Next year, the prequel film Monsters University will be released twelve years after the original film. Monsters, Inc. was a huge milestone for Pixar. It was the first feature film with complex texture like hair, fur, and clothes; it was the first film not to be directed by John Lasseter; and most of all, it was (arguably) the first heart-wrenching Pixar film, a theme that would later define the studio’s films. In honor of that great film, let’s look at If I Didn’t Have You.
If I Didn’t Have You is an Academy Award winning song, written by singer-songwriter Randy Newman, that appears during the end credits of the 2001 Disney·Pixar animated film, Monsters, Inc. Sung by John Goodman and Billy Crystal (voices of James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski, respectively), the song won the 2001 Academy Award for Best Original Song. This was Newman’s first Oscar. Previously, Newman had been nominated fifteen times in the Best Score and Best Song categories, but had never won.
This song is just so darn classy! It has a nice jazz feel, with a cool laid-back beat, and some great vocals. The Randy Newman version is good, but this duet by Goodman and Crystal really captures the friendship between Mike and Sully. As mentioned above, this was Randy Newman’s first Oscar win (he would later win for Toy Story 3 song, We Belong Together) and boy, did he deserve it. Newman brings all his trademark upbeat and, well, Newman-ness. But this time, it really works and we find ourselves singing along to this great song.
Take a gander, folks!