Well, it did sound a little too good – and too sad – to be true. A viral video explaining the tragic backstory to Pixar’s 1995 hit Toy Story is fake, says Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, who co-wrote all three Toy Story films.
“Complete and utter fake news,” Stanton tweeted today, signing off with the hashtag “iwasthere.”
Stanton’s tweet came in the wake of a video posted on the SuperCarlinBrothers Youtube page (watch it below) in which a product designer named Mike Mozart says his friend, the late Pixar writer Joe Ranft, confided in him some hole-filling explanations about the fictional universe of Toy Story.
Specifically, what happened to Andy’s dad?
The reveal isn’t pretty. Andy Sr., in this telling, died of Post-Polio Syndrome less than a year before the events of Toy Story, leaving young Andy the key to an old toy box that contained three toys: cowboy doll Woody, the Slinky dog and Mr. Potato Head.
And it turns out that Woody isn’t only rare, he’s one of a kind, the 1950s prototype of a cereal company giveaway that never made it to production (something about Sputnik getting in the way).
The video points out various clues in the ’95 film, like writing on Woody’s boot, photos on the walls long thought to be of Andy but that are actually of a young Andy Sr., and the origins of the family home.
So did Toy Story co-writer Ranft, who died in 2005, really pass along those secrets? Is the tale of poor, doomed Andy Sr. legit?
“Everyone go back to your homes,” tweeted Stanton. “Nothing to see here, folks.”
Here’s the video: