Yeah, you read that right. There's a theory out there that all Pixar films exist in the same universe.
After watching a cool little video on Cracked.com, reviewer and conspirer Jon Negroni developed the concept into a full (and surprisingly logical) theory. The movies are connected through small details and easter eggs that Disney/Pixar has planted in them. Up until now they've appeared useless, but they actually provide the evidence for this mind-boggling inference.
It sounds ridiculous. How can 14, animated, fictitious films be linked?! Let me show you. Trust me, it'll blow your mind.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Pixar Theory.
It all starts with Brave, taking place during the 14th or 15th century. In the movie, Princess Merida finds the will-of-the-wisps, a form of magic said to lead a person to their fate.
The wisps lead Merida to a witch, whose magic allows her to turn Merida's mother (and brothers) into a bear before vanishing through wooden doors.
The wisps are magic, there's no doubt about it. The power of the wisps evolves over time, leading to the age of superheroes in the 1950s-60s (Woah! That's a huge leap, but stay with me here!) .
In The Incredibles, the superheroes' purpose was to keep order in society. Full of jealousy, Buddy/Syndrome creates two things:
- Artificial Intelligence robots, such as the Omnidroid
- Zero-Point Energy, electromagnetic energy that exists in a vacuum
These two modern marvels initiate the power transfer from humans/supers to machines. The Omnidroid, learns from its experiences around Mr. Incredible to become stronger. It also only targets its only threat-- supers.
But more on that later. Let's have a closer look at that Zero Point Energy.
This energy still existed, even without Syndrome overusing the crap out of it. It travels in wavelengths invisibly. Can you guess who absorbed the power Syndrome harnessed with this energy?
Yep. These guys.
From 1997-1998, Toy Story (and by extension, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3) exhibits life in children's toys, sentient objects. The toys develop a code of rules to live by in order to avoid being discovered by humans ("Andy's coming! Places everyone!"). At the same time, they learn to thrive on human love and affection. It becomes an alternate energy source for the toys, instead of the Zero Point Energy.
In Toy Story 2, the toys learn how dependent they are on human love and the dangers of isolation from humans.
Inanimate objects begin to question their purpose in life. For example, Woody has to decide whether he is meant to stay with Andy instead of following Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete to the toy museum in Japan, where he will be appreciated for his television appearance behind a glass case.
For Jessie, this questioning developed into resentment. Due to her abandonment, Jessie seems to despise her owner Emily and is extremely reluctant when Woody suggests she live with Andy.
This resentment was not only experienced by toys, but also by animals.
In Finding Nemo, we discover how incredibly advanced fish are in 2003. They have schools (not just schools of fish, either!), and even a freeway system!
The fish have a resentment towards humans due to the polluting of earth and animal experiments that humans are conducting, which are both hinted at during the film. The reason Dory is so forgetful is because she was experimented on!
As their hatred grows, they also seem to develop more human-like characteristics. Other animals experience this as well.
By 2007, animals display major physical and mental human characteristcs. In Ratatouille, Remy is a rat who has a passionate love for cooking. That's not all though. Take note that Remy also washes his hands, reads, stands on his hind legs, and is able to communicate with the awkward human Linguini without speaking to him.
While Remy is embracing his similarities, his rat clan does not approve. They frown upon humans, feeling hatred and fear towards them.
Also take note that this movie shows that animals are learning to control humans-- and eventually take over.
Now back to the objects!
In Toy Story 3, we see an amplified version of what was displayed in Toy Story 2. Many of the toys at Sunnyside have been abused and hurt by humans at one point or another. The most obvious example of this is Lotso.
Lotso despises humans because all they seem to do are toss toys aside as if they're worthless. As a result, he begins trying to govern his own kind himself, bringing objects/machines closer to a revolution against humans.
Remember Carl and Ellie? Everyone's OTP, the cutest couple ever? They're basically the weathermen of the Pixar Theory. They saw the signs of a revolution before it happened. To help keep their friend Andy (yes, Andy) safe, they sent him a postcard, warning him of what was ahead and telling him of their plan to live in isolation.
Yes, Carl and Ellie were planning to move to Paradise Falls because of the dark future they predicted. It's always the sweet innocent ones.
However, Carl and Ellie don't get the future they planned (oops, spoiler!). In Up, taking place anywhere from 2011 to 2016, Carl is forced to give his house to a corporation called BNL, who is expanding the city where Carl resided. This is yet another hint at the machine overtake and pollution of earth. Hold your horses though, we're not there yet.
On his trip to Paradise Falls, Carl discovers that animals can communicate with humans. Before, Remy could never speak with Linguini, but here Charles Muntz has trained an army of dogs, all equipped with talking collars.
This initiates the actual revolution.
You'll be pleased to hear that a wild pack of dogs didn't wipe out humanity. The machines decided to swoop in and save the day, resulting in a human victory and ending our conflict with animals.
But because the machines decided to lend a hand, that plate was tipped. Earth becomes extremely polluted and is deemed unsafe for human life by BNL, the corporation from both Up and Wall-E.
In Cars, we see a human-free planet, completely run by machines, which is estimated to take place somewhere between 2100 and 2200. Machines remain on earth, running the world similarly to how humans were earlier (remember that they, like animals, adopted some human characteristics).
Okay, but how do we know that Cars really takes place on earth? Easy. Just look to its sequel.
In Cars 2, it is clear that machines are running our--or what once was our--planet. Lightning and his crew travel to Europe and Japan, but there is no sign of human life anywhere.
Anyway, the only power source for the cars is oil, which results in an energy crisis in Cars 2. The Allinol company was using green energy as a catalyst for a fuel war, attempting to turn cars away from alternative energy sources. it was a scam and set up to eliminate these sources, run by BNL. BNL used the term "decommission" to cover up the genocide of cars in an attempt to reduce the usage of oil on earth.
Eventually, the entire earth would be polluted.
In Wall-E, Wall-E is the only machine left on earth after it ran out of resources, meaning that the race of cars (pun intended) all "died" out, figuratively speaking.
At this point in time, approximately 2800-2900, the world has been unfit for life for hundreds of years because of BNL, who began to take over the world (including the economy, governments, etc.) in the 1950s, with The Incredibles and the Omnidroid.
Humans left the earth centuries earlier, just before the Cars era. After the demise of the cars, Wall-E survived with his obsession of human culture and his cockroach companion. Even hundreds of years after our last trace on earth, Wall-E still displays adopted human characteristics.
With all of humankind depending on him to clean up earth, Wall-E develops a sense of purpose. This gets kind of religious, actually. Wall-E is, in a way, Adam. He and his partner, not-so-coincidentally-named Eve, are on earth to save the human race and start a new beginning on Earth.
It's all cheesy and happy and wonderful, but that's not the end of our story.
Remember that plant that caused the whole ruckus in Wall-E, which was planted in the ground at the end of the movie? Fast forward a few hundred years, and that plant is the tree from A Bug's Life.
Before Wall-E, insects could only last 3 months on earth. With the help of the tree (and a few genes from Wall-E's cockroach friend), they last all summer.
In the film, the ants allude to the fact that they've been around for quite some time (One ant "feels 90 again"). This shows that the ants have evolved and mutated to have sturdier genes.
The ants also allude to another, big, frightening animal when one tells Flik not to leave the island because of "snakes, birds, and bigger bugs out there." Notice that they don't specifically describe humans. Humans at this point are very few in number, and so aren't really a danger to insects (except for that one kid that plucked the wings off the homeless bug. Poor guy.).
Insects are mutating and evolving, developing more and more into a dominant species. With a little help from some leftover BNL radiation, they create a whole new species--monsters.
The monsters also kinda sorta wipe out what few humans remain on earth. Sorry guys. We weren't doing so well after our return to earth anyway.
But wait, wasn't Monsters University founded in 1313?! It was on a plaque or something, right?
Right. But the monsters are so advanced (and still surprisingly human-like) that they started over with their own calendar, meaning that Monsters University almost 5000 years after A Bug's Life!
Monsters feared being erased from existence and altering history through time travel (yes, that's a thing), so at the University, they taught that humans were toxic and existed in an alternate dimension.
The monsters figured out that human extinction was a mistake a little too late. We are their source of energy and are needed to sustain life, so they harnessed that time travel mentioned earlier (shout out to the machines for helping out without polluting the entire planet) to access the time period when humans thrived, which would be anywhere from 2000-now. Thus creating Monsters, Inc.
Now our story would be finished here, if it weren't for Boo.
After the tear-jerking ending of Monsters, Inc. (c'mon, you know you cried!) Boo became obsessed with trying to find where "Kitty" went.
She took note that Sulley always seemed to appear and disappear through wooden doors. Later in life, she studied magic and eventually figured out how to time travel as the monsters did. She travels back to the 14th or 15th century and uses the will-of-the-wisps' magic to try to find Sulley using wood.
She leaves behind two wood carvings proving her presence in that time period. One resembles Sulley, the other a pizza truck, the two things she loved most in life.
Yes. YES. YES! It's all starting to make sense, isn't it? Boo is the witch from Brave!
She has multiple bear carvings, and transforms Queen Elinor into a bear specifically because a bear was the animal Sulley most closely resembled.
While Boo can time travel, she can't seem to control what time period she visits, which is why she has so much trouble finding Sulley. She must be the one planting all these easter eggs throughout the Pixar films, since she accidentally visits different time periods when different Pixar movies took place.
Boo also realizes that the source of power through the entire chronology was trees.
- They contain the power to time travel (Brave, Monsters University, Monsters, Inc. )
- A tree was the source of Flik's ingenuity (A Bug's Life)
- That same tree resembles the tree which Carl and Ellie sat under during picnics. It was the source of Carl's idea to use balloons to transport his house (Up)
Okay, okay. But where's the proof?
It's all in the easter eggs. As you watch the various Pixar films, keep a sharp eye out for elements, objects, and even animals from other movies. For example, Lotso makes an appearance in Up, and a few familiar insects show up in Toy Story 2. Happy hunting!
So there you have it. The Pixar Theory.
For some more details, check out John Negroni's video analysis!