WATCH: ‘Inside Out’ directors Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen on mind-blowing Pixar fan theory

Wyatt Ong

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WATCH: ‘Inside Out’ directors Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen on mind-blowing Pixar fan theory
Could all the characters actually be related via one awesome Pixar universe? The 'Inside Out' filmmakers weigh in

MANILA, Philippines – Inside Out director Pete Docter and Filipino co-director Ronnie del Carmen addressed a popular Pixar fan theory during the Manila press conference for the movie Friday, August 7. 

At the event, the filmmakers were asked what they thought of the theory that all of the characters in the Pixar universe from different films like Up, Toy Story, and Ratatouille exist in the same universe and are fundamentally related in some way. They were also asked what they thought of possibly putting all these characters in the same movie. 

SPOTTING NEMO. In 'Monsters Inc,' viewers can spot Nemo among Boo's toys. It's one of many Pixar easter eggs in their many films. Screengrab from Youtube/Disney

“This is gonna be a controversial answer. I don’t know. For me, that kind of breaks my brain, to think that they – I think of them as very different universes and that they don’t cross over. You know, I don’t think of The Incredibles being able to walk down the street and bump into Carl Fredricksen,” said Pete, who won an Oscar for Up(READ: Meet Ronnie del Carmen, Pinoy co-director of Pixar hit ‘Inside Out’)

We don’t believe that they are, especially when we make them, we don’t think that do, except we have these easter eggs that translate over all these movies so it’s contradictory when we say that, too,” said Ronnie. (WATCH: Pinoy ‘Inside Out’ co-director Ronnie del Carmen draws surprise for Pixar fans)

“So it’s not one of those things that we actually have had a company meeting about. John’s [Lasseter, Pixar chief creative officer] not gonna sit there [saying], ‘I wanna make sure that all our movies are connected. Don’t pitch me a movie that isn’t connected to things.’ No, that’s not the way it goes. It’s just, we make stuff that is important to each director and then we have fun with it. That’s all it is.” (WATCH: ‘Pixnoy’ Ronnie del Carmen shares advice for Pinoy creatives)

“But if you wanna imagine that they’re connected, I don’t wanna stop you,” added Pete. 

Speaking to Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris in Singapore when he was there to talk about The Good Dinosaur, I also asked him what he thought about the theory. 

“I wish we were that clever. I think what you really see is kind of completely from the other direction which is in a way, the body of work is kind of an auteur body of work and the stuff that’s on the screen ends up being a lot about the personalities about the people that work there and their relationships and friendships and so forth,” he said. “So anything that feels like that is something that’s kind of risen up organically as opposed to something that’s been plotted and planned.”

In a previous interview with Rappler, Pete told Rappler more about the process behind those famous Pixar easter eggs and why characters and objects from the different universes appear in each other’s films. 



“Mostly the art department – they’re the folks that will find – for example, in Riley’s house, there’s a magazine lying around, well, something has to be on the cover. and you can’t take a picture of like, Time magazine or something because, copyright and all that. So they grabbed Colette from Ratatouille. So there’s a lot of things like that that are little winks to the audience,” he said. 

COMIC BOOK EGG. In 'Finding Nemo,' a boy waiting for his turn at the dentist reads a comic book with Mr Incredible from 'The Incredibles' on the cover. Screengrab from YouTube/Disney

Several fan theories, and one huge one 

Let’s backtrack. There are many theories floated by fans online about how the characters from the beloved movies are actually related. Pixar is also fond of adding easter eggs, or references to older and upcoming films in their movies, leading fans to question if these are simply for fun or if there’s a larger theory at work.


Watch here for some more: 


Some of these easter eggs include the famous Pizza Planet truck which shows up pretty much every film, the appearance of a carving of Sulley found in the Witch’s home in Brave, and the appearance of the Jessie doll, Luxo ball, and Nemo toy in Boo’s room in Monsters Inc.  

Back in 2013, John Negroni published a blog post on his comprehensive “Pixar Theory,” which orders the films in a different way from their release dates. In his theory, there’s conflict between man, machines, and animals, leading to toys being infused with life. The conflict and humanity’s actions lead them to be sent off to space, then later return to rebuild.

In the future, animals evolve into monsters who time travel in order to take energy from the human world – but as in what happens in Monsters Inc, Sulley and human Boo form a bond. According to John’s theory, Boo is the same witch from Brave who introduces Merida to the ancient magic – thus closing the circle on the theory and explaining why she has a carving of Sulley in her home.

Watch this video explanation of this Pixar Theory:



John’s theory is one of the most prominent among a sea of ideas floated by fans and viewers. There are numerous variations on how the characters could be related – and could we blame fans for wanting this to be true?

There you have it. What do you think of the theory and Pete and Ronnie’s answer? Do you think the easter eggs are just for fun or do you think there’s an ultimately larger Pixar universe? Weigh in in the comments section below. –

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