There’s a theory that all Pixar films are in the same universe and they’re all somehow connected. Here is evidence to back up the theory:
The theory begins with Brave. This is the only Pixar movie that explains why animals act like humans, such as Nemo from Finding Nemo, Remy from Ratatouille, and Dug from Up. In Brave, there is an odd witch that turns Merida’s mother into a bear. The witch is connected to the will of the wisps, and not only are there animals acting like humans, but there are brooms (inanimate objects) acting like humans, as well. Also, the witch disappears every time she passes through doors. The animals that have been experimented by on by the witch have interbred, which creates a large-scale population of animals that gain personification, again Nemo, Remy, and Dug.
In Ratatouille, Remy is able to cook better than some humans and the antagonist of the movie, Chef Skinner, disappears. At the end of the movie, all that we know happens is that Chef Skinner gets the restaurant closed because of the rats in the kitchen, but he’s an antagonist and he never got any comeuppance. Let’s look another antagonist: Charles Muntz from Up. Charles could have heard about this rumor about rats being able to cook and that inspired him to give collars to dogs that enable them to speak. Also, at the beginning of Up, Carl is forced to give up his house because a corporation called the Buy-n-Large Corporation is expanding the city. This is the same corporation in Wall-E that takes over the planet and nearly wipes out all humans. The corporation, interestingly enough, is also the brand of batteries that power Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 3.
In Finding Nemo, we have several fish trying to save a fish that was captured by humans, which means that humans are antagonizing the very intelligent animals. And, in The Incredibles, the antagonist Buddy (a.k.a. Syndrome) commits genocide on supers. He does this by creating the omnidroid, which is a killbot that got smart enough to wonder why it had to take orders. In fact, the omnidroid even turned against its creator, Syndrome, so machines may have some sort of hatred for humans. The omnidroid is using artificial intelligence, or A.I. In the Toy Story movies, the toys come alive when humans are not watching. Syndrome tells Mr. Incredible that his lasers are powered by Zero Point Energy. This is the electromagnetic energy that exists in a vacuum. It’s the unseen energy we find in wavelengths and is how toys and objects in the Pixar universe draw power.
Also, the toys are beginning to have dissatisfaction. The toys rise up against Sid in Toy Story, Jessie resents her owner for abandoning her in Toy Story 2, and Lotso hates all humans in Toy Story 3. Toys rely on humans for fulfillment and energy and they lose all life when being put in storage. The animals decide to rise up against humans and the only thing that can save humans are machines. After the omnidroid fails to defeat the Incredibles, the machines use BNL to dominate the world. After the war, there are almost no more animals left on Earth. What’s left are cars.
Earth becomes an unfit place for humans and they are sent away on an Axiom. On the Axiom, humans are dependent on the machines, the same way toys were dependent on humans. Cars 2 has Japan and Europe, meaning that it takes place on Earth as we know it. In Wall-E, BNL was going to bring back humans when Earth was clean enough. However, they failed. The machines eventually die out. Also in Cars 2, there is an energy crisis. A corporation called Allinol was using green energy, which had been used to wipe out cars on Earth. Also, on a side note, “all in all” and “by and large” mean the same thing.
Wall-E begins 800 years after the humans have left Earth on the Axiom. His fascination with human culture and friendship with a cockroach is what allowed him to keep finding fulfillment and the ability to maintain his personality. During the end credits of the movie, the shoe that has the last of plant life grows into a tree, which we see in A Bug’s Life. There are still humans during the time of A Bug’s Life, but there aren’t a lot left. The bugs have cities, bars, ads, machines, and more.
A Pixar movie was originally going to be released in 2012, called Newt. It is about an endangered species of newt, which works into the theory well. However, Pixar cancelled the movie and replaced it with Brave. Monsters eventually mutate and they reset the calendar. Monsters University was founded in 1313, so the film, Monsters University takes place approximately 1400 years after A Bug’s Life. Humans have gone extinct, so the monsters are having an energy crisis. When the monsters travel through doors, they’re going back in time.
Also, at the end of Monsters, Inc., Randall is thrown into a trailer. The trailer is the exact same one seen in A Bug’s Life, but when the trailer is seen in A Bug’s Life, the trailer is older and more decrepit, because Randall is going back in time, before the humans left Earth on the Axiom. There are many more trees and vegetation when we see the trailer in Monsters, Inc., as well. Thus, Monsters, Inc. takes place furthest in the future. Boo and Sulley are separated at the end of the movie, and Boo wanted to find Sulley. So she goes back in time and finds magic.
Boo is the witch in Brave and she had gone back to find Sulley. In Brave, we see a carving of Sulley in her cottage and she has a wood carving of the Pizza Planet truck, which she couldn’t have known about unless she came from the future. The witch is obsessed with wood, which is what the doors in Monsters, Inc. are made of. She disappeared through doors, and at the end of Monsters, Inc. Sulley leaves through Boo’s closet door and when Boo tries to open it again, she just finds her closet instead of Monstropolis. The witch’s door was made the same way the doors were made in Monsters, Inc . She might have turned Merida’s mother into a bear, because she’s trying to bring Sulley back and Sulley resembles a bear.
The theory came out in 2013, shortly after the release of Monsters University, so here is how the Pixar films succeeding Monsters University fit into the theory:
Inside Out (2015):
Let’s take a look at when this movie takes place:
At one point, when we see Riley as a toddler, she’s wearing the same thing in her hair as Boo in Monsters, Inc. This may imply that this takes place around the same time as Boo and Sulley’s adventure in Monsters, Inc., because of the same fashion style. Shortly after, monsters go from making kids scream to making kids laugh. Riley also appears to be around the same age as Boo. Later in the movie, when Joy and Sadness are in long term memory, they find a character named Bing Bong. Bing Bong is part cat, part elephant, and part dolphin. He resembles different animals. Bing Bong is also made of cotton candy and he cries candy instead of tears.
This proves that Bing Bong may be a monster sent to Riley around the same age as Boo. He was sent to make her laugh, and Bing Bong went to her long-term memory. He resembles animals, the way Sulley resembles a bear and Randall resembles a newt. It’s also pretty easy to imagine Bing Bong as a monster going through a door on the Laugh Floor.
There are also some easter eggs that fit into the Pixar Theory. For example, the Chinese food boxes Riley’s family are eating out of appeared in Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 3. There’s also a Pixar short called For The Birds, and we see those birds during the movie. This is my favorite easter egg: during the movie, we see a cool girl and if you look at her shirt, she’s wearing a shirt that has the same design as the one Sid wore in Toy Story and Toy Story 3. That cool girl could be Sid’s younger sister, Hannah.
The Good Dinosaur (2015):
In chronological order, the films would be:
- The Good Dinosaur (2015)
- Brave (2012)
- The Incredibles (2004)
- Toy Story (1995)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- Ratatouille (2007)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Up (2009)
- Inside Out (2015)
- Cars (2006)
- Cars 2 (2011)
- Wall-E (2008)
- A Bug's Life (1998)
- Monsters University (2013)
- Monsters, Inc. (2001)
This theory was developed by Jon Negroni. You can see his blog here.
It is plausible, but has been said to be not true. At the D23 EXPO 2015, during the "Pixar Secrets Revealed" panel, director Mark Andrews reiterated previous denial of the theory, saying: "It's not true—come on!" At the same panel, co-director Ronnie del Carmen said: "Do you know what kinds of meetings we'd have to have to make sure all our movies line up?!"