Toy Story is a franchise that touched the lives of an entire generation of children in 1995. It was the first feature-length, computer-generated animated film ever made, and the first feature film that Pixar ever produced. Since then, Toy Story has become a franchise that has spanned over 15 years and will likely continue into the future. It is possible that we'll get a Toy Story 4 soon as it's been stated that it is currently in early development. We even got a little tease about what the plot would be: a love story between Woody and Bo Peep.
While the future of Toy Story looks bright there are some dark fan theories and secrets that bog it down. Fans have put certain details under the microscope and have come up with some seriously disturbing inferences about the world where toys come to life. Unfortunately, the realm of adulthood makes you wonder about the more unsettling nuances that Toy Story withholds. The scene in Sid's room with the deformed toys gave us all nightmares, but there's more lurking in the shadows of this family-friendly franchise that we uncover here. Toy Story will never be the same for you.
15 SECRET: BO PEEP WASN'T ORIGINALLY WOODY'S GIRLFRIEND
The first Toy Story didn't have Bo Peep as Woody's girlfriend because they had another famous doll in mind. Barbie was supposed to be Woody's love interest, but Mattel didn't have the same faith in Toy Story as Pixar. The toy company thought that the film would fail. Mattel declined Pixar the rights to use Barbie in its film, which meant it had to find an alternative for Woody's girlfriend.
Another reason Mattel didn't want Pixar using its popular Barbie dolls was that the higher-ups were afraid that it would change the way children viewed their toys. If Barbie had become Woody's girlfriend, they thought she would have a fixed personality that would always be associated with the doll. They didn't want that, but when the film was a critical and commercial success, they opted for their dolls to be in Toy Story 2.
14 THEORY: WHEEZY IS THE VILLAIN OF TOY STORY 2
Wheezy was a squeaky toy whose squeaker had broken, which gave his voice its famous breathy quality. There is some speculation by fans that Wheezy didn't have the best intentions for Woody, Buzz, and Andy's other toys. In fact, some fans believe that the events of Toy Story 2 happened because of Wheezy.
The evidence is that Wheezy was one of Andy's favorite toys for a few months before he was put on the top shelf and forgotten. In Toy Story, we've seen toys get jealous of other toys since that's how Woody's initial dislike of Buzz began. Wheezy must have felt the same after he was put away for months. His jealousy and depression fueled a plan that put Woody at the yard sale. Wheezy knew it was his best shot to get rid of Andy's favorite toys and be Andy's once again.
13 SECRET: WOODY ISN'T ONLY VOICED BY TOM HANKS
Everyone knows the sound of Woody's voice! It's iconic because the man who plays the toy cowboy is none other than Hollywood legend Tom Hanks. That's no surprise though. The secret is that Tom Hanks isn't the only person who voices Woody. There are far too many projects featuring Woody for someone as busy as Tom Hanks to perform in every single one. That's where Tom Hanks' brother Jim Hanks comes into play.
If you ever played any of the Toy Story video games or had a Woody doll of your own, then you've heard Jim Hanks' voice before. He sounds nearly identical to his brother! Tom Hanks was even asked about it on The Graham Norton Show in an interview where Norton pulls the string of a Woody doll and asks Tom if it's him. Tom smiles and admits, "No, it's my brother, Jim."
12 THEORY: TOY STORY 3 IS ABOUT THE ILLUMINATI
One of the most ludicrous conspiracy theories talked about on forums and subreddits is the idea that Toy Story 3 has symbolism in it attributed to the Illuminati, a conspiracy group that controls the world. Evidence to support this theory is the film's big villain Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear. He was a devious antagonist who ended up changing Buzz Lightyear's settings from "PLAY" to "DEMO." This was taken by some as Lots-O' brainwashing Lightyear to spy for him. It is behavior that attributed to the Illuminati.
The other biggest piece of evidence that people talk about is dialogue spoken by a Ken doll. He says referring to Lots-O', "He's made us into a pyramid and put himself on top." It's an odd piece of dialogue that people think refers to an image associated with the conspiracy group: a pyramid with an eye at its peak.
11 SECRET: SID'S MUTANT TOYS WERE INSPIRED BY REAL TOYS
There's no denying that the Toy Story trilogy has had some seriously dark moments! One of the darkest ones featured Sid's gang of mutant toys emerging from the shadows of Sid's room. They weren't evil though because they helped Woody and Buzz escape from Sid's house near the end of the movie. They were just victims of Sid's frightening imagination, but that didn't mean they weren't scary looking.
The toys were so nightmarish their images were etched into the minds of a generation of children. The scariest part, however, is that the figures were inspired by actual toys. The toys were featured in a collection of oddities at the Unknown Museum in Marin, California. The animators were inspired and made their own mutant toy using a "CHiP's" action figure and a Hulk Hogan toy that inspired the ones featured in the film.
10 THEORY: WOODY HELPED ANDY GET THROUGH HIS DAD'S DEATH
Woody is a very rare and expensive doll from '50s television show, Woody's Roundup. He was stolen in Toy Story 2 for that reason. So, how did a six-year-old boy come into possession of such an old, rare toy? Because Woody wasn't originally Andy's toy! It was his father's and it's the only thing Andy has from him.
In Toy Story 2, we hear Andy's mom tell Al, from Al's Toy Barn, that Woody wasn't for sale because it was a family possession. His father grew up with polio which came back and killed him. Also, there's speculation that the house in Toy Story had pictures of a boy that didn't look like Andy. People believed they were pictures of Andy's father as a boy. It explained Andy's father's absence and why they never talk about him. However, this theory was shut down by Pixar writer Andrew Stanton.
9 SECRET: WOODY USED TO BE A JERK
During early drafts of Toy Story, Woody wasn't exactly the lovable and caring cowboy that Andy owned. He was initially mean in the early development stages of the film. Woody insulted other toys and was basically a "sarcastic jerk." When Disney saw this, it decided to halt production until a new script was written and we got our classic Toy Story.
This was disclosed by Pixar head Ed Catmull during an event where he talked about his book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. When the topic of Woody being really mean in the early drafts of the film came up, Catmull responded with, "Right." He went on to talk about how each film they make is a process. Catmull even states that every film that Pixar makes always starts out really rough. In fact, he says, "they suck."
8 THEORY: SID IS A VICTIM OF A NEGLIGENT FAMILY
There is a theory that Sid, the antagonist of Toy Story, wasn't actually a bad kid at all. He was just a victim of poor circumstance and his creativity manifested itself in the odd, mutant toys he made. A piece of evidence pointing to this is the rocket that's mailed to him at his house. In the '90s, it wasn't as easy as going online and buying something. He must've had one of his parents get it for him and not even care that it was something potentially life-threatening.
Another sign Sid's house was negligent is his father passed out in front of a television with empty "cola" cans strewn throughout the floor. The image is evocative of an alcoholic, which reminds us that Sid's home life wasn't cookie cutter like Andy's. It makes us wonder whether Sid was just seeking attention by behaving poorly.
7 SECRET: ANDY'S FRIENDS SHARE HIS FACE
At the beginning of Toy Story, we are introduced to Andy, who is celebrating his 6th birthday! He's having a party and invited his friends to it. If you look closely, you'll notice that Andy's friends share a striking resemblance to Andy. It's weird when you notice it and it's hard not to pay attention to it once you do. It's the basis of a fan theory that uses it as evidence for Andy actually being a clone. The reason behind it is far less sinister.
In fact, the reason behind Andy and his friends sharing the same face was an economic one. Toy Story was the very first computer-generated animated film, which meant the technology was very new. Pixar didn't want to blow its budget on extra character designs it wouldn't use throughout the film. The move was a gamble and it paid off because ultimately, it didn't matter.
6 THEORY: WOODY WOULD BE LIKE LOTS-O' WITHOUT ANDY
The main antagonist of Toy Story 3 was a pink bear named Lots-O', who handled his leadership at Sunnyside Daycare like a dictator. Lots-O' was accidentally abandoned in his owner's old home and when he finally reached her, he saw that she had a new favorite toy. His heart was shattered, which led him to become the sinister antagonist of the third film.
The theory is that if Woody didn't have Andy, he would have become Lots-O' because they shared similar characteristics. His initial jealousy of Buzz solidified this parallel, but when Woody realized his hate for Buzz was pettiness on his part, he decided to do the right thing. He befriended the toy astronaut instead and shared Andy's affection. Woody made this decision because he didn't lose Andy the way Lots-O' lost his owner.
5 SECRET: WOODY WAS ORIGINALLY A CREEPIER TOY
During the early development of Toy Story, Pixar had a very different vision for Woody. He was originally going to be a ventriloquist's dummy, but when Disney saw that, producers had a few notes about the cowboy toy. This was a good call on the part of Disney because when the concept art for Woody was released, it was unsettling to say the least.
Disney felt that a ventriloquist's dummy inspired a sense of creepiness that is hard to ignore. Producers didn't want children fearing these toys because they wanted the kids who went to see the movie to buy the merchandise. If the toys were inherently scary looking, that would mean their profit margins take a significant hit. Plus, what kid wants to be afraid of their toys? Thankfully, Pixar listened and changed Woody to the pull-string doll we all know and love.
4 THEORY: SID BECAME A GARBAGE MAN TO SAVE TOYS
Sid knows that toys are alive. He knows this because he witnessed them first hand in an attack against him orchestrated by none other than Woody. While this sounds devious on Woody's part, he did it to save Buzz Lightyear from a life at Sid's house. He also did it because he knew that it was the only way to help the mutant toys from being pulled apart and pieced together with parts that weren't their own by Sid.
The theory is Sid's awareness of toys being alive made him a garbage man to save toys in Toy Story 3. He does this to make sure all thrown-out toys don't get sent off to the incinerator at their local dump. He's also good at piecing toys together because he's creative enough to give them alternative parts, as seen in Toy Story.
3 SECRET: LOTS-O' ALMOST REDEEMED HIMSELF AND SAVED THE TOYS
During the end of Toy Story 3, Lots-O' had an opportunity to save the toys from being destroyed in an incinerator at the town dump. He didn't take it. Instead, he chose to let Woody, Buzz, and their pals meet their fiery fate. Thankfully, the Squeeze Toy Aliens saved them right in the nick of time using a claw (referencing their first appearance). When Pixar did test screenings, producers played with the idea of Lots-O' saving the toys in the end.
This happened because test audiences sympathized so much with Lots-O' and his tragic backstory. They were hoping that the purple bear would stop the toys from heading into the incinerator. Instead, Lee Unkrich and the team opted against it because they wanted the audience to believe the toys were almost destroyed. They also wanted Lots-O' to get the dark ending they felt he deserved.
2 THEORY: THE TOYS ARE IMMORTAL
One of the most terrifying theories of the bunch gives more existential dread than actual fear. It's the idea that since the toys aren't organic beings, they are actually immortal. They can't die. They don't decompose the way other living beings do. Unless the toys find themselves in a situation that ends with their destruction, you can count on them to live on through the generations.
This is evident in the ages of some of the toys. Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye have been around since the '50s, but since they're well-kept they seem like toys that just came out of their boxes. They get passed on and watch their owners grow up until they get tired of toys and move on. It means that when we see Rex in Wall-E, he might be totally aware that the world has gone to hell for humans.
1 THEORY: TOY STORY 3 IS A DARK ALLEGORY
This is one of the darkest fan theories, as it's based in one of the worst genocides to occur in human history: the Holocaust. There is some evidence to support the theory as people have pointed out a speech that Woody makes in Toy Story 3 parallels one that was in The Pianist, a movie set during World War II following Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman's survival. Another piece of evidence is Buzz Lightyear's suggestion that they hide in the attic to avoid being donated, which evoked Anne Frank's story.
They also believe the toys being sent to Sunnyside Daycare represented people being sent off to concentration camps during World War II. They're overused and mistreated by the children of Sunnyside while being locked up by Lots-O'. The last piece of evidence toward this theory is that the toys' story nearly ended with them being incinerated at the town dump.