Disturbing Toy Story theory about Woody will change how you watch the Pixar films

Things could have played out so differently

Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 17 June 2023 11:42 BST
Toy Story 3 trailer
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There is a distrubing theory about the Toy Story films that gives the film an unsettling edge.

The theory is centred specifically on Toy Story 3, which was released 13 years ago this month.

The film follows the gang as they are mistakenly delivered to Sunnyside daycare centre, where it’s down to Woody (Tom Hanks) to convince the other toys that they haven’t been abandoned by Andy so that they can return in time before he leaves for college.

While at the daycare centre, though, the toys face obstacles in the form of the others there – namely Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (Ned Beatty) who, despite his friendly name, is revealed to be the film’s main antagonist.

Viewers learn in flashback that Lots-o’s beloved owner, Daisy, accidentally left him behind.

When he made his way back to her, he made the heartbreaking discovery that she had replaced him with a new Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear. It was this event that made him evil.

After arriving at Sunnsyide, he decided to rule it like a prison and turn the other toys into his minions.

Over the years, many theories have drawn comparisons between Lots-o’s experience and the one Woody has in the original Toy Story (1995).

The theory goes that by including Lots-o’ in Toy Story 3, the Pixar writers are showing what Woody could have become if Andy had replaced him when he and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) were left behind at Pizza Planet.

Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear in 'Toy Story 3'
Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear in 'Toy Story 3' (Pixar Animation Studios)

On Reddit, a fan theory reads: “I believe Woody is completely capable of everything Lots-o’ did, but Woody always had a kid.

“If Andy had bought a new Woody toy in the first movie, I believe Woody would have turned out just like Lots-o’ – they are both leaders, and they both go through massive trials to get back their respective kids. Plus, we see Woody’s ‘dark side’ in the first movie when he begins to be replaced by Buzz. Lots-o’ is basically a version of Woody with no kid.”

When viewed in this way, the Lots-o’ scenes in Toy Story 3 take on a whole new, far more disturbing light.

Earlier this year, it was reported that both Woody and Buzz (Tim Allen) will return in a fifth instalment.

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