The internet was abuzz with a video explaining the sad, sad backstory to “Toy Story” yesterday; unfortunately — or maybe not, given what a bummer it was — the video has been debunked by Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, who co-wrote all three movies in the series. “Complete and utter fake news,” he tweeted. “Everyone go back to your homes. Nothing to see here, folks. #Iwasthere”
Still, it’s a good story. According to Mike Mozart, who served as a toy consultant on the original film, Pixar’s former head writer Joe Ranft (now deceased) confided in him the tragic backstory of Andy’s dad. The long version can be found in the video below, but here’s the gist of it: Andy’s father, also named Andy, had polio as a child. Woody was a one-of-a-kind toy he’d gotten from a cereal box, and he passed it on to his son shortly before dying of Post-Polio Syndrome.
Slinky and Mr. Potato Head are also gifted to Andy, who finds the three toys in a box that his father gave him the key to on his deathbed; to their toy minds, this Andy is the same one from all those years ago. Watch below for the whole tragic story and be glad that it isn’t true.