Toy Story has been out for 21 years, and by now you’ve probably seen it a gazillion times (rough estimate) on VHS, DVD,
ABC Family Freeform, and Disney Channel. It’s a pretty shut and closed story, with a beginning, middle, and happy ending. But, all these years later, there are still some lingering questions. Like, where the heck is Andy’s dad?
Andy’s dad — let’s call him Dad Davis, since it’s been established that Andy’s last name is Davis — is never seen, mentioned, or discussed throughout Toy Story, Toy Story 2, or Toy Story 3. Doubtful he’ll make his first appearance during the upcoming Toy Story 4, and besides, it’d be impossible for him to, since Andy gave all his toys away to Bonnie at the end of 3. Dad Davis could simply end up being one of those unexplained Disney ~mysteries~ but there IS actually a reason for his absence.
It’s a ridiculously simple reason: He was never needed for the story.
This answer has been hiding in front of us since 2010, when MSN Movies interviewed Toy Story director, Lee Unkrich. When asked about Dad Davis, Unkrich explained, “We’ve never addressed it directly, nor have we given any explanation for where he is or why he’s absent. We don’t mean to be mysterious about it; it’s just never been relevant to the story.”
But, Unkrich himself has put some thought into the absence of Dad Davis. “Maybe Woody is so special to Andy because he was given to him by his dad” he speculates. “I don’t know if that is the case or not, but there is that kind of unspoken question, ‘Why would Woody be especially special to him?'”
Later on in the interview, Unkrich mentions that the idea came up to give Mom Davis a love interest, referring to this new character as “Stepdad.” From that, we can take away that yes, Dad Davis is gone; He might have died, there might have been a divorce, or any other number of reasons for a parent to be MIA. But Stepdad was still never added in along with Dad Davis because as Unkrich continues, “When you’ve got the mom and the dad, the tendency is to just think everything is perfect [and that’s not always true to life.]”
So there you have it. Andy’s dad was never relevant for the toys in Toy Story, so why bother introducing the character in the first place? Disney mystery SOLVED.