‘Toy Story’: Pixar Fans Are Convinced Andy’s Dad Left and That He’s Not Dead After All

On their surface, Pixar’s Toy Story films seem to be fun, lighthearted adventures geared towards children. And in many ways, they are.

The adventures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear depicted in both movies and TV shows are generally enjoyed by younger viewers. But underneath their child-friendly veneer lie plenty of symbolism and subtext that older viewers can notice or enjoy. 

For whatever reason, the Toy Story movies have prompted many fans to come up with theories online explaining different aspects of the films’ universe. One that recently popped up has to do with Andy’s Dad and where he is. The theory states that he’s not actually dead, but that he left. 

What is the premise of ‘Toy Story?’

There have been four Toy Story films. The movies follow the continuing adventures of a group of toys that originally belong to a young boy named Andy. In the initial adventure, the cowboy Woody struggles with the presence of a new toy named Buzz Lightyear.

Buzz is a more modern toy – he’s a spacesuit-wearing astronaut that yells the catchphrase “To infinity and beyond!” while Woody is from a bygone era. Eventually, it’s up to Woody to track down Buzz, and the two become friends. 

The series is fun and comical, but at the same time can tackle some complex issues for those paying attention. There’s plenty of drama and emotion as well. Who can forget a particularly gripping scene in Toy Story 3, when the toys are about to be cast into an incinerator and accept their fate, only to be saved at the last minute?

It’s scenes like this that make the films stand out a cut above most other children’s movies. 

Who is Andy in the ‘Toy Story’ movies? 

Replicas of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear
Replicas of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear | Daniel Fung/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Woody is essentially the main character of the series, portrayed by the voice of Tom Hanks, while Tim Allen provides the voice of Buzz Lightyear. A talented cast rounds out the rest of the toys who move the story forward through the four films. But who do the toys belong to? 

Originally, the toys belong to a young boy named Andy. A great deal of the first movie takes place in Andy’s bedroom. Ultimately, Andy grows up and gives his toys to another child to enjoy. According to Insider, Andy decides to give Woody away at the conclusion of Toy Story 3 to a young girl named Bonnie.

He struggles with this at first, wanting to be sure Woody will go to a child that takes good care of him. Ultimately, Bonnie stops playing with Woody and he decides to leave her at the end of Toy Story 4

What really happened to Andy’s dad?

In Toy Story, Andy lives with his mom and his sister Molly. While some assume his father passed away, a theory circulated on Reddit states that Andy’s Dad may actually be alive” 

“Not dead. Divorced, and recently so. Molly is a baby, so assuming she and Andy have the same dad then he would have been around until relatively recently. We see some family pictures on the wall of their home, and none of them include the dad. Most people don’t get rid of pictures of a beloved family member who died, but they will purge all evidence of their cheating ex-husband who left them for his secretary.”

It’s an interesting theory, and it could very well be true. Toy Story fans shouldn’t bank on it being answered anytime soon, however. The main focus of these films is the toys.

Now that Andy is out of the picture, it’s highly unlikely the filmmakers will revisit the issue of what happened to his Dad. Until then, fans are left to speculate about his fate online.