Pixar's Andrew Stanton Shoots Down 'Toy Story' Fan Theory About Andy's Dad

Not every unanswered question in a movie deserves an elaborate fan theory "explaining" away plot holes or filling in background gaps that the movie purposefully didn't fill. Sometimes a movie is just a movie. But one Toy Story fan theory gained some traction because it came from an unusual source: someone who worked on the original film.

Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton has since debunked the theory, but for the conspiracy theorists out there who just can't accept that Andy's dad simply isn't a factor in the Toy Story movies, here's a look at what one man claims happened to that character.

This theory comes from Mike Mozart, a toy designer who worked on the first Toy Story movie as a consultant. According to Mozart (via io9), Pixar's former head writer Joe Ranft told Mozart all about the secret history of Andy's dad, and Mozart recounted it for a YouTuber below.

If you're like me and couldn't stand watching more than 30 seconds of that video, io9 breaks it down for us. The story goes that Andy's dad, whose name was also Andy, was the one kid in the world who received a one-of-a-kind Woody doll in a promotional giveaway; the doll wasn't mass produced because the TV show on which it was based was apparently cancelled before they had the chance to manufacture them.

But because this is a Disney/Pixar story and their movie parent characters often suffer cruel fates, Andy's dad reportedly contracted polio when he was a kid. His toys were destroyed, except for Woody, Mr. Potato Head, and Slinky, all of which Andy Sr. hid in a box. The story goes that he recovered from polio, married Andy's mom, fathered Andy Jr. and Molly, but contracted Post-Polio Syndrome, and passed the box of toys down to Andy Jr. before he died.

And because the theory fills in some questions that nitpickers have had with the franchise, it's an attractive one for those who look to "solve" movies instead of just watching them:

This explains several things from later on in the series: why Woody doesn't remember he was part of Cowboy Crunchies' Woody's Roundup, since he was created right before the show was cancelled; why the handwriting on Buzz's foot is different than Woody's, because they were from two different people; why Al saw Woody as so valuable... since he was a one-of-a-kind toy (it does make you wonder what other Woody toys there were, though, since there were toys for Jesse, Stinkin' Pete, and Bullseye).

But Andrew Stanton calls BS on this whole thing, and considering he was a co-writer on all three Toy Story movies and has likely had detailed conversations with Pixar people about this exact topic, I'm inclined to believe him:

Personally, it's not difficult at all for me to watch the Toy Story movies and just take them at face value. But despite Stanton's firm denial of this theory, I imagine there will be those who refuse to accept the truth. Anyway, if I'm going to entertain a fan theory as truth, it's far more entertaining to think about the suggestion found in Stanton's Twitter mentions that implies Andy's father was the Zodiac Killer. Go big or go home with your fan theories, people.