Monsters, Inc. Gets a Psychedelic Remix

Slate's Culture Blog
April 5 2012 6:03 PM

Did You See This? Monsters, Inc. Remixed

Still from Monsters, Inc.
Sulley (left) and Mike (right) in Monsters, Inc.

Publicity still © 2001 Disney/Pixar.

The psychedelic properties of Disney movies are vastly underrated. If you’re in the right… frame of mind, Disney movies provide all the colorful surreallity of a Fear and Loathing or The Wall without any of the heavier material that can be a total bummer.

Consider the remixes of electronic music artist Nick Bertke, aka Pogo. Bertke is famous for taking Disney movies (along with a few other classics) and chopping them up into brief samples for a fully-realized dance track.  His latest outing takes just a few short vocal samples from Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.—including a shushing Sulley and the sound of a locker closing—and remixes them into a buoyant rave anthem.

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The real star here is Boo, the 2-year-old girl who falls into the monsters’ world, and whose giggles provide a major point of uplift. It’s a simple formula, but it works. (And of course you hardly have to be high to enjoy it.)

While Bertke occasionally changes the pitch and speed of the sounds he uses, its striking how musical even the smallest bits of dialogue can seem all on their own. For this reason, the remixes remind me most of the “Musical Language” episode of Radiolab, in which one psychology professor finds that simple spoken phrases can become remarkably catchy and musical when looped. (Radiolab listeners, even if they only heard the episode years ago, will likely still remember the melody of the phrase “Sometimes behaves so strangely.”)
 
You can download many of Bertke’s remixes at his website, for a price of your choosing (songs that sample unauthorized material can be downloaded for free). But they’re best when accompanied by the source videos. My favorites might still be Bertke’s earlier remixes of Willy Wonka (“Scrumdiddlyumptious”) and Mary Poppins (“Expialidocious”)—though I now find myself falling for his Snow White remix (“Wishery”). If you like your Disney even trippier, you can remix these remixes again by watching them on YooouuuTuuube.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer.