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

To add to this, Disney Parks have begun selling these hats at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It is pretty obvious that they are very different hats serving a very different purpose.

Toy Story Hats


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?


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    • Phil on February 26, 2014 at 5:44 am


    • Missy on February 26, 2014 at 6:43 am

    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.

      • Nika on February 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you. 🙂

        • Matt on March 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

        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…

    • Flashdrum on February 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

    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.


    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. 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.

  1. 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.

    • Sonu K on February 27, 2014 at 12:53 am

    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.

      • John Perez on December 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

      “Wood.” I see what you did there. 😛

  2. 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.

      • Peter Papoutsis on August 24, 2014 at 6:56 am

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

    • Danits on February 27, 2014 at 11:02 am

    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. 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!

        • Sophia on April 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

        There are plenty of people who take the “Emily is Jessie’s mom” theory too seriously, and will cling to it with everything they have. So thank you for your debunking efforts.

    • Dan Wild on February 27, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I could model that hat in a few hours.

    1. 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.

    • gyle on February 28, 2014 at 2:58 am

    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. Great observation!

    • gyle on February 28, 2014 at 3:06 am

    > “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.

    • eeenok on March 3, 2014 at 4:04 am

    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. 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.

        • Alyssa on May 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        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.

  3. 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.

    • Tylor on March 14, 2014 at 2:13 am

    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.


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

    • Laura on April 1, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    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.

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

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

        • A.H. on February 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        This has been disproved. It was photoshopped. And yes, I know exactly where Wall-E was supposed to be in Toy Story, and I have frame-by-frame watched it on VHS and in HD, and I have found nothing. :/ Sorry.

        But thank you so much for writing this article. Like, seriously. It was driving me crazy people arguing with me.

    • Rick on July 14, 2014 at 8:32 am

    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.

    • cha.otic on January 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Also, just a thought…in the first movie, when Andy is carrying Woody, there is a piece of artwork on the wall of the Southwestern US or so. In the Emily flashback, a very similar piece of artwork is in her room. Now, as she grew up, it changes, but Emily and Ms. Davis both have a flair for the southwest which is kind of rare…

    • Justsaying on January 10, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I’m not saying it is correct or wrong, but your Disney Wiki reference is incorrect. It doesn’t say Jennifer. Also, toward the end of the page is has a point commenting on this theory. So basically it is a theory of opinion that really cannot be proven unless personally explained by the producers.

    1. The Wiki page was changed after this article was written.

        • shell on February 22, 2015 at 6:53 am

        Someone is convinced that Andy’s mom is Emily bc she looks like her as teen?? C’mon, reality check! They aren’t human beings. They are drawn, computer animated cartoons. Obviously just the same style of an artist.
        Anyway, why would Mrs. Davis ( or Mr) still have hand me downs of Woody when Emily donated her memorabilia to charity.

    • Mom on February 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I’m not saying Emily is or isn’t Andy’s mom, but the shape of the hat isn’t a solid argument. Take a circular piece of paper (or a cowboy hat) and slightly bend the two sides (leaving the back flat). It forms a triangular shape when looking down from the top.

    Also, in response to another commenter who mentioned the color of the ribbon around the hat. As a mother of 3 kids, many times the decorative pieces of costumes and play clothes get dirty, ruined, stained, ect… I have had to replace ribbons, bows, felt details, and so on. Many times these things are replaced with a similar piece, but not always the same color. It is quite possible that the white ribbon was ruined and had to be replaced. Mom didn’t have white so she used red.

    I know this doesn’t prove that Emily is Andy’s mom and I don’t really think it matters. It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s never really going to be provable unless the writers confirm or deny the fan theory.

    *source: mother of 3 kids who like to wear dress up clothes, including cowboy hats.

    1. Sorry, but it seems you only looked at the brim. Look at the CROWN of each hat. Woody’s and Andy’s are triangular/candy-corn shaped, indent and all, and that cannot possibly be reshaped from a round crown to look like that. It’s a distinct hat style. Look at the toys, too.

    • Lyn on February 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Andy’s hat is just red because you can get those cheap red cowboy hats in places like Walmart all the time and have been able to for decades. They’re a cheap kid’s cowboy hat so I’m sure that is why he has it, just resembling that. Not like Jessie’s at all.

    • Brooke on February 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Andys mom name is Emily, and little Emily didn’t give Her away, she fell asleep at a picnic with her parents and when they put her in the car and drove off they forgot Jessie there!! I know it’s bad I know this!! I’m a toy story freak 🙂

      • Angela on February 24, 2015 at 12:07 am

      Actually that was Daisy who fell asleep and 3 toys were left behind. Big Baby, Lottso and the clown. Emily boxed her toys and abandoned them along an old country road.

    • tigers on February 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    one thing u have to remember about disney movies are the easter eggs that in everyone of them like say in monster inc on end of the movie boo had a jessie doll and finding nemo that was before either of them was ever made more eggs on each and ever one of them in just takes watching them and finding them to find a connection to other movies

  5. Oh my heavens people…these are made up stories for TV that is at its best JUST entertainment. Holy Moly….get a grip!!!! This is un-reality not reality!

    • becky on June 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    how about, Emily is Andy’s mom’s big sister. Emily and Andy’s mom played with Jessie together sometimes. Emily went off to college, and gave Jesse away, but andy’s mom kept the hat, without her big sister knowing.

    • Dawson Joseph Turner on July 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Actually I think Riley Davis is mrs. Davis. Riley Davis is from inside out, but when she moved to San Francisco she left Jessie behind. Idk who Emily is maybe an older sister we didn’t know about???

    • Kevin on September 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I think you are someone who just likes to burst the bubble of people’s dreams. It may not have started out true, but I’ll bet the people of Pixar love this fan created Easter Egg. I think if they truly didn’t like this theoretical concept they would have made things clearer and not made the mother and Emily so vague. Stop thinking so literally and start thinking like a Disney Pixar imaginative dreamer.

    1. If an artist were to create a painting and a viewer misinterpreted it, we take away from the original intention of the art.

      The person who made this claim created the Pixar Theory which has been debunked by Pixar’s main directors and writers.

      People can believe. Whatever makes them happy but it’s nothing more than a fan theory that creates more plot holes than it solves.

      We like to give our credit to the true artists that made the film rather than a click bait article used to drive revenue.

      1. No, it hasn’t been debunked by the writers.

          • Daniel on November 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm

          Actually, the Pixar directors and producers DID discredit the Pixar Theory.

          • Gyle Edward on January 14, 2016 at 1:45 am

          Daniel is correct. (Again.)

          Niles, how can anyone really burst anyone else’s bubble? If you want to believe something about a fictional tale that makes it seem richer for you, go on ahead. (Mayhaps Thelma and Louise made it across the canyon, too.) But if you’re going to base that claim on falsehoods, it’s perfectly fine for anyone to helpfully correct the record. Especially when the originator knew better but pushed his theory anyway, altering some people’s interpretations of these films so dear to so many people’s hearts. To me, this goofball theory bursts the bubble of the far more touching tale the creators of the Toy Story films actually gave us. I think he’s limiting the beauty of the storytelling. Anyone’s free to share whatever they wish. But to take Daniel’s analogy: There are countless interpretations of the Mona Lisa. But if I pitch a theory that she’s smiling because of the feather tickling her ear, and there’s no feather there, you’re not bursting any bubbles by pointing that out.

          But really. It’s the feather.

          No, really.

          It’s very faint.

          Same feather that’s on Judas’ plate in The Last Supper.


          All part of my da Vinci Theory.

            • Gyle Edward on January 14, 2016 at 1:46 am

            Oops, I meant Kevin, not Niles. Sorry, Niles.

  6. Beside the fact that the hats are different I don’t think Andy’s mum is Emily, But I do believe that she could be one of Andy’s grandmothers. The reason I say this is because the posters on Emily’s wall (in the montage of her life) show that she was a teenager in the sixties. This means she was born in the mid to late 40’s.

    Now in Toy Story 3 it shows Andy using a laptop that resembles the macbook air wich makes me believe it is set in the current date to release 2010. Andy is in his late teens to early twenties. so lets say Andy was born in 1990 and Emily was born in 1950 that would make Emily 40 when she had him. This is quite plausible but she looks very good for 60, if this is true.

    • Jeff on October 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!My name is Jeff

  7. I’d just like to point out that using ‘the same 3D model to save money’ point becomes null and void with the added information that it is in fact not the same 3D model.

    • Tim on December 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    If it’s a recycled model, it would look identical other than the color. But you claim the shape is different. This, not a recycled model. So it can’t be both.

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