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The Tragic TOY STORY Theory Is More Than Just Speculation (UPDATE: Or Is It?)

The Tragic TOY STORY Theory Is More Than Just Speculation (UPDATE: Or Is It?)

UPDATE: Pixar’s Andrew Stanton disputes Mike Mozart’s account:

PREVIOUSLY:

Twenty two years ago, Toy Story revolutionized computer generated animation for the big screen and kicked off the age of Pixar. Perhaps unintentionally, it also began decades of fan theories and speculation about certain unanswered questions within the film, including the whereabouts of Andy’s father. Toy Story 2 also raised some questions about Woody’s background as a rare toy. But what if those unsolved mysteries were already answered by Pixar?

Via LRMonline, the YouTube channel SuperCarlinBrothers has posted an interview with noted toy collector Mike Mozart, which sheds a lot of light on the backstory of Toy Story. According to Mozart, he received the details from Joe Ranft, one of the early Pixar writers who passed away over a decade ago. So technically, this is a second hand story that can’t be fully verified by Ranft, but the backstory of Andy’s father and Woody’s origin is extremely well-thought out and it even ties into the personal message that Ranft wrote on Mozart’s Toy Story action figures.

Here’s the condensed version. Woody’s first owner was Andy’s father, who was also named Andy. But because Andy and his father look so much alike, Woody doesn’t realize that they’re two different people. Woody was Andy Sr.’s prized possession when he was child in the ’50s, before he was stricken by polio. Only three of Andy Sr.’s possessions were saved from that time in his life: Woody, Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog. Although the designs differ, that tracks with the real history of Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog. All three toys then spent decades in a trunk, unaware of the passage of time.

The video also explains how Andy Sr. got a hold of a rare one-of-a-kind Woody action figure and his unexpected connection to Al from Toy Story 2. But the heartbreaking part comes when it deals with the fate of Andy’s dad. After Molly (Andy’s sister) was conceived, Andy Sr. suffered a recurrence of polio that proved to be fatal. But before he passed on, Andy Sr. gave his son the key to his trunk where his three childhood toys were locked up.

As further proof, the video explains that the house Andy Jr. and his family are living in was Andy Sr.’s childhood home. That means that the kid with glasses seen in the pictures of the stairway was Andy Sr., since the younger Andy doesn’t wear glasses in any of the films.

Toy Story Andy's Dad

Even if this was just a theory, it’s so well-constructed that it seems legitimate. But it’s hard to argue against the visual evidence in the first film, which may also be why Andy’s mother eventually moved her family out of that home. Too many painful memories. And if this is part of the Toy Story canon, then it adds even more poignancy when Andy Sr.’s writing on the bottom of Woody’s foot is painted over, and when Andy himself gives all of his toys to Bonnie in Toy Story 3.

It’s doubtful that Pixar would ever directly acknowledge this story, but it’s going to be in our head canon from now on!

What do you think about the latest Toy Story theory about Andy’s dad and Woody’s origin? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images: Pixar/Disney

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