Online magazine Slate have an article up which reveals exactly who Andy’s mom is in the Toy Story trilogy and what her relationship is to the toys in the films—specifically one toy in particular: Jessie.
According to the article, Jon Negroni has a theory that Andy’s mom is in fact Jessie’s previous owner, Emily.
The giveaway signs are Andy’s cowboy hat (the same style as Jessie’s and allegedly passed down to him from his mom).
And also the flashback scene (below) in Toy Story 2 which tells Jessie’s story and appears to be set in the 1960s, which would fit the sort of time period when Andy’s mom would’ve been a young girl.
Anyway, even if it is a load of bull, it’s a nice idea and we’re more than happy to suck it up.
Recall the story of Jessie. Her owner Emily grew up with her, much as Andy grew up with Woody. She was loved and cherished, but Emily eventually gave her away when she grew older.
Jessie ended up in storage for a long time, as we learn when she has a panic attack about having to go back.
Also, in the donation box that Emily puts Jessie in, we don’t see the hat. We do see other remnants of her connection with Jessie, but the hat is noticeably absent. The box isn’t even big enough to hold it. So Emily held onto that hat … and maybe passed it on to her child, who would also grow to love a cowboy doll.
We never get a closeup of Emily’s face, but we do see that she has light, auburn hair as a teenager. Also, it is very short. Compare that to:
We don’t know the first name of Andy’s mom and we don’t know Emily’s last name. But we know that Andy’s and Emily’s hats are the same and that Emily is old enough to be Andy’s mom. We definitely know that Pixar is capable of sneaking something like this into a movie without being overt about it.
You may be wondering how the two characters could be the same if Emily was willing to give Jessie up so easily, while Andy was far more hesitant.
But the scenarios are actually quite similar. Andy forgot about Woody as he grew up too, despite their strong connection. Andy even gave Woody away, albeit in a different manner than Emily.
Would Andy’s mom get excited to see Jessie again? Perhaps, though we never get to see her reaction. And, of course, she would probably assume that it was a different version of the same toy. She would be pleased, one imagines, but she wouldn’t necessarily realize the utter serendipity of it.
What do you think? Do you believe that the two characters are the same and that Andy’s mom/Emily found redemption through the love her son had for the toy she left behind? Or, do you hate fun, love, and destiny?
(Thx to Slate for this cute conspiracy theory and letting us retell it here.)