The so-called “true story about Andy’s dad” in Toy Story has been debunked by Toy Story writer Andrew Stanton as “complete and utter fake news.”
“Everyone go back to your homes,” Stanton wrote on Twitter after a story about Andy’s dad dying from polio before the events depicted in the 1995 film went viral. “Nothing to see here, folks,” Stanton added along with the hashtag #iwasthere. The Finding Dory director is one of the credited writers on the original Toy Story film.
The discredited Andy theory was first discussed in a video interview on Thursday with toy reviewer Mike Mozart, who claimed to have heard it from Joe Ranft, a former head writer at Pixar who died in 2005. (Ranft is credited as coming up with the story for Toy Story and also received story credits on Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.) Per Mozart as relayed by the video’s host, Jonathan Carlin, Andy’s dad was stricken with polio as a young boy and later diagnosed with post-polio syndrome after he had married Andy’s mom and fathered Andy and Andy’s sister.
Before Stanton’s debunk, the claims about Andy’s dad went viral online with numerous sites picking up the Mozart video.
Toy Story has long found itself at the center of various fan theories since its release. Earlier this year, another theory about Andy’s mom, which purported that she was Jesse’s first owner, also went viral online and even drew a response from Tom Hanks, who voices Woody in the films. “Sounds like a fantastic off-story, a little bit of fan knowledge to me,” Hanks said to HuffPost. “And I’m sure the folks at Pixar have paid attention to it. I’m not saying such a flashback might happen in the fourth movie, but check it out.”
Other fan theories involving Andy’s dad speculate he had gotten divorced from Andy’s mom before the events of depicted in the film.