Robert Dominic Ventre II Staff WriterIn July of 2013, Digital Content Editor for ABC News, Jon Negroni, released a pet theory regarding the animated Pixar universe, stating that he believed each film franchise to be a part of the same fictional reality. He derived many concepts behind his thesis from Cracked.com web series "After Hours", written by Daniel O'Brien, where employees of the comically-educational website gather to delve even further into popular culture than they've already been paid to do. Yesterday on February 24th, Negroni released a new, even more intricate theory, this time in regards to the Toy Story series. In it, Negroni paints some interesting connections between the bombastic cowgirl doll Jessie and Andy Davis' mother, who makes sporadic appearances throughout the films but has little bearing on how they play out. Or does she? The evidence Negroni has compiled is impressive. While it would be difficult to recount the entire theory without a hefty word count, a threadbare outline of his theory includes connections between young Andy's cowboy hat, which bears no resemblance to Woody's cowboy hat but DOES look highly similar to Jessie's, as well as Jessie's own possible connections to Andy's mother as a young girl. And who owned a hat virtually identical (save for a missing white ribbon) to young Andy's cowboy hat when she was a girl? Emily, Jessie's previous and most beloved owner. In flashbacks seen in Toy Story 2, we learn more about Emily, who was a young girl in what Negroni assumes was the 1970s. As those of us who saw (and wept over) the more tragic aspects of this series know, Emily eventually outgrew Jessie and donates her, breaking Jessie's heart in the process. While Emily is never clearly shown, we do catch glimpses of her hair color, which resembles Andy's mother's own hair color (though hers has faded a bit – presumably due to age). While it is odd that she would never acknowledge seeing Jessie again after all these years, it stands to reason that she simply assumed it to be another Jessie from the same toy line. It was already made apparent in Toy Story 2 that neither Andy nor his mother were aware of Woody's status as a collector's item when the Chicken Man attempted to buy him during a garage sale, meaning they likely wouldn't have known of Jessie's value either. A pretty solid theory, and one that has already been skewered by Toy Story 3 director and Toy Story 2 co-director Lee Unkrich. On his Twitter page, Unkrich wrote:
If I had $1 for every tweet I got today asking about Andy’s mom, I’d have more money than I had yesterday. — Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) February 25, 2014This was after re-tweeting a sarcastic counter-theory made by one @_AdamBarker_, which stated, “Hey, you know I heard that the Motel Manager in Toy Story of Terror is really Andy’s dad.” While Unkrich doesn't go out of his way to actually debunk Negroni's ideas, he has clearly dismissed them as silly and frivolous. A bit depressing, considering how much more elaborate the Toy Story mythos would become if the theory was true. Rumors have been circulating for some time about an alleged sequel, tentatively known as Toy Story 4, though sources are scant and neither Disney nor Pixar has made any sort of confirmation. While TS3 did elegantly wrap up the series with the toys moving on to a new owner while Andy journeys off to college, Toy Story remains a marketing juggernaut, with new toys incoming and even a short film, titled Toy Story of TERROR!, being released on October 13th, 2013. Tom Hanks, having already revisited his role as Woody in Toy Story 3, stated in a recent radio interview: “I think they are trying to do another one. The spirit afoot is to make a fourth. Whatever is going on at Pixar headquarters is a mystery to me. I’ll wait until they blow white smoke out of the chimney or whatever it is that says there’s another Toy Story coming down the pipe.” Pixar executive and director of Cars 2, John Lasseter, also fueled the fire recently in an interview with the BBC, stating in regards to Hank's remarks: “Yeah. I found [Hanks' remarks] very interesting too. Yeah, it was really interesting. He’s uh.. yeah. We haven’t announced anything so can’t really talk – no.” Coupled with Disney's recent acknowledgment of a November 2015 release date for an as-of-yet unspecified film (despite two 2016 films already having titles or plots revealed), it's hard not to get a bit giddy at the prospect of another Toy Story film to look forward to next year. We'll see!
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