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The Tragic Monsters, Inc. Fan Theory That's Lighting Up Reddit

Disney has gifted Hollywood with dozens of emotion-packed animated films thanks to the work of Pixar Animation Studios. Without the special touch of Pixar, the world would be lacking bonafide classics like "Toy Story," "Cars," Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "A Bug's Life," and more. Pixar has successfully created several of its own multi-million dollar franchises, spawning not only future films, but TV series, video games, merchandise lines, and more. One Pixar film that has truly left its mark is 2003's "Monsters, Inc."

The film centers around the monster-inhabited city of Monstropolis, where larger-than-life creatures like Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James "Sully" Sullivan (John Goodman) work as professional "scarers." They work at the local energy facility where they harvest screams from children in order to bring power to the town. Through the use of "scare floors" equipped with doors — essentially portals — that lead to the bedrooms of children, the monsters enter a room, scare each kid enough to produce a blood-curdling scream, and move onto the next as the scream is collected at the factory for fuel. 

"Monsters, Inc." has a classic Pixar happy ending, where the monsters convert to using the laughter of kids to power their city rather than screams. But some fans have a dark theory about the energy harvesting methods of the "Monsters, Inc." universe that takes the whole franchise to another level.  

Monstropolis might have been powered by a dark, dirty energy source

In a Reddit conversation about fan theories, one "Monsters, Inc." viewer had a twisted idea about how the city of Monstropolis was powered prior to their utilization of the screams of children. U/curlyquirkycolorful pointed out that advertisements for "Monsters Inc." in the film boast the use of "clean" energy, a concept used in the real world. In reality, sources like coal and crude oil are considered "dirty" energy sources because they are nonrenewable and environmentally destructive. A source like natural gas is considered "cleaner" in comparison due to lesser environmental impacts, but it's still not the best. Meanwhile, sources like solar or wind are "clean" energy in all regards, as they result in the least amount of damage. 

In "Monsters, Inc.," the screams of children are equivalent to natural gas as "it's cleaner, but still not great," the original poster explains. Switching over to children's laughs would be the cleanest, like solar energy, as harvesting methods don't result in harmful impacts, such as traumatizing children. So the idea is that the "dirty" energy, which was used prior to the film's timeline, was the blood of children. "Something literally dirtier and non-renewable that the monsters have moved away from as a society," the Reddit user explains.

It's a pretty dark theory when considering that the film is aimed for children. However, when analyzing "Monsters, Inc." from an adult lens, the logic does make sense.