I’m a Monster, Hear Me Roar!



Name: James P. Sullivan

Age: 18 in MU, 28 in MI

Height: 2.3 Metres

Weight: 760 lbs

Birthday: August 17

Lives: Monstropolis

Works: Monsters Inc.

Scaring Technique: Roaring


James, ‘Kitty’ or, ‘Sulley’ is the main character in the 2001 Disney Pixar film Monsters Inc, as well as the supporting character in the 2013 prequel of Monsters University.

Sulley is an oversized monster at almost eight feet tall, and has a beautiful thick coat of hair that is a deep aqua blue with purple spots. In the prequel, it was revealed that his coat sheds similar to a dogs and is often a nuisance for him. He has horns that are off-white and slightly curved as well as sharp, monster teeth and bushy eyebrows that rival Brooke Shields’. In Monster’s University, Sulley is a little shorter and a little slimmer than he is portrayed in Monsters Inc. where he is depicted as a grown monster.

Voiced by John Goodman, Sulley has had many appearances throughout Disney/ Pixar;



Monsters University

Set ten years earlier than Monsters Inc., during Sulley and Mike Wazowski’s college years, Monster’s University depicts the two teenage monster’s journeys through college initially as rivals, and then as friends. Both Mike and Sulley are majoring in ‘scaring’ in the hope of one day being employed by Monsters Inc.

Sulley’s introduction in the film takes place when he makes a grand entrance by arriving late to his first scaring class, roaring. The rest of his class time is spent playing pranks, picking his teeth and generally goofing off instead of studying.

Sulley is a legacy student, expecting to breeze past his famous father Bill Sullivan’s footsteps and graduate with honors. His size, skills and reputation get him instantly recognised and initiated into RΩR (Roar Omega Roar), the trendiest fraternity on campus.

Sulley’s rivalry with Wazowski arises after Mike (a studious overachiever) shows Sulley up in classes leading him to be booted from RΩR. The rivalry soon gets out of hand until the two get into a heated argument which results in them being expelled from university.

The two are offered a spot back in the Scaring Program if they can manage to win the ‘Scare Games’. This is done with their team members from a less popular fraternity Oozma Kappa – the socially awkward brotherhood and last resort for the pair to enter the games.

After winning the Scare Games and inadvertently causing havoc inside the human world, Mike and Sulley are detained by the CDA (Child Detection Agency) and ultimately expelled from Monster’s University.

On departure from the University, an alternative door is opened for Mike and Sulley’s entry to the workforce at Monsters Inc. The movie closes with the two of them working in the mail office at the factory, and working their way up to the scare floor.


Monsters Inc.

The first film in the series opens with Sulley, now 28, living the dream. The top scarer on the scare floor at Monsters Inc., Sulley is at the top of his game.

Sulley’s workplace, Monsters Inc., is using the screams to generate the power for Monstropolis by employing scarers to frighten children in the human world. Children are assumed to be dangerous to monsters – ‘a single touch could kill’, and measures are taken throughout the film to prevent a child breach in the monster world.  When a child ‘Boo’ enters Monstropolis through the factory, it’s up to Mike and Sulley to return her before she causes a contamination.

At the beginning of the film, Sulley is a confident, hadworking scarer who is working his way toward the all-time scare record. As the film progresses, Sulley reveals a softer side of himself when he has to take care of Boo who calls him ‘kitty’ due to his furry coat. His affection for Boo puts a strain on his friendship with Mike, particularly when Sulley learns that his co-workers are plotting to harm Boo by harvesting her screams. Mike eventually helps Sulley safely return Boo to her room where her door is destroyed to ensure that she can’t enter the monster world again.

A heartbroken Sulley is given the role of CEO at Monsters Inc for his discovery throughout the film that children’s laughter produces ten times more power than screams, a fact which saves the company, and the film closes with the heartfelt reunion between Boo and Sulley.


Other Appearances

Mike’s New Car

In this short film, Sulley plays the supporting character to Mike who has bought himself a brand new car.


 Disney Infinity

Sulley appears in the Disney infinity 1.0 series as a playable character


 Disney Parks

Sulley can be seen throughout the Disney parks, often wearing his Monster’s University jacket. He also appears in several of the parades and in several attractions including Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! at Disney California Adventure and Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek at Tokyo Disneyland.



Sulley also appears in the end credits of Disney Cars in the form of a giant monster truck, and in Tokyo Mater alongside a car version of Mike Wazowski.



Fast Facts

  • Sulley’s design was based on ‘The Beast’ from Beauty and The Beast as well as prehistoric sloth
  • Sulley was originally designed to be a janitor in an earlier version of the film
  • Original names for Sulley included ‘Johnson’ and ‘Hob’
  • Sulley was not originally intended to be the cocky, competent scarer that he is portrayed as in both films, but rather a clumsy monster who was not able to do his job (much like George Sanderson, the monster who keeps getting caught up in CDA emergencies). In the original storyline, he teams up with Boo who had scaring skills of her own from living with older brothers
  • He originally had brown fur, glasses and tentacles. Animator’s felt these features detracted attention away from his character, and were eventually canned
  • An illustration of Sulley appears in the Witch’s house in Brave
  • In Toy Story Toons, a toilet seat cover is visible in the bathroom which appears to be made from Sulley’s fur
  • Sulley is a trailblazer for being the first Pixar protagonist to not have a love interest. Following him was ‘Remy’ in Ratatouille and ‘Merida’ in Brave
  • Sulley is only the second Pixar lead character to become the supporting character in a sequel or prequel film. The first was ‘Lightning McQueen’ in Cars
  • He was also the fourth protagonist to commit an illegal offence, breaking the law
  • Sulley has 5.5 million hairs in Monster’s University, but only 1 million in Monsters Inc..
  • John Goodman who lent his voice to the character also provided his voice for other Disney animated films including The Emperor’s New Groove, The Jungle Book 2 and The Princess and The Frog
  • Bill Murray was the first choice for Sulley’s voice
  • In the French version, Sulley is called Jacques Sullivent’ and nicknamed ‘Sulli’
  • 12 hours were spent to create a single frame of Sulley
  • Due to the fine detail needed to create Sulley’s hairy coat, a new program was developed to automate the movements of his fur
  • Sulley’s roar is a blend of tiger, bear and human sounds
  • In Monsters Inc., Mike says to Sulley, “You’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade…” When it came to the production of Monsters University, an executive decision was made to ignore this comment rather than try and integrate it into the plot
  • The armchair in Sulley’s apartment has a hole through the back to accommodate his tail
  • Sulley feeds cereal to Boo that has the following ingredients on the label; tentacles, seawater, mercury, barium, sulphuric acid, lead, bile, blood, sweat, tears, plankton and uranium


To see our favorite Sulley figurines, go here


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