Why I Don't Think Andy's Mom Is...

Photo: Disney/Pixar

So, many of you have probably read Jon Negroni's theory on the identity of Andy's Mom from Pixar's Toy Story movies.  In the essay, he argues that Andy's Mom is Emily, the little girl who once owned and then abandoned Jessie.  Mr. Negroni is the author of The Pixar Theory, which draws parallels among all the Pixar films and argues that it is all one cohesive universe.  His essay on his theory had my mind swimming and I know made the Internet explode a bit.  With all due respect, though, to Mr. Negroni, I don't think I agree with his theory.

This blog is being written, though, in the spirit of friendly debate and not meant to discredit what Mr. Negroni is doing, which I think is fun food for thought and very well argued.  If you haven't read his theory, I highly recommend it and make your own conclusions.

Anyway, the major argument made is that Andy, during his childhood, wears a hat that looks more like Jessie's hat than Woody's.  A screenshot is also shown of Emily's room to show that she had a similar hat. If we go with the hat argument, while Andy's hat does indeed look a great deal like Jessie's hat and, therefore, Emily's hat, it also is different.  If you look at the hat on Emily's bed or the one Jessie wears, the brim is flat as opposed to Andy's hat which is curved upward.  Mr. Negroni also points out that the white lace that was on Emily's hat might not be on Andy's hat, but it could also be argued that the lace could have been a darker color similar to Woody's hat.  Also, if I'm completely honest, Andy's hat looks like a brown rather than the bright red color of Jessie's hat.

Photo: Disney/Pixar
Photo: Disney/Pixar
The argument is also made that the hat was not in Emily's donation box in which Jessie is contained. It could also be argued either be that she threw the hat away, since Emily seemed to have outgrown the cowgirl phase anyway.  Or, she lost it.  Believe me, watching my nephews with their toys, losing something is not out of the question.

But, to me, the biggest reason why I just don't see Andy's Mom actually being Emily is that neither Jessie nor Andy's Mom recognize each other.  My first thought, which I have had ever since Toy Story 2, is why didn't Andy's Mom wonder where the extra toys (Jessie and Bullseye) came from.  Somebody, though, reminded me that kids pick up things all the time and you can't keep track of everything.  Again, keeping my own nephews in mind, there's no way I could catalog everything they have.

Mr. Negroni addresses this issue by asking:
"[H]ow would you react if you saw that your kid had a toy that looked like one that you had? You probably wouldn't assume they're the same, even if you're in a Pixar movie."
The thing is that, if it were meaningful to me as a kid, which Jessie certainly seemed to be to Emily, I would have wondered about it and I would have gotten nostalgic about it.  In fact, there are toys that my nephews have that are newer of characters I used to have as a boy.  I even get nostalgic about that.  But, have a perfectly in tact toy that is obviously vintage, I would have, at least, questioned where it came from and waxed nostalgic.

Photo: Disney/Pixar
Now, one could argue that this could have all happened off camera, but, if Pixar actually intended this connection, this would have been too key a moment to have off camera.

And, let's just say that Andy's Mom just completely forgot about Jessie and washed her out of her memory, Emily was SO important to Jessie that I would imagine she'd be able to recognize her former owner even years later.  Remember, Jessie had anxiety issues from being abandoned by her.  So, regardless of whatever feeling Jessie has for Emily, she would recognize her.

In retrospect, I think it would have been fantastic if Emily turned out to be Andy's Mom.  I don't have a problem with this theory.  But, to me, it would ultimately cheapen the Toy Story trilogy to make this assumption without setting up the connection to Jessie.  So, for me, I chose not to believe Emily and Andy's Mom are one in the same.

What do you think?  Do you think Emily is Andy's Mom?


  1. I tend to agree with you. I wondered myself why neither would recognise each other.

    1. That's really the big reason why I just don't believe it. Although, I honestly have no problems with people that want to believe it. It offered fun discussion regardless.


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