15 Fan Theories About The Parents In Pixar That Actually Make A Good Point

List Rules
Vote up your favorite Pixar theories.

Pixar loves to make us cry. Their secret? Use parents! These Pixar parents have made us laugh, cry, and secretly resent them as we would our own - but also love them just the same. 

Below fans have shared theories about the parents in Pixar's movies, and some of them make a great point. Vote up your favorites! 


  • 1
    74 VOTES

    The Red Panda Represents Both A Biological Cycle, As Well As A Cycle Of Generational Pressure, One That Meilin Needed To Help Her Mother Overcome

    From Redditor u/DelorasMulva:

    I saw it as a double play on "cycle", both a biological cycle (puberty/menses) and the cycle of disapproval/forced obedience passed from mother to daughter. Becoming an adult meant becoming someone new, and Meilin had to help her mother come to terms with both that and with her Grandma.

  • 2
    63 VOTES

    The Rivera's Were Such Popular Shoemakers Because Mama Imelda Made Shoes That Could Help With Medical Conditions, Based On Her Husband Hector's Feet

    From Redditor u/SketchesFromMidgard:

    When the family is tracking Miguel down, Imelda's alebrije, Pepita, illuminates Miguel's footprints with some sort of spirit magic. One of Miguel's uncles kneels down and notices that it's a "Rivera shoe, size 7.5, pronated."

    Overpronation, if untreated, can lead to several issues including: shin splints, bunions, altered gait (the way you walk), heel pain, plantar fascitis, IT band syndrome, and stress fractures in the leg. Miguel wearing pronated shoes would help to correct these issues as he grows up. By looking at Hector's gait and lower legs compared to Miguel wearing pronated shoes it's easy to assume that this is a hereditary condition in the Rivera family. 

    My theory is that Mama Imelda, Hector's wife, got her start making shoes by making specialty shoes for her husband, Hector, and her children. After his death, without Imelda's shoes, Hector's symptoms worsened in the land of the dead, while Imelda used the skills that she developed in order to make a living for her family.

  • 3
    110 VOTES

    Riley's Parents Have Different Emotions Guiding Them Because Their Emotions Are More Complex And Mature Than Riley's

    From Redditor u/frappuccinio:

    Okay, so, Riley’s parents don’t have Joy piloting their emotions the way Riley does. The mom has Sadness and the dad has Anger.

    Now this isn’t some edgy “the mom is depressed and the dad has a temper” theory.

    It’s the fact that the movie shows, as you age your emotions become more complex (shown by Riley’s emotions being able to created fused memories at the end)

    These deeper and more mature emotions pilot the parents!

    The Dad’s anger is actually protectiveness, an expected fatherly trait.

    The Mom’s sadness is empathy, an expected motherly trait, and the message of the movie (that sadness is the key to empathy). Sadness made Bing Bong feel better through empathy, and the mother has empathy as her main emotion to better connect with her child.

    Riley herself had Anger piloting during the hockey game at the end because he represents competitiveness, [so it's more complex than just "she's sad and he's angry].

  • 4
    91 VOTES

    The Fish Parents In 'Finding Nemo' All Only Have One Child, Or Have Few Children, For The Same Reason As Marlin

    The Fish Parents In 'Finding Nemo' All Only Have One Child, Or Have Few Children, For The Same Reason As Marlin
    Photo: Finding Nemo / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    From Redditor u/iepartytracks:

    In the opening scene we see Marlin and Coral discuss their excitement about being parents. They have hundreds and hundreds of eggs due to hatch any day now. However, fate intervenes and mommy and all eggs minus one become supper for a hungry barracuda.

    Cut to: Nemo's first day at school! So exciting! Notice that there seem to be only one of each type of fish, but we do see at least one instance of a parent dropping off multiple fish. Given what we know, from the movie and basic marine biology, is that fish hatch many at a time.

    This leads me to believe that what happened to Marlin and Nemo at the beginning of the movie isn't rare, not even frequent, it's actually the norm. You have a bunch of kids, but by the time they're of school age, most have been eaten by predators, [so Marlin is not alone in his grief].

  • 5
    77 VOTES

    King Fergus Continually Tells The Story Of How He Fought Mordu Because He's Reassuring Himself That He Can Successfully Protect His Family

    From Redditor u/TheBeastlyStud:

    Whenever we are shown (one of the numerous times) that he recounts the tale, he's always beaming with excitement and happiness. While this could be seen as his love of battle, he's also shown to be a huge family man, never holding back his feelings for his family and even going into a rage when he thinks a bear had killed Queen Elinor (more on that in a bit).

    I'd also like to point out that if it had been his love of battle and past glory, he could easily recount his past days of war when he led the clans to victory.

    It was Merida's birthday, and everyone at that point had let their guard down in order to enjoy the day and their loving family. Everyone was so distracted that a massive friggin bear was able to sneak up on everyone there, with Merida being the closest. With that being a parent's worst nightmare, Fergus and Elinor threw themselves into harms way to get Merida out and then to take care of Mor'du.

    Fergus accepted the risk of death as long as his family made it out okay, and once they were gone all he lost was a leg, so I'd say he's seeing that as a win overall.

    So, therefore I believe that he is so happy to tell the story because every time he does, it reminds him that [he is fully capable of protecting his own since he] still has his daughter and his wife and all it cost him was a leg. Also, a relative time of peace means nothing else really happened since so he happily tells that tale until everyone is sick of it.

  • 6
    67 VOTES

    Andy's Mom Was A Huge 'Woody's Roundup' Fan

    From Redditor u/inkandpixelclub:

    I think that Andy's mom was a huge Woody's Roundup fan and [Andy's red] hat could have been hers as a kid. [It looks like Emily's hat, an authentic Woody's Roundup Jessie hat, and] there were probably any number of hats made just like the one Emily had.