5 subtleties in ‘Monsters University’ that you’ll find at Cal

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Most college students can relate to something in Pixar’s latest release, “Monsters University.” But of course, we know that Cal students can relate more closely. Long before the movie premiered, we covered the major elements of the Monsters University campus that look like parts of Cal. But there were also many Cal-inspired nuances in the design of the movie that we caught on to:

(Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers of an extremely obscure nature.)

1. The arena. If you didn’t immediately think of the bonfire rally at the Greek Theatre, then maybe you haven’t spent enough time at Cal. The in-the-round design with those ridiculously short cement steps is what we would like to think of as a Berkeley architectural signature.

2. The trees. Those knobbly trees that line Sproul Plaza and the walkway to the Campanile remind us daily of something out of an enchanted world. Wouldn’t those trees be right at home at a university for monsters? We thought some of the trees on MU’s campus looked rather similar to our charmingly monstrous rooted friends.

3. The posts outside the gate. We already noted how the Monsters University gate looked quite like Sather Gate and how the MU bell tower resembles our Campanile. We would like to point out a smaller detail: those posts that line the street where the bus stops. They reminded us of those lining the street right in front of Sproul.

4. Don’s business card. OK, so Pixar is located in Emeryville, which is also in the 510. Maybe that’s the more logical reason why the business card of “mature student” Don has the same area code as Berkeley. But we still were excited when we spotted that familiar trio of numbers on the business card.

5. The two-headed pigeon. This wasn’t at the MU campus, but it still made us think about our own pigeons in Berkeley. We would’ve appreciated a two-headed squirrel too, actually, to really assure us that Berkeley was getting a tip from both hats on the animal’s heads.

Those are just a few minor touches to “Monsters University” that we thought were worth mentioning. What do you think of our comparisons? And did you notice any other obscure things in the movie that reminded you of your days at Cal? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: e r j k p r u n c z y k, under Creative Commons

Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.