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The Complete Timeline of the ‘Child’s Play’ Franchise

The Child’s Play franchise is an unusual and wonderful creature. In its run, it has boasted directing work from Fright Night’s Tom Holland, Lost’s Jack Bender, and Freddy vs. Jason’s Ronny Yu. It brought us familiar faces like Chris Sarandon, Grace Zabriskie, Jennifer Tilly, John Ritter, and Katherine Heigl.

But there are two names that have identified the series throughout its run: writer (and frequent director) Don Mancini and Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky. As of the release of the forthcoming seventh film here in 2017, the franchise will have stretched over 29 years while still retaining the same lead performer and writer, a feat unmatched in any other slasher franchise.

Because of that, the series retains not only character continuity, but narrative continuity as well. The series paid attention to the little details, and it never rebooted or ret-conned anything out; for better or worse, everything that happened in the Child’s Play franchise STAYED in the Child’s Play franchise.

In celebration of the release of the Cult of Chucky trailer and in anticipation of the release of the film in October, this is a breakdown of the events of the entire Child’s Play franchise. Because some of the films reveal information from previous films or from before the series started, this compiles all the events into chronological order.

Naturally, THERE ARE SPOILERS THROUGHOUT.

UNIDENTIFIED TIME, PRE-1988: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS…

Charles Lee Ray goes to John Bishop, aka Dr. Death, to learn how to be a voodoo practitioner. Charles also somehow manages to get his hands on an amulet called the Heart of Damballa. Eventually, though, Bishop realizes that Charles is only interested in finding a way to cheat death.

During this same time, Charles also becomes known as the Lakeshore Strangler for killing a dozen people, including Vivian Van Pelt, and for committing robberies with his partner Eddie Caputo.

OCTOBER 1988: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS…

Charles becomes friends with the Pierce family: mother Sarah, her husband, her daughter Barb, and her unborn child, Nica. Ray is obsessed with Sarah, eventually murdering her husband in an attempt to get closer to her.

NOVEMBER 1988: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS…

Ray kidnaps Sarah, but she manages to call the police on him. In punishment for betraying him, Ray stabs her in the stomach – not to kill her, but to try and kill her baby, Nica. As Ray tries to escape the police, he flees into a toy store where he is shot and fatally wounded. While lying behind a row of Good Guy dolls, Ray remembers his voodoo teachings and uses the Heart of Damballa to transfer his soul into one of the dolls. The ceremony causes the store to be struck by lightning and explode. Detective Mike Norris finds Ray’s body and thinks he is dead.

The next day, single mother Karen Barclay buys a Good Guy doll (now called Chucky) from a guy on the street and gives it to her son, Andy. Of course, it’s actually Ray, who kills the babysitter. Norris is the detective who investigates the murder. After another person Andy visits ends up dead (this time, it’s John Bishop, Ray’s old voodoo teacher), Andy is put in a psych ward for observation. Meanwhile, Ray learns from Bishop before he dies that he has to transfer his soul into the first person he revealed his true nature to: Andy.

Chucky kills the therapist, then chases Andy back home, where he knocks him out and prepares to swap souls.. but Detective Norris and Karen arrive just in time to stop him. They throw him in the fireplace, then shoot him through the heart. The three of them escape, leaving the charred remains of Chucky behind.

NOVEMBER 1990: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS…

Two years later, the sales of Good Guy dolls have suffered as a result of the coverage of the killings. CEO Chris Sullivan of Play Pals (the company that makes Good Guy dolls) orders the old Chucky doll remade so it can be inspected and proven harmless. But when a man dies of electrocution during the rendering process, the CEO tells an employee to get rid of the doll. The employee puts Chucky in his car, then is tied up and suffocated by Chucky, who uses his car phone to locate Andy.

Andy is in foster care now with parents Phil and Joanna and foster sister Kyle. Chucky makes his way to their house, getting rid of the house doll and putting himself in its place. He tries to start the ritual on Andy, but is thwarted by Kyle’s presence, so he follows Andy to school the next day for another chance. He gets Andy in trouble with the teacher, then later ends up killing the teacher himself.

Phil is killed by Chucky, but Joanne believes it is Andy’s fault, and sends him back to the foster center. Meanwhile, Kyle finds the discarded old house doll and realizes Andy is actually in danger. Upon investigating the house, she finds Joanne dead, and Chucky captures her and tells her to take him to the foster center to get Andy. Chucky kills the foster center manager and tells Andy to take him to the Good Guy factory for the soul transfer. Kyle follows, trying to stop the ceremony. She is too late, and the ceremony is complete; but it doesn’t work because he has been a doll for too long. Now he’s trapped in the body.

Chucky gets mad and tries to kill Andy and Kyle, replacing a lost hand with a knife, but Kyle and Andy use molten plastic and an air hose, exploding him to pieces. They leave the factory with Chucky supposedly dead.

1998…

In Chicago, Play Pals opens their factory back up after eight years, figuring the bad publicity is over. They start manufacturing the Good Guy doll again, and once again they bring Ray back to life as Chucky. Chucky tortures and kills CEO Chris Sullivan, using his office computer to find Andy’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Andy is 16 and attending Kent Military Academy. Chucky mails himself to the school, then discovers that he doesn’t need Andy anymore; he can use a new kid, Tyler. However, Andy discovers Chucky is there, and continues to thwart Chucky’s plans, so Chucky tries to kill him. Chucky scares the Colonel to death and kills several others, then switches the blanks out for real bullets during their war games.

Chaos ensues, and Chucky tries to attack Tyler, who escapes the grounds to a nearby carnival. Tyler and Andy team up to defeat Chucky, whose face is scarred and whose limbs are chopped off in the process. Andy and Tyler are safe, and Chucky seems defeated once again.

ONE MONTH LATER, STILL IN 1998…

Tiffany, Charles Lee Ray’s old girlfriend and accomplice, gets her hands on Chucky’s leftover parts and enacts a ritual to bring him back from the dead. He comes back in Chucky form, and she is happy to have him back and wants to marry him due to a confusion about a ring Ray left behind after killing Vivian Van Pelt, which she thought was an engagement ring. He laughs at her mistake, she punishes him, and he ends up killing her and then reviving her as a doll for revenge.

Chucky still wants back in a human body, however, so he decides to take a road trip to New Jersey where his body was buried and get the Heart of Damballa back. They pack themselves up and Tiffany pays neighbor girl Jade to take them there. Jade is avoiding her domineering uncle, and Chucky and Tiffany leave a trail of bodies along the way. Tiffany and Chucky even reignite their relationship and have sex at a wedding chapel hotel. Eventually they reveal themselves to Jade and her boyfriend, holding them hostage, then arrive at the scene of the body.

Digging up Ray’s body, they find the amulet and begin the ceremony. Tiffany has a last-minute change of heart, stabbing Chucky to stop him from transferring their souls into Jade and her boyfriend, and the two of them fight until Chucky deals Tiffany a fatal blow. Jade takes the gun from a police officer and shoots Chucky several times, killing him.

The next morning, the officer is looking at the crime scene and pokes at Tiffany’s body to make sure she is dead. She wakes and screams, then gives birth to some monstrous-looking creature and finally dies. The creature attacks the officer.

2005…

Six years later, we see Glen (or Glenda), the child of Tiffany and Chucky, trapped in a sideshow in the UK and pretending to be a ventriloquist dummy. He dreams of meeting his real parents.

Across the world, in Hollywood, Chucky and Tiffany are lifeless animatronic puppets being used in a film shoot called Chucky Goes Psycho, based on the Charles Lee Ray legend. Glen sees them on TV, believes they’re his parents, and heads to Hollywood. He revives them with the voodoo amulet.

Tiffany and Chucky immediately start looking for bodies to possess, and Tiffany decides on Jennifer Tilly, star of the Chucky movie. But she wants Tilly to have babies for her first, so she knocks Tilly and her lover (Redman, playing himself) unconscious and inseminates Tilly with Chucky’s seed.

A handful of deaths later (including Britney Spears), Tilly is pregnant and ready to give birth, but Tiffany and Chucky are having relationship troubles regarding how to raise Glen/da, who has dual personalities. Tilly gives birth to twins Glen and Glenda, and Tiffany is ready to possess her, but Chucky decides he’s not interested in becoming a person again. They fight, with Tiffany trying to possess Tilly, but Chucky kills her. This enrages Glen/da, who kills Chucky with some assistance from Tilly.

2010…

Tilly is throwing a birthday party for her son Glen. She murders her nanny, and her glowing green eyes reveal that Tiffany DID finish the ritual and has taken over Tilly. Glen opens his last birthday present to find Chucky’ s severed arm inside. It reaches up and grabs his throat, starting to choke him.

2013

Sarah Pierce is living with her daughter Nica in a big, empty house. A package is delivered there, and a Chucky doll is contained inside. Later that night, screams awaken Nica, and she finds her mother’s body, apparently having fallen from the balcony.

Nica’s sister, Barb, comes to the house with her nanny, her husband Ian, their daughter Jill, and a minister. Barb is there to convince Nica to go to a care home since Sarah isn’t alive to care for her anymore. Throughout the night, they discuss the issue, with the group staying for dinner and Barb’s family deciding to stay the night.

Chucky poisons the chili which kills the minister on his drive home. The family watches home movies, and Nica notices a mysterious man watching the family in the background. She asks Barb who it is, but she doesn’t know. While the rest of the family heads to bed, it is revealed that Barb is having an affair with the nanny. Nica does some research about the creepy doll in the house, since it keeps popping up in strange places.

She discovers all the killings connected to the doll (with references to each of the killings from the previous films), and tries to warn Barb, but Barb wants to find the doll because Ian hid a camera on it to catch her cheating on him. She finds Chucky, then notices some make-up on his face. She peels it away to reveal all the scars and cracks from Chucky, confirming he is the real Chucky.

Chucky kills her, attacks Nica, kills Ian, and tries to find Alice, who is gone. Chucky throws Nica off the balcony, and while she lays helpless on the floor, he tells her who he is and how it was him who stabbed Sarah in the belly and damaged Nica… and he was the one who killed Sarah by stabbing her.

Nica fights with Chucky, and just as she almost has him beaten, a police officer shows up. He sees the scene and Nica with a knife.

STILL 2013?

Nica is found guilty of the murders and is sentenced to a hospital for the criminally insane. The cop steals the remains of Chucky from evidence and takes them to his car, only to find that it’s still breathing. Before he can do anything, however, Tiffany/Tilly pops up from the back seat and slashes his throat, then takes Chucky with her.

Tiffany/Tilly mails Chucky out in a box again, and he arrives at Alice’s grandmother’s house. Chucky grabs Alice and begins the incantation as the grandmother pops up from the floor with a bag over her face, still alive.

2014 (probably)…

Grown-up Andy Barclay is on the phone with his mother, talking about coming to see her for his birthday. In the background, a knife pokes up out of a package he received in the mail. Chucky bursts forth from the package to find Andy waiting for him, shotgun pointed at his face. Chucky shouts Andy’s name, and Andy shoots.

2017

Nica is still in a psychiatric facility, working with a therapist who is trying to convince her that Chucky was just part of her imagination. Andy is still alive and still not over the events of his childhood. Chucky is back and ready for killing at the institute, and Tiffany/Tilly is apparently still around…

Is Tiffany/Tilly still helping Chucky? Do Andy and Nica meet? Is there more shared history we don’t know about? How does it all end?

Find out in Cult of Chucky, releasing October 3, 2017!



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COMMENTS

36 Comments
  • Wow! That was an impressive, head spinning rundown. This is one of my favorite franchises and reading all of that makes it clear just how insane it all is.

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      I was actually surprised how seamless it all was, given how insane the plots often are. But that’s what you get from keeping a single writer on a franchise all the way through. Consistency, along with craziness!

      • Yeah, for some reason I was confused as to how Curse fit into the timeline the first time I saw it. Not sure why, though, as it all adds up quite nicely.

  • scream4ever

    I’m hoping they reveal what’s happened to Glen and Glenda.

  • RD

    Eddie Caputo…. If you recall was the one that stranded him in front of the toy store. The curse of chucky timeline ignores that.

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      I think the assumption was supposed to be that Eddie was out waiting for him?… That’s my best guess regarding that piece.

      • RD

        Yea I guess so. Charles Lee Ray “young” in the “CoC” is laughable. Just sayen. ha hee ho ha ha ha

  • Jake

    In Bride of Chucky, Tiffany pays the neighbour “BOY” Jesse to take them to New Jersey. If we’re being accurate and all…

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      Good point. I stand corrected.

      • Jake

        Eh, you got like 99.9% of the other details right, so no biggie.

  • Grimphantom

    Has anyone ever question how old Tiffany was when she was with Charles? I kinda think she was in her late teens or 20’s.

    • EnergyDrinkHigh

      Tilly was 40 around the time Bride was filmed. If we assume Tiffany was the same age, and that Bride takes place 10 years after CP1, that means she would have been around 30 when Charles Lee Ray was shot and transfered his soul in to the doll.

      • HOLY SHIT. I didn’t realize she was 40 (and yes….she was born in 1958) when Bride came out. She looks GREAT for 40 in that movie.

  • Aaron King

    If only all series could have such good continuity.

  • Khy

    Hopefully Mancini keeps getting films out of Brad Dourif as long as Dourif breathes because once he’s gone…so is Chucky.

    You can’t replace that voice.

    • Bla Blah

      ….eh.
      Nowadays you can get a really good voice artist and spice it up with some audio effects to replicate ANY voice. Brads death isn’t necessarily the death of chucky so long as the studio still wants it

      • Khy

        Just won’t be the same for me. No matter how much they try.

      • SpaceManSpliffz .

        there are certain voices that no impressionist or technology will be able to replicate to the point where it’s indistinguishable from the original source, some voices are just too distinct for that to be feasable. brad dourif is one of those people. i challenge anybody or any tech to be able to replicate this fine scene from deadwood:

        https://youtu.be/iUIC31H5d6w

        • Khy

          Exactly. And for me the joy in hearing Chucky’s voice in each new Chucky movie is knowing that it IS Brad- the same man that has been doing it for almost 30 years now.

          A machine replicating his voice for future films won’t give me the same warm fuzzies no matter how close they get because it won’t be Brad.. Sure the studio will keep making them until the end of days- but for me it won’t be the same.

        • Bla Blah

          I disagree. Technology is pretty solid for these things nowadays. A good casting of a voice actor who can do it CLOSE enough and all you would need is a little spicing up to make it as comparable as possible and the average audience member probably wouldn’t even be able to tell. While a different example, some movies and shows do this all the time. A different way, but once upon a time managed to make Rose McGowan look like a young Barbara Hershey through the use of very subtle CGI. Voice effects aren’t that much more difficult especially when you have someone who sounds like them in the first place. Brads iconic voice makes it easier to buy

  • EnergyDrinkHigh

    It’s not completely clean. It always bugged me that for the original trilogy Chucky could only transfer his soul in to the person he first revealed his true self to, but then in Bride there’s an amulet that lets him transfer to anyone. Like why didn’t you just grab that at the start of CP1 Chucky???

    Also, wasn’t the second death (the one you said Andy visited) Eddie Caputo? Not the voodoo guy?

  • BreeBennett

    So if he’s a doll for too long and can’t tranfer his soul to a body, why is he still trying?

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      I wondered that, too, but it seems like by Curse of Chucky, he gave up on that. Now, he’s just interested in revenge. It was a smart change, I think.

      • BreeBennett

        But didn’t he try to transfer his soul to Alice at the end of the movie?

        • Chris Vander Kaay

          Damn it! You’re right. Hmm. Maybe we’ll find out what came from that in the new film, since it was the last thing we saw and perhaps it’s out of context…

          • BreeBennett

            Well, let’s see if they answer this.

    • Sykes

      Not only that, he can only transfer into the first person he revealed himself to. So why even try with Alice?

      And weirder still, what body is Chucky even in now? In Seed he was a movie animatronic, but in Curse he’s in a doll body. (Complete with a pop-off head, which goes back on again. No blood at all unlike previous entries.) Was the “Chucky Goes Psycho” prop supposed to be the real doll turned into a prop? If so, why is it a regular doll again?

      Or maybe Chucky transferred out of the prop and into a regular doll (why, I Can’t imagine, but whatever) but then why does he still have the facial cuts? (The cuts that seem to shift all over his face depending on which movie you’re watching.)

      • BreeBennett

        Wow!!! You are so right!! So many plot holes.

  • Gd

    halloween’s timeline is shook.

    • Chris Vander Kaay

      Yeah, Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are both kind of a mess. Sequels, then reboots, then reboot sequels, then prequels. The timeline is all over the place.

  • RD

    Is it just me or has Brad Dourif’s Chucky voice gotten very inconsistent over the years? It has gotten progressively more “gruff” sounding. I don’t like it. Especially in Curse when he says “Your Mamma…” or something like that. Almost had a southern accent.

    • Mr. Screamer

      I think it’s called getting older.

      • RD

        I get that he is getting older, and as you get older your voice changes. However, check out youtube, his real voice isn’t that gruff sounding when he was doing promotional interviews for Curse. It is something he is bringing to the character. All I am saying is…. Mr. Dourif…. Dial it back a couple notches. Subtle is better…. less is more…

  • Joe Sanchez

    1,2 and 3 are the real child’s play saga. Bride and the rest are pure shit. Chucky became a joke. Besides, the Chucky design has been changing since bride and it’s getting worst from movie to movie. I love Chucky, and it hurts to see what they did to him.

    • Tiger Quinn

      Tiffany saved this entire franchise.

      • Joe Sanchez

        Man, I respect the people who like these movies.
        There was nothing to be saved, Child’s play 3 was a perfect ending, there was no need to continue…. Besides Tiffany and Glen(da) are the most annoying and horrible characters I’ve ever seen. (along with Anabel doll)
        Cheers bro, hope you don’t take it personal.

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