Everyone knows about Easter eggs in Disney films: King Triton is on a Mardi Gras float in The Princess and the Frog, Mrs. Potts and Chip are brought along in Tarzan and Mickey, Donald and Goofy are in a crowd at the beginning of The Little Mermaid. But, for a few years now, people have been speculating that all Pixar films take place in different times in the same universe. You might have heard that Boo made an appearance in Toy Story 3.
Well, Jon Negroni heard about the theory pretty recently by watching a video on Cracked. He spent the next few months, um, let's call it studying.
2. The Incredibles
3. Toy Story
4. Toy Story 2
6. Finding Nemo*
7. Toy Story 3
10. Cars 2
12. A Bug's Life
13. Monsters University
14. Monsters Inc.
What? Obviously the big surprise is the placement of A Bug's Life, but Negroni argues that's one of the easier jumps to see:
Because the machines tip everything out of balance, Earth becomes an unfit planet for humans and animals, so the remaining humans are put on Axiom (or Noah’s Ark if you want to carry on the Biblical theme where Wall-E is basically Robot Jesus and his love interest is aptly named Eve) as a last-ditch effort to save the human race.
[Note: Can we all just agree to refer to Wall-E as "Robot Jesus" from here on out? Yes? No? OK, moving on.]
After Wall-E liberates the humans and they rebuild society back on Earth, what happens then? During the end credits of Wall-E, we see the shoe that contains the last of plant life. It grows into a mighty tree. A tree that strikingly resembles the central tree in A Bug’s Life. That’s right. The reason no humans exist in A Bug’s Life is because there aren’t a lot left. We know because of the cockroach that some of the insects survived, meaning they would have rebounded a bit faster, though the movie had to be far enough in the timeline for birds to have returned as well. There’s something strikingly different about A Bug’s Life when compared to other Pixar portrayals of animals, which leads me to believe it takes place in the future. Unlike Ratatouille, Up, and Finding Nemo, the bugs have many human activities similar to what the rats in Ratatouille were just experimenting with. The bugs have cities, bars, know what a bloody mary is, and even have a travelling circus. This all assumes that the movie is in a different time period.
I won't spoil the big theory that ties everything together, but it certainly surprised me. I'm not sure how I feel about the Pixar theory. It's pretty unlikely that, back in 1995, Pixar had this wacky universe in mind. A Bug's Life was only Pixar's second film. Could the writers really have been thinking this far ahead?
Probably not. But I love the idea that, at some point, the writers sat down and decided the company needed a storyline of its own.
The post has been getting quite a bit of attention since it went up last Thursday. Negroni has been responding to readers on Twitter, in the comments and within the text of the original post.
Does anyone else feel a Pixar marathon coming on?
*Note: In different posts, Negroni switches Ratatouille and Finding Nemo on the list. I guess we'll never know.