Director Dan Scanlon explains how a continuity issue will be solved in Monsters University
Recently, I rewatched MONSTERS INC. as soon as it was over something dawned on me-- Did Mike say that he and Sully were in grade school together? So how is it possible that they met for the very first time in college, which is what the story of MONSTERS UNIVERSITY tells us.
Do you remember the line? "You've been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade, pal!"
Dan Scanlon, director of the second installment offered up an explanation:
Well in the first film, uh, they actually say you’ve been jealous of my good looks since fourth grade. And in the teaser they go on and on about fifth 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 not just still be more or less similar to the characters we remember from the first film. And we also felt like college is so much about self-discovery and figuring out who you are.
It just felt like the perfect place to do this, but we had that line, you know, that line was out there. So we tried versions where they met young and then we kind of skipped ahead to college. And we knew we didn’t want to make Monsters Elementary. We had no interest in that. Honestly it became a thing where you sort of felt like you were missing the relationship grow, because you jumped ahead any way we sliced it.
And it was really Pete Doctor, the original director, and John Lasseter who finally kind of said to me, it’s great that you’re honoring that, but you have to do what’s right for the story. You have to do what’s right for both stories in the long run. And so we made a tough decision to just have them be in college and put that line aside. So the good thing is the only reason that line was in the first film was to just give you the feeling that these guys have known each other a long time and I think that college still does that.
So yeah, now we joke that that’s just an old monster expression, you’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade. That’s what monsters always say to each other. So, uh, so luckily I feel like when you watch the movies together, the spirit of it still works great.
Personally, it doesn't really matter to me. I also don't think it matters to the kiddos. There will be tons of new audiences that may not have recall or have noticed the line in the film. The first film is one of my favorites so I look forward to seeing the next installment.