How Monsters University pieced together Mike and Sulley’s origin

Monsters University explored Mike and Sully’s college past, but the prequel also traced their established Monsters, Inc. origin.

Pixar showed more of Sully and Mike’s relationship in monster universityalthough the prequel also traced their origin which Monsters Inc. established. Pixar turned another of its original ideas into a franchise in 2013 with the release of monster university. The movie brought back Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan to explore their college experiences as they trained together to become scary. monster university had a lot of connections with Monsters Inc. accordingly, but not everything is perfectly aligned.

The main story of monster university revolves around Mike and Sulley’s first semester enrolled in Monsters University’s Scaring program. They both fail to get into the best fraternity in college, which initially puts their scary futures in jeopardy. However, the rest of monster university shows Mike, Sulley, and a few other college misfits training for a scaring competition that, if they win, will get them accepted into the Scaring program. It gives the prequel a chance to really establish how and why Mike and Sulley become the best friends audiences first met in 2001.

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The problem with monster university telling that story, however, was that it meant re-establishing Mike and Sulley’s origin. The issue arises following the first time Mike and Sulley met. It was revealed in Monsters Inc. that they’ve been friends since fourth grade. Mike briefly mentions it and says he and Sulley have been best friends ever since. However, monster university clearly state this fact. They are complete strangers during the previous film and clearly haven’t had a previous friendship.



Monsters University Restored Mike and Sully's Origin

Mike and Sulley’s return to origins is a puzzling aspect of monster universitybecause the movie doesn’t even try to make this change work with this Monsters Inc. included. The prequel could have left the fourth-year reunion as part of their past, but revealed that they went their separate ways over the next few years. He would then present monster university as a chance for them to reconcile and help each other achieve their dreams. There’s even the option to simplify this story and revolve the film around two best friends who go to college together. Either option would change aspects of monster universitybut the retcon would be avoided.


Although monster university Completely ignoring the fourth-year origin of Mike and Sulley’s friendship, that wasn’t always the plan. Early storyboards for the film included a scene showing Mike and Sulley as fourth graders who might have smoothed this retcon. However, it was decided that the first scene didn’t sit well with the rest of monster university‘s story, which resulted in its cut. The end result was that Mike and Sulley’s origin was changed forever.

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