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Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, who served as a writer on each Toy Story film in the blockbuster animated series, has declared the viral backstory of Andy’s father false.
“Complete and utter fake news. Everyone go back to your homes. Nothing to see here, folks. #iwasthere,” Stanton tweeted shortly after the story, told by product designer and reviewer Mike Mozart, went viral.
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 24, 2017
Mozart claimed to be friends with deceased former Pixar head writer Joe Ranft, who allegedly shared the backstory of the missing father from the films with Mozart at a meeting. Mozart shared the story with YouTubers SuperCarlinBrothers.
According to Mozart’s debunked story, Andy’s dad — also named Andy — was the original owner of Woody. Sometime around 1959, Andy Sr. was diagnosed with polio and his toys were destroyed, but he managed to spare Woody, Slinky Dog and Mr. Potato Head from destruction by hiding them in a box under his bed.
A few decades later, Andy Sr. was married and had a son of his own. Together, the family moved into Andy Sr.’s parents’ home, where he was stricken with post-polio syndrome. In his final moments with his son, Andy Sr., bedridden, gives Andy Jr. a key and asks him to bring a chest down from the attic. Unfortunately, when Andy Jr. returns, his father has passed away.
Later, at his dad’s funeral, Andy opens the chest using the key his father left him. Inside, he finds Slinky Dog, Mr. Potato Head and a familiar smiling cowboy with a drawstring on his back.
June 24, 5 p.m. Updated headline and story throughout to note that Andrew Stanton has debunked the claim by Mike Mozart.
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