So today, I’m going to kick off my Disney book reviews of 2018 with the very first book I finished this year. The Pixar Theory is something I was actually asked my opinion on back in a university lecture two years ago, and I’m astonished it’s took me until now to read the whole thing.
So Jon’s argument is that all 14 Pixar films that had been released by the time he wrote this theory were all connected, and took place in the same universe, a Pixar universe.
These 14 Pixar films are: Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011), Brave (2012) and Monsters University (2013).
If you would like to read the full theory, then you can buy The Pixar Theory on amazon. Alternatively, you can read Jon’s blog post about the Pixar theory here. If you want a brief review without spoilers, then right this way. Overview
You can see a visual timeline for the Pixar theory on the website, but here is the order the films exist within the Pixar universe, which is a lot different from the chronological order:
- Brave (2012)
- The Incredibles (2004)
- Toy Story (1995)
- Toy Story 2 (1999)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- Ratatouille (2007)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Up (2009)
- Cars (2006)
- Cars 2 (2011)
- Wall-E (2008)
- A Bug’s Life (1998)
- Monsters University (2013)
- Monsters Inc (2001)
So, as you can see, the Pixar theory shakes up the order that the Pixar films come in, in order to create a time line of events that links the whole theory together. I don’t want to give anything away, because I’d love for you all to read the book for yourself and come back here to talk about it with me, but I will say: if you haven’t watched these films for a while, take a closer look at each one, but especially Brave and Wall-E. They’re all important, but those are two key films in this theory, I would argue.
There are a lot of recurring themes in Pixar films, such as the inclusion of ‘A113’, the Pizza Planet truck, and the Luxo Ball in their films, which are known as ‘easter eggs’. There are also themes that exist across the universe, such as BnL, the company most notably seen in Wall-E, is featured in Toy Story 3, and Pixar also like to include characters from other Pixar films, or characters from future Pixar films, in their movies.
Whether you agree with the Pixar theory, like I do, or disagree, we can all agree on one thing: it’s very meticulously researched, thought out, and argued. Jon has put a lot of hard work into this theory, and I personally think it’s a really plausible theory. Some parts of the theory are admittedly harder to get your head around than others (I’m looking at you, Cars) but a lot of the Easter eggs I mentioned above make a lot more sense when you accept that they could all take place in the same universe.
I love some of the arguments that arise in the theory, such as the idea that Carl Fredicksen from Up could be related to, and at least definitely knows, Andy Davis from Toy Story, as there is a postcard from Carl on Andy’s wall in Toy Story 3. To have put my two favourite Pixar movies together, with this cute little easter egg, is why I love Pixar so much, and this theory.
As I mentioned above, the company BnL from Wall-E is seen in Toy Story 3, when Buzz’s batteries are removed to try and return him to normal after being Spanish Buzz, which is personally my favourite scene in the film.
Up is my all-time favourite Pixar film, so I must share with you a quote from the Up chapter, because it probably best explains why Up is such a special film to me:
“I once read that Up is a decent Pixar movie that is made excellent only because of its first ten minutes. Seriously, people actually think that. Naturally, this disregards a movie that starts with an emotional punch and then manages to hold your attention for another hour and a half without pulling the same tricks.”
I actually wrote my university dissertation on Up, specifically on how the themes of death, dying and bereavement are represented throughout the whole film. A film is not a ten-minute long montage, so I don’t know why everyone treats up like all that matters is those ten minutes. Yes, death and dying are represented in these ten minutes, but I argued in my dissertation that bereavement the biggest theme of this film – it it how Carl copes once he’s lost Ellie that makes up the rest of the film. I am very happy that Jon defends the film that is so dear to my heart.
In short, I absolutely loved this theory. I knew bits and bobs about it when I was at university, which meant that the theory as a whole didn’t make sense to me because only knowing the key points does not help you piece it all together.
I love the concept that all of my best-loved films from my childhood could actually all exist within the same universe, and create one giant narrative arc in which a French rat who cooks is somehow linked to a Redheaded fish-killer. I totally, 100% sign up to this theory, and I hope after you’ve read the theory that you all will too! I gave this book 5 stars on goodreads.
I have done my best not to spoil any of it for you guys, because I implore you to read the Pixar theory for yourself. I’ve left the link at the top of this post, to either buy the book or visit the website, and there’s also a YouTube video (not by Jon) that you can watch to get a basic overview – but only if you don’t want to read it.
I’d love for all of you to read the Pixar theory for yourself, so that I have more people to discuss the theory with. Like I said, I find some parts easier to get my head around than others, and since the release of the book, there has had to be some changes to the timeline to incorporate new releases. This is also on Jon’s blog, so if you’d rather not read the book, then go and check out his blog!
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