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Why Emily and Andy’s Mom are NOT the Same Person in “Toy Story”

Jessie's Hat Toy Story

Over the past couple of days, a theory has been spreading around the internet like wildfire claiming that Emily, the child who gave up Jessie, is also Andy’s mother. Writer Jon Negroni has been given a lot of credit for this theory but research shows that the theory isn’t a new one…and it’s also not correct.

The question was posted to Yahoo! Answers back in 2010 and then a photo album on imgur was posted over 7 months ago asking the same question.

The theory states that the hat Andy is wearing in the original “Toy Story” movie is the same one that Jessie wears when she is introduced in “Toy Story 2″ and the same one that Emily had on her bed in the montage. This leads to the idea that since we don’t know Andy’s mother’s first name and we don’t know Emily’s last name the hat must have been a hand-me-down to Andy from his mother making her and Emily one in the same.

Emily Jessie Hat Toy Story

Though it is a solid idea with some decent evidence, it seems to be more of a coincidence than an intention.

Here are some reasons why I firmly believe that this theory is nothing more than a pipe dream.

“Toy Story 2″ Was Never Intended When The First Film Was Made

When the first “Toy Story” film was made, Pixar had no intention of making a sequel. That means Andy’s hat was already modeled with no running story behind it. In fact, the hat was modeled for Andy before it was modeled for Jessie.

The chances are higher that Pixar simply wanted to use the same 3D model in order to save money which is also the actual reason we never met Andy’s dad in the first film and why his mom gets so little screen time…because humans were too expensive to animate at the time.

It wasn’t until Disney got in the picture that “Toy Story 2″ became a reality. Once Disney recognized the success of the film, the idea was to create a 1 hour sequel that would go straight to DVD.

According To “The Art of ‘Toy Story'” Book, Andy’s Mom’s Name is Jennifer Davis

You won’t find much about it on the internet but the official publication that gave fans access to all of the art from the film gives Andy’s mom a name. And it wasn’t Emily.

According to our source:

She’s given a name in “The Art of Toy Story”, one of the pages has pictures of late recording scripts and she is listed as JENNIFER in the dialogue area.

So if Pixar intended to make Emily Andy’s mother, it was never in the cards from the beginning. In fact, the book came out at the same time that “Toy Story 2″ was released on DVD meaning that it wasn’t intended in either of the first 2 films.

UPDATE: It is also alluded on the Disney Wiki site for those looking for instant gratification.

Andy's Mom Toy Story

Jessie Remembers Emily But Doesn’t Recognize Andy’s Mom

Let’s be honest. Jessie has some pretty vivid memories of being given away by Emily…so why doesn’t she recognize Andy’s mom based on her name (which I can only assume Jessie knows) and appearance?

If Pixar were able to produce 3 “Toy Story” films with such a deep connection with respect to the backstory of Andy’s hat, would they really leave out such an obvious detail?

Emily Being Andy’s Mom Disregards Jessie’s Emotional Role in the Films

The introduction of Jessie’s character in “Toy Story 2″ is an important one to the theme of the trilogy.

The whole underlying theme of her character is the fact that she’s dealing with the abandonment from her owner, Emily. It’s a concept that leads to Andy eventually giving up Woody to Bonnie and honored in “Toy Story of Terror”.

If Jessie did belong to Andy’s mom, that emotional theme falls apart and the true story that Pixar intended dissolves just to put a pretty bow on the mystery of Andy’s mom, which is not an important theme in the film at all, and cheapens the premise.

If The Hats Don’t Fit, You Must Acquit

Thanks to Gyle’s comment below for providing some pretty solid shots of Andy’s hat compared to Jessie’s/Emily’s hat.

The original theory relies on the hat to make the connection between Emily and Andy’s mom. The photos used to justify the theory seemed pretty handpicked in order to support the claims but if you take a look at various other shots of the hat from the “Toy Story” films, you will notice they are completely different hats altogether.

Andy’s hat has a pointed crown where as Jessie’s hat it completely circular. The only real commonalities are the color and the stitching along the brim.

Toy Story Andy Emily Hat

Conclusion

The theory that Emily is Andy’s mom is cute but it seems that the premise is based more on linking some coincidences than an actual intention from the filmmakers themselves.

We all know that Pixar includes a ton of Easter Eggs in their films including Wall-E in the original “Toy Story” and “Cars” films, but is there really more to it than the recycling of 3D models or something in the background for fans to find in passing?

I personally believe that the theory is nothing more than a fantasy based on a copied and pasted CGI hat  which was used to fill some unanswered questions in the “Toy Story” trilogy.

What do you think?

26 comments

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  1. Phil

    THANK YOU.

  2. Missy

    I will say two things about your side that I don’t 100% agree with. The book can be evidence enough, but everything else does not to me.

    As for the sequel not planned to be made, that doesn’t mean things can’t be adapted and changed as the movies were made, including the hat that gave a lot of people that spark for this theory. Sequels aren’t always planned, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work with it. The addition to similar hats may be a way to cheap out on individual models, but it could also be a sneaky add-in Pixar snuck in. Pixar is known for random little sneaks in their movies, like references to future movies, so I don’t doubt Pixar trying to create a grand story somewhere in the background

    As for Jessie not remembering “Emily,” I feel that she wouldn’t even really do so if the mother actually was her. She’s much older, and while older people have resemblances of themselves as they age, that doesn’t mean they look the same as they get older. They age, obviously, so just because she doesn’t remember her doesn’t mean it’s not exactly her; it’s just that she changed enough as she got older that Jessie couldn’t identify her. Also, Emily is a common name, and since her name never was said onscreen, how can we know Jessie’s reaction even if she felt some sort of reaction to it?

    I’m fine with people not agreeing with this theory, which I think is quite nice. And like I said, the book could be enough evidence as it is, but everything else just doesn’t quite match up.

    1. Nika

      Thank you. :)

      1. Matt

        Here’s a thought…Emily is the grandmother…young when she gave birth could fit the time line and would explain why Andy’s mom isn’t recognised, and they could have the same hair genetically…

  3. Flashdrum

    First, I’m stating the following in the most respectful manner possible.

    Secondly, I’m not providing any information that makes the “Andy’s mom is Emily” theory any less theoretical. I’m simply pointing out holes in your case. Now, Missy already addressed the first point, so I’ll skip that and move on to Mrs. Davis’ name.

    The one source you list regarding her first name isn’t listed on the wiki site you reference. Upon checking the Disney wiki page, down in the comments people are discussing the lack of citations regarding Mrs. Davis’ name. It appears someone once had the article listed as “Jennifer Davis” without a citation, and has since been changed back to “Mrs. Davis.” So technically, it’s not verified at all. Since your provided link doesn’t contain your stated source, you should provide the source yourself. One can say where information comes from all they want, but unless I see scans from “The Art of Toy Story” verifying this claim, I have no reason to believe anything, despite its being true.

    Now regarding Jessie’s memory.

    Who knows why she doesn’t recognize Andy’s mom? Honestly. If one wants to get deep with it, sure, Jessie remembers being abandoned, but it never says she remembers Emily’s face.

    In Jessie’s retelling of her abandonment, it never explicitly shows the face of her owner. Maybe this is because she can’t remember? (We know this isn’t the real reason, as it’s because the animators simply decided not to include it) My point is these questions can be pulled from everywhere, and they never stop because of that fact.

    The whole issue with her not recognizing Andy’s mom as her former owner is a pickle, yes, but no more a pickle than Woody having no prior knowledge of the Round-Up gang. Also, if Woody’s a “hand-me-down cowboy doll” and an “old family toy,” how is he not already familiar with the concept of abandonment?

    These are all the same kind of questions that cause people to rip films apart. Do they, or their answers, really affect how one’s affected by the presentation? No. People still laugh and cry at these films, so none of that matters.

    Conclusion

    What do I think? Stronger arguments are needed for debunking a theory such as this. All you had to do was provide a linked scan of a page from “The Art of Toy Story” showing the name “Jennifer.” Instead, you didn’t, and also asked questions that can be answered with questions. Arguments have to be definitive if one really wants to persuade others.

    Again, this doesn’t have to do with the theory so much as it does with the way in which you opposed it.

    “I don’t mind what you did. I mind the way you did it.” – Robert Redford as Bob Woodward (All the President’s Men)

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      Thanks for your input. We are working on getting a scan of the page. The book is rare so we are waiting for the scan to come through.

      Stay tuned for updates.

  4. Patrick Samonte

    Another point, it’s entirely possible the mother’s name could be “Jennifer Emily (maidenname).” Jessie would know her as Emily, but as Emily grew up she could have found Jennifer to have a more grown up ring to it.

  5. Sonu K

    Ha ha ha..Dude you took it too serious! Pixar never approved this. Everybody knows it is just a fan theory and it definitely feels good to imagine in that angle for fans like me. There will be plenty of flaws in ‘The Pixar Theory’ itself. But again, that is something fans wood love to believe in.

  6. Matthew Layton

    People are just trying way to hard to make a connection. It’ similar to E.T. being a Jedi/Force sensitive and in the same universe as Star Wars. If its true or not who cares eather way.

    Ultimately it’s Pixar.. Easter eggs galore… Keep talking about it, all you are doing is giving them free advertising.

    1. Peter Papoutsis

      E.T. is in George Lucas Revenge of the Sith.

  7. Danits

    I gotta agree with Sonu K. It’s just a cute theory and people writing all these articles about how it could never be and looking too deeply into it, Don’t take it that serious. It’s good for the imagination…

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very cute theory.

      The reason I decided to write this article though is because I think the theory takes away from what the writers at Pixar were really trying to convey.

      One thing I loved about the show Lost was that it allowed people to draw conclusions and talk theories about what everything symbolized.

      Pixar is known for it’s Easter Eggs but having Emily be Andy’s mom takes away from the artistic value of the film in my opinion and completely disregards Jessie’s emotions as a character.

      We are working on setting up interviews with some of the Pixar staff. It should be fun so stay tuned!

  8. Dan Wild

    I could model that hat in a few hours.

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      Hi Dan! Thanks for posting.

      Though I am sure you would have no problem modeling that hat in a short amount of time, in the early 90s it was expensive with respect to labor and technology to product an object like that.

      To this day, Tangled is the second most expensive film of all time.

  9. gyle

    Definitive proof that you’re right, Daniel:

    It’s impossible for Andy’s hat to have been Emily’s. Negroni (who also wrote the bogus grand unified theory of Pixar) just didn’t show any of the many shots that verify this. First, Andy’s hat looks brand new in Toy Story 1, with a clean red band. The band is only faded in Toy Story 2, when, of course, it’s older.

    Second, and more importantly: Andy’s hat, just like Woody’s, has a CANDY-CORN / ROUNDED TRIANGULAR shaped crown. But Emily’s hat, like Jessie’s, has a ROUND crown. Moreover, the crowns on Emily/Jessie’s hats are shorter than those on Andy/Woody’s hats.

    Visual proof they’re different hats: http://s1373.photobucket.com/user/IraEds/media/ToyStoryhats-AndysvsEmilys_zpsc97b1847.jpg.html
    (images © Disney/Pixar)

    The only noteworthy similarity is the style of the loopy brim stitch, and it makes sense they’d have that design element in common.

    I fully agree with you that this theory, while kind of cute, detracts from what the geniuses at Pixar created. These movies are spectacular and fun just as they are. No need to make things up about them.

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      Great observation!

  10. gyle

    > “We all know that Pixar includes a ton of Easter Eggs in their films including Wall-E in the original “Toy Story” and “Cars” films, but is there really more to it than the recycling of 3D models or something in the background for fans to find in passing?”

    No, you are correct. Pixar folks chuckle at the theories of greater meaning.

  11. eeenok

    man. being unaware how common it is to take an unimportant item and retrospectively create a back story. that’s embarrassing. i suggest you watch stewart lee’s magnificent “pear cider” sketch (you can ask a friend to explain why he’s spending so much time complaining about a cider ad). also pretty sad you never owned a felt hat and found out how incredibly malleable they are … andy is clearly aware he has the “wrong” hat. if you’d ever seen a child given a present he didn’t want you might get it. and expecting movie studios to have the same pathological expectation that obscure peripheral material sticks rigidly to a consistent universe … i’m weeping for you now.

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      I am fully aware of it. I’m not saying you CAN’T build a backstory on what seemingly is an unimportant item or concept, I just don’t believe it to be the case in this situation.

      In the “Star Wars” trilogy, regardless of what Lucas wants people to believe, Darth Vader was never meant to be Luke Skywalker’s father until they started writing “Empire Strikes Back” due to many of the same reasons.

      That plot twist was built after what was intended and it worked out beautifully in the end so I’m not saying it’s impossible, just improbable in the “Toy Story” universe.

      For you to actually believe that the writers of “Toy Story” sat around and considered how malleable a felt hat is so that Andy could make it seem more gender appropriate is a testament in itself as to why this theory is improbable. Why would they go over such a fine detail like that yet ignore the fact that Jessie and Andy’s mom don’t recognize each other?

      There is no question that Pixar loves to add Easter Eggs for fans to find on their own but this is beyond an Easter Egg, it’s a complete alteration in the story which Pixar has never done to date.

      On top of that, as mentioned in the article, it changes a major theme of the story of Jessie’s abandonment.

      Like I mentioned, it’s a cute theory but it doesn’t hold water.

      1. Alyssa

        Jessie could have been owned by Mr. Davis’ sister. Sister-in-law to Jennifer Davis. Woody could have belonged to Andy’s dad and Jessie to his dad’s sister.

        A question I have is, why would Pixar choose to make Jessie’s hat with a white brim and red when they could have used woody’s hat as a template instead of Andy’s which is not even the same shape as hers. It seems to me that changing the color alone and retaining the shape would be much easier than the other way around back in the 90s. Just a thought.

  12. philis05

    One reason I am convinced that Andy’s mom is Emily is a photo of Emily as a teenager. Emily’s nose is very similar to that of Andy’s mom. Source: http://www.cinemablend.com/images/news/41861/_1393441684.jpg You make some very compelling arguments Dan, like the disagreement between her name Jennifer or Emily, and the hat shape, however the fact that Ms. Davis looks like teenage Emily and the missing story of Andy’s father make the theory more plausible.

  13. Tylor

    Hello there

    My name is Tylor I have a channel called TheBigOReview. A few days after the Andy’s Mom theory became popular I made a video about it. I would like to make a second part to the video discussing updates about the Theory and also arguments involving the disproving of the Theory (such as what your doing). If there is any proof as some of the stuff you mentioned from The Art Of Toy Story book I would like to add it to my new video. If there is any possible chance you could get a screen shot of the book saying that, it would be appreciated. In my first video I say i believe the Theory but if something were to pop up I would like to add it to a second video. Thank you Dan.

    -Tylor

    If you wish to watch the video I made here is the link:

  14. Laura

    Sooooo, where are the scanned pages you were looking to post? I’m using this to compare against the theory for a class assignment and I would very much love to see them if you ever got them.

  15. Chris Bennett

    I agree with you completely. I just have to point out that Wall E was NOT in Toy Story or Cars. True story.

    1. Daniel Nasserian

      Wall E was in the background of both films as an Easter Egg.

  16. Rick

    Disney seems to be throwing fuel onto the fire regarding the Andy’s mom being Emily theory. In the recently released “8 Awesome Facts About Toy Story 2″ on the Disney Movies Anywhere app/page fact #2 is that Andy’s mom and Emily have the same taste in music. Andy’s mom is selling a “Lemurs” 8-track at the yard sale and Emily has “Lemurs” posters in her bedroom. “I wonder if they knew each other” says the narrator.

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