Pixar have created some of the most well-loved and successful animated films in recent times. Being such a close-knit studio, with a consistent group of leaders and directors, means that movies that they have created all make small nods to each other in the form of extras and Easter eggs. It has already been made perfectly clear that the Universe in which the films take place are in the same broad Universe and that they share certain aspects. Examples of this include certain brands making an appearance across different releases or with the bear from Toy Story 3, showing up in Up and the Rex toy being found by Wall-E.
However, there are certain elements of the various films that seem to suggest that the different stories are not just part of a shared Universe, but may in fact be deeply interconnected and part of a narrative that spans hundreds of years. Thanks in part to the thought-provoking Pixar Theory by Jon Negroni and others, there have been a number of important theoretical ideas about the ways in which all of the Pixar movies may actually be interconnected.
This article will explore the different proposed interconnections, some from the Pixar Theory and some from other sources that may well link together every single Pixar film, from Toy Story to Up to Finding Nemo.
A113 is more of an Easter egg than an interconnection, but it is so widespread that it is important to take it into account throughout all of the Pixar films. The number appears in every single Pixar film, being the license plate of Andy’s mom’s vehicles or as serial or model numbers of various items in the likes of A Bug’s Life and Cars. As well as linking together Pixar properties, it has also been seen in other films, TV shows and video games such as The Simpsons, American Dad, South Park, Lilo & Stitch, Sunset Overdrive and Beyond: Two Souls.
The code refers to a particular classroom at the California Institute of the Arts that was the main room used by the likes of animators Brad Bird and John Lasseter. The room is still in use at the University by graphic design students.
9. Merida Brings Inanimate Objects To Life
The magical power that is central to the film Brave plays an important role in the rest of the Pixar films. Have you ever noticed how inanimate objects in many of the movies have lifelike qualities, as with Toy Story, and how animals seem to have near-human intelligence in that they can talk, think and carry out very complicated behavior? Well it might have something to do with Merida discovering “the-will-of-the-wisps” magic in Brave. This mystical power is shown bringing inanimate objects essentially to life. It also significantly increases the intelligence of animals in Brave and triggers an evolutionary leap into greater thinking skills.
8. Animals Get Smarter
Throughout a number of Pixar movies, it has been shown that many animals appear to be more clever than they should be. Brave shows that the magic in it can have a positive effect on the intelligence of animals, however this does eventually regress and the animals go back to their normal forms. This does provide a reason though, for why animals in other films seem to be more advanced, such as in Finding Nemo. This can be taken back to the magic in Brave that triggered an evolutionary push towards a more advanced form of animals. Years of interbreeding between these more intelligent animals led to the fish in Finding Nemo and eventually to the even more skilled Remy in Ratatouille, who could perform human actions such as cooking.
7. Machines Take Over The World
Later, due to a variety of reasons that included the increasing intelligence of animals and the advancement of technology, as seen in movies such as The Incredibles with the powerful rogue A.I., humans eventually begin to become less important on the planet. The increasing evolution of machines into sentient beings eventually means that they become the dominant power on the planet, leading to the situation seen in Cars and Planes. Mass pollution from the sheer amount of machines now on the planet means that animals are put under considerable strain and die out, while humans are put in a danger.
6. Humans Leave Earth
While humans are common in many Pixar films, appearing in one form or another in the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Brave, Up and Ratatouille, they are noticeably missing in several others, including Cars and Cars 2, as well as the spin-off Planes. Additionally, there are no animals shown in any of these movies suggesting that earth is now devoid of life, either because of some catastrophe or because they have left the planet. It is a known fact that those films take place on earth, as real-life locations are visited within them.
5. Machines Eventually Die Out
Wall-E also makes it clear that the planet the title character is inhabiting is earth, but it links in with other Pixar films by also showing a distinct lack of humans. We now learn that humanity have been shipped off planet, leaving it clear for the machines to take complete control such as in Cars. Importantly though, Wall-E is completely alone, as all other machines appear to have died out. Cars 2 also makes it clear that the Allinol corporation was investigating the use of alternative energy due to a lack of oil, possibly revealing the reason for the machines dying out.
4. Wall-E Brings Life Back To Earth
After hundreds of years of earth being completely uninhabitable for life of all kinds and only being home to the small robot known as Wall-E, life is finally returned to the planet through the actions of Wall-E. This allows animals and insects to return and begin to evolve so that they can become stronger and hardier. This also explains why no humans are seen in the likes of A Bug’s Life, even though they are mentioned. When they returned to the planet from the spaceship Axiom, there were not numerous enough to spread across the entire planet or pose much of a threat to the insects.
3. Monsters, Inc. Is In The Future
It has also been speculated that Monsters, Inc and Monsters University may well take place in the distant future. The prequel makes mention to a date of 1313, indicating that the Monsters may have their own calendar system. The monsters themselves are actually highly evolved/mutated animals that have outlived humanity but are dependent on them for their energy needs. They therefore develop a time travel system that involves the use of doors that allow the monsters to travel into the past and harvest energy from humans. They are also taught that the children are toxic so that they will not interfere too much in the past and cause changes in the future.
2. Witch Travels Through Doors
In Brave, the Witch that is shown throughout the film often disappears through doors in a way that is very reminiscent of Monsters, Inc. She is shown to know about the monsters from the movie, as she has a wood carving that clearly shows Sulley and so connects that film with Brave, which has already been linked with several other Pixar releases. This Witch is therefore also travelling through time, using the magic from the “the-will-of-the-wisps”, and may even be Boo herself, looking to find Sulley and the other monsters.
1. Pizza Planet Van
Fans of the Pixar films will no doubt be aware of the Pizza Planet delivery van that made its most prominent appearances in the first two Toy Story films. The van played a vital role in the various films by allowing the toys to travel to important locations and advance the plot. However, the van is not exclusive to the Toy Story trilogy, in fact, it has appeared in one form or another in every single Pixar movie with the exception of The Incredibles. In some of the features it makes only a brief appearance as an Easter egg, such as in Monsters, Inc., where it is part of a photo shown on a wall. This ties together all the films, as the Witch from Brave may have been responsible for placing the Easter eggs in the other films through her time travelling journeys.