Obviously, we’ve seen Woody’s facial expressions go all over the place. However, when he’s a toy, he’s only supposed to have one face… right? Look closely at when Andy is playing with Woody at the beginning; you’ll see his iconic close-mouthed smile turn into an open-mouthed expression. It changes on-and-off throughout Andy’s first playtime with Woody, most visible when Andy’s spinning around with Woody in the recliner. The only theory is that Pixar was giving an early hint that there was more to Woody than meets the eye, as the toys had not yet come “alive” in the movie.
Similarly, Buzz’s toy expression went through a number of changes, but between movies. In the original Toy Story, Buzz bears the serious expression of a Space Ranger. Though by Toy Story 2, we see Andy’s Buzz change his face to a softer expression (in both scenes he appears as a toy). Interestingly, the new Buzzes present at Al’s Toy Barn all have Buzz’s original expression (with slight changes, like the eyes have been straightened). This makes it appear that the decision to change Andy’s Buzz’s face was intentional, possibly to reflect his character. Meanwhile, there’s further slight alterations made for Toy Story 3; notably that his eyelids are no longer visible. Let’s hope Andy doesn’t pay attention to this stuff…
Alright, this is probably the biggest mystery of them all. The literal explanation is simply that it was harder for Pixar to animate another male character. But story wise? There’s endless theories and rumors as to why Mr. Davis wasn’t a part of his family’s life. The most plausible, however, are divorce and death. Though even in the case of a divorce, what kind of dad would miss his son’s birthday, and all subsequent life events? There’s only limited family pictures displayed (most are of Andy), so that isn’t much to go by. Taking this all into account (with no evidence of a recent divorce), it looks like Andy’s dad most likely died. Due to Molly’s age, it would have been about one or two years before the events of the first movie.
Woody’s First Owner
This is another mystery that baffles fans. Woody is an old toy from the late fifties; it’s made clear that Andy was certainly not his first owner. His past is only hinted at in the second movie. Andy’s mom refers to Woody as an “old family toy,” so it seems he was kept in the family. Woody’s remark that he hasn’t seen a record player “in ages” reveals that he was opened and active during his time with his first owner. Furthermore, the Prospector reminds Woody that he’s a hand-me-down toy as he taunts him. By all means, Woody seems to have been originally belonged to one of Andy’s parents; both would have been around the proper age. In an interview with characters in promotional content for Toy Story 2, Woody revealed that he was unaware of his stardom at the time due to his owner not having a TV.
How come Woody has a holster but no gun? Only one explanation has surfaced, which is that Andy lost it when he had chickenpox (this allegedly came from the same promotional interviews, but a confirmation is needed). Interestingly, Woody was seen with two toy revolvers in an early opening from Toy Story (pictured). A Woody’s Roundup magazine in Toy Story 2 pokes fun at this with a comic titled “Gunless Law.” Although it seems most likely that Woody originally came with a gun accessory, Al didn’t make note of that when inspecting Woody at the yard sale, nor was a gun seen in Woody’s Roundup. The mystery lives on.
Toy Story Timeline
The dates of the Toy Story movies are intentionally kept vague, but there’s various hints as to when the movies actually occurred. Writing of the original film began in 1991, while the final script was from November of 1995. No in-movie references to any particular dates. Toy Story 2 takes place an undisclosed amount of time after the original Toy Story (sources still vary greatly). Based on Andy’s calendar, we do know that this film takes place in August. This calendar also starts on Monday, which would make possible dates 1994 and 2005. Doesn’t look like they took that into account.
While we don’t have a year for this one either, a reference is made to Buzz Lightyear’s introduction in 1995, which would put that as the year of the original movie, which makes sense. Also consider that Toy Story 3 takes place 11 years after the original (Andy was 6 in the original, and 17 in Toy Story 3). Now this puts the events of Toy Story 3 at 2006.
Investigation of Toy Story 3, however, reveals a ticket on Andy’s bulletin board dated Nov. 2009. Being fairly covered over time, this would put the date close to the film’s release date of summer of 2010. This change would put Toy Story‘s date up to 1999. In light of this, the only conclusion is that there really is no actual timeline for the Toy Story movies. Interpretation varies on the filmmakers, and above all, the goal was to create a timeless atmosphere.
Erik von Detten as Andy?
Andy sounds a little bit strange in some early promotional material. Hear for yourself; this sound clip (appearing at 0:35) is from Toy Story‘s theatrical trailer (“quick! make a space, this is where the spaceship lands”). The same take is used in Toy Story: Animated Storybook. As a fan, I can say that is distinctly Erik von Detten’s voice and not John Morris’. As of now, I have no idea what the reason is. Was Erik originally cast as Andy before becoming Sid? It would be odd, considering both Sid and Andy’s final voices are present in the final version (not to mention, there’s no documentation of that). My verdict? Because it distinctly sounds like Sid (and not Erik trying to voice Andy), it seems like remnants from an abandoned scene. Maybe it was kept because it fit the scene? There’s really no answer that satisfies all these questions.
In a memorable scene from the original Toy Story, Woody is tortured by Sid, who burns Woody’s forehead with a magnifying glass. Although Woody “sure hopes it isn’t permanent,” the burn dot remains present for the duration of the film… except for the very last scene of the film a few months later where it’s magically gone.
It wouldn’t have been of much note, had it not been for a scene in an early script for Toy Story 2, where Al uses melted plastic to fill in the dot and restore Woody (at this stage, Al and the Cleaner were one in the same). Though this would create a conflict after we saw a restored Woody at the end of the first film. Ultimately, the filmmakers realized this and kept Woody as-is at the start of Toy Story 2.
We’re left to theorize how Woody got fixed by the end of Toy Story. The burn either faded on its own, or Andy’s mom touched him up.
What a Wonderful World
Strangely enough, people commonly associate the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong with Toy Story. Just check search patterns on Google and YouTube, this is not just an isolated occurrence.
The explanation behind this is shockingly simple: Randy Newman and Louis Armstrong just sound alike. In fact, some are even surprised that Louis Armstrong didn’t sing the songs for the movie (despite passing away in 1971).
The recent spread of the Mandela Effect theory also addresses this [widespread misconceptions are believed to be proof of an alternate dimension]. A Reddit thread addresses the issue. The OP actually recalls the song appearing when Buzz tries to fly off the railing, but as we all know the song is actually “I Will Go Sailing No More” by Randy Newman. But user teponallthechickens points out that the songs both have a similar orchestral accompaniment and melodic structure. Watching the movie as a child with a fuzzy memory gives us a plausible answer to the confusion.