A line in Monsters, Inc. revealing that Mike and Sulley met in 4th grade made the Monsters University team develop a now-deleted scene that would reference the plot point.
In Monsters, Inc., Mike and Sulley are walking to work when Mike says to his big blue friend that “You’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade.”
While it’s just a small reference that has no impact on Inc. or University, Pixar wanted to remain loyal. It’s one of many times in University where you see references to Inc. The latter film was released in October 2001.
“We really wanted to be respectful of that line, but we realized by doing that it was changing the type of story we wanted to tell with Monsters University,” director and co-writer Dan Scanlon says in a new feature. “We either had to tell the story of Monsters Elementary and literally stay with the guys for the whole movie in grade school, or you had to show Mike and Sulley meet young then skip ahead in time and have them re-meet in college. The problem we were noticing was feeling like they had met a long time ago, had a relationship, and then reintroducing the relationship again [in University].”
It came down to Pixar heads telling them to remove the elementary school scene. “It was John Lasseter and Pete Doctor who said ‘We think you have to let this go.'”
In the deleted elementary school scene which you can watch on EW, Mike and Sulley are on the elementary school playground when the former can’t get the other kids to let him play on the dodgeball team. They try to recruit Sulley, who is verbally abused by Mike. The scene is only in storyboard form – it is not animated.
Although we agree that the scene probably shouldn’t have seen the light of day, the good thing about Pixar developing this idea if we get to see concept art of the duo in elementary school (and they’re adorable).
See additional Monsters University deleted scenes in our article released yesterday. The film hits DVD/Blu-ray on October 29, and we will have a review closer to its release.