If you thought Pixar was just some straight up entertainment for children, you clearly haven’t seen the opening sequence of Up, which is basically a dark montage about a guy becoming a childless widower. Other than dealing with tragic stories of loss, Pixar has also painted a complex world in which there are plenty of Easter eggs to dissect and plenty of fan theories to buy into. Because, 90% of the fun in enjoying a program is dissecting Easter eggs and believing in theories. I mean, that’s basically what made Lost fans so enthusiastic (and so annoying).
Of course, not all of these Pixar theories are all butterflies and rainbows. In fact, many of these popular theories take your favorite Pixar films and turn them into dark, dark movies, but hey, if you can handle the opening of Up, you can handle just about anything.
Below are 16 theories about specific Pixar films. Some of the theories are smaller, while others change almost everything about the film in question. Enjoy, and hopefully we won’t completely ruin any of your favorite children's films, but sorry if we did.
16. Edna Was The Real Hero In The Incredibles
Remember Edna Mode, the fashion designer in The Incredibles? In case you don’t, she was the one who designed the uniforms for The Parr family and several other heroes before them.
When asked why the uniforms she designed didn't have capes, her explanation was very dark, as it showcased the downfall of many superheroes. One superhero, who was a young girl, even got sucked into the plane’s jet turbine. This is extremely dark because not only was the young superhero hacked to pieces, but it also probably brought down the planes causing a ton of other deaths.
Now, here is where the theory makes Edna's cape aversion darker. There is speculation as to how Enda was able to predict every threat Syndrome, the villain, threw at the family, as she built the suits with tools to withstand all the particular threats. The theory suggests that Syndrome contacted Edna to design his suit. Being that Syndrome was obsessed with Mr. Incredible, it is plausible that he asked Edna to design his suit so he could be more like Mr. Incredible. While chatting with Edna, Syndrome may have revealed his plans, letting Edna know he was up to no good.
Knowing that Syndrome was on his way to becoming a supervillain, Edna did the one thing she could do to defeat him in her own way: she put a cape on the friggin’ suit, which killed him. Boom, and you thought the Parr family were the heroes of the story. Nope, Edna saved the day all along.
3 Boo Is The Witch In Brave
Now, this theory is pretty complex because it connects two movies set in very different times. Monsters, Inc. takes place in a seemingly present time, while Brave takes place in the 14th or 15th century. So, how is Boo, the little girl in Monsters, Inc., also the old witch in Brave? Well, it involves a good bit of magic.
This theory proposes that because of her love for Sully, Boo wanted to find him again. She remembers that doors are the key to finding Sully, as it's how she found him in the first place. So, Boo becomes a witch and time travels back to the Will O' the Wisps, to find Sully.
What are the clues of Boo and The Witch being the same person? Well, in her shop, there is a drawing of Sully etched into wood. There is also a Pizza Planet truck carved out of wood, something that The Witch would have never seen... unless she was Boo. Also, every time a door closes in Brave, The Witch disappears because she knows the power of doors.
This makes Boo into, perhaps, the most tragic character in all of Pixar, time traveling through films to find the monster she cares so deeply for. See, I told you that these theories make the movies even sadder.
14. Marlin Wants To Have Sex With Nemo
This scientifically accurate theory makes Finding Nemo a very creepy film about incest.
Clownfish are born hermaphrodites, as they have tissue for both testicles and ovaries. If a female clownfish were to die, the male clownfish would then turn into a female clownfish for mating purposes and find a new male clownfish. I know, it's some crazy science shit.
With the plot of Finding Nemo, Marlin's wife and all of his children but Nemo die after a barracuda attack. Because his wife passed, Marlin's organs would be shifted to those of a female. Being that Marlin and Nemo were the only clownfish around, Nemo would grow male organs so he could... have sex with his father, who would now have ovaries. Yes, scientifically, that is what would happen.
This theory proposes that Marlin desperately wanted to find Nemo, not because of his attachment to his son but because he wanted to bone him. Ah, Pixar, this is some seriously creepy stuff.
13. Andy's Dad Abandoned Them
So, Andy’s dad is MIA in all of the Toy Story films. It’s obvious that they aren’t a happy little family. While there has been some speculation about Andy’s father passing away, more signs point to him having abandoned the family.
For starters, Andy’s father is never mentioned. Not once. If he had passed away, you would think that there would have been some kind of touching moment where Andy's mother comforts him about the loss of his father. Also, there are no photos of him in Andy's home. If the father had passed away, there would likely be some photos of him around the house, because we don't usually hide all the photos of our deceased family members.
And the last clue is that Andy's mother is seen without a wedding ring on. While she may not wear it anymore because it's painful, one thing is for sure - it's more likely that she'd stop wearing it if he's a scumbag who abandoned the family, rather than if he passed away tragically.
While we may never know for sure if Andy's father jumped ship or of he passed away (though, he's probably a deadbeat dad), he is for sure out of the picture, with leads to Andy's idealization of his masculine toys - Woody and Buzz - both of which are powerful male positions in our society.
12. Andy's Mom Owned Jessie
Now that we've discussed Andy's father, we can chat about Andy's mother, because there's a big theory out there about her. The theory floating around thinks Ms. Davis is actually Emily, the former owner of Jessie.
The first clues come from what we don't know about each character. We know Jessie's former owner was named Emily but we don't know her last name. Also, we know Ms. Davis but we don't know her first name. Other evidence comes in the form of the cowboy hat Andy wears, which looks much more like Jessie's than Woody's, leading people to speculate that perhaps it was the mother's who passed it down to Andy. If she had purchased him his own cowboy hat, it is likely that she would buy one looking similar to Woody's, not Jessie's.
Finally, in the flashback scene of Jessie's backstory, we see the same hat sitting on Emily/Ms Davis' bed. Also, in the bedroom, we see records and a rotary dial phone, which would make Emily and Ms. Davis about the same age. So, it may have been destiny for Jessie and Emily/Ms. Davis to be reunited after all of these years.
11. Bing Bong Isn't Dead
When Bing Bong died in Inside Out, it was perhaps the saddest part in the film and one of the saddest parts in any Pixar movie. Ever. I loved Bing Bong, damn it! Thankfully, there is a theory that thinks Bing Bong may still be alive. Praise everything Pixar!
If you buy into the theory that every single Pixar film exists in one universe then Inside Out exists in a world were Monsters, Inc. also exists. Being that Riley is a young girl, she may have interacted with a monster visiting her room in the middle of the night, as they did in Monsters, Inc. As Riley grew up, she decided that Bing Bong had to be an imaginary friend and not a monster because monsters aren't real. Bing Bong's presence in her mind was reduced to that of an imaginary friend, despite the fact that he is, indeed, a living monster.
Bing Bong being a monster isn't so far fetched, as he does resemble how monsters looked in Monsters, Inc. He is also known for making Riley laugh, which is how monsters got energy by the end of the film.
So, when Bing Bong died in Inside Out, he didn't actually die, only her memory of him did. It's a great theory but, uh, I'll still probably cry every time Bing Bong dies in Inside Out.
10. Wall-E Tree Is In A Bug's Life
There is a whole theory connecting all of the Pixar films. It's pretty wild and a deep and it connects both Wall-E and A Bug's Life directly through a tree.
In Wall-E, Wall-E plants a seedling in a boot, which is totally adorable to begin with. When it sprouts into a tiny plant, he shows EVE. Through a space journey, this plant-in-a-boot travels afar then returns to Earth. In the end, the adorable plant-in-a-boot grows into a mighty tree.
Even though Wall-E is over, this theory proposes that this is not the last we see of the plant, because it actually looks an awful lot like the main tree in A Bug's Life. Going along with this theory, it would prove why no humans show up in A Bug's Life - because there aren't many living on Earth anymore, as we saw in Wall-E.
9. Nemo Was Never Real
This Finding Nemo theory is 100% less creepy than the first one on this list because it doesn't include a dad trying to have sex with his son, but it is 100% more sad.
This theory proposes that the adorable, little baby fish Nemo is never even alive. Marlin invented Nemo to help him cope with the passing of his whole family after they were eaten. Marlin then goes through all the stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, despair and acceptance - throughout Finding Nemo. Yeah, I know, because Pixar really needs a 'theory' to make a movie sad.
The bonus points for this theory are that 'Nemo' means 'no man' or 'no one' in Latin.
8. Carl Was Already Dead In Up
Ugh, yep. This is another sad, Lost-like theory for an already sad Pixar movie. According to this theory, Carl dies in his home after he is informed that he must move into a nursing home and leave all his memories behind. Everything after that moment in the film becomes very magical and is actually his journey into the afterlife. I know, seriously, tears forever.
Russell, the boy scout, is actually an angel in training who only needs one more badge to get his wings. What's his last badge? Assisting the elderly badge - ya know, like helping old folk into heaven.
This theory also gives the title of the film a whole new meaning. We all thought Up was about the balloons but apparently Up is about the journey to heaven.
2 Toy Story 3 Was About The Holocaust
So, Toy Story 3 could really be about the Holocaust. Well, it probably wasn't completely about the Holocaust but there were certainly a ton of Holocaust connections in the film. The first connection is that after the toys have been left behind, they have a meeting in which Buzz suggests that they should go hide in the closet... like Anne Frank.
The toys then go to Sunnyside Daycare, which is more like a concentration camp than anything that should appear in a children's film. The toys are kept in the Caterpillar Room, where they are basically tortured by the children who are too young to play with them. Oh, and the only way out of this torture is through an incinerator. Seriously.
Since this is Disney and not WWII, the toys are saved from the incinerator last minute but some of the similarities are startling for sure.
1 Multiple Rat Chefs In Ratatouille
Ratatouille is the Pixar film about a rat who wants to be a chef. A rat in your kitchen is about the last thing you would ever want but Pixar pulls it off, not only because Remy is cute but also because he's a good chef. In fact, he's such a good chef that Linguini, an aspiring young chef, hides Remy in his hat so he can help him. Remy then pulls at Linguini's hair under his hat, guiding him through ingredients. It's complicated but cute.
This Ratatouille theory suggests that this isn't the only rat/chef pairing in the film. When a rival chef is worried that Linguini is the illegitimate son of Chef Gusteau, therefore the heir to his restaurant, he runs a DNA test. The hair is collected from Gusteau's old chef's hat but we are never shown hair being collected from Linguini. Instead, Linguini is tricked into sipping a drink and his saliva is most likely used for the DNA test. When the test is run, though, the hair sample comes back as rodent hair... rodent hair from Gusteau's hat! This leads fans to think that perhaps the father/son duo Gusteau and Remy both used a rat friend to help with their cooking.
Well, the apple and the tree.
5. Toy Story And The Walking Dead Are The Same Thing
One of your favorite Pixar movies could be a lot more like a gritty AMC show than you first realized. Now, we admit that this one is far fetched but there are so many parallels! In fact, one Reddit user compared plot points from the first three seasons of The Walking Dead to the three Toy Story films and the way it lines up is scary.
The first and most obvious of the similarities is that the leader is a sheriff and he's in charge of a band of misfits. While that could be true for many western inspired films, it goes deeper. Both heroes also have kids in their lives that they love - Woody has Andy and Rick has Carl.
The theory also compares Rick and Shane's relationship to that of Woody and Buzz. It also compares Jessie to Beth, Stinky Pete to Hershel, Sunnyside Daycare to Woodbury, and The Governor to Lotso. Yeah, we thought it was far-fetched at first but after seeing all of the similarities, it's hard to argue.
4. Riley Hasn't Identified With A Sex Yet
Had we never seen into the minds of Riley's parents, we may never had come up with this theory, but we did, so here it is.
During the dinner seen, we get a glimpse into Riley's mother's and father's heads. They both have five emotions, just like Riley but their emotions are strictly portrayed by their sex. The father has men type characters playing his emotions and the mother has women type characters playing her emotions. Riley, on the other hand, has both men and women characters playing her emotions. Sadness, Joy and Disgust are all women, while Anger and Fear are men. This difference has lead some to believe that Riley may have not identified with a sex yet.
It's worth noting that there's another theory out there that thinks Riley was adopted. While we're shown a scene in which she is born, we don't actually see her mother give birth. Also, in what we do see of the scene, her mother is standing, something that a woman who just gave birth wouldn't necessarily do. Finally, with her parents' features, the likelihood of Riley having blonde hair is only 25% and blue eyes also only 25% with argues the case even harder.
3. Sid Is A Toy Story Hero
We meet Sid in Toy Story, where he is the villain. He does vile things to his toys, like some seriously messed up stuff. Sid was probably on his way to becoming a serial killer. In an attempt to save Buzz, Woody and the other toys reveal to Sid the fact that they can talk. Sid is understandably freaked the hell out. We don't see Sid again until Toy Story 3, where he makes a cameo as a garbageman. It seemed like just desserts for such an evil kid... but, there's a theory about his particular career path.
It's been theorized that he choose to be a garbageman because, now knowing that toys are alive, it's the only way he can save discarded toys, which really makes him an unsung hero. So, Sid is basically a hero in Toy Story 3 and we never even knew it.
2. Every Pixar Film Exists In The Same Universe
The Pixar Theory is a very long and detailed theory, which was proposed by Jon Negroni. He believes that every Pixar film exists in one universe. The theory is actually much more detailed than just showing the connections between all of the films. He takes it to another level by explaining the progression of highly intelligent animals and AI. His time line spans from the Post-Cretaceous Period all the way to 5,000. In his proposed theory, the films would be ordered chronologically like this:
The Good Dinosaur (Post-Cretaceous Period)
Brave (14th/15th Century)
The Incredibles (1950s/60s)
Toy Story (1997–98)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Finding Dory (2004)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Inside Out (2014–15)
Cars and Cars 2 (2100–2200)
A Bug's Life (2898–3000)
Monsters University and Monsters, Inc. (4500–5000)
While the theory is out there, we buy into it. I mean if DC and Marvel can have universes, why can't Pixar?
1. Sully Was Skinned Alive
Here's a mega dark theory about Sully. In Monster’s, Inc., Sully is told that humans skin monsters and make toilet covers out of their fur. Sully blows off the rumor... but maybe he shouldn’t have.
In Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex, a short film which played before the re-release of Finding Nemo, there is a toilet seat cover and it looks a whole lot like Sully. Like, it is Sully. So, Sully was skinned alive and made into toilet seat covers? Gee, thanks for the darkest Easter egg ever, Pixar. I’m going to go cry a thousand tears now.