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Is Monsters University modeled after a specific university, and if so, what university? After watching the movie, the campus seems familiar to me, but I can't pick out exactly what it is.

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  • It looks so Northwestern U. to me... It reminded me of my old school.
    – user5514
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 12:48

4 Answers 4

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According to this article, Monsters University is at least partly modeled on UC Berkeley. The article has several illustrations showing how familiar Berkeley landmarks such as Sather Gate and the Campanile are copied in the film.

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  • That appears to be a dead link to me. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 14:11
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    @NoctisSkytower Worse than dead; it took me to a malware site. I've replaced it with a link to a clunky but still useful snapshot from the Internet Archive.
    – FredH
    Commented May 16, 2020 at 4:11
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According to this article, inspiration from the Monsters U campus draws from schools Pixar animators flew out to research on, such as Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley.

From the source:

These campus visits helped the animators create a collegiate environment that while not based on any one school, had a mix of California and East Coast university traditions, Robert Kondo, Monster University's Art Director for Set Design & Shading, told us.

Kondo told Business Insider that because a lot of the animators went to art school, they traveled to these campuses to get an understanding of a more all around university experience. More than looking at specific buildings, though, Kondo said — as only an art school grad could — that the team went to "absorb the feeling" of their element.

Some specific example they cite are:

  • The Troll Bridge in Monsters is an almost mirror image of the Weeks Footbridge at Harvard enter image description here enter image description here

  • Parts of Monsters U have arches monsters can walk under, a callback to Stanford University's arched hallways enter image description here enter image description here

  • The schoolgates to Monsters U resemble the gates to Princeton University.
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Google again... They said several colleges but mostly U. c Berkley, MIT Harvard and other schools the artists went to

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    Is there a source for this?
    – yuritsuki
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 23:15
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    Please do elaborate - both with a source, and with more detail. e.g. You say that the artists went to some of the schools that they drew inspiration from - can you give some of the artists' names and tell us what school(s) they specifically went to? (You can add all this to your post by clicking the "edit" button beneath it.) Thanks!
    – ghostdog
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 1:27
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    Who is this "They?" Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 16:35
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The university is clearly modeled after the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. With the large campus, student population, and popular Greek life it must be this university. Hail to the victors

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    Welcome to Movies & TV. You might want to back up your claims somehow to flesh out the answer a little more.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 14:25

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