Pixar is well acquainted with the fine art of breaking hearts (thanks a lot, Up), and this weekend Mike Mozart, a former Toy Consultant for the company, aimed at the aorta again when he shared the extremely dark and depressing backstory for why Andy’s Dad is never seen or mentioned in the Toy Story movies. Mozart, who was friends with former Pixar head writer Joe Ranft, claimed that his late friend informed him that the reason Andy’s dad wasn’t around was that he died from Polio. Deep breaths.
The details of the story are even sadder. Andy’s Dad is forced to burn all of his toys but secretly saves Woody and a few others so he could hand him down to his kids. And right before he dies, he gives these toys to Andy with the hopes that his son will remember him every time he plays with them. It’s an extremely dark origin even as far as Pixar is concerned. But, according to one of the writers of the Toy Story movies, it might not be true.
Andrew Stanton, who’s co-written all three Toy Story films, came out against Mozart’s claims, calling it “complete and utter fake news.” Stanton insists that Ranft never came up with that story for Andy’s Dad, and dismisses Mozart as a credible source. As of now, Mozart has not backed down from his claim despite being taken on by one of the men who literally wrote the movies.
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 24, 2017
So what does this mean for Toy Story fans? Besides giving them something dark and tragic to ponder, it does nothing. Such a backstory doesn’t change or alter any of these discussions. However, it does bring up some pretty interesting questions about the Pixar canon that could possibly lead to someone speculating that Andy’s Grandfather was the original owner of The Velveteen Rabbit. In the world of fan theories, pretty much anything is possible. Especially things that don’t make sense.