary only hurt him more until, desperately trying to prove to himself that he is scary, goes to the human world to collect screams. After finally coming to terms that he was not scary, he depressively gains self-acceptance.

While he was the leader of the Oozma Kappa, Mike proves to be very bold, fearless and charismatic. After his teammates were humiliated by Roar Omega Roar, Mike was able to moralize them by taking them to Monsters Inc and inspiring them with his philosophy; a monster's scariness is because of his uniqueness and how he uses it, not his appearance. He was an inspirational leader, able to properly motivate Oozma Kappa, having been treated similarly all his life and under his guidance, they were able to properly compete in the Scare Games. His lack of fear and determination impress many people around him, such as entering the human world while at a field trip and the Scarer was amazed that even he did not know Mike was there. He was also one of the few if perhaps the only person to impress Dean Hardscrabble as his planning with Sulley to scare a group of adults allowed both of them to escape the human world.

After being expelled from Monsters University, Mike did appear sad but somewhat humbled. When Hardscrabble indirectly advises both him and Sulley to begin working with Monsters Incorporated, for a while he was content with either his job in the mailroom or cafeteria and though it's unknown whether he auditioned himself, he genuinely appeared comfortable with not being the greatest scarer ever and instead assisted Sulley, who did become one.

Even with this, Mike shows some traits of his old fame-seeking self. He did appear more focused and obsessed with obtaining the all-time scaring record, even though he would share none of the fame for securing such a title as Sulley was the scarer of the duo. His obsession with the title was further reinforced when after being accidentally kidnapped by Randall, he believed the sole basis of such an act was so he could jeopardize Sulley's chance of winning the record and after being banished he was outraged that because he was obsessed with Boo, Sulley prevented them from ever winning the record.

Mike has a very sarcastic and tender sense of humor which can be perceived as childish at times. He was capable of humor at his own expense and causing himself physical pain for a laugh. His sense of humor is very relatable to children and was able to get a child to laugh to the brink of tears on his first day at Monsters, Inc.

Quotes

You were right. They weren't scared of me. I did everything right. I wanted it more than anyone. And I thought... I thought if I wanted it enough, I could show everybody that... That Mike Wazowski is something special. And I'm just not.
~ Mike Wazowski in Monsters University
I think you mean, "Ook-Lay in the Ag-bay." (Sulley: What? Didn't I, uh...) Well, you know, maybe you should just take a minute to "ead-ray your ipt-scray." [Both laughing]
~ Mike in an outtake in Monsters, Inc.
Mikey Look in The Bag - Monsters Сorporation (mp3cut.net)

Trivia

  • His voice actor, Billy Crystal, also voiced Gary Grossman in The Critic, Calcifer in Howl's Moving Castle, Rugs Turkell in Animalympics, and later voiced Tracker in the Nickelodeon Jr. TV show, Paw Patrol.
  • In an earlier draft of Monsters, Inc., Mike was the assistant of Randall rather than Sulley.
  • Eddie Murphy originally auditioned for the role of Mike Wazowski, but turned down the role, due to being in Shrek. In addition to Murphy, Drew Carrey, David Schwimmer and Sinbad originally auditioned for the role of Mike Wazowski.
  • A few years before Monsters Inc, Billy Crystal was offered the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story but turned it down.
  • In early concept art, Mike was originally going to have no arms and two legs.
  • Mike's personality is similar to Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph. They are both funny, brave, smart, and sarcastic. They also both have dreams about something they love- Mike dreams of being a scarer and Vanellope dreams of being a racer although she is a glitch.
  • His roar originated from Rex from Toy Story.

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