Last year, we interviewed Pixar detective Jon Negroni and posted his answers here on this blog. Several months later, he sent us a copy of his new book, The Pixar Theory. Check out my review below.
If there was such a thing as a hall of fame for fan-theories, Jon Negroni's "Pixar Theory" would be the premier inductee. His popular web post, now a book, is worth celebrating and admiring for years to come. In it he claims that each Pixar character lives in the same universe.
Nergroni admits his theory is "bonkers" considering each of these characters and stories were developed by different animation teams at different points in time, but it's that very admission that validates this body of work. In his book, he invites readers to use their imaginations and simply open their minds to the possibility.
As Negroni carefully presents the evidence for his case, readers are taken on a journey to see what is hidden in plain sight. A master detective, he let's no detail escape him, managing to connect the dotes between the Omnidriod in the The Incredibles to the product manufacturing giant BnL in WALL-E to the gasoline brand Allinol in Cars 2. He also connects the dates seen on calendars, documents, and posters found in the backgrounds of movies like Up, Toy Story, Ratatouille, and others, in a brilliantly convincing way.
For pop culture enthusiasts and Pixar lovers, the book offers new details to wrestle with, more answers to play with, and a bounty of evidence in favor of a theoretical Pixar shared universe. If you were skeptical about reading the theory when it first hit the web in 2013, you'll definitely want to read it now in its extended form. Fans will be delightfully amused and wonderfully entertained by his new and evolved findings. It is important to note that much of the first half sets up the back half of the book. Readers will need to be patient as the second half reveals an arsenal of insights that support Negroni's theory.
The "Pixar Theory" will inspire fans to rewatch each of the Pixar films a dozen more times and conduct investigations of their own. As I finished reading the book myself, I was reminded why this essay went viral in the first place.
Remember that Pixar Theory that went viral last summer? That was written by Jon Negroni. Do you recall the theory suggesting Andy's mom from Toy Story was Emily, Jessie’s previous owner? That too was made popular by Jon Negroni. Does a sad theory about Andy's dad come to mind? That revelation was also brought to you by Jon Negroni.
In the blogosphere, Jon Negroni's work offers some very imaginative answers to some of Pixar's most mysterious characters.
Last week I had the honor of briefly interviewing writer and Pixar Detective Jon Negroni. To further acquaint you, here are his answers to my three questions:
1. The Pixar universe is full of characters we can relate to. Is there one particular character you identify with the most? Why?
That's the beauty of Pixar characters, isn't it? It's so easy for me to relate with so many different characters, it's hard for me to single out any one of them. But I guess I can use the power of nostalgia to settle on the one character that has inspired me from the beginning (because he reminds me so much of myself). And that would be Toy Story's Woody. Of all of the Pixar stories, his redemption and growth as a loyal, compassionate leader has always struck a chord with me.
2. What person, place or thing is inspiring you right now?
Right now, I'm being bombarded with the genius of The Beatles. I've been a diehard fan of the music since high school, but I just recently purchased the Box Set on iTunes. So I've been binging on all of their songs for the last few weeks as I write. It "inspires" me in the sense that it opens up my creativity. I think and create in different ways when I'm exposed to the music, and every time I hear something truly complex within the seemingly simple tunes, I'm challenged to add more depth to the simple things I say, do and bother to write down.
3. Over the years you have written content that has shaped how people think about life, art, and culture. It's obvious that somewhere along the way you discovered that writing was more than a hobby for you. For those having a difficult time pinpointing their passion, what are some indicators they should look for in the discovery phase?
If people don't like that you're doing something a certain way, that's how you know you're on to something. In other words, my English teachers mostly hated me (in the nicest way possible). And when I started blogging out of college, everyone told me the way I picked my blog's topics was too scattered. They all said I needed to settle on a niche. Just one singular focus. That way, they said, I could build a loyal fan base.
But I told myself that I'd rather just write about whatever I want. Best blog-related decision I've ever made. So if you're trying to figure out your passion, then sometimes its useful to just try some different things and see what works. Let yourself get excited about the things that easily excite you. This can be hard if you're not naturally an opportunist. In those cases, pay very close attention to how people react to what you contribute to the world and find a reason for why you do it.
For more of Jon's musings about life, art, and culture, make sure to check out his blog at jonnegroni.com