With the pull of a lever, the white and pink door vanished. All that was left was a pile of shredded wood and a knob. While countless other doors still linked the human and monster worlds, this door was shredded to ensure Sulley and Boo were separated and that the pair would never see each other again.
Pixar has a habit of pulling at the heartstrings of its audience through its films. Monsters Inc, specifically through this heartbreaking scene between Sulley and Boo, follows this trend. By the time this scene hits, we care deeply about these characters, and it hurts watching this pair torn apart. For those who are newer to the Pixar fandom, the feeling is similar to the sucker punch you get watching the scene in Inside Out where Bing Bong disappears. However, floating around the internet is a sliver of hope for us fans. Copywriter and movie blogger Jon Negroni has a theory that what happens to Boo doesn’t end with Monsters Inc. It’s just the beginning.
Many of you have probably heard of Negroni’s Pixar Theory (which he has written an entire book on), but here’s a quick rundown. Essentially, the Pixar Theory shows how every Pixar movie is part of the same universe. That’s right, all 17 films take place in the same world. The information on the official Pixar Theory website covers all the crucial details to connecting this massive movie universe, although it hasn’t been updated since the release of Monsters University. Negroni and many Pixar lovers fully believe in this multiverse, but according to Pixar film directors, it isn’t one universe. Without concrete evidence provided by the directors, there isn’t much to support Negroni’s theory, which means he has actually created the basis for an alternative universe (AU) or crossover fanfic. In Negroni’s Theory, characters from different Pixar movies can crossover into one another, creating a universe different from the originals. To really see how deep this goes, you need to know the basics of the theory.
Starting with Brave, magic has been introduced to the world through the “will-of-the-wisps” and a witch who can disappear using wooden doors. This magic is what leads to the eventual creation of super heroes, thus allowing the timeline to continue with The Incredibles. I won’t go into every single connection Negroni makes for the whole timeline, but, briefly, the magic and technological energy in the universe causes the evolution of toys and animals in Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, an uprising between animals and humans after the events in Up, humans’ escape to space on the Axiom in Wall-E, and then animal mutations from radiation, resulting in the creatures of Monsters Inc.
If that doesn’t seem crazy, there’s even more up Negroni’s sleeve. According to the theory, by the time of Monsters Inc, humans have become extinct. The monster world runs on energy from humans. Luckily, the wooden doors used for work at Monsters Incorporated allow monsters to time travel to obtain that energy, which is what gives Boo the chance to meet Sulley.
Negroni’s theory would completely fall apart without Boo, because she ties the entire universe together. After three-year-old Boo’s journey with Sulley, the memories never go away, and she tries to find a way back to him. Over time, Negroni believes, she learns how to time travel by using wooden doors, causing her to end up in the world of Brave. You guessed it, Boo is the witch. A key piece of evidence Negroni presents is that a carving of Sulley is visible in the witch’s cottage in Brave.
The Pixar Theory is intense, and Negroni clearly spent a lot of time crafting and polishing it. There are countless videos on YouTube of people discussing the theory, and Negroni even keeps up on it through his personal site when new Pixar films come out. However, after all of that work his theory is easily disproven. Even a little outside research shows this giant universe doesn’t exist and is simply Negroni preparing connections for his own fanfiction.
Let’s start with the Easter eggs, unexpected features included as a bonus for consumers, like the carving of Sulley. Negroni makes an argument that Boo doesn’t completely understand time travel. Her goal is to find Sulley, but her lack of control over time travel causes Boo to end up in the wrong films and leave Easter eggs everywhere. But let’s think this through. I cannot think of a single studio that doesn’t utilize Easter eggs in their films; even video games have them. These are meant as bonuses for fans to find while watching the movie, or they are inside jokes between the animators, like Pixar’s constant use of the Pizza Planet truck. It is impressive how many of these Easter eggs are out there, and they are what holds together Negroni’s theory/fanfic instead of concrete evidence.
Negroni’s theory is based on little actual evidence. When Boo goes into the monster world with Sulley she is three years old. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t say I have any memories from that age. If anything, Boo probably remembered Sulley as an imaginary friend for a few years, but it makes sense to use this type of creative license when starting up a crossover universe. Then there is the idea that these wooden doors allow for time travel. Just by going onto Pixar’s website you can read a short paragraph about the doors in Monsters Inc. The website states, “As most kids know, a closet door is one of the few things capable of keeping monsters at bay. With this simple dividing line, the Pixar team created worlds for both sides of the door.” This one statement shows that the human and monster worlds are separate places. They more resemble parallel universes than one separated by time.
You may be asking who I am to decide whether this theory is true or not, which I understand. I can debate against the validity of the Pixar Theory as much as I want, but the only people who can definitively state whether this theory has any merit are those working at Pixar. Luckily for us, Pete Docter, writer and director of many Pixar films (Wall-E, Inside Out, Monsters Inc, etc.), has already spoken on the topic. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Docter shot down Negroni’s theory. Pixar’s movies are thought up as completely different worlds. Besides, can you imagine the kind of planning and meetings Pixar employees would have to successfully implement a universe like this starting with their first film? It would be next to impossible. But as Negroni has shown, it is possible to create this inclusive universe after the fact.
Negroni’s theory took the details provided in Pixar’s films, made them connect, and created some of his own ideas based on the previous material. What he has managed to complete is the outline and backbone for the ultimate Pixar crossover fanfic. Generally, fanfiction is anything written by fans that isn’t approved as canon. Going off this definition, the Pixar Theory automatically classifies as fanfiction. All Negroni would need to do is start working on some scenes to continue his story—which, it just so happens, he did.
The Pixar Detective is a re-imagining of the universe Negroni presented in the theory, including an original story and characters. This book follows characters like Mary (typically know as Boo) through the timeline and story Negroni has created over the course of 30 chapters. The entire book is even available to read online for free at his website. Now the only question is, how can Negroni still insist the Pixar Theory is real when he has written his own fanfic for it? The Pixar Detective shows that a lot of the important connections were from Negroni’s own imagination instead of being based on fact.
There are even other people who have begun fanfics based on the Pixar Theory, such as How She Came to Be by jaoop1234 on Wattpad. While many of these fanfics are incomplete, they show that people do see this topic as fanfiction. Boo isn’t actually the witch from Brave, but it is entertaining to read stories about what it would be like if she was a time traveler (when they are well written). It gives people who enjoy those films more material to make the dream last longer, which is exactly what fanfiction exists to provide. Those involved in this fandom would probably be ecstatic to read Negroni’s crossover, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this part of the fanfiction community grow from it. Besides, those of us in the Pixar fandom could use something new to finally take a break from Pixar movies’ emotional rollercoasters.
I commend Negroni for being able to create such an elaborate crossover fanfic. Although it clearly wasn’t his original intention to gather all of this information to write fanfiction, it is an impressive feat. Perhaps his work will open the door to other writers looking toward fan theories for writing inspiration. The world is full of theories, books, and movies to choose from, and it will be interesting to see who can create a more complexly intertwined universe for crossovers in the future.