Monster's University

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Posted

I'm surprised everyone who's seen it here enjoyed it. I'm also surprised it got good reviews (7.7 - 7.8). That's the reason I saw it. My theater loved it. They were clapping and clapping at the end. I expect a lot better from Pixar. It just wasn't a cinematic movie nor the least bit funny to me. The overall graphics didn't particularly stand out to me either. World War Z completely made up for that experience though. I'm interested to see if anyone here shared my disappointment with it.

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Posted (edited)

I think the fact that it's Pixar's first prequel that wasn't entirely necessary (unless you're one of those people who thought the Monster world was underdeveloped or were curious as to how Mike and Sulley met) had some doubting it would be anything special.

 

Though I do think it's complete bullshit that just because you know how the ending will go automatically means the movie sucks. Same could be said for most Pixar films so might as well throw those in for that matter, especially Finding Nemo. It's plot and resolution was fairly predictable what with you knowing Marlin would find his son and they'd kiss and make up, but does that mean it must be a bad movie too? Absolutely not. What made that film and this one work, was that they put more emphasis on the journey and less on the destination. By carving a long, obstacle-filled road for the protagonist to walk to his/her goal just makes you want to encourage that character.

 

And as I said in my last post, they do throw in some parts that were made less predictable and made the journey all the more engaging to me. Another thing that I probably should've mentioned as noteworthy was message the film had.

 

About how no matter how dedicated or closely you follow your goals, it all might ultimately still fall short of things outside your control or anything that's not really your fault. When Mike realized he wasn't scary at the summer camp place with all the little girls, it's certainly a crushing feeling. Nevermind that the only reason he won the Scare Games was because Sulley cheated, but he wanted to know for sure how he'd fair in a real test with an actual kid. He just didn't want to throw everything he worked for so long away. This kind of thing seems like the direct opposite of what we've seen in most Disney or Pixar films with the 'follow your dreams and if you work hard enough, they'll surely happen.' Okay yes, technically that does happen for him at the end of the original, only with making kids laugh instead of scream, but you get my point. It's just...a commendable albeit hard theme to convey properly in a kid's film which I think this movie did well by making Mike the protagonist.

 

Sorry, kind of rambled there a bit. Movie was just that enjoyable for me to have that certain interpretation for it.

Edited by DarkLight
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Posted

Another thing about Randall

His obsession with being top scarer in Monsters Inc. probably ties into the fact that he was regarded as kind of a joke within his fraternity. It's strongly implied that his frat brothers don't regard him seriously, and really only keep him around for the novelty of his camouflage abilities ("Do the thing!"). This is then compounded by his failure in the scare simulator, which may have gotten him deactivated from the frat. Further compounding this is the fact that he really is a competent scarer, so he had the talent to boost an ego and feed his insecurity.

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Posted

Saw it. Loved it.

I was a bit hesitant to see this since I figured a prequel wasn't really necessary, but they actually do a pretty good job of expanding the characters within the Monsters story.

Another reason I love this movie is because it actually felt like it was a PIXAR movie. Something Cars 2 and Brave failed to do for me (and plenty of others).

I can't really talk about much, because it's better to go into the movie blind (as usual) but I will say that while it's not one of the best movies they've done, it's still a very good Pixar film. I'd say it even tops the original, but perhaps that's just my first impressions, so I'll wait for awhile before deciding on that.

Oh and I absolutely loved the message of the film.


The message that no matter how hard you try or how much you believe, you can't do everything you set your mind too. Mike tried so hard his whole life wanting to be a scarer, but he just couldn't. Yet he's okay with that. He's fine with being who he wants to be.

That's a very strong message that hit home for me. And even though I was rooting for Mike the entire way, I'm glad they didn't pull a typical Disney BS with "Believe in yourself and you can do it!" kinda thing.

I think this movie is a good way of teaching children that  "No matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can't do it all. However, being yourself is probably the greatest thing you can be."



So yeah if you loved the first one, you'll probably love this one as well. And now after this film, for the first time since Toy Story 3, I can happily say that I am eagerly awaiting Pixar's next film!

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Posted

I came back earlier from watching this movie and I really loved it.

I've already said this a million times before. I don't like prequels, I don't like school settings, blah de blahblahblahblah. I put that bias aside before entering the theater and the movie did not have a hard time at all easing me in comfortably to where I was able to completely forget about those reservations that prevented me from getting hyped for its release. Seeing that Mike is the main character this time made me happy and I had a feeling that this movie would definitely do justice to his character and flesh it out more than the original, which it certainly did.

The one thing that stops me from saying that this (as good as it was) is an unnecessary prequel is Mike and Sulley's relationship. Since I barely watched any of the pre-release footage, I expected it to be a bit generic, mostly focusing on them bullying each other in comedic ways throughout the course of the film until a point comes when they have to accept each others' help and yadda yadda. Actually, it turned out to not really be that at all. Their conflict is dealt with in entirely realistic manners that isn't really played all that much for laughs. They have an understandable grudge against each other, and there's no time-wasting montage detailing their conflict growing over time. When they are forced to work together, it makes sense and they spend just as much time actually trying to genuinely cooperate and understand each other as they do butting heads and rolling eyes at each others' tactics. And the transition from reluctant allies to genuine friends is seemless and heartwarming. Most of the emotional moments in the first movie came from Sulley and Boo. This time, it's most definitely between the main duo.

I also liked that this movie had no villain. Sure, there were characters who were antagonistic toward Mike and Sulley, especially Hardscrabble who I had guessed early on would turn out to be a corrupt, prideful evil character who would rather protect her integrity than allow these two characters an actual chance at becoming part of the scare program... but she was not like that at all ! In fact, she gave me so many Anton Ego vibes it's not even funny. And Ego is my favorite antagonist in any work of fiction of all time. So that was such a pleasant realization, and I really liked her a lot for her stern, but genuine, evaluation of the two characters, both in the beginning and at the end of the film. Such a breath of fresh air from the first movie's "save the company" plot.

If I had to say just a few complaints, it's that this movie didn't make me laugh out quite as much as the first movie did. It had a lot of funny moments and none of the jokes were dumb at all, but my reactions were more subdued than when I reacted to the antics from the first movie. I can also say the same about the emotional depth; the relationship between the two really grabbed me, but there were fewer points in the film in which I felt this deep, heartfelt sadness for the two characters, aside from Mike realizing that he does not have what it takes to be a scarer, which really resonated with me and made me love him so much more than I ever did in the original. But like with the humor, it's not like the emotional aspect didn't work for me at all - both of these aspects did, very well. It's just that it did so slightly less than how the first movie affected me.

Another thing that sort of bothered me was how Randall literally had no role in this movie. By no means did I expect him to be the villain again this time, or even a major threat, but wow I'm actually quite surprised that they didn't go the obvious "tragic backstory that makes him evil" route. However, hear me out on this, I think this is a good thing. Randall was not sympathetic at all in the first movie. The last thing we need is Mike and Sulley doing something so jerkish and insensitive to him that we feel sorry for him while blame the main characters for his downfall. So I'm glad that neither character actually played a direct role in Randall's turn; in fact, it seemed to me that he was pretty selfish from the start, quickly ditching Mike just to be part of the cool club and he didn't have any qualms at all joining in with the bullying, perhaps to be accepted by the others or that he simply didn't care. At the same time, his part didn't really amount to much, did it? He turned out to be just another member of the other team very quickly and he doesn't factor into the plot in any meaningful way; you could take him out and nothing would really be lost. I'm glad that they didn't give him a tragic backstory like everyone expected Pixar would, but at the same time I really wish they had done more with him.

On that grounds, I would say that I still like the first film more, but this movie definitely matches it in general overall quality. It had no real weak points, and I was so pleasantly surprised by how well they handled the two characters' relationship that I finally understand the decision to make a prequel over a sequel. It gives so much more insight on their relationship and it certainly will change the way I view the characters, especially Mike, in the first movie. If it were not for that, then yeah I'd say it was an unnecessary prequel. I enjoyed this movie so much and I would love to see it again.

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Posted

Those are good points, I just didn't think much of his role at the time due to the lack of prominent screentime. I still would have liked to have seen more of him and somehow flesh him out more, especially in regards to his relationship with Mike. The two of them barely interact after Randall ditches Mike, and Mike never seems to really comment on it or even directly address him from what I remember.

I also interpreted Randall's friendship with Mike to be not all that close even in the beginning, and because he didn't show any hesitation in contributing to the bullying to O.K., I think his actions were a combination of wanting to be accepted by the cool kids and the fact that he never really wanted to truly ally himself with others on a personal level. He just wanted to make friends as a means of improving his self-worth, which is a sense of selfishness to me. In some ways he pretty much does the same thing in the first movie. He's not trying to become a great scarer out of any passion, he just wants to show others that he's better.

I think from what you explained it seems to me more that Randall had more of a passive role than no role at all, but I still would have liked to have seen more of him in some way, especially in regards to Mike's interactions with him.

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Posted

After giving it some thought, given how much fleshing out this film did for Mike, it almost seems a tad justified for when he got real pissed at Sulley in the original when they got exiled.

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Posted

I loved this movie when I watched it a couple of days ago, I really liked how the plot progressed and watching how mike and sully gradually warm up to each other during the whole thing and the character building was really nice too, honestly im surprised to be hearing that this movie is getting bad reviews because I thought that this movie really shed a lot of light as to why Mike acted the way that he acted in the first movie and even does a really good job at showing why Mike is there with sully in the original.


After giving it some thought, given how much fleshing out this film did for Mike, it almost seems a tad justified for when he got real pissed at Sulley in the original when they got exiled.

This exactly, at first I just thought he was just mad because they got thrown out but after watching this movie, it makes way more sense as to why mike got so mad.

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Posted (edited)

I saw this film for the second time yesterday, and as you probably know by me gushing about this film in the Skype chat, Monsters University is one of my favorite Pixar films.

 

The main problem with the first film for me was how contained the setting was. They created this wonderful world of Monsters and the majority of the film is set in a bleak factory. This movie changed all that, casting the same lovable characters in an expanded and colorful setting with wide array of side characters that were both humorous and almost equally lovable as well (seriously <3 Terry and Terri). Monsters Inc, although about both Mike and Sully, felt more like Sully's story throughout the film, while this film was more about Mike and his struggle to become something special despite the world saying he can't. Not only is Mike more of a complicated character, but the message in this film is more relatable. Who doesn't have that feeling sometime in their life where they feel the world is against them, that they can't  become what they want in life no matter how hard they try? Even being set down a different path from where you envisioned yourself going is something a lot of college students go through.

 

The short before the movie wasnt bad either. I really dug the music.

 

Oh, for anyone who still wants to see it, stay after the credits.

Edited by The Kid
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Posted

The short before the movie was my only real gripe. I couldn't stand the music during it (instruments will do fine, leave the "hah hah huh" crap on the drawing board). Also, the plot was horrendous. A blue umbrella wants to be with a red one and a series of whoopsidaisies happen and then he gets hit by a bus and then SURPRISE SURPRISE he's randomly with the red one again. I found it under plotted, pretentious, and boring. Never thought the time would come when I would dislike a PIXAR short.

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Posted (edited)

Adding to what Sean said about Hornscrabble, yeah, I did like how they didn't make her the main villain and how the climax didn't revolve around confronting/exposing her corrupt ways like Waternoose in the original.

 

She was rightfully angry at both for releasing her scare canister record, but she was still honorable enough to make a deal that they could still stay if they proved themselves worthy scarers by winning the Scare Games. And it's not like as they keep succeeding, she gets more infuriated and even starts going against their deal by undermining their efforts. Nope, she keeps her nose clean by staying on the sidelines and shows great disgust by Sulley's reveal that he cheated. Even by the end, she shows her genuine surprise by their teamwork to make it back despite the door being disconnected but still issues that what they did was wrong and had to be expelled. This scene could've easily have been written for her to be all like, "What you both did was stupid, but impressive, here's a free pass to Monsters Inc.!" and basically have Mike and Sulley not suffer any negative consequences for their actions.

 

It's like a reverse to what they did with Waternoose. A character who seemed nice and paternal to his employees at first, but reveals a corrupt and desperate side who feels his ends justify the means. Hornscrabble on the other hand, is someone who seems way too strict and proper to be anything but honorable and would go to extremes to ensure her reputation, but instead shows that she can still acknowledge to being wrong in some way and have no instance of her abusing her position of authority. 

Edited by DarkLight
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Posted

*sigh* ten days left :(

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Posted

If there's one thing I wonder about the Monster universe is...how do parents not hear the roar of a guy like Sulley when scaring? There's quite a few times when you'd hear how loud his roar is (and at a certain part I won't spoil), but then again was Mike about to explain how that worked in class before Sulley made his entrance? Hell I don't know, the universe is too fun to pass up creating it further if even for a cartoon series or something.

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Posted

So I saw it last night and really liked it. Some folks think prequels are no fun cause you know how it's gonna end, but in any story it's really how the conflict is resolved more than what the resolution is, and I think Monsters U did a fine job. The plot went in a few directions I really didn't expect like... 

 

Actually ending with Mike and Sully being expelled. Who'da seen that one coming? I figured it would have ended with Sully graduating the scaring program and Mike getting some "coaching" or "scare assistant" degree. I was sure that bit at the end where they spoke to Hardscrabble out on the sidewalk she was gonna get them back into the school, but nope! It was off to the mailroom where they worked their way up the company food chain!

 

Yeah think it works really well as an expansion of the Monsters universe. It all fits together really well and makes the characters that much deeper, but both films still stand very well on their own regardless. 

 

Best part?

 

Roz showed up!

 

Didn't really care for the short tho. Felt like they were pushing the artsy angle too hard and the characters just didn't go beyond cute archetypes. But yeah, main event? Quite good.

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Posted (edited)

So I picked up the two artbooks (among a number of other merchandise which I posted in the marketplace section) and I thought I'd share some images and quotes that give more insight into the direction of the movie. These are spoiler-heavy in some places, so click only if you you're okay with potentially spoiling the movie!

 

 

The Emotions

 

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"As the movie was finding its structure, Dice was already meeting with the lighting supervisor Jean-Claude [Kalache], production designer Ricky [Nierva], and me to talk about how we could use light and color to support the story. The idea of light versus shadow emerged from these talks. For example, Mike steps out of the shadow and into light as he makes the choice to proudly cross the threshold to Monster's University; Mike and Sully are separated by light and shadow as their budding driendship begins to fracture near the end of the film, and so on. These ideas can get lost in the process of making the movie, but luckily Matt Aspbury and his layout team, as well as Jean-Claude and his lighting team worked very closely with Dice to make sure that these concepts wouldn't get overlooked. They're not something you'll likely notice in a first viewing, but they're something you'll feel emotionally."

 

Bonus Scene:

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"In Story we board a lot of scenes that don't make it into the final film. "Bar Fight" was one of those scenes; Sulley and Mike lead the OK monsters in a cartoony Animal House campus brawl. It was fun storyboarding the essentials to a bar fight, like food flying, eye poking, and food tray head blows. The purpose of the scene was to show Sully, Mike and the OK monsters bonding."

 

Characters:

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"There are all these monsters with horns and fur and fangs, but that doesn't mean all monsters are like that. Mike isn't. But at that point in his life, because he's younger, he places all this value on being like those monsters. He's trying to get others' attention, and scaring is the thing that he thinks will do it, especially when he sees how others react to it, and how they value it."

 

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"You've got to zig when the story zags. A design has to not just be aesthetically pleasing but move the story forward. As the story changes, does that design still work? The best example would be the way Sully has changed over the course of the film. For a long time, Sulley's design reflected his lazy attitude. He was this slovenly guy who just coasted and barely got by; we wanted to contrast him with Mike, who was a go-getter. But as the story started evolving and changing, that design just didn't work. The Sulley in the film today is basically the character we know and love, but he's slimmer and his color is more saturated. We moved his eyes closer together and brightened them up, and, as his hook, we gave him a little faux-hawk."

 

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"I got to explore a wide range of personalities for Randall, from nice guy to jerk. I did some early explorations of the characters being competitive in school. For instance, Mike, being a know-it-all, would raise his hand, but Randall would one-up him all the time; because Randy's got more hands, he would put up three hands to Mike's one. When Randall became more of a nerdy nice guy, I put glasses on him, to make his eyes bigger. When he takes the glasses off, he starts squinting-which is the look we recognize from the first film."

 

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"The original version of Hardscrabble has a buglike quality to the face and part of the body, but he was physically massive, like an alligator-heavy and intimidating. When Hardscrabble became a female character, we quickly discovered we couldn't just use the original design. It had to be more specific. She would be more subtle, she would be more elegant."

 

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"Dan Scanlon recalls that the idea of a fraternity full of misfits 'came out of the desire to keep Mike and Sulley as underdogs - to put them in the worst possible situation. But it also came from the desire to give them someone to be a parent to. What I love most about Monsters, Inc. is watching these two characters interact with Boo. They're at their best when they're taking care of something, or someone. In this story, they get to do that for Oozma Kappa. They're like the arguing parents of this very eager, sincere group.' Each Oozma Kappa fraternity brother was designed to resonate with a different part of Mike and Sulley's emotional arcs and reflect a different facet of the college experience.

 

Squishy - Represents the part of college experience where you're an umolded blob, where you don't know where or when to go. It's also a character to show that Mike can't be a scarer because of some intangible quality, not because of size or looks.

 

Terry and Terri - In a way represent Mike and Sully. They're two people who are stuck together but  can't get along, yin and yang. 

 

Don - The idea that it's never too late to change what you want to be in life. Don is a character who instead of deciding it's too late in life to be what he wants, he instead shoots for the stars.

 

Art - The burnout everyone knew in college. He's the big bag of unanswered questions, the character you really never know what he's exactly talking about.

 

There is so much more in these books, the University one in particular. It's worth the price easily.

Edited by The Kid
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Posted

really loved this movie. I was never opposed to a sequel but like most people questioned if it was necessary. After seeing it, I'm really happy to say that yeah, I'm entirely happy it exists. I watched the original right after this, and it adds such an incredible layer of depth. It shows why Mike could be a bit of a prick, it makes Sully's interaction with Boo so much more heartwarming because he used to be a huge jerk, it turns Randall from a generic shown-up and resentful antagonist into a much more understandable character. And not only does it flesh out the cast, it makes the world far more grand. It's really just a perfect compliment to the first movie, and I can't actually decide which I'd say is better. The first has a more interesting plot and I think mostly was more cinematic (though it certainly never tops the climax of MU - that was brilliant) but this has far better character development and a really impressive and difficult message that was presented excellently. 

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Posted

Totally agree with Noire; what makes the two movies just about equal in quality for me is how they both have very different strengths that perfectly complement each other. There is nothing about Inc.'s formula that's repeated in University, and neither film treads the same ground that the other does. I also agree that MU's climax bests that of Inc's. I wasn't expecting it at all considering the movie had no villain, so it was really hard to imagine just how this film could have ended as I was watching, but Pixar managed to surpass my wildest imagination, and that particular scene stuck with me for a long time after I left the theater.

The more I think about this movie, the less I can understand the complaints made toward it. I don't agree with the lukewarm sentiment by the critics; I think people aren't impressed with it just because it isn't Toy Story 3.

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Posted

And probably that they just want to forget Cars 2 and the mediocre Brave ever existed and pretend Pixar has always made great films.

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I try not to take the Cars movies into consideration when judging Pixar's overall output, since I accept them as nothing more than merchandising fodder that lacks the family film quality that Pixar is otherwise keen on maintaining in their work. However, I was annoyed that Cars 2 took up a valuable slot in Pixar's line-up so it felt like an eternity waiting for their next big movie. I was only not interested in Brave at the time because I was never sure what to make of it despite watching the trailers, so naturally come Monsters University, I wasn't too optimistic and questioned if it was a needed installment, and I started wondering about Pixar's future as you can see earlier in this topic.

After seeing MU in theaters I can safely say that I utterly regret ever doubting Pixar and I really do think it ranks high up there with their greatest stuff. MU reminded me why they're still my favorite animation company to this day.

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I saw the film recently too and I found it to be one of there best works since Toy Story 3 :)

 

I really loved how they not only fleshed out the wonderful world of Monsters, but also made me care about the characters much more than the original film; I liked Sully and Boo, but found Mike to be selfish and Randal to be a bastered, but this film explains WHY that was the case.  Mike struggled all his life to become a scarier, to only learn the hard way that he just isn't one at heart no matter how hard he tries, but through his growing friendship in Sully, he learned that while he may not be a great scarier, he is a even better trainer, making him but his knowledge in scaring in the hands of Sully's natural talent in scaring, making them the great them they were in the original.  That was why Mike felt so hostle with the Boo situation in the original; if this kid made him lose his job, all his struggling in his life and in MU would be nothing.  The fact that a prequel (which are known for messing up characters) made me respect and like Mike more is something I would have never expected out of Pixar after there recent films (hated Cars 2 and found Brave to be more of a traditional Disney movie) and now feel more conferrable with them going the same route with Finding Dory. 

 

The movie by its self was great with really well done support characters and having a climax that I never saw coming, but when you pair this with the original you have a one of the most well-done series of movies out there with you understanding why the characters act the way they did :)

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Looking forward to this, I loved the first film and have a cinema voucher to go and watch this as well

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Sick of people always brining up and bashing Cars, I really am. The sequel I admit I prefer the first one but I still enjoyed it but coming off Toy Story 3 heels was probably not going to do it any favours. I love Toy Story 3 I still think its overrated. As for Cars I thought first one was really good. I find more than anything Cars suffers from bad timing, especially seeing as the previous Pixar movie was The Incredibles and then that Cars followed Ratatouille makes it look average in comparison. 

 

I remember the Merchandise for Toy Story 1 and 2 it was pretty heavy, Buzz Lightyears became the new Tickle Me Elmo. Pretty much every Pixar/Disney as had heavy merchandise it became standard in the 90's.

 

Anyway I saw Monsters University and really enjoyed I really felt for Mike I know how hard it is to work your arse off to get University only to find out that what you wanted to do you were not cut out for it in the end despite your passion and dedication. Its pretty soul crushing but despite this Mike never loses his optimism and that is inspiring.

 

I thought the Supporting characters were great and felt really bad for them when Mike and Sully weren't being team players to them but in the end they pull through and form a tight friendship.

 

Did they ever explain this though:

I am sure that In the first film Mike says he met Sully in the fourth grade? If you want to re watch this just watch the scene where Mike Sully are walking to work I am sure Mike mentions it?

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I am sure that In the first film Mike says he met Sully in the fourth grade? If you want to re watch this just watch the scene where Mike Sully are walking to work I am sure Mike mentions it?

 

The writers for MU have hand-waved this as Mike making an overexaggeration joke.  Trying to fit the story so they knew each other since 4th grade was harming the flow and focus too much just for the sake of being consistent with a single throwaway line in the original film.

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