Henry J. Waternoose (a.k.a "Mr. Waternoose" and simply "Waternoose") is the main antagonist in Disney/Pixar's 2001 film Monsters, Inc. He is the CEO of the company Monsters, Inc. He was voiced by the late James Coburn.
Waternoose is an obese gray monster, completely bald, with 5 eyes, and walks around on a set of six crab-like legs, he is always seen wearing a black tuxedo jacket over a white shirt, a red vest, and a black bow tie. When he was younger, he had an Afro-style hair and a chinless beard. A producer described him as a "cross between a spider and a crab."
Although Waternoose is an antagonist in this movie, he has a gentle, fatherly facade and is only driven to villainy out of desperation to keep Monsters Inc. afloat in the midst of the energy crisis. He becomes more villainous as this drive and desperation strips away his morals and he is determined to not let anything stop what he thinks will be the best way for the company to keep going, never taking into account looking for other energy resources.
He was going to appear in the prequel, and he was going to be voiced by Kelsey Grammer. But this was dropped at the last minute. After Mike and Sulley begin their new jobs at Monsters, Inc., they eventually work their way up to the position of the scaring team job that they have in the first film. This is revealed to the viewer when Mike's MI locker shows photos of them beginning this job and shaking hands with Mr. Waternoose. This is likely when the bond between him and Sulley began to grow. In the photo, he sports an afro and a chinless beard which he lost sometime before M.I.
He is first shown at the very beginning of the film, informing Thaddeus Bile and the trainees about the dangers of a human child after Thaddeus has unsuccessfully attempted to frighten a simulation child in bed.
Later, when Sulley and Mike, were carrying Boo, they attempt to alert Henry J. Waternoose, while he is attending a training session for new monsters. However, Waternoose asks Sulley to demonstrate his scare tactics, and when Sulley growls loudly, Boo reveals herself as a human child. Waternoose, taking Boo, promises to set things right, but instead reveals he is in on Randall's scheme, worried for the future of the company. He brings a door from the vault and pushes Sulley and Mike into it the door takes them to the Himalayas in Nepal. Sulley and Mike have a falling out. Sulley, only concerned about getting to Boo quickly scavenges parts from stockpiles from the Yeti, another exiled monster, and returns to the nearest village to use a door and return to Monsters, Inc.
Inside the secret lair, Mr. Waternoose works on his evil plan and watches as Randall and Fungus begin to test the scream extractor on Boo. Sulley intervenes at the last moment before the Scream Extractor gets to her mouth, dismantles the device, throws it at Mr. Waternoose and Randall, and rescues Boo. Mr. Waternoose then orders Randall to stop Sulley and finish him off, but Mike, who has followed Sulley back into the Monster World, accidentally gives away Randall's cloaking abilities, allowing Sulley to knock Randall off him by punching him in the face. After Sulley, Mike, and Boo escape, Mr. Waternoose tells Randall that they can't let any witnesses be exposed.
While Sulley and Mike lead Randall on a wild chase through a large chamber where thousands of doors to the human world are kept, Mr. Waternoose rallies the Child Detection Agency to capture Sulley, Mike, and Boo under the pretense that they are the criminals responsible for the entire incident.
After the trio defeat Randall and return to Scare Floor F which is packed with CDA agents, Mike distracts the CDA by driving them away while Mr. Waternoose catches sight of Boo with Sulley and gives them chase to a simulation room.
Mr. Waternoose breaks into a room where Sulley has went into and confronts Sulley, declaring that he'll kidnap a thousand children before he lets the company die. Knocking Sulley out of his way, he tries to grab Boo from the bed, but he instead grabs the simulation child. Just then, the wall goes up to reveal that Mike is behind the controls. Mike, who has recorded the confrontation between Mr. Waternoose and Sulley, plays back his favorite part to reveal Mr. Waternoose's nefarious scheme to the CDA as Mr. Waternoose watches in bewilderment. With this incriminating evidence, the CDA turns on Mr. Waternoose and arrest him forever
- Mr. Waternoose is the last animated character voiced by James Coburn before his death in 2002.
- Although Waternoose ended up becoming involved in abducting Boo despite his claims of children being toxic to monsters, it is never made clear whether he knew children were not toxic, and thus lied about their danger to the monsters, or if he did truly believe they were toxic, but felt saving the company from bankruptcy was worth the risk of being poisoned by a child and potentially killed.
- Waternoose's true nature is revealed near the end of the film when Mike records him on TV.
- Waternoose was originally going to be voiced by Kelsey Grammer in Monsters University (Kelsey had previously voiced Stinky Pete in Toy Story 2), but he was dropped out for unknown reasons.
- Though Waternoose states that the company had been in his family for three generations, any attempt to name him as "Henry J. Waternoose III" is an assumption that his name was passed down from grandfather to father to son. His father's and his grandfather's names are never stated and could have easily been unique names for each one.