Surely, if you've watched a few Pixar films, you've noticed at least one of the many easter eggs that Pixar includes—they always reference other Pixar movies. It's a staple. Most of the films, for example, include the "Pizza Planet Truck" from Toy Story.
At first glance, you might think it's just Pixar having fun and giving nods to their other work. Nothing that, you know, means something. But if you look close enough—as Jon Negroni does here—you might start noticing that there are threads that can theoretically tie all the films together somehow in a single timeline.
Yes, things are about to get a little crazy up in here, but the way Negroni explains it, it makes sense. Here are a few snippets of his reasoning, centered around Brave—man, I didn't even notice the door thing, but it all makes sense!
Brave is the first and last movie in the timeline. Obviously, this movie about a Scottish kingdom during the Dark Ages is the earliest time period covered by the Pixar films, but it’s also the only Pixar movie that actually explains why animals in the Pixar universe behave like humans sometimes.
In Brave, Merida discovers that there is “magic” that can solve her problems but inadvertently turns her mother into a bear. We find out that this magic comes from an odd witch seemingly connected to the mysterious will-of-the-wisps. Not only do we see animals behaving like humans, but we also see brooms (inanimate objects) behaving like people in the witch’s shop.
We also learn that this witch inexplicably disappears every time she passes through doors, leading us to believe that she may not even exist.
And then there’s Boo. What do you think happened to her? She saw everything take place in future earth where “kitty” was able to talk. She became obsessed with finding out what happened to her friend Sully and why animals in her time weren’t quite as smart as the ones she’d seen in the future. She remembers that “doors” are the key to how she found Sully in the first place and becomes…
Yes, Boo is the witch from Brave. She figures out how to travel in time to find Sully, and goes back to the source: The will-of-the-wisps. They are what started everything, and as a witch, she cultivates this magic in an attempt to find Sully by creating doors going backwards and forwards in time.
How do we know? In Brave, you can briefly see a drawing in the workshop. It’s Sully.
We even see the Pizza Planet truck carved as a wooden toy in her shop, which makes no sense unless she’s seen one before…(and I’m sure she has since that truck is in literally every Pixar movie). If you look closely, you can see the carved truck below.
You remember Merida opening doors and the witch constantly disappearing? It’s because those doors are made the same way from Monsters Inc. They transport across time and that is why Merida couldn’t find the witch.
Woah. I'd seen many of the references that Negroni calls up here, but I never really imagined it could all be tied up in an insane timeline where magic and advanced AI exist. Using this framework, he stipulates that Brave's witch is the reason that the toys in Toy Story can exist, as well as personified animals/bugs, like in Ratatouille and A Bug's Life. The monsters, meanwhile, are likely mutated animals—which, given the events of Wall-E, where humanity makes the earth inhospitable, seems plausible. Things would mutate, right? Then we've got a theory on how Buy-N-Large slowly overtakes the Pixar universe:
In the beginning of Up, Carl is forced to give up his house to a corporation because they are expanding the city. Think on that. What corporation is guilty for polluting the earth and wiping out life in the distant future because of technology overreach?
Buy-n-Large (BNL), a corporation that runs just about everything by the time we get to Wall-E. In the “History of BNL” commercial from the movie, we’re told that BNL has even taken over the world governments. Did you catch that this one corporation achieved global dominance?
Interestingly, this is the same organization alluded to in Toy Story 3:
Toy Story 3 (Buzz’s batteries)
In Finding Nemo, we have an entire population of sea creatures uniting to save a fish that was captured by humans. BNL shows up again in this universe via another news article that talks about a beautiful underwater world.
I feel like I need to re-watch every single Pixar film now.
You can read the nitty gritty details of Negroni's theory here. It's a doozy.
The Pixar Theory [Jon Negroni]