Two days after the friend of a late Toy Story writer revealed a previously untold and devastating story about Andys dad, another Pixar writer lashed out on Twitter calling it utterly false.
Lets back up. This week, YouTuber Jonathan Carlin of Super Carlin Brothers published his video interview with Mike Mozart, a toy designer who was friends with Joe Ranft, the Pixar head writer who co-wrote Toy Story.
According to Carlins interview, which went viral this week, Mozart said Ranft had revealed to him why Andys dad was suspiciously absent from the film over lunch. Mozart told HuffPost that he had met Ranft through his work in toy design. Their conversation about Andys backstory took place over a decade ago, he said, before Ranft died in 2005.
Andrew Stanton, who was on the writing staff with Ranft for the first two Toy Story films,debunked the alleged backstory on Twitter Saturday with a simple hashtag that claimed, #Iwasthere.
Ranfts story, as Mozart recalled to Carlin, goes like this: Andys father is also named Andy. He was the original owner of the Woody doll. As a kid, Andy Sr. was poor, bullied and a huge fan of the TV show Woodys Roundup.He was also the only kid in the world who had Woody, which he received after writing a letter to a cereal company, because the doll was the sole prototype of a marketing gimmick that had been cut short after Woodys TV show was cancelled. (This theory would explain why Woody was considered so rare in the sequel.)
Then, Andy Sr. contracted polio and nearly all of his toys except for Woody, Slinky and Mr. Potato Head were burned as a result. He eventually recovered from the disease, grew up, got married and had a son who he named after himself. Later in life, Andy Sr. was diagnosed with a fatal case of post-polio syndrome. On his deathbed, Andy Sr. asked his son to retrieve a chest from the attic. By the time Andy Jr. returned with the chest, his father had already died.
Andy Jr. opened the chest with a key left to him by his father after the funeral. Inside was Mr. Potato Head, Slink and, of course, Woody.
The video of Mozart and Carlin went viral and eventually caught the attention of Stanton.
Stanton on Saturday refuted Mozarts claim that Ranft had a secret backstory by tweeting a link to a news article about Mozarts interview and calling it, Complete and utter fake news. However, Stantons tweet did not specify what was fake about the interview and representatives for Stanton and Pixar did not immediately return HuffPosts request for clarification.
Mozart, for his part, stands by the retelling of his conversation with Ranft.
Its not a theory, Mozart told HuffPost. The story was told to me by Joe Ranft about 12 to 14 years ago over lunch.
Mozart said that Ranft was so animated and passionate when detailing Andys dads life that he believed the Pixar writer had created the storyline, at least in his head, for a good deal of time.
When asked if he was upset by Stantons tweet, Mozart said no, adding that Stanton never said [Ranfts story for Andys dad]was a lie.
And while Ranft is unfortunately unable to back up Mozarts claim, one thing is certain: That backstory for Andy is truly heartbreaking.
Watch Carlins full video with Mozart below.