If you pay close enough attention when watching a Pixar movie, you'll notice numerous Easter Eggs referring to other movies from their lineup. A Pizza Planet truck driving by in Up, a Lightning McQueen-styled wooden car popping up in Toy Story 3, the list goes on. However, Pixar has yet to establish a truly connected/shared universe between all their movies beyond these fun callbacks. While the idea may sound intriguing to longtime fans, the studio doesn't want to go down that proverbial road just because it's the cool trend right now.
When asked by Movies.com whether there has been serious talk about creating a "Pixar Cinematic Universe," Pixar superstar Andrew Stanton, who recently directed Finding Dory, said that if the idea is good enough, he and the other bigwigs at the studio might consider it. He explained:
...look, we're game for anything. It's not like we want to repeat ourselves. People have asked if we'd want to do something episodic or something more mature, but it would be a horrible reason to do it if that's the motive. Hopefully you always have a great character story idea and then the format of how you would do it follows. That would be the desire. You're just making a product if you're doing it for any reason other than character and story. And we have yet to have an idea or character story that demands we do a crossover. But I'm telling you, the second something seems to support that, we would do it.
You have to hand it to Pixar for not falling sway to the same approach that franchises like Marvel, DC and Star Wars have popularized in recent years. Even though after more than 20 years Pixar has plenty of characters and environments to form their own shared universe, their primary goal is to tell great stories. Most of the time the studio been successful with that, and since there hasn't been a good idea yet on how to bring all these different movies together Avengers-style, then there's no reason to travel down that path.
Speaking as someone who likes most of the superhero and sci-fi movie universes, I'm glad Pixar isn't trying to force a shared continuity down our throats. While there's a part of me who is curious to see characters like Woody, Mr. Incredible and Sully inhabiting the same universe with the potential of interacting with each other, unless Pixar has an amazing plan on how to make this happen, then anything less would be a disaster. For now at least, it's better to keep these movies self-contained and simply keep inserting clever Easter Eggs in scenes.
Even though it doesn't look like a shared Pixar universe will be formed anytime soon, moviegoers don't have to worry about a lack of material from the studio. Finding Dory is now available on Blu-ray/DVD, and Cars 3 is scheduled to hit theaters on June 16, 2017, not to mention Coco, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 all on the way.