The Shocking Toy Story 2 Secret That Changes Everything


Okay, maybe not everything. But this one is a doozy.

Jon Negroni is the writer who first brought us The Pixar Theory, his whimsical (but rather believable) idea that there is a cohesive universe where all the Pixar movies are set; one that starts with Brave explaining how animals and inanimate object come to life, with all the rest following. It’s fun; you should go read it.

Well, he’s got a follow-up that starts with a very simple question: who is Andy’s mom? From there, we follow a set of breadcrumbs that lead us to a very shocking possibility.

  • Point the first: We never know Andy’s mom’s first name. She is only known as Ms. Davis.
  • Point the second: Woody is an heirloom toy – well older than Andy, possibly owned by his now-gone dad.
  • Point the third: The hat that Andy wears is not a Woody hat. It’s almost identical, actually, to a Jessie hat (though the hat band is a different color – may have been changed for/by him?).
  • Point the fourth: In flashback, we see that Emily (no last name), Jessie’s original owner, had just such a Jessie hat.
  • Point the fifth: Said hat is NOT one of the items that are given away along with Jessie when Emily grows up.

The not-crazy supposition that we can then arrive at is that Andy’s mom is, quite possibly, Emily – Jessie’s original owner.


Go read the whole post on Jon’s site to see the nuance and pictures, and then check out the further analysis in the comments.

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6 thoughts on “The Shocking Toy Story 2 Secret That Changes Everything

  1. It’s sad that we never find out more about Andy’s Dad. It seems clear that they are moving in Toy Story 1 because of a life change, so the Dad’s departure might have been fairly recent. If we make the fairly logical conclusion after Toy Story 2 that Woody was Andy’s fathers toy, it casts a shadow over the whole film series.

  2. I’m incredibly disappointed in the title for this one. Come on, do we really need to stoop to the level of BuzzFeed sensationalism for marginally entertaining article?

  3. To be honest, I kind of hate these fan theories. They don’t make the story more interesting, they make it trivial and self-referential and serve only to make the world smaller. Coincidence is always the weakest choice for storytelling.

    According to this theory, the hat manufacturer only ever made one hat, and the toy company only ever made one Jessie doll. The idea that there could have been hundreds of little girls with light brown hair who owned both completely escapes the theorist. A much better story is that Andy’s mom and Emily are two girls who had a similar experience. It’s also entirely likely that Andy got the hat from a toy store or was given it as a gift; we have no evidence that his mother ever owned such a hat or even a Jessie doll, which she would surely have recognized if she did. It’s a red hat because that’s the hat he found; a quick trip to any party store will show you a stack of red cowboy hats in kid size. It doesn’t look like Woody’s hat because in 1993 they didn’t manufacture so much licensed merchandise as they do today, so Woody hats don’t exist; if they did exist, it would have been 30 years prior and they would be long gone by Andy’s time. He wears the only cowboy hat he could find, and it’s close enough. The fact that it looks like Jessie’s is coincidental, having more to do with the prevalence of the red cowboy hat as a children’s toy than any deliberate connection.

  4. While I agree that I’m not convinced that Emily is Andy’s mom (particularly because she doesn’t make a big fuss over the Jessie doll), I would say it’s NOT coincidental that the hat looks like Jessie’s. In real life, yes, that would be a coincidence. In a live-action movie, it could be coincidental because it’s the prop they happened to find. In a Pixar movie, where every single thing on the screen was created by somebody specifically for the movie—nothing is coincidental. It may not be proof of this theory, but we’re talking about a studio that likes to hide little references to their other movies all the time. Certainly the fact that Andy’s hat looks like Jessie’s (and Emily’s) is intentional.

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