‘Toy Story’ Director Clears Up Debate: Can the Toys Die or Are They Immortal?

Can toys die in the Toy Story movies? That’s the burning question fans have been asking through the span of the movie franchise but never had a solid answer. Until now. One of the Toy Story directors has finally cleared things up and, it turns out, toys can die — but it takes a lot for them to meet their end.

Toys from 'Toy Story'
Toys from ‘Toy Story’ | Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Can the toys in ‘Toy Story’ die? Fans think they are immortal

The debate over whether or not the toys in Toy Story can die has been going on for some time. A 2013 Reddit fan theory discussion about the toys being immortal had people pondering whether the toys live on forever or if they do, in fact, die at some point.

One Redditor noted, “The toys in toy story are immortal. They can’t die. I mean, they can be crushed or incinerated, but they will never die of old age.”

“So, what does this mean for our heroes?,” they asked. “They will outlive every owner they have, the story of Andy growing up and leaving their lives will continue ad nauseum until the last of humanity is gone, or the toys have all been incinerated.”

Many fans agreed with this theory, with one Reddit user pointing out that Andy’s mother said Woody had been in the family for a long time. He was an original doll from a 1950s TV show, after all.

The matter was discussed in other Reddit threads too, with one fan pointing out, “I think the toys only die if they are broken or destroyed. They don’t die from time.” Another Redditor noted, “Only total melting would be their death. Sid’s abominations got along well after being totally ripped apart and rebuilt on different bodies.”

RELATED: ‘Toy Story 4’: Tom Hanks Reveals How He Felt Saying Goodbye to Woody

One of the directors finally confirmed the toys can die

When a fan tweeted about settling the ‘can toys die in Toy Story‘ debate, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich was there with the definitive answer. The toys can eventually die, but it has to be a result of something that truly destroys the toy.

“My girlfriend and I are having a big fight bc I think the toys from Toy Story are immortal and she thinks they can die,” a fan tweeted.

Unkrich responded, “They live as long as they exist. But if they were to be utterly destroyed? Say, in an incinerator? Game over.”

Unkrich knows that whole incinerator example all too well, as there was an emotional moment in Toy Story 3 where the toys held hands as they approached the possibility of a fiery death. Had that played out, there’s no way the toys would have survived being burned up.

The director also revealed one fan theory was almost a plot point

In the Twitter discussion that came out of Unkrich’s response to the immortal toy fan theory, another fan posed an interesting question that the director said almost made it into one of the movies.

“If Woody lost his body and was just a head, would he be OK? And could he attach his head to a different body and continue as normal? And if he lost his head, would the body walk around just fine? If that body found a Buzz head, would Woody be Buzz now?,” the fan tweeted.

“Those were ideas that were explored in an early version of Toy Story 4…,” Unkrich revealed.

All of this Toy Story talk got people thinking, with one Twitter user even making a pitch for the next installment, Toy Story 5. “While you’re there and talking Toy Story, can I pitch TS5? Andy turns up at 15-year-old Bonnie’s house, asks if she still has his toys because… he now has a baby. She only has Buzz and Jessie. Cue a massive road movie to find Woody and co. going to infinity & beyond for Andy.”