Fan theories are basically terrible. I know, that’s a harsh generalization, and I’m sure there are some exceptions. But for the most part, from my experience, fan theories tend to be overly thought out nonsense. One such fan theory that has gained way too much attention and given way too much undeserved praise is “The Pixar Theory.” The Pixar Theory is a fan theory that suggest, beyond all logic, that every Pixar movie takes place in the same fictional world, but in differing timeframes.
The starting point of this so-called theory is that the Witch from Brave is actually Boo, the little girl from Monsters, Inc. Why is this baseless assumption the starting point of the Pixar Theory? Because a magic user is a convenient way to connect entirely unrelated movies through time travel! Oh wait, the Witch has a woodcarving of Sully from Monsters, Inc. on one of her shelves (as well as the Pizza Planet truck). So clearly this means that the Witch and Boo are the same character, and she has the woodcarving of Sully as a reminder of their adventures together. Clearly the woodcarving wasn’t just a reference to Monsters University (Pixar’s theatrical release after Brave), because cameos can’t just be cameos.
But wait, why would the Witch be old in the past but young during the events of Monsters, Inc., which is clearly set in a more contemporary world? Well, because The Pixar Theory has no consistency in anything resembling logic, the idea is that the doors in Monsters, Inc. that are gateways between the human and monster worlds are also portals through time (with the monster world being the most distant future in this supposed Pixar timeline). So Boo-Witch is using the doors to try to find her friend Sully, searching through time and space in what is a shoehorned attempt at trying to give this theory a heart.
So Boo-Witch eventually ended up in the world of Brave through one of these doors, where she was able to learn magic in a further attempt to find Sully (maybe she should find some human friends, eh?). And through her woodcarvings, she embeds her magic into the wood they’re carved in, which is somehow supposed to explain how, eventually, the inanimate objects of other Pixar films came to life (because Buzz Lightyear and Lightning McQueen are totally made out of wood).
Boo and the Witch from Brave, clearly the same character, are the foundation (I use that word very lightly) of The Pixar Theory, which then suggests that her influence spawned the rest of the *groan* “Pixar Cinematic Universe.” As if using a weaker Pixar movie like Brave as the basis for this atrocity wasn’t bad enough, it even takes some turns for the grim.
Apparently, Wall-E saving mankind at the end of his self-titled film didn’t end up so well, and humans eventually died off, leaving cars to evolve into the planet’s dominate species. Thus we have the Cars movies, which obviously weren’t just intended as fun movies for kids about talking cars. Clearly human extinction was in the minds of the Pixar filmmakers when creating Mater!
After the cars all died out, the world became the monster world of the Monsters, Inc. films. First off, why is this theory built so strongly around the weaker Pixar movies (Wall-E aside)? And second, humans to cars to monsters? Makes about as much sense as anything else in this gobbledygook, I suppose.
Movies like Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and other such contemporary movies all supposedly take place in roughly the same time period, this being the only piece of this crackpot theory that makes any kind of sense whatsoever. They are all connected, clearly, by things like the Pizza Planet truck and… other passing Easter Eggs…I guess.
When exactly did we get to the point that movies can’t just have these fun little details like cameos and references to a studio or filmmaker’s other works? At what point did these things become literal in people’s eyes? The Pizza Planet truck is a running gag. That’s it. It’s there for people to point out and say “Oh look, it’s the Pizza Planet truck.” Nothing more.
The Pixar Theory is so full of holes, logic gaps, and baseless assumptions that the theory’s original author felt the need to justify his stance with paragraph after paragraph of excuses in between just about every thought (maybe he should just admit defeat?). The excuses aren’t any more grounded than the theory itself.
I apologize that much of this writing just sounds like an angry rant. But frankly, I’m tired and somewhat disheartened that people can’t just enjoy movies anymore. They always have to come up with these needless fan theories and such. The “shared universe” concept is one that is especially annoying (Thanks a lot, comic books! Now no one can appreciate singular works anymore!). Why people are so obsessed with every work by an artist or studio all being connected is beyond me.
The Pixar Theory is one of the most eye-rolling fan theories in all of animation. It’s up there with the idea that Frozen, The Little Mermaid and Tangled are all part of the same fictional world (because Rapunzel has a cameo in Frozen, and Frozen and Little Mermaid both of sunken ships in them, so obviously…). The Pixar Theory is up there with the idea that Totoro is the God of Death… Actually, The Pixar Theory isn’t quite that bad, since that fan theory suggests a film Hayao Miyazaki created for the sake of happiness is actually grim. Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki have even openly dismissed that theory (Miyazaki in particular gets really P.O’d about it), but fans continue to cling onto it. Because apparently they know more about a movie than the man who created it.
Anyway, getting a little sidetracked. The point is, The Pixar Theory, like most fan theories, is utter nonsense. But The Pixar Theory is especially criminal due to the baffling intrigue it’s created, and the fact that many people actually give it credibility. I’m not even sure it should be called a theory, it’s more like fan fiction! And even by the standards of fan fiction, the Pixar Theory is poorly conceived.
No. The Pixar movies aren’t all connected. Cameos are just cameos. References are just references. And Boo is most certainly not the Witch from Brave.
These conspiracy theory-like fan theories are only robbing movies (animated ones in particular, it would seem) of their purity. I’m sure there are perfectly fine fan theories that actually respect their subject in question out there somewhere, buried deep under all the “shared universe” nonsense and other such crap. But can we please stop giving these fan theories more attention than the movies themselves. People seem to care more about the “what ifs” and “but hows” conjured up by some random internet nerds than they do about these wonderful, cinematic works of art.
If you see a character or object from a previous Pixar movie appear in another, or get a glimpse of a future Pixar film in one you’re watching right now, it’s not part of some planned-out scheme. It’s just there to add just a tiny bit more fun for audiences to look out for, and a fun way for the filmmakers to pay tribute to their impressive library of works. That’s all.