Mike's New Car is a 2002 Pixar animated short, starring the two main characters from Monsters, Inc., Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan. Directed by Pete Docter and Roger Gould, it is the first Pixar short to utilize vocal performances and the first to take characters and situations from a previously established work.
It received an Academy Award nomination (Best Animated Short Film in 2002) and was included in the 2002 VHS and DVD release of Monsters, Inc. It was also released theatrically with a non-Pixar Animation Studios feature, Treasure Planet (made by Walt Disney Pictures), on November 27, 2002.
Mike is obsessed with his new six-wheel drive car, and insists on showing it off to his pal Sulley. Unfortunately for Mike, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Sulley plays with the ultra-adjustable seats until an annoyed Mike asks him to stop. Mike starts the engine and the seatbelt reminder tone sounds. He finds his seatbelt stuck and accidentally locks himself out of the car while trying to unstick it.
Sulley, trying to be helpful but confused by the massive amount of buttons on the dashboard, pops the hood open. When he closes it, he ends up trapping Mike in the engine compartment. Mike manages to escape, re-enters the car, and is exasperated by the continuous seatbelt reminder tone. Sulley reaches for another button on the dash, so just as Mike manages to put his seatbelt on, Sulley turns the windshield wipers on by accident. Mike shouts, "Don't touch anything!" and pushes a button that launches the entire car into chaotic malfunction, such as conga music ("Jungle Baby" by Hans Ehrlinger) playing loudly.
Mike finally ends the chaos by pulling the key out of the ignition, and Sulley adds insult to injury when, in an attempt to realign the rearview mirror, he breaks it off. Mike gets angry, orders Sulley out of the car, and speeds away, wrecking the car completely. Sulley mutters, "Huh, that's weird, the airbag didn't go off." Right on cue, the airbag inflates, and its force sends Mike flying back up the street. Sulley catches Mike, who mourns for his old car before agreeing to walk to work while the credits roll.
Mike's New Car was released on September 17, 2002, attached as bonus feature on the Monsters, Inc. DVD and VHS release. The DVD release features commentary by "Docter and Gould," which turn out to be the directors' young children. The short was also released theatrically with a non-Pixar Animation Studios feature, Treasure Planet (made by Walt Disney Pictures), on November 27th, 2002, and again to home media on November 10, 2009, on the Monsters, Inc. Blu-ray.
- The commentary on this short is done by the directors' sons.
- There is a visible button that reads, "Do not Push." This is presumably the one Sulley used to pop open the hood.
- The short was originally meant to be a scene in Monsters, Inc., the film it was based on, presumably the original version of the scene where Mike surprises Sulley with Boo's door being almost rebuilt. The Pixar crew decided to cut the scene out and release the scene on the VHS and DVD of the film as "Mike's New Car" and replace it with the scene where Mike surprises Sulley with Boo's door rebuilt instead of the car.
- This is Pixar's first direct-to-video short film.