Would you believe me if I told you all the films Pixar have produced are part of the same universe?
Well it turns out this idea may not be too hard to believe. For those who have not yet heard of the fascinating ‘Pixar Theory’, I’m going to delve right into the timeline that links all of the Pixar releases together. So sit back and prepare yourself for the journey we are all about to embark on…
First and foremost, the timeline begins with The Good Dinosaur, which is set 65 million years ago, and which tells the story of how asteroids meant to hit the earth missed, thus leaving dinosaurs and humans free to roam around together. After the dinosaurs finally become extinct, we are introduced to Brave- a film which provides insight into the world of magic via a witch who turns Brave’s mother into a bear. The result of the magic used by the witch on inanimate objects eventually causes a syndrome which results in humans having superpowers. This is shown in both the Incredibles films, which are alternative depictions of the 1950s and 1960s time periods. The energy used from the superpowers eventually spread in the form of wavelengths which are then absorbed by inanimate objects which then become alive. This is where Toy story comes in to play. Toy Story is set in 1995-96. In 2003 we are then introduced to Finding Nemo and Dory, two fish who are very intelligent beings which is expressed through them going to school, getting jobs etc. Their smartness is derived from the wavelengths transmitted and absorbed in and from the sea. The fish resent humans due to their pollution of the sea, and the cruel experiments they perform on the them. Resentment is a huge thing when we look at the future of the Pixar Universe.
The last films on the timeline are Monsters Inc and Monsters University, which are based around the years 3100-5201. These films represent the future and show the mutation of animals who lived on the earth. As we learn from previous Pixar films such as WALLE and A Bugs Life, pollution has forced humans to leave the earth and the only thing that remains are machines. However, at the end of the film we see the first signs of life in the form of a tree. Next is A Bugs Life in which we see that small signs of life blossomed from the aforementioned tree, such as ants who are well adapted and smart creatures. From the lack of human presence one can assume that the ants are the only creatures which inhabit the planet during that time period and this idea is confirmed from the presence of human objects which have been left. Just like the Good Dinosaur, these ants are well adapted to survive on this planet. But as time moves on more animals, especially the ones who were left behind, begin to mutate because of powerful chemicals, magic and pollution resulting from the monsters in Monsters Inc. The mutated animals become advanced creatures, boasting of their own companies, universities and communities. But there is one problem: they get their energy from humans and humans seize to exist. The ramifications of this predicament are shown in films such as WALLE and A Bugs Life. The monsters have found a way of traveling back in time to scare the humans so as to generate a source of energy. Evidence that the monsters were animals comes from the fact that they are frightened of humans in the same way that the fish from Finding Nemo are. They resent humans and as a result want to scare them after they recognise that they need humans to survive. They further find out that more energy is produced when humans laugh.
The Pixar theory ends trying to prove why Boo is actually the witch from Brave. The reason for this being the fact that there are hidden Easter Eggs in Brave which relate to the future of Pixar films, such as an egg with wooden carvings of a monster who greatly resembles Sully’s character. The theory continues along the lines of Boo learning how the monsters time travel through wardrobes and then using the wardrobes herself but traveling too far back in time to the period of Brave where she then uses magic. However, Boo is well equipped with the understanding of magic from which she learnt and again uses this to survive. You might now be wondering how current releases such as COCO and Incredibles 2 fit into the timeline? Well don’t fret, I possess these details also. Believe it or not, according to the Pixar Theory, COCO is actually set in 2006 and correlates well with the storyline of Inside Out. Let us start with a brief summary of COCO’s plot. The film is about a young boy named Miguel who is an aspiring musician longing to be like his idol: the long dead Ernesto de la Cruz. Upon playing music he lands into the land of the dead, a gateway to the people who have passed on but are still remembered. Remembrance is a key element of the film as we learn it is the only thing keeping the dead living in this land, for as soon as a soul is forgotten, they disappear. Sort of how Riley’s memories in Inside Out control her life when she loses her emotions and is unable to function properly. So how does this fit into the theory?
Well according to this part of the theory people live through their memories but have forgotten this due to the magical powers going around and the creation smart machine. People are so intent on focusing on the future and forgetting the past – something which both COCO and Inside Out seem preoccupied with through their various attempts to highlight the importance of memory. Incredibles and WALLE also display the importance of memory and how technology has caused people to forget the world they live in. Without remembering, people stop caring and as a result allow the world to become inhabitable: kind of like in Inside Out when Riley’s brains seizes to function properly, or how the dead in COCO seize to exist when they are forgotten. At that moment when the spaceship lands we see a tree begin to grow, which is relating back to the idea of memory. People remembered the earth and now the earth is living again. It is like the more we forget, the more we become like robots. This is also shown by the way people are depicted in WALLE, with no care in the world for anything, they are controlled as if they were robots. What COCO also shows is that in the future people forget and don’t learn the importance of memory, and as a result become extinct and taken over by more powerful monsters. But that the memory of the people is still needed in order to function the ‘who plant’ which is why the animals go back in time to scare humans, whose presence is the reason why the earth is still functioning.
Incredibles 2 also has a place on the timeline; we see in the film one of the villain’s prime plans is to manipulate human emotions using technology to the extent that they don’t need to rely on emotions anymore. We see their plan getting destroyed but the idea not dying down as evident in WALLE where humans only rely on machines. We see in the first Incredibles movie the introduction of machines which are able to think and perform human activity. And we then see in the second one people getting used to the machines and losing their emotions. Emotions are important in the Pixar universe as shown in the film Inside Out where Riley can only function properly when her emotions are balanced. Everything falls apart when the emotions are out of sync. This is because emotions are the source of remembrance which stated in the above, gives energy to the world. Some may argue that the Pixar theory is overly exaggerated and people are taking things way out of context. However, in my opinion, I feel like film makers and companies advertise and cater to specific people: for the average viewers, for the critics and for the people who search deep into the world of the film universe. This would make sense as we always see little hidden gems within the Pixar films; for example, Boo has a Jessie doll from monsters Inc. Some may argue that they are just putting little reminders of the other films in for fun, but the theory does make a lot of sense and the timeline works well. It will be interesting to see how the timeline will change with future films, and whether future films will conquer the theory or break it.
Overall the theory claims that all of the films in the Pixar Universe have been made in a specific way which correlates with a timeline: starting with The Good Dinosaur and ending with Monsters Inc. What can be learnt from the timeline is that remembrance and emotions play a huge part in the building of this Universe as apposed to magic, which causes mutations and deconstructions. The theory ends with a spiral effect stating that Boo from Monsters Inc is actually the witch from Brave and that she is the one who dictates the entire future of the Pixar theory.