You probably never thought twice about Andy’s mom from Toy Story except to note that she was much better animated in the last film than the first.
But Jon Negroni has thought long and hard about Andy’s mom. He has developed an in-depth theory about her true identity.
Are you ready to have your mind blown?
Negroni theorizes that Andy’s mom, who would have been a child in the ’70s, is the original owner of Jessie, Woody’s cowboy sister who we meet with Stinky Pete in Toy Story 2. Jessie reminisces about a girl named Emily who loved and played with her.
Andy’s mom is Emily.
Negroni bases this on the fact that Emily wore a red cowboy hat with white laces. Andy wears that same hat when he’s 6 years old, except the hat band is faded or missing on his hat. Negroni theorizes that Andy’s mom gave this hat to Andy. It’s not a Woody hat. Woody’s hat is brown and doesn’t have white laces. Andy’s mom gave him the hat that she wore as a kid.
It makes perfect sense! And it fits neatly into Negroni’s all-inclusive Pixar theory of the universe.
I love this theory. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m Andy’s mom from Toy Story.
My son was 3 years old when Toy Story came out. It was one of his first obsessions and one of the first movies I saw as a parent with a young child. We collected the toys from McDonald’s and made a homemade Buzz Lightyear costume.
As Andy grew up, so did my son. Three years ago I watched Toy Story 3 sitting next to my teenage son. Seeing Andy all grown up and leaving for college hit a little too close to home. My own son will leave home in just a few short years. I know now that those years go by quickly.
The Toy Story franchise spanned the first decade of my firstborn’s life. It’s pretty special. Negroni’s theory brings to the foreground the circular nature of parenting. Emily got older and grew out of her toys. Her son Andy got older and grew out of his toys. I saw Toy Story as an adult — I had outgrown cartoons. It was the first animated movie I loved not as a kid but as the parent of a little boy who loved it. The Toy Story trilogy is fun and clever and it captures the bittersweet nature of growing up. The Emily Theory makes it even better.