Squishy Squibbles is one of the new characters from Monsters University. How could you not love a character based off of Japanese mochi candy? He has five eyes, lives with his single mom and loves the fishing dance move. Pete Sohn is the actor behind this sweet character. Sohn has worked at Pixar for 11 years and the Boy Scout Russel from the movie UP was based on him (love that movie!). Monsters University students got to enjoy snack time with him and its where we learned more about the man Peter Sohn and his role as Squishy.
What do you do when you’re not voice acting?
I started here at Pixar as a character designer on Finding Nemo in 2000. I’ve worked in story and animation. I’ve worked in many departments. I’ve been all over at Pixar. Currently I’m co-directing The Good Dinosaur with Bob Peterson. That movie is coming out in 2014. It’s gonna be great!
Describe your character Squishy Squibbles. What do you like about him?
I like that he’s so sincere about kind of naïve things. There’s a scene in the movie where Mike and Sully want to throw a party. And Squishy is like, “This is great. Grab some couch cushions ’cause we’re gonna build a fort!” You know, I totally connect with that type of guy just ’cause that’s how I grew up with my cousins. We didn’t have the Internet. So the world was so like “out there”. For us it was just like “Oh my God”. You have the one piece of Lego and you can just nerd out for a while.
What’s it like hearing your voice on the big screen?
It’s really thrilling. It is really exciting.There’s two pieces of it because you work on these movies. And the grind of constantly trying to figure out the story, your brain goes in that one direction. But then you have to reserve that other side of you as an audience member. You know, like trying to watch the movie for the first time every time you see it. So you try to ignore that. But sometimes when you hear your voice it’s just like oh my God. It can be really embarrassing!
Do you have another favorite character in Monsters? I love Art. There are a lot of really funny scenes with him. And ’cause I’m a big Muppet fan too. He embodies the Muppet feel. But you can’t imagine how, if it was a real Muppet, how you would work that type of shape. That’s what’s so exciting about 3-D is you’re able to do these kind of things, get that feel that you had when you were a kid but make a whole new thing out of it.
And I love Ms. Squibbles. I thought she was really, really funny and heartwarming. And I can’t wait for you to see the rest of the movie ’cause there was a lot of stuff that happened.
Does your family tease you?
Yeah, it’s so funny ’cause most of my family is all Korean. So my brother will say, “All I can hear is you. I can’t see anything else. The movie’s ruined because of that.” I’m so sorry. And so it’s mostly like that. And “Mom, did you see the movie? What’d you think?” She doesn’t understand the English as well. So she doesn’t know but she knows it’s my voice.
Were you like your character in college?
I went to art school. I was a nerdy loser in art school, so totally the same. But there weren’t any frat parties or anything like that. It was mainly look, I’m gonna paint my body with this giant X on it. But, definitely the cliques of being with friends on that kind of really innocent level is absolutely something I shared.
Peter Sohn is a talented guy and I can’t wait to see his future projects. For now you will be rooting for him (as Squishy and his fraternity Ooza Kapa).
That’s IT! – Tee
* I attended an all-expense paid press trip courtesy of Pixar/Disney. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Photos courtesy