There's a fascinating (and very sad) story wandering the Internet sharing the supposed backstory of Andy's dad in "Toy Story." It comes from a semi-reliable source, but an even more reliable source has nixed it as "complete and utter fake news." That doesn't mean it's not a decent story -- and considering we're talking about imaginary animated characters, you can go ahead and think it's "true" if you want -- it just shouldn't be accepted as Pixar canon.
The story was shared in a video, with toy product designer and reviewer Mike Mozart saying the late Pixar head writer Joe Ranft told him the secret of Andy's father.
According to the story, Andy's dad was also named Andy and was the original owner of Woody. As a child, Andy Sr. was diagnosed with polio, and his toys were destroyed -- except for Woody, Slinky, and Mr. Potato Head, whom Andy managed to save by hiding them in a box under his bed. Many years later, Andy Sr. got married and had his own son, Andy Jr. And then Andy Sr. contracted Post-Polio Syndrome.
Here's the end of the story, as relayed by io9:
"Then, you've got their final moment, which rivals the first 10 minutes of 'Up' for heartbreaking sadness. Andy's father calls Andy over to his bedside, giving him a key from his wallet and telling him to go bring down a chest in the attic. Andy heads up there and grabs the chest, but by the time he returns downstairs... his father is dead. Andy forgets about the chest and the key, only to open it after the funeral. Woody, Slinky, and Mr. Potato Head wake up from their slumber, see Andy Jr., and believe he's the kid they grew up with all those years ago. They don't know their original owner is dead; Andy lives on in his son."
It's a powerful and believable story. But Andrew Stanton -- who co-wrote all three "Toy Story" movies and directed several Pixar films -- shot it down:
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 24, 2017
Sigh. Another Pixar story debunked. Back in 2015, Entertainment Tonight asked another Pixar writer, Pete Docter, about the theory that Andy's mom was Jessie's previous owner. Apparently that wasn't quite right either. As Docter told ET:
"You know, John Lasseter was the director on that, and we talked for hours about backstory -- and we have our own kind of backstory that's a little different than that. The interesting thing is that we're now on 'Toy Story 4,' and still stuff that we discussed in [the original] 'Toy Story,' twenty-something years ago, those ideas are still being used. So it just seems to be a very evergreen kind of story and a lot of stuff just keeps bubbling up, so it's very interesting."
"Toy Story 4" is scheduled for release in 2019, and it's possible it will share some official backstory.
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Woody (Tom Hanks), a good-hearted cowboy doll who belongs to a young boy named Andy (John Morris), sees his position as Andy's favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) action figure. Even worse, the arrogant Buzz thinks he's a real spaceman on a mission to return to his home planet. When Andy's family moves to a new house, Woody and Buzz must escape the clutches of maladjusted neighbor Sid Phillips (Erik von Detten) and reunite with their boy. Read More