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5 Reasons Why It’s Plausible (& 5 Why It’s Way Too Ridiculous)


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How does a shared Pixar universe still make sense, and what are some of its potential flaws? Perhaps the theory is still unfolding.

Pixar’s Shared Universe, also known as the Pixar Cinematic Universe, refers to an elaborate document known as The Pixar Theory in which Pixar’s feature films are connected on a timeline. Penned by Jon Negroni, The Pixar Theory first surfaced in 2013 and has since developed into a huge fan phenomenon.

RELATED: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Cancelled Finding Nemo 2

While Negroni turned his theory into a book, Disney/Pixar decided it was worth their attention and funneled it into their own media. How does a shared Pixar universe still make sense, and what are some of its potential flaws?

10 Too Ridiculous: Creator Says Not To Take It Too Seriously

Remy stealing a piece of cheese from the kitchen in Ratatouille

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One big reason that The Pixar Theory doesn’t hold up is that the creator, Jon Negroni, says fans shouldn’t “take any of it too seriously.” Negroni developed the theory as a fun and imaginative way to connect all the Pixar films he loves. Perhaps that’s all there is too it, and fans shouldn’t hold fast to the theory as canon.

9 Plausible: Existence Of Easter Eggs

Up Toy Story 3 tease

It doesn’t take too much Pixar prowess to know about the films’ Easter eggs. A couple of the obvious ones are Boo holding a stuffed Nemo toy in Monsters Inc. (2001) or Lotso from Toy Story 3 (2010) in the corner of a scene in Up (2009). Only eagle-eyed fans can catch some of the other hints, but they’re there in plain sight. These objects alone show signs that Pixar’s creators intended for the movies to connect in some way.

8 Too Ridiculous: Easter Eggs Are (Mostly) Chronological, But Theory Isn’t

The Easter eggs in Pixar’s movies are basically chronological so that one object gives a hint about the next movie, in release order, although a few of them work in reverse. The Pixar Theory doesn’t follow the order of the movies because it begins with Brave (2012), a feature that premiered long after Pixar began installing Easter eggs.

RELATED: Toy Story: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head

Rather than base the timing of the theory on Pixar’s linear release schedule, the order is planned to include historical and futuristic worlds within the movies.

7 Plausible: Only Magic Could Begin Pixar’s World

Upon further analysis, beginning with Brave (after The Good Dinosaur) gives the Pixar Cinematic Universe some credibility. To build an order of operations somewhat outside of Pixar’s release history is a tall order. Even so, it makes sense to begin with a film that is set in the 14th or 15th century. As Disney/Pixar spins it, the theory posits that “magic is why animals and inanimate objects (brooms & tools) behave like humans.” Only magic could set a Pixar universe in motion, and it is helpful to hear that magic is the reason why inanimate objects are freely personified.

6 Too Ridiculous: Gigantic Time Jump

What happens right after the magic? The answer is largely unclear. Disney/Pixar heavily simplifies Jon Negroni’s work on their The Pixar Theory website. Still, the original source material and the “Disneyfied” versions both produce a large time jump from Brave to the twentieth century. As Negroni artfully bypasses several centuries, it is strange to think that magic and personification and superheroes develop without event until the 1950s with The Incredibles.

5 Plausible: The Buy N Large Takeover

The idea that artificial intelligence can evolve over time and take a turn for the worst is reasonable. After the superheroes magically appear, they become unnecessary when creatures develop better technology to power their lives. From the emotional fuel of Monsters Inc. to the greater independence of non-human characters overall, the rise of technology seems too good to be true. Buy n Large, Pixar’s central corporation throughout WALL-E and many other films, becomes such a technological force that it wipes out humanity for hundreds of years. This sounds too close to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for a children’s franchise, but it is intriguing.

4 Too Ridiculous: What To Do With New Movies?

Pixar Onward and Soul

What happens to the theory when new Pixar movies come out? It ought to expand, and it has, in some respects. Though Pixar’s website doesn’t reflect it, Jon Negroni’s work now includes the 2015 movie The Good Dinosaur and other semi-recent projects like Coco and Inside Out. Naturally, the prehistoric days are tacked onto the beginning of the entire timeline. Other fans can unofficially theorize about other movies in the shared universe as much as they want, but it’s hard to say whether or not the theory will be able to sustain every new Pixar film for the rest of time.

3 Plausible: Disney/Pixar Actually Acknowledges The Theory

It’s not every day that Disney latches onto a fan theory. They credit the original source and then take the ideas and rework them into their own timeline. The fact that Disney/Pixar found the theory interesting enough to canonize it says a lot. This could be a marketing ploy, and it doesn’t coincide perfectly with the creators’ Easter eggs, but the official stamp is worth something.

2 Too Ridiculous: Pixar’s Film Library Wasn’t Created By One Mastermind

Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo

The biggest conundrum in a narratively cohesive Pixar Cinematic Universe is that multiple writers, directors, producers, and animators worked on the movies. Cinematic universes have maintained popular in Marvel/DC fandom, but the notion of an interconnected web of stories feels more disparate in the realm of Pixar.

RELATED: 10 Pixar Origin Stories That Would Make Great Movies

Aside from sequels, many of the movies are insular and exist in specific worlds that don’t necessarily resemble those of their Pixar cousins.

1 Plausible: Boo Could Be The Witch

Disney Theory Monsters Inc Boos is Brave Witch

It’s almost impossible to buy into the shared universe theory without believing that Boo from Monsters Inc. is the witch from Brave. Before The Good Dinosaur took its spot as an addendum, Brave started everything. Boo was eventually drawn to the doors that symbolized her childhood with Sulley in Monsters Inc. Becoming a witch is Boo’s way of looking for Sulley. She even draws the furry monster and keeps his image in her workshop. Skeptical fans like to poke holes in this clinching point of the theory, but it is fascinating. A small child uses her memories to portal her way through time. If only this could be proven definitively.

NEXT: Pixar Popcorn: 10 Characters That Deserve A Spot In The Upcoming Mini-Series

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Updated: December 29, 2020 — 9:30 pm

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