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Andy’s Dad & Woody Backstory Theory Debunked By Toy Story Director Andrew Stanton

BY David Riley

Published 5 years ago

Andy's Dad & Woody Backstory Theory Debunked By Toy Story Director Andrew Stanton

Since “Toy Story” began back in 1995, the franchise has inspired multiple fan theories about the origins of the characters. There’s one massive shared Pixar Universe Theory, and multiple smaller theories about how all the characters intersect in different timelines and how they all came to be. Some of them have been debunked already, but the latest theory comes as a crazy story that sparked a serious debate online. With “Toy Story 4” to hit theaters in 2019, more questions might be answered.

Toy Story Director Andrew Stanton Calls Backstory Theory “Fake News”

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton, who took the helm of the first “Toy Story” movie revealed that the new video explaining Andy’s Dad and Woody’s origins are indeed “fake news.”

Stanton has been involved in the franchise since the beginning, so whatever he says is the most credible explanation of any backstory theory. He had this to say on Twitter:

Andy’s Dad & Woody Backstory Revealed By SuperCarlinBrothers

YouTubers SuperCarlinBrothers have uncovered a relatively fresh story about Andy’s father and Woody’s supposed origin in the “Toy Story” universe. Throughout the three films, we were never shown a glimpse of Andy’s dad, only his mom and sister Molly. Many fans assumed that either he is dead or divorced.

Andy and His Mom in Toy Story 3 (2010)

Andy and His Mom in Toy Story 3 (2010). Photo via Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

Another question is about Woody—how exactly did he not have any self-awareness while the others have? It seemed that these questions will never be answered, but in a video posted by the SuperCarlinBrothers, the answers may be crazier than you think.

Buzz and Woody in Toy Story (1995)

Buzz and Woody in Toy Story (1995). Photo via Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

The video provides a detailed account of Andy’s Dad and Woody’s origins. They interviewed Disney artist and toy designer Mike Mozart about the new origin details. Mozart was a friend to Joe Ranft, one of Pixar’s dream teams, and the one who worked on all of Pixar’s films until his untimely death in 2005.

According to the video, Andy’s Dad is indeed dead. However, the story goes on to introduce Andy’s Dad as “Andy,” making the main owner of the toys in the original movies a Junior. Turns out that the house that Andy Jr. lives in is his grandparent’s house, and all the pictures in the house of Andy Jr. are actually of Andy Sr. Both Andys are also revealed to be lookalikes when they were both kids.

Jessie, Woody and Bullseye in Toy Story 2 (1999)

Jessie, Woody and Bullseye in Toy Story 2 (1999). Photo via Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

Andy Sr. was revealed to be a huge fan of Woody’s show back in the 50’s. He was very determined to have a Woody toy. He needed to eat a Cowboy Crunchies cereal and send 30 box tops to the studio responsible for the “Woody’s Roundup” show. It was a marketing campaign intended for kids who wanted a Woody toy. But Andy Sr.’s family was kind of poor, and so he wasn’t able to collect 30 box tops. Instead, he sent in a heartfelt and decorated letter of why he wanted the toy.

When Sputnik went up the moon, Cowboys were deemed a thing of the past, with all major shows focusing on space. The Woody toy production came to a halt. A secretary at Cowboy Crunchies felt otherwise. For her, it was a sad end to the toy, and so she took it and sent it out to the kid who sent in the boxtops and the letter. And since Andy Sr.’s was decorated and very heartfelt, the secretary chose to send Woody to him.

Toy Story 2 Cast

Toy Story 2 Cast. Photo via Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

And so that was how Woody came to be—he was the only Woody toy in existence. That also explains why he didn’t know he’s a toy. Woody never really had a chance to interact with others like him, and he was the only Woody toy ever made. It was then revealed that Andy Sr. has polio/ He had to burn all his toys that time, but he snuck Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog out. He hid them in a trunk in the attic and then went on to a hospital to be treated. He never returned to play with his toys, but moved to Seattle, met Andy Jr.’s mom and married her.

They moved back to the old house when Andy Sr. had post-polio syndrome. He passed the toy on to Andy Jr. before he died. Upon waking up, the toys never realized that it was a different but same-looking Andy who now owned them.

Andy with Buzz and Woody in Toy Story 3 (2010)

Andy with Buzz and Woody in Toy Story 3 (2010). Photo via Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

This certainly sounds like a fitting prequel for the “Toy Story” franchise. It adds more depth to the origins of the toys themselves, and a more grounded story as to why Andy is so special. But with Stanton refuting the video as “fake news,” it now comes as one of the multiple theories that will never be declared as canon. Still, the story gives a legitimate start to the “Toy Story” franchise; and we can only hope that Pixar would soon adapt this as a solo prequel movie.

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