Monsters Inc fans still cling to Pixar's most annoying Origin Retcon

Pixar fans are still disturbed by a line in Monsters, Inc. that was later retold for the entire Monsters University sequel.

Nearly a decade after the release of Monsters University, Monsters, Inc. fans are still upset that major origin details have been changed. Monsters, Inc. showcased the lives of top scare duo Mike and Sully, while the prequel Monsters University charted how the two met, detailing their college rivalry and contradicting what Pixar originally established.

While Monsters University provides a fascinating backstory for scarers, it doesn't particularly stick to previously established lore. In Monsters, Inc., Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) met in elementary school and stayed with each other for the rest of their lives. However, at Monsters University, they met in college and were not friends from the start. It's a storyline that retells Mike and Sully's origins in a no-nonsense fashion that has long enraged fans. Many people vented their displeasure on social media platforms like Reddit, where Reddit user ThatKiwiBloke thought retcon was "stupid because they could have easily put Mike and Sully in the same [4th grade] class (during Mike's flashback) Then separate and then meet again in college. That way there is continuity to the film and nothing is lost."

Pixar's Explanation for Monsters, Inc & Monsters University Continuity Error

While the retcon was a major mistake that brought Mike and Sully's entire relationship into question, Pixar defended their decision to completely change history. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Monsters University" director and co-writer Dan Scanlon revealed that they were aware of this issue when developing the "Monsters University" story, but chose to move forward to respect their desire to Storytelling. When they tried to have these two monsters meet in fourth grade, Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter insisted that they respected Monsters, Inc. detail.

Changing the history of the two top Scarers might have helped the project, but it would have ruined the long and enduring relationship between the monsters. The emotional core of Monsters, Inc. comes from their connection, which is heightened when they've known each other long enough that their battles in Monsters, Inc. feel painful and rare. If the two were already rivals in the prequel, then their subsequent quarrel was just another episode in a long line Fighting has little effect. Projects that follow Pixar's "what if X had feelings" formula rely on characterization and relationships to stay engaging, even when X means monsters. Scouts change their relationship to feel pointless.

While it may take something away from the story, the line is just a small comment that is easily forgotten. In a prequel, creators should stick to established details as long as they help ensure the story remains compelling. There's no reason, if not absolutely necessary, to go to such lengths to fit a tiny, otherwise easily forgotten detail that prevents an interesting story from being told. Still, creators of every upcoming Pixar movie and TV show should take into account the fan backlash against Monsters University retaking control of Monsters, Inc., and take extra care to avoid similar mishaps.

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