The Pixar Theory

Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why.

Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme.

This theory covers every Pixar production since Toy Story. That includes:

  • A Bug’s Life
  • Toy Story 2
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars
  • Ratatouille
  • Wall-E
  • Up
  • Toy Story 3
  • Cars 2
  • Brave
  • Monsters University

The point of this theory is to have fun and exercise your imagination while simultaneously finding interesting connections between these fantastic movies. If you hate fun and/or imagination, you probably won’t like this theory.

[SIDE NOTE: All text in blue indicates updated edits since the original version]

You can read the full theory below, or watch this summarized video that was made and narrated by Bloop Media. Enjoy!

Brave is the first and last movie in the timeline. Obviously, this movie about a Scottish kingdom during the Dark Ages is the earliest time period covered by the Pixar films, but it’s also the only Pixar movie that actually explains why animals in the Pixar universe behave like humans sometimes.

Pixar Theory

In Brave, Merida discovers that there is “magic” that can solve her problems but inadvertently turns her mother into a bear. We find out that this magic comes from an odd witch seemingly connected to the mysterious will-of-the-wisps. Not only do we see animals behaving like humans, but we also see brooms (inanimate objects) behaving like people in the witch’s shop.

Pixar Theory

We also learn that this witch inexplicably disappears every time she passes through doors, leading us to believe that she may not even exist. Don’t get ahead of me, but we’ll come back to Brave. Let’s just say, for now, the witch is someone we know from a different movie in the timeline.

[Some of you pointed out that the animals in Brave gradually regress back into an animal state, disproving the idea that this is the source of animals acting like humans. My rebuttal is simple. They regress because the magic wears off. Over time, their evolving intelligence grows naturally.]

Centuries later, the animals from Brave that have been experimented on by the witch have interbred, creating a large-scale population of animals slowly gaining personification and intelligence on their own.

There are two progressions: the progression of the animals and the progression of artificial intelligence. The events of the following movies set up a power struggle between humans, animals, and machines.

The stage for all-out war in regards to animals is set by Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, and Up, in that order. Notice I left out A Bug’s Life, but I’ll explain why later.

In Ratatouille, we see animals experimenting with their growing personification in small, controlled experiments.

Remy wants to cook, something only humans explicitly do. He crafts a relationship with a small group of humans and finds success. Meanwhile, the villain of Ratatouille, Chef Skinner, disappears. What happened to him? What did he do with his newfound knowledge that animals were capable of transcending their instincts and performing duties better than humans?

Pixar Theory

It’s possible that Charles Muntz, the antagonist of Up, learned of this startling rumor, giving him the idea to begin inventing devices that would harness the thoughts of animals, namely his dogs, through translator collars. Those collars indicated to Muntz that animals are smarter and more like humans than we think. He needed this technology to find the exotic bird he’s obsessed over, and he even comments on how many dogs he’s lost since he arrived in South America.

Pixar Theory

But then Dug and the rest of his experiments are set free after Muntz’s demise, and we don’t know the full implications of that, but what we do know is that animosity between the animals and humans is growing steadily. Now that humans have discovered the potential of animals, they are beginning to cross the line. To develop this new technology, the humans begin an industrial revolution hinted at in Up.

[Some have pointed out that Muntz was working in South America before the events of Ratatouille. This is true, but it is not explicitly stated how and when he developed the collars. Also, we know Ratatouille takes place before Up for several reasons. In Toy Story 3, a postcard on Andy's wall has Carl and Ellie's name and address on it (including their last names to confirm). This confirms that in 2010, the time of Toy Story 3, Ellie is still alive or hasn't been dead long. This supports the idea that Up takes place years later.]

Pixar Theory

In the beginning of Up, Carl is forced to give up his house to a corporation because they are expanding the city. Think on that. What corporation is guilty for polluting the earth and wiping out life in the distant future because of technology overreach?

Pixar Theory

Buy-n-Large (BNL), a corporation that runs just about everything by the time we get to Wall-E. In the“History of BNL” commercial from the movie, we’re told that BNL has even taken over the world governments. Did you catch that this one corporation achieved global dominance?Interestingly, this is the same organization alluded to in Toy Story 3:

Pixar Theory

In Finding Nemo, we have an entire population of sea creatures uniting to save a fish that was captured by humans. BNL shows up again in this universe via another news article that talks about a beautiful underwater world.

Lines are being crossed. Humans are beginning to antagonize the increasingly networked and intelligent animals.

Think about Dory from Finding Nemo for a second. She stands apart from most of the other fish. Why? She isn’t as intelligent. Her short-term memory loss is likely a result of her not being as advanced as the other sea creatures, which is a reasonable explanation for how rapidly these creatures are evolving.

Pixar Theory

It’s likely that the sequel to Finding Nemo, which is about Dory, will touch on this and further explain why. We may also get some more evidence pointing to animosity between humans and animals.

[Some great users have pointed out that Dory is actually more intelligent and shows signs of growth due to her ability to read and communicate with whales. This would actually show signs of how the animals are beginning to change in intelligence gradually.]

And that is the furthest movie in the “animal” side of things. When it comes to A.I., we start with The Incredibles. Who is the main villain of this movie? You probably thought of Buddy, a.ka. Syndrome, who basically commits genocide on super-powered humans.

Pixar Theory

Or does he? Buddy didn’t have any powers. He used technology to enact revenge on Mr. Incredible for not taking him seriously. Seems a little odd that the man went so far as to commit genocide.

[A lot of people have been arguing about where The Incredibles actually takes place because we see technology from modern times and the 1980s even though everything has a 1960s vibe. This is cleared by Brad Bird, the director, who says the movie takes place in an alternate 1960s, which means the movie opens in the 1950s.]

And how does he kill all of the supers? He creates the omnidroid, an A.I. “killbot” that learns the moves of every super-human and adapts. When Mr. Incredible is first told about this machine, Mirage mentions that it is an advanced artificial intelligence that has gone rogue.

Mr. Incredible points out that it got smart enough to wonder why it had to take orders.  The omnidroid eventually turns on Syndrome, and starts attacking humans in the city. Why would an A.I. want to just attack randomly? Do machines have an inherent hatred of humans?

The movie even shows clips of the superheroes with capes being done in by inanimate objects, such as plane turbines…accidentally.

Pixar Theory

Pixar Theory

But why would machines want to get rid of humans in the first place? We know that animals don’t like humans because they are polluting the Earth and experimenting on them, but why would the machines have an issue?

Enter Toy Story. Here we see humans using and discarding “objects” that are clearly sentient. Yes, the toys love it Uncle Tom style, but over the course of the Toy Story sequels, we see toys becoming fed up. But wait, toys and inanimate objects aren’t necessarily machines, so how do they have some kind of intelligence?

Syndrome points to the answer. He tells Mr. Incredible that his lasers are powered by Zero Point Energy. This is the electromagnetic energy that exists in a vacuum. It’s the unseen energy we find in wavelengths and a reasonable explanation for how toys and objects in the Pixar world draw power.

Pixar Theory

By the events of the Toy Story movies, we are in the 90s until 2010. It’s been 40-50 years or so since the events of The Incredibles, giving A.I. plenty of time to develop BNL.

Meanwhile, Pixar is hinting at dissatisfaction among pockets of toy civilizations. The toys rise up against Sid in the first movie. Jesse resents her owner, Emily, for abandoning her. Lotso Huggin’ Bear straight up hates humans by the third movie.

Toys are obviously not satisfied with the status quo, providing a reason for why machines and objects alike are ready to take over.

So, by the 2000s, the super-humans all but gone, and mankind is vulnerable. Animals, who want to rise up Planet of the Apes style, have the ability to take over, but we don’t see this happen.

Also, A.I. never takes over humans by force. Why do you think that is? It’s reasonable to assume that machines did take over, just not as we expected. The machines used BNL, a faceless corporation (which are basically faceless in nature) to dominate the world, starting in the 1960s after the Omnidroid fails to defeat the Incredibles.

In each of the Toy Story movies, it’s made painfully clear that sentient objects rely on humans for everything. For fulfillment and even energy. It’s hinted at that the Toys lose all life when put away in “storage” unless they are in a museum that will get them seen by humans.

Pixar Theory

So machines decide to control humans by using a corporation that suits their every need, leading to an industrial revolution that eventually leads to…pollution. When the animals rise up against the humans to stop them from polluting the earth, who will save them? The machines.

We know that the machines will win the war, too, because after this war, there are almost no animals left on Earth. Who’s left?

Pixar Theory

Because the machines tip everything out of balance, Earth becomes an unfit planet for humans and animals, so the remaining humans are put on Axiom (or Noah’s Ark if you want to carry on the Biblical theme where Wall-E is basically Robot Jesus and his love interest is aptly named Eve) as a last-ditch effort to save the human race.

Pixar Theory

On Axiom, the humans have no purpose aside from having their needs met by the machines. The machines have made humans dependent on them for everything because that is how they were treated as “toys.” It’s all they know.

Pixar Theory

Meanwhile on Earth, machines are left behind to populate the world and run things, explaining human landmarks and traditions still being prominent in Cars. There are no animals or humans in this version of Earth because they’re all gone, but we do know that the planet still has many human influences left.

[Some have noted that the world of Cars can’t be after humans left because there’s no pollution shown in the movies. If you look carefully at Wall-E, however, the world is never shown during this time, so we don’t really know how badly the Earth was polluted. It’s possible that the machines sent humans away to curb overpopulation and fix the environment without them, but the world was drained of resources as a result of machines populating the Earth. That would explain why the machines abandoned Earth entirely, leaving only Wall-E behind.]

In Cars 2, the cars go to Europe and Japan, making it plain that this is all taking place on Earth as we know it. So what happened to the cars? We’ve learned by now that humans are the source of energy for the machines. That’s why they never got rid of them.

In Wall-E, they point out that BNL intended to bring the humans back once the planet was clean again, but they failed. The machines on Earth eventually died out, though we don’t know how.

Pixar TheoryWhat we do know is that there is an energy crisis in Cars 2, with oil being the only way society trudges on despite its dangers. We even learn that the Allinol corporation was using “green energy” as a catalyst for a fuel war in order to turn cars away from alternative energy sources. That “clean” fuel could have been used to wipe out many of the cars, very quickly.

Pixar Theory

[Someone pointed out that “all in all” means the same thing as “by and large” making the connection between Cars and Wall-E even more substantial.]

Which brings us back to Wall-E. Have you ever wondered why Wall-E was the only machine left? We know that the movie begins 800 years after humans have left Earth on Axiom, governed by the AutoPilot (another A.I. reference).

Could it be that Wall-E’s fascination with human culture and friendship with a cockroach is what allowed him to keep finding fulfillment and the ability to maintain his personality? That’s why he was special and liberated the humans.

He remembered the times when humans and machines lived in peace, away from all of the pollution caused by both sides.

Pixar Theory

After Wall-E liberates the humans and they rebuild society back on Earth, what happens then? During the end credits of Wall-E, we see the shoe that contains the last of plant life. It grows into a mighty tree. A tree that strikingly resembles the central tree in A Bug’s Life.

Pixar Theory

Pixar Theory

Pixar Theory

That’s right. The reason no humans show up in A Bug’s Life is because there aren’t a lot left. We know because of the cockroach that some of the insects survived, meaning they would have rebounded a bit faster, though the movie had to be far enough in the timeline for birds to have returned as well, though they’re noticeably less intelligent than the bugs.

[I’ll admit, the trees looking similar isn’t enough to support the idea that A Bug’s Life takes place after Wall-E, but there’s definitely more reasons for why it’s likely. Also, I’ll bring the tree up again later because it appears in Up as well.]

There’s something strikingly different about A Bug’s Life when compared to other Pixar portrayals of animals, which leads me to believe it takes place in the future. Unlike Ratatouille, Up, and Finding Nemo, the bugs have many human activities similar to what the rats in Ratatouille were merely experimenting with.

The bugs have cities, bars, advertisements, their own machines, know what a bloody mary is and even have a traveling circus. This all assumes that the movie is in a different time period.

The other factor that sets A Bug’s Life apart from other Pixar movies is the fact that it is the only one, besides Cars and Cars 2, that doesn’t revolve (or even include) humans.

Pixar Theory

[Okay there is a a lot of contention over the idea that A Bug’s Life takes place post-apocalypse, but hear me out. The reason I am so inclined to push the idea is because of how different the bug world is from the “animal” movies. No other Pixar movie has animals wearing clothing, wild inventions, animals creating machines, or so much human influence like bars and cities. In Finding Nemo, the most human thing we see is a school, and even that is pretty stripped down. But in A Bug’s Life, we have a world where humans are barely even implied. At one point, one of the ants tells Flik not to leave the island because there are “snakes, birds, and bigger bugs out there.” He doesn’t even bring up humans. Yes, there are some humans, like the kid who allegedly picked the wings off of the homeless bug, but that still fits in a post Wall-E world. Also, the bugs have to be irradiated for them to live such long lifespans. The average lifespan of an ant is just 3 months, but these ants all survive an entire summer and allude to being around for quite some time by saying things like “this happens every year.” One of the ants even says he “feels 90 again.” That works if you accept that the ants are sturdier due to evolution and mutated genes.]

There’s another Pixar movie that was supposed to be released in 2012, but was cancelled and replaced with Brave. This movie was called Newt and I believe it might have fit in this part of the timeline post-Wall-E. The movie’s supposed plot: “What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can’t stand each other?” (Read here for more)

Pixar Theory

A movie about an endangered species rebuilding itself could lend itself nicely to this theory, but since the movie was never released, I’m just speculating.

So what happens next? Humanity, machines, and animals grow in harmony to the point where a new super species is born. Monsters. The monsters civilization is actually Earth in the incredibly distant future.

[Someone wisely pointed out that in Monsters University, the college is said to be founded in 1313. If we’re really in the future, then that means the monsters could have reset society and begun using their own calendar. That could mean Monsters Inc. takes place up to 1400 (or more) years after A Bug’s Life.]

Where did they come from? It’s possible that the monsters are simply the personified animals mutated after the diseased earth was irradiated for 800 years.

[Not during Wall-E. I would guess that it took hundreds of years after Wall-E for the animals to become monsters]

Pixar Theory

Whatever the reason, these monsters seem to all look like horribly mutated animals, only larger and civilized. They have cities and even colleges, as we see in Monsters University.

[An issue some have found is that this doesn't properly explain what happened to humans. I haven't settled on a theory I really like yet, but I'm leaning towards the idea that monsters and machines eventually forgot that they need humans and got rid of them again, not realizing their mistake until all humans died out. Another explanation is that humans just couldn't survive on Earth anymore.]

In Monsters Inc., they have an energy crisis because they are in a future earth without humans. Humans are the source of energy, but thanks to the machines, again, the Monsters find a way to use doors to travel to the human world. Only, it’s not different dimensions.

Pixar Theory

The monsters are going back in time. They’re harvesting energy to keep from becoming extinct by going back to when humans were most prominent. The peak of civilization, if you will. Though a lot of time has passed, animosity towards humans never really went away for animals/monsters.

Monsters must have relied on anti-human instincts to believe that just touching a human would corrupt their world like it did in the past. So they scare humans to gather their energy until they realize that laughter (green energy) is more efficient because it is positive in nature.

[An alternative explanation that fits even better that some of you brought up: The machines and monsters created the time travel doors but realized that messing with time could erase their existence and change history. So, they falsely trained monsters to believe that humans are toxic and from another dimension, making it suicide for a monster to interact too much with their world. Another issue is how the monsters seem to worry about kids "being less scared these days." It's likely that going in the past takes a lot of energy, so the monsters can only go back as far as the practice still returns a profit in energy. To them, they're just moving through the same dimension of time, but the monsters at the top know that eventually, they'll run out. This is why Waternose is so bent on capturing children and enslaving them.]

We even see a connection between A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. via the trailer we see in both movies. As you can see, the trailer looks exactly the same, except the one in A Bug’s Life is noticeably older and more decrepit, while the one in Monsters Inc. (where Randall is sent via a door) has humans and looks newer.

Pixar Theory

Look at the picture above. On the left is the trailer from A Bug’s Life and the one on the right is from Monsters Inc. The one on the left looks older and more rundown. Even the vegetation is noticeably dryer and there’s less of it. The trailer on the right has humans and the frame even includes tall grass and a tree hanging overhead.

[Some have argued that the trailer in A Bug’s Life should be nothing but dust. I disagree based on how barely intact other buildings were in Wall-E. They also bring up the bug zapper that is powered by electricity. The zapper could easily be solar powered, just like Wall-E. The bugs probably used it as a light source to signal other bugs to “Bug City.” Also, the trailer in A Bug’s Life never shows lights in the trailer like it does for Monsters Inc.]

That said, Monsters Inc. is so far the most futuristic Pixar movie. By the end, humans, animals, and machines have finally found a way to understand each other and live harmoniously.

And then there’s Boo. What do you think happened to her? She saw everything take place in future earth where “kitty” was able to talk. She became obsessed with finding out what happened to her friend Sully and why animals in her time weren’t quite as smart as the ones she’d seen in the future.

She remembers that “doors” are the key to how she found Sully in the first place and becomes…

Pixar Theory

A WITCH. Yes, Boo is the witch from Brave. She figures out how to travel in time to find Sully, and goes back to what she believes is the source: The will-of-the-wisps.

They are what started everything, and as a witch, she cultivates this magic in an attempt to find Sully by creating doors going backwards and forwards in time.

[Just to clarify: The theory is that Boo discovered a way to use doors to travel through time on her own, possibly by developing magic on her own. She probably went back in time to the Dark Ages to get more magic from the will-o-wisps.]

How do we know? In Brave, you can briefly see a drawing in the workshop. It’s Sully.

Pixar Theory

We even see the Pizza Planet truck carved as a wooden toy in her shop, which makes no sense unless she’s seen one before…(and I’m sure she has since that truck is in almost every Pixar movie). If you look closely, you can see the carved truck below.

Pixar Theory

You remember Merida opening doors and the witch constantly disappearing? It’s because those doors are made the same way from Monsters Inc. They transport across time and that is why Merida couldn’t find the witch later in the movie.

[A lot of people have brought up how easter eggs are scattered throughout all the Pixar movies. I barely scratch the surface, but a great theory offered by some that I support is that these easter eggs are planted by Boo either intentionally or accidentally as she travels through time to find Sully. Some support for that is the fact that every easter egg in Brave lies in her workshop.]

But wait. How did Boo travel in time in the first place, and why is she obsessed with wood? Boo must have discovered that wood has been the source of energy all along, not just humans. The machines and monsters in Monsters Inc. use doors because they’re made of wood and found a way to use that energy to travel in time.

[Many have pointed out how the door that banishes monsters is metal. That's probably because wood is used to harness this magic, and using a metal door would stop a banished monster from going back through it.]

Obsessed with finding Sully, Boo travelled across the Pixar universe using doors.

[It’s even possible that the wood from the tree in A Bug’s Life is the source of Flik’s ingenuity, due to his fascination and respect for seeds growing into trees. The tree also bears a resemblance to the one in Up that Carl and Ellie frequented, which could be the source of Carl’s wild creativity in using balloons to transport his house. This also explains why Flik and Heimlich from A Bug’s Life show up in Toy Story 2, which would be centuries before their time. Boo was trying to go to the future and could have fallen short by landing in the post-Wall-E time. She would need wood to keep time traveling, but there’s not much around yet, so she stumbles upon the tree in A Bug’s Life. She could have accidentally brought back a few bugs with her when traveling backwards in time.]

So Boo went back to the Dark Ages, probably because she could use plenty of wood there for her experiments or to study the will-o-wisps. We know that her first encounter with Mor’du ended with her turning him into a monstrous bear, but he regresses.

She probably wanted to turn him into a bear because Sully resembles a bear, and she is still trying to figure out where Sully comes from.

Does Boo ever find Sully? I like to think so. He surely reunited with her at least once as a child at the end of Monsters Inc., but eventually, he had to stop visiting.

But her love for Sully is, after all, the crux of the entire Pixar universe. The love of different people of different ages and even different species finding ways to live on Earth without destroying it because of a lust for energy.

And that is the Pixar Theory. More will be added to it, undoubtedly, when Pixar’s next movie The Good Dinosaur comes out in 2014.

Pixar Theory

[The Good Dinosaur is supposed to be about an alternate universe where dinosaurs never went extinct because a meteor never wiped them out. They have humans as pets in this alternate reality. My theory is that this “alternate universe” explains why so many things in Pixar’s universe are different from ours. It’s because evolution was never interrupted by a world-wide catastrophe. Humans evolved into supers and animals gained sentience faster, accelerating the apocalypse for resources that could do the same to our timeline. Oh, and Dinoco from Toy Story and Cars is a loose, but fun connection to speculate on.]

Until then, if you have anything to contribute or correct, don’t hesitate to bring it to my attention. Thanks for reading, and for a visual of the timeline with dates, click here.

Also, if you’re wondering whether or not Planes fits into this theory, read my full take on that subject here.

If you can’t get enough of the Pixar Theory, you can read The Pixar Detective, a serial novel (with artwork!) that explains more about this theory through an original story.

Thanks for Reading! You can subscribe to this blog by email via the prompt on the sidebar. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@JonNegroni). I’ll follow you back if you say something witty and awesome.

All images courtesy of Disney/Pixar

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9,260 thoughts on “The Pixar Theory

  1. This is really cool. But Sully is able to see Boo again at the end of Monster’s Inc, so why would she feel the need to become a witch to find him? I also really like Bug’s Life being post-Wall-E.

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    • It could’ve been the only time that Sully was able to see her again, remember the door was destroyed and it took alot to put it back together. So whenever Sully went back to his own time the door probably fell apart again, this time beyond repair. And while he saw her again he probably told her about that future. Boo may have wanted to see it for herself after obsessing about Sully for years. She probably would want to see Sully again, since she didn’t really do anything to prevent that future from happening because of wanting to see him again

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  2. I would say that humans are already subconsciously becoming aware of animals having intellect in Ratatouille. It’s not just Skinner’s mad conspiracy issues, but that so many other characters look at Remy and see his intellect almost immediately. They don’t question it, other than to simply confirm with the animal that it’s listening.

    In that I’d put Ratatouille AFTER Nemo, because no human in that movie see the fish for their intellect, even though the fish are CLEARLY organized. Besides, the rat colony has amenities like light and the rats clearly use tools and instruments.

    As for the Dino issue, this may be an ‘act of boo’ – She accidentally stopped the meteor.

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    • Explanation for lesser intelligence in Nemo is they are fish as opposed to mammals and don’t share common traits that humans would recognize?

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    • Ratatouille head to come before, because of the technology in the dentists office (including the fish tank) in finding Nemo. In Ratatouille there is no color TV, they use typewriters only for writing, the cars on the road, the decor etc.

      Also I just looked closely and if you look at the new filter for the tank it suggests the movie takes place in 2003. The boats in the marina the and the decor in the office suggest late 80′s though…

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    • There was one theory about the doors being used to stop monsters and it isn’t even boo according to that theory the witch did so the monsters never came

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  3. In Toy Ttory the ant and caterpillar (I forgot there names) make an appearance but he is a caterpillar but in a Bugs Life he turns into a butterfly. How could this be?? I must know lol

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  4. I also noticed that in Wall-E he tends to hang onto materialistic objects that humans made such as a rubix cube, bubble wrap, and even a tape depicting humans dancing. This may be how Wall-E is able to live on the planet with out humans.

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  5. Pingback: The Pixar Theory: Every Character Lives in the Same Universe | University of Mysore (CIST)

  6. What if Boo was Sid’s sister???Because when she’s a witch in Brave she carves a pizza planet truck, so she must have grew up in the same time period where she’d see a lot of them. Which would also explain why we see so many of them. When she was time traveling she must have placed a bunch of them throughout the different movies. Also in Monsters Inc it suggests that Boo would be from the same time period as Sid and Andy. They both have short black hair. We don’t know too much about Sid’s sister so it’s a perfect fit. It also is a beautiful connection with Boo/the witch to the original Pixar movie. Let me know what you think.

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  7. We know Ratatouille has to take place between the late 40′s and early 60′s for many reasons. 1. Their are clearly no computers and the style of typewriter everything is written on. 2. The decor 3. the style automobiles on the road. 4. There is TV but it is all in black and white, color TV didn’t come out till 1967 5. The rats hanging in the window, this isn’t something that is done anymore…. And a number of other items that date the movie. I found your theory when trying to deduce when exactly this movie took place… I like but I think it has some flaws… My question also then becomes is this something Pixar is making up as it goes along or is there a plan to eventually bring these movies closer together at some point.

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    • Why do you all ignore the fact that in one scene Colette drives away from the restaurant on a modern sport bike? This decor and environment only compliments a retro-style french restaurant in which most of the film takes place.

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  8. “It’s even possible that the wood from the tree in A Bug’s Life is the source of Flik’s ingenuity, due to his fascination and respect for seeds growing into trees. The tree also bears a resemblance to the one in Up that Carl and Ellie frequented, which could be the source of Carl’s wild creativity in using balloons to transport his house. ”

    How could the tree in Up be the tree from A Bug’s Life and WALL-E if Up happened before the events of these two movies?

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    • I have some theories, one is that it is one of Boo’s accidental influences through time and space. The second (And more realistic) is that both trees are different, but the one in Wall-E is related to the one in Up.

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  9. I must agree that there are some plot holes with this whole theory, but I do love the idea of it.Theoretically speaking you could view almost all Disney movies in this theory, not just Pixar ones though. Think about it. Brother bear had the crazy lady who understood what he said after he got turned into a bear. Movies like the little mermaid happening sometime after bugs life but before monsters inc. Howls Moving Castle is another movie with doors leading to different places (albeit in the same world) and magic as well as an unidentified witch and a person animal hybrid (of some kind). Winnie the Poo would fit in with the toy story side of things when toys still fell under human domain. This is a stretch I know, but there are already connections within the Disney Princess universe, I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to at least run those movies along a similar time line if not an interconnected one. One other thought is that the doors in monsters Inc. do run to parallel universes rather than through time. The stories are still connected, but instead of having to run this all in one long timeline it can be run in multiple separate ones that weave together with movies like monster’s inc. and Brave. I may just be bored or crazy, but honestly none of us know for sure how this (if it was at all) set up. Anyone else’s guess is as good as mine.

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  10. This opens up a LOT of questions.


    Another strange thing: Luxo Jr. Pixar’s first ever animation. The ball and the lamps are reused plenty of times. Hell, the lamp itself could have been paradoxical for Boo. What if Boo is the reason machines became sentient, not just the wisp? In Monsters Inc, it doesn’t appear that machines are sentient, just the “mutated animals” (ie: Monsters). When they use real magic, it’s based around what? Wood. The metal doors could have been exactly as it was theorized: A way to make sure they could stop the monsters from coming back. Maybe Boo found that out in her time traveling somehow.

    Maybe she (Boo) is the reason that magic ever caused machines to become sentient; and in that way the Incredibles’ machines could be the darker faction of the sentient machines. Because as we see, the Cars, . Wall-E himself and Luxo’s lamps (possibly Boo’s FIRST experiment into making sentient machinery when experimenting with magic) are not bad machines. They do good, and from this we see two things. The first being that machines have their own split of good and not good (not necessarily ‘evil,’ just not good), giving the ability to prove multiple facets of the theory; and secondly, that Boo could have, inadvertently because of her magic experimentation, split reality into multiple dimensions. This dimensional tear would also allow for reason as to why Pixar mentions “alternate realities” for movies like The Incredibles and Good Dinosaur. Boo’s time traveling is not only creating a paradox (machinery led up to the times of Wall-E which led to Monsters. Inc, which Boo created in her time, which must be somewhat around the time of Toy Story, round-about, given the way the children act and dress), but she’s also creating parallels in her attempts to simply shift around time.

    Notably, I say that one reason Boo (albeit a more aged Boo, so maybe she grew up more in Ms.Davis’s time) must be from Andy’s time, is because if she created the first sentient machine (Luxo) due to her experimentation with magic, it would also explain the ball. The ball with the star on it from Luxo is also seen all over the place, namely in Toy Story. In fact, it’s owned by Andy. Andy also owns a very similar lamp, and by similar, I mean it is the same item but sold in a different color (http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120620032852/pixar/images/1/10/LuxoLampTS.png).

    Now it’s mentioned in the theories that Andy is a 90′s kid. This could very well be, and we will also note that Toy Story was released in 1999. We also see that Toy Story is the first instance of “Same universe” showing, because Pixar’s shorts don’t really relate to one another, but Toy Story is tied in by Luxo in those few ways. If Boo is part of his universe, and Luxo is made in 1986, then we can also assume because Toy Story takes place in Pixar’s universe during the year it was actually created in our world (the only Pixar movie we can really say that about, given the theoretical timeline), then we can say it might also be possible that Luxo was set in its real year that we were given in its release: 1986. So if we’re finding year Zero, and by that, I mean the time that Boo learned of her magical powers, that’d put it to near the 1970′s, where Emily (Possibly Ms.Davis) came from.

    From all this, Toy Story could put Boo in her 30′s or even 40′s. Even more, it could be that Boo was from the Incredible’s time as well, an “alternate 60′s.” She could have grown up in the real 60′s, but after her experimentation with magic and time travel, she could have caused the “alternate” 60′s when traveling back for the first time (when her time-altering was more inadvertant than it was later when traveling to times like Brave’s) and thus even caused the first Supers when things became out of control.

    Reading this honestly blew my mind, but now it has me wondering all of what Boo could have done. It’s possible that she’s leaving clues for someone we haven’t met yet. Maybe Pixar will make a movie about some sort of time traveling character, and while they won’t directly state it, maybe their off-screen adventures went through the Pixar universe with Boo leaving them clues. Afterall, Boo is just a nickname given by Sully, because that’s how they met her (when she was playing “boo!”) – With Luxo being the introduction to all the Pixar movies, maybe Boo is merely showing us times that she’s “messed with”, starting out with her first creation.

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  11. Pingback: 7 weird and wonderful Science Fiction and Fantasy Fan Theories - Musings Of A Mild Mannered Man

  12. If the witch is from the dark ages and the witch is boo and monsters inc. is in a distant future why would boo be a witch in time so far back an her room didn’t look very old in the movie

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    • Also she had many things in her room that wouldn’t be around in that day so it wouldn’t make sense why she is in the dark ages unless she got time trapped or something also the good dinosaur (which comes out in 2015) shouldn’t support this if it takes place in a world were dinosaurs went extinct it couldn’t be in the same universe as times when they were

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  13. I just watched Monsters U for the first time with my daughter and noticed that a bunch of the monster at the university are from the Muppets. Did Sully start the various Muppets shows to fuel the company after he took it over? Perhaps he recruited from the failed students at the university?

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  14. Ugh. This is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve heard.
    He’s making connections that aren’t there.
    And yes, some of the same ideas and images occur in different movies, but that’s as far as it goes.

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