Don’t worry, that super sad “Toy Story” backstory was immediately debunked

Polio, fire, amnesia, and more! The latest Toy Story revelation from a consultant on the film has so many tragic turns that we’re relieved that it’s not actually true. Just yesterday, in an interview with Jonathan Carlin, Toy Story toy consultant Mike Mozart shared the story behind Andy’s Dad. It was one he attributed to his late friend and former Pixar head-writer, Joe Ranft, who passed away in 2005.

But within hours, Andrew Stanton, a writer on each of the franchise’s films, took to Twitter to debunk the Toy Story backstory.

So, what’s the terrible, horrible, sadder-than-sad backstory that Mozart shared?

It explained that Woody was actually Andy’s dad’s toy, but that Andy’s dad had died of polio.

Essentially, Mozart said that Ranft shared the secret that Andy’s dad was supposedly also named Andy, and he contracted polio as a child. To disinfect his belongings, most of his toys were burned, except Woody and a few others – because he crawled out of bed to save them. That right there already tugs at the heart strings, but wait, there’s more!

Andy’s dad, Andy Senior, later succumbed to a polio-related illness as an adult, after he’d married Andy’s mom and had kids. Apparently, while on his death bed, he told Andy to go up to the attic to open up a box of toys…a box that contained Woody. But when Andy came back down with the box, his dad was dead.

But don’t freak out just yet, because, like we said, Toy Story writer Andrew Stanton isn’t backing up this tale.


Mike Mozart is standing by his story — “The story was told to me by Joe Ranft about 12 to 14 years ago over lunch,” he explained — and it’s definitely possible that Joe Ranft had his own ideas about Andy’s missing dad. But for now, we’re choosing to believe the version of the story that doesn’t completely break our hearts. Maybe we’ll find out more in the next movie!