Why “The Pixar Theory” is Really, Really Stupid

Pixar

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.

Monsters Inc.

“I’m gonna grow up and be in an inferior Pixar movie.”

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).

Brave

“Clearly the same person as Boo. Because convenience.”

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!

Cars

“Ta me, yer the good dinasaur!”

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.

"Evidently I'm made out of magic wood because a witch used to be friends with a fuzzy, blue monster."

“Evidently I’m made out of magic wood because a witch used to be friends with a fuzzy, blue monster.”

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.

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9 thoughts on “Why “The Pixar Theory” is Really, Really Stupid

  1. Red Metal

    The shared universe theory is an interesting one, but it does not work for every creator. It certainly doesn’t in Pixar’s canon; there are too many contradictory elements which ensure that there will be at least one sizable hole in one’s logic no matter what their angle is.

    It’s not always a bad theory though; I heard that Quentin Tarantino’s movies all take place in the same universe, for instance. The theory is usually more plausible when the creator has the idea early on and creates a timeline where that could actually work. In Pixar movies, the “hints” are nothing more than cameos, making those fans look foolish.

    The sad thing is that this isn’t even the dumbest fan theory I’ve heard. It’s only really dumb in the sense that it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. There are some fan theories out there that actually make me question the sanity of the people who perpetuate it (or the entire fandom in extreme cases). It seems like the more lighthearted a work is, the dumber the fan theories surrounding it end up being.

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Oh yes, it’s possible for the shared universe concept to work in some cases, but people seem strangely fixated on finding ways for it to work with EVERYTHING. As The Pixar Theory proves, it just doesn’t mesh with a lot of things. Not at all.

      The Pixar Theory isn’t the worst fan theory I’ve seen either, but it does seem to get the most undeserved credit (you’ll see many people trying to figure out where every new Pixar movie fits into it, or refer to it as “mind-blowing” or “amazing” which kind of makes me feel queazy).

      The Totoro one I mentioned is worse, since it goes against everything its creator has said about his creation. Poor Miyazaki can’t catch a break, as there’s also that ghastly fan theory that Spirited Away, his most famous work and my favorite movie, is an allegory for prostitution in Japan. This one is especially terrible since somehow a rumor started that Miyazaki himself confirmed this (they never cite any sources, naturally). In reality, he confirmed the opposite. But it’s like it doesn’t matter what artists say, people give more credence to their ridiculous fan theories.

      People seem to talk more about these bogus theories than they talk about the movies themselves. It does cinema a great disservice.

      Methinks these people should maybe just write their own stories instead of convoluting established works.

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  2. Red Metal

    Sounds like the Pixar Theory is another one of those cases of something catching on not because it’s smart, but because it’s the right kind of dumb.

    The theories surrounding Totoro and Spirited Away sound like a bunch of delusional people imposing their own beliefs onto the works they (ostensibly) hold dear. It doesn’t matter how round the space is; they’ll jam that square peg in as though their life depends on it. They likely do so because while they want to show off their beliefs, their want to take the path of least resistance even when it’s not beneficial overrides everything else. Their reasons for liking these works are rather egocentric, aren’t they? When fans start outright ignoring the creator is usually the moment you know the fandom has reached critical mass in insanity.

    The truly crazy thing is that they showcase their theories, yet they invariably become psychotically hostile whenever someone has a dissenting opinion. In other words, it doesn’t go both ways with them. It doesn’t even have to be the outsider expressing dislike for the work in question – simply not agreeing with the prevalent fan mentality is enough to set them off. It doesn’t matter if that person likes the work, if that person doesn’t like it the “right” way, that person will get chewed out. All things considered, it’s quite hypocritical.

    This is why I generally stay away from internet fandoms. They often breed very toxic communities where the people who don’t buy into these theories are considered the freaks. I know it’s an unfair generalization, but the main problem is that a lot of the big names in these communities don’t make it clear to outsiders that the freakish behavior is unacceptable. Instead, their main strategy is to turn a blind eye to the problems within the fandom and hope nobody notices, which would only work if the internet didn’t exist, so…

    Whoops, I went off on a tangent, didn’t I? My apologies.

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  3. Vuk Tempest

    As far as I see it, the Pixar Theory appears to be the basis of a new religion based on this theory and “love” inspired by Boo Dooming the universe. It’s ridiculous, really. It stank when I heard the dude narrate the theory, at the end of the video where He spoke in a calm, passionate manner, saying the word “Love” when mentioning Boo and why She “Travelled back in time”. Just prepare for the cult to appear soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. nerdwithapen

    I thank you, for clearing my vision of this lie. I was blind, but now I see. Honestly, I should have seen this before. Yeah, let’s just go and say that cars evolved from the remains of humans! Sure! Oh, plus, they’re also the descendants of MONSTERS! It’s all coming together! Seriously though, where did the time travel idea even come from? Beyond ‘Meet The Robinsons’ (I’m not sure if that’s normal Disney or Pixar) time travel hasn’t been in a single Pixar film! That is one of the biggest plot holes in my mind. Time travel hasn’t been canon in a single Pixar film, so how could it be canon in the Pixar Theory?! I’ve known that easter eggs are just that, easter eggs. Yet all the hype over this theory sweeps anyone up!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. nerdwithapen

      Also, uh, I do some of my own reviews on the writing of books, movies amd TV shows on my own blog. I just started, but could I have the opinion of an official reviewer on the quality of my reviews?

      Liked by 1 person

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