Monsters University continuity error in Mike and Sulley’s backstory explained

Gregory Wakeman
2 May 2013
Monsters University continuity error in Mike and Sulley’s backstory explained
Mike arrives on campus in 'Monsters University'

The hype and hysteria surrounding 'Monsters University' reached its pinnacle last week after the release of a third trailer for the adventure.

With a rock and roll soundtrack, that features Andrew WK's classic Party Hard and a new track from US heavy metal band Mastodon, as well as a plethora of both comedic and sentimental moments, it was literally impossible not to be impressed by Pixar's next outing.

But, there is just one problem, and it's an issue that has been festering ever since the prequel was announced, because 'Monsters University' shouldn't technically be allowed to take place.

Let me explain. In 'Monsters, Inc,', the predecessor to Mike and Sulley's earlier effort, there is a scene where the duo are glibly walking down a Monstropolis street enjoying the sunny delights that their fare city has to offer.

They chat away on their way to work, with Mike turning to his friend and stating, "You've been jealous of my good looks ever since the four grade pal."

However, in the trailers for 'Monsters University' when James P. Sullivan acquaints himself with Wazowski at university, Mike confirms that they've just been introduced, declaring, "Well, now that we've been introduced."

This revelation has caused a stir amongst Pixar fans on internet forums, but now 'Monsters University' director Dan Scanlon has confronted the continuity error, and it turns out he had a major dilemma with this quandary in pre-production too.

Scanlon explained, "In the first film, they actually say 'you've been jealous of my good looks since fourth grade.' So that was something we talked about early on. We chose college because we wanted to see their relationship develop when they were adults. And we also felt like college is so much about self-discovery and figuring out who you are."

He then added, "It felt like the perfect place to do this, but we had that line. So we tried versions where they met young and then we skipped ahead to college. And we knew we didn't want to make 'Monsters Elementary.'"

However, Scanlon notes that it took the introduction of his superiors to clear his guilt, stating, "And it was really Pete Doctor, the original director, and John Lasseter who finally said to me, 'it's great that you're honouring that, but you have to do what's right for the story.' So we made a tough decision to just have them be in college and put that line aside."

Scanlon is hoping that the line can turn into it own cinematic cult though, and he is hoping it can take on a life of its own. "Now we joke that that's just an old monster expression, 'you've been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade,' remarked the filmmaker, "That's what monsters always say to each other."

Is Scanlon's excuse good enough? Will you ever be able to take 'Monsters University' seriously?

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