By Anthony Breznican
Updated August 21, 2011 at 08:52 PM EDT

We knew our old pals Mike and Sulley would look a little skinnier after Pixar confirmed last April that the follow-up to Monsters, Inc. would be a prequel set during the scary pair’s college days.

But not this skinny, of course.

This is merely a concept sketch (with production designer Ricky Nierva and director Dan Scanlon) illustrating the physical contrast between the two — one’s a little circle, one’s a big rectangle.

But Disney’s D23 Expo did bring first looks at how the teenage big, blue monster and his eyeball-with-legs buddy will look in the Monsters University, coming Summer of 2013.

See below for more images …

“We all looked a little different when we were in college,” said the bald Scanlon, who had his cap off and then showed an old photo of himself with a full head of hair. “Mike we made a little smaller,” he went on, pointing out the orthodontia designed “to either straighten or loosen his teeth. I’m not really sure what the desired effect is in the monster world.”

Billy Crystal and John Goodman will return as the voices of the characters, though only Crystal attended D23, coming out onstage holding a hand over one eye, in tribute to his little, green character.

“College is a long way away for me, but bringing this world together at Pixar, where only this could happen, it’s hilarious, it’s funny, and different from anything you could possibly imagine that Monsters Inc. could become,” Crystal said. “And I get to wear a retainer.”

As for Sulley, it may be a little tough to tell from the fresh-faced close-up (which is a lot less woolly, by the way), but Scanlon pointed out that he is lankier this time around: “He’s not the bulked up scarer that we know.”

The story focuses on the early combative relationship between Sulley and Mike, who have known each other all their lives, but can’t actually be called lifelong pals.

“They met in grade school, but were not friends when they met originally,” Scanlon told the crowd. “They were enemies who desperately wanted to become scarers, which, in the monster world, being a scarer is like being an astronaut or a football star. It’s the ultimate that a monster can achieve.”

Steve Buscemi will return as the rotten chameleon-like Randall Boggs, alongside new characters voiced by Julia Sweeney, Dave Foley, Joel Murray (brother of Bill, and sad-sack Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men.)

“Whether you went to college or not, that’s a time in life when a person begins to question who they are and what they want to be,” says Scanlon.

We already know how they turn out. The surprise here will be whether Mike and Sulley had different plans along the way.

On Twitter: @Breznican.

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