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‘Toy Story’ Theory Revealed: Does Woody Have A Last Name?

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Toy Story

Toy Story is a Pixar animated film probably everyone has seen. People have fallen in love with Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the whole gang. But 10 years ago, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich answered an interesting question about Woody we have never given much thought to until now: Does Woody have a last name?

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Since 1995, Woody has been the leader of all toys. He’s loyal to his owner, Andy. He’s funny, reliable, and he always knows what to do for Andy’s other toys. He’s everyone’s friend. But what do we really know about Woody? He’s a cowboy. He’s the protagonist of the Toy Story franchise, and in the first film, he didn’t want to be replaced by Buzz Lightyear.

Throughout the years, fans have speculated many theories about Andy’s toys. There’s a strong theory that Jessie [everyone’s favorite cowgirl] originally belonged to Andy’s mother when she was a young girl. Others think toys don’t come to life until they belong to a child. But there’s one question fans couldn’t answer: Does Woody have a last name? If so, what is it and what is its connection to the films?

Revealing The Answer

When Toy Story 3 released nearly 10 years ago in 2010 [Do you feel old yet?], director Lee Unkrich, a longtime Pixar employee, sat down for interviews and ended up revealing the answer regarding Woody’s last name. Yes, Woody has a last name but it’s probably not what you think it is.

The cowboy protagonist’s full name is Woody Pride. Unkrich explained that his name was common knowledge to Pixar animators since the first film in the franchise. His name hasn’t been revealed in the movies, mostly because animators and writers felt ‘Woody Pride’ didn’t flow naturally into the script. Instead, the character is simply ‘Woody’ and that’s how we’ll always remember him.

What Happened To Andy’s Dad?

This answers one question regarding Woody, but there are many other fan theories—one in particular that has circulated the Internet in recent weeks. Fans want to know whatever happened to Andy’s father. He wasn’t in the first film in the franchise, but he had to exist at some point. Did he die? Are Andy’s parents divorced? One theory suggests Woody actually originally belonged to Andy’s dad and the story is as heartbreaking as any Pixar movie.

As the theory suggests, Andy’s father [also named Andy] was the original owner of the Woody cowboy doll. Andy Sr. wrote his name on Woody’s boot. The reason Woody is a rare toy is because Woody was a prototype. He was the only cowboy doll ever made of his kind. When Andy’s father was a child, a cereal company held a promotion in which whoever sent in the greatest number of box tops won a Sheriff Woody doll. Andy Sr.’s family wasn’t rich, but Andy, a sickly child, sent in a few box tops, along with a letter begging for the doll. Someone at the company decided to send him the original doll.

This is a good story, but then it gets depressing. Andy Sr. eventually became sick with polio. All of his belongings had to be burned, including his toys. Andy hid Woody, knowing he couldn’t get rid of the toy. Eventually, Andy Sr. grew up, met Andy’s mother, got married, and had Andy Jr. Around the time Andy’s younger sister, Molly, was born, Andy Sr. became sick with post-polio syndrome and died from the illness. However, he didn’t die before entrusting his beloved Woody doll to his son. From that moment on, Andy Jr. and Woody were inseparable, just like Andy Sr. was with the toy. If this theory is true, it would answer a lot of questions about Andy’s dad, Andy’s connection to Woody, and more.

Pixar recently released Toy Story 4. It’s unsure if the franchise will continue. If it won’t, it’s time to say goodbye to your favorite toys. But just like your own toys, Woody is always there for you, no matter what.

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