One of the most powerful cinematic romances in recent years follows the story of a reserved young man who, by falling in love with an outgoing friend, learns to better understand himself and his sexuality. This moving Bildungsroman is, of course, the 2013 film Monsters University.
If a description of the Pixar movie’s plot sounds familiar, that may be because it shares marked similarities with another, far less erotically charged film: end-of-year critical darling Call Me By Your Name.
Recognizing the parallels between these two landmark pictures, Mikey Heller has offered up a recut version of the Call Me By Your Name trailer, leaving the original audio and subtitles intact while inserting clips from Monsters University that sync up perhaps a little too well to be mere coincidence.
If you can put aside the troublesome issue of such blatant narrative plagiarism for a few minutes, Heller’s mashup is simply a very funny bit of editing. The gentle Sufjan Stevens score playing over images of squat little Mike and tall, confident (devilishly handsome) Sulley learning to love one another is stunningly absurd. Critical accolades set over the colorful computer animation (“Ravishing filmmaking and piercing wisdom,” “Casts a beautifully erotic, sensuous spell”) bring the entire, wonderfully dumb exercise together into something truly special.
The entire video is so good, in fact, that it even allows you to forget that it sits uncomfortably close to the internet’s habit of creating sexual tension between two profoundly unsexy cartoon characters. Maybe in it, though, there’s an example of how to avoid the darkest tendencies of online fan communities. If we must recognize that Mike and Sulley are in love, let’s vow to follow Heller’s example and at least make a very good joke out of it.