As revealed in the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 2, Andy's favorite toy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) is a decades-old toy that was (assumed to be) owned by several children prior to Andy. This lead many fans to wonder why exactly Woody has no memory, and makes no mention, of the other children he belonged to. Well, there's an answer for this, and let us clarify -- this is not a theory, this is real.
The answer comes from Joe Ranft, a late Pixar writer -- an integral part of Pixar's formative years -- who shared the following information with a friend named Mike Mozart. Mozart recently opened up about this conundrum with the YouTube channel SuperCarlinBrothers, and disclosed a very heartbreaking, and dark reason for Woody's amnesia.
It turns out the name "Andy" written underneath Woody's foot actually refers to Andy Sr., the father of the child Andy from the first three Toy Story films. It's revealed that Andy Sr., who doesn't appear in any of the films, contracted polio as a child, so all his belongings were burned for safety. However, he managed to save three toys, locking them away in a trunk: Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog. Andy Sr. lived to be an adult, marrying Molly and fathering their son Andy Jr.
As polio can be known to do, it struck again later in Andy Sr.'s life, forcing Andy and his family to move back to his parents' house, where he eventually passed away. Before he died, however, he managed to introduce his son to the trunk that contained his old toys. Sometime after the funeral, Andy Jr. opened up the trunk, finding Woody, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky.
Well, when Andy Jr. opened the trunk, the toys didn't actually realize this was a different Andy. They assumed Andy Jr. was the same boy that was forced to lock them away decades prior.
Confirming Mozart's account, the intro to the first Toy Story indicates Andy Jr. looks a lot like Andy Sr. did as a kid, as evident in pictures hanging on the wall that show a similar-looking child, wearing glasses. The film takes place shortly after the death of Andy Sr.
Pretty crazy, right? There are a lot of questions this raises, but it certainly confirms one thing: Woody does not have amnesia.
(via LRM Online)