As a huge fan of the Disney-Pixar movies, I’m well versed in the movies and many of the little details. The Super Carlin Brothers, who are YouTube celebrities, regularly publish videos examining the best fan theories about the movies, and through one of their videos I learned about the Pixar Theory, the grandest and most fantastic theory of them all.
According to the Pixar Theory, which originated from a book by Jon Negroni, all sixteen of the Pixar movies are in the same universe. That means that the monsters from Monsters Inc. are in the same world as Marlin and Nemo from Finding Nemo and Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story. Below is the proposed timeline, according to pixartheory.com (doesn’t include The Good Dinosaur or Finding Dory).
Brave– 14th to 15th century
The Incredibles– 1950s to 1960s
Toy Story– 1997-1998
Toy Story 2– 1999
Finding Nemo– 2003
Toy Story 3– 2010
Cars 2- 2100-2200
A Bug’s Life– 2898-3000
Monsters University– 4500-5000
Monsters Inc.– 4500-5000
The theory centers around the battle between humans, animals and machines for control. With the new release of The Good Dinosaur, that movie starts off the timeline. After Brave, Incredibles through Up is around current day, but in the end of Up the dogs are able to talk with the collars. Starting with this, the animals have an uprising and the humans leave earth, which is later revealed in Wall-E. Cars rule the Earth when the humans leave, but after a couple hundred years the pollution fills the Earth. The humans return in Wall-E and grow a tree, and supposedly enough grows back for the vegetation in A Bug’s Life. Monsters Inc. happens over a millennium later as the monsters take control, evolving from animals while humans are gone.
The creator of the Pixar theory has cleverly pieced together the evidence from the smallest of details to make the theory. In one comic book that was produced by Disney, Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc. have an encounter with Sid, the antagonist of Toy Story, and Andy’s door can be found in Monsters University. The tree planted at the end of Wall-E can be found in Bug’s Life and BnL, the corporation that sends humans away in Wall-E, tries in Up to buy away Carl’s house for industrial development, possibly foreshadowing the future contamination.
Where there are holes in the theory, the author uses creative explanations. According to the theory, the Monsters are time traveling through the doors to get energy from the screaming children and when Boo enters their world, she is going into the future. How do the doors work? The wood is magic, a fact that shows up in Monsters, Inc. in the doors, the room of the witch in Brave, and the tree in Bug’s Life.
Monsters Inc. is where I see fatal flaws. I do believe that the movies in present day are in present day, so Incredibles and Toy Story and Ratatouille are in the same world. Where it gets complicated is the far future. Cars wouldn’t be able to rule the world in any realistic rendition of future Earth and all of the contamination seen in the beginning of Wall-E probably wasn’t from the cars but rather humans. The biggest problem I have is with the theory on the monsters- that they cross-breeded animals and humans when humans returned or BnL’s toxins mutated the animals. Think about a Disney film- does either option sound like it would fit into a Disney film?
My Modified Pixar Theory
First, my changes. I don’t think that the monsters were ever on Earth in the first place but rather another planet that closely resembles Earth. The doors were used not only to time travel but additionally to travel over space. This doesn’t change the overarching theory- the Pixar films are still in the same universe if the monsters are on another planet.
Other than the location of the monsters, most of my changes are minor. A Bug’s Life should be moved from post-Wall-E to the turn of the millennium in the 1990s-2000s. The movie looks set in current day and the similarity between the tree in the end of Wall-E and the one in Bug’s Life isn’t reason enough to assume Bug’s Life is far in the future (also, a similar tree is seen in Up and Toy Story 2). Also, I’d set Up in 2011 instead of the range of 2011-16 simply because it fits with the other movies’ dates.
On the way are five more movies, the closest being Finding Dory, which comes out in June. This will fit nicely in the late 2010s, following the suit of most of the other movies. The following year, Cars 3 will be released, though I hope it is cancelled judging from Cars 2. The installment would fit in with the other Cars movies in the 2100s to 2200s. Later that year, Pixar will come out with a totally original film- Coco, which has this description- “Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion.” Again, this will likely be set in present day. In 2018 and 2019, Pixar will hit us with two more sequels, Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2, parts of series that already make up the theory. In total, the upcoming films will fit nicely into the Pixar Theory and keep it intact for at least a couple more years.