Don’t even try to deny it: everyone loves Disney movies. We don’t care how tough or mature you are; everyone has a favorite. Whether it’s something super sappy like Up! or something totally classic like Beauty and the Beast, or something with the witty humor of grown adults like The Emperor’s New Groove, everyone has a favorite. We all love Disney and Pixar and some of us look forward to having kids for the sheer excuse of watching these movies nonstop again and not being judged for it. Disney is kind of awesome.
Once in adulthood, it’s kind of hard to find reasons to re-watch all of these movies. If some of the more modern hits, like Tangled, Frozen, The Princess and the Frog, and Brave, came out after you left high school and got a job, you likely didn’t make any effort to see them. If you chanced upon them, you probably found some enjoyment but didn’t feel it necessary to make a second trip to the theaters. After all, what could you have missed from the first viewing? Well, according to modern day Disney addicts, a lot.
There are a bunch of theories from fans out there trying to discover hidden meanings behind Disney/Pixar movies or attempting to tie all of the worlds together. Some of them seem kind of far-fetched and silly… but some actually make some sense. Furthermore, some have even received respectful nods and shrugs of possible agreement from Disney/Pixar executives! Here are some wild Disney fan theories that are sure to drop your jaw:
15. Andy’s Mom Is Emily
If you’ve seen Toy Story and its sequel, you’re familiar with Andy and his family; we’re talking about both his literal family (including his mom, baby sister, and dog) as well as his family of toys. While several of them have interesting stories, no one has a backstory that can beat Jessie the Cowgirl’s. Jessie belonged to a little girl named Emily and, as children tend to do, she grew up and forgot about her childhood toys. Jessie was donated and eventually picked up by the villain of Toy Story 2, Al. Eventually, after meeting up with Woody and Buzz, she goes back to Andy’s home… where she meets Andy’s mom, who looks strangely like Emily. Same haircut, same smile, same… everything! It may be a wild theory, but it seems Woody’s Roundup was a cult classic show when Emily was a little girl… and Andy’s mom had the same hat Emily was shown with as a child, the same one she had passed on to Andy…
14. Jane is Belle’s Granddaughter
This fan theory may be a little far-fetched, but it also kind of makes complete sense. Belle lived in a provincial town in France, strangely close to a huge castle. Let’s fast forward through her timeline: she ventures to a castle under a spell, falls in love with Prince Adam, and their love for each other lifts the curse over the castle. They get married and have kids, and those kids scatter and do wonderful things… one of those kids may have been Professor Archimedes Q. Porter, an academic just like his mother. He moves to England to pursue his studies, and there he meets his wife and has a daughter named Jane. Though his wife passes away, he takes Jane with him on every possible research venture. He even intends to introduce her to Queen Victoria someday! That is, if they ever return from a research trip conducted in the wilds of Africa…
13. Bing Bong Was a Monster from Monsters, Inc.
Inside Out looked adorable from the previews. If you ever actually saw it, however, you were certainly unable to keep the tears at bay — especially when Bing Bong, Riley’s childhood imaginary friend, is lost in her memories when he sacrifices himself to save Joy. But there’s a delightful fan theory that may cheer you up! Remember Monsters, Inc., how at the end of the movie, monsters learn to harness a child’s laughter as a source of power? That means monsters become friends to small children, just as Bing Bong was to Riley. So what if Bing Bong was not an imaginary friend, really, but was instead a monster that frequently visited and played with her? Once she was old enough and aged out of the system, Bing Bong would have ceased visitation due to Monsters, Inc. protocol. If that were the case, Bing Bong wouldn’t have died in her mind — only his memory would have been forgotten. Still tragic, but not nearly as debilitating as we might have previously thought.
12. Belle Would Have Loved Aladdin
Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful story of falling in love, a tale truly as old as time. But maybe Belle was never really destined to be with Prince Adam (that’s the beast’s name, in case you didn’t know) in the first place. Belle starts out the movie running around her quiet, little, provincial town on her way to the book shop to return a book. When she gets to the book shop, she tells the store owner that she’ll just pick up her favorite book for the third time — one about “far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise.” Sounds like Belle would have fallen head over heels for Aladdin, who lives in the far off place of Agrabah, regularly encounters sword-wielding brawlers, has a magical genie, and disguises himself as a prince! Forget Adam; she would ditch that monster in a second to hang with Aladdin.
11. Aladdin Never Even Happened
Aladdin is one of our favorite Disney classics. Even though it was pretty damn misogynistic and kind of rapey at times and Aladdin and Jasmine were kind of a very poor couple to idealize, it was a favorite of all children, and we all hold it dear to our hearts. So what if we told you that none of it ever happened? Remember how the movie starts? It doesn’t begin with Aladdin running from guards because he stole a loaf of bread — it starts with a street peddler trying to sell us a shiny golden lamp. As the camera (aka, we) start to move away, he stops us and tells us the golden lamp actually has a rich history and fascinating story. He then proceeds to tell us the story of Aladdin. So… what if this asshole just made up the entire story to try to get us to buy this piece of crap antique?
10. The Tarzan, Little Mermaid, Frozen, Tangled Connection
Alright, you may have heard some version of this fan theory before, but we doubt you’ve heard the whole extended version. Try to follow our logic here:
Long ago, Rapunzel was born in a small kingdom. Shortly after, she was kidnapped, and the royal family was traumatized, forcing them to call on their relatives from the nearby kingdom of Arrendale. The king and queen of Arrendale (aka, Anna and Elsa’s parents), who had not yet announced their pregnancy, sailed off towards the kingdom to aid their struggling relatives, but their ship, unfortunately, was swallowed by a storm, leaving all parties assuming they’d died. But they didn’t. Ariel, that little mermaid, explored their sunken vessel, and no royally decorated bodies were to be found. Actually, the couple managed to find their way ashore with their baby and made camp. However, they perished when a leopard ate them, but their son lived and was raised by apes. So really, Anna and Elsa have a brother named Tarzan and a cousin named Rapunzel!
9. Aladdin Takes Place in a Post-Apocalyptic Future
We know Aladdin supposedly takes place in an Arabic metropolis in an age long ago, but what if it didn’t? What if it actually takes place in the distant future, after the world as we know it has collapsed and started over again.
Hear us out — Aladdin lives in Agrabah, which kind of sounds like a mispronounced-through-the-ages version of Arabia. It looks like everyone lives in ruins rather than in mud and clay huts of modern construction. And what if everything magical is actually just misused, outdated technology? Could that lantern have been a sort of projector of holograms not really containing a genie? As added proof, in the computer video game, Aladdin runs around Agrabah, and there’s an old school stop sign half-buried in the sand. To us, it looks like there was a nuclear apocalypse, and the surviving few rebuilt a new form of civilization on the bare bones that were left.
8. Did Captain Hook Kill Ariel’s Mom?
We don’t get to meet Ariel’s mother in The Little Mermaid; we know she died a long time ago, and, because of the trauma caused by her death, King Triton is especially protective of his daughters. If you were really into The Little Mermaid franchise, you might have caught the later movie The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, which introduced us to Ariel’s mom, Queen Athena. We later learn that Athena was killed by pirates… which leads us to wonder…
Remember in Peter Pan, mermaids mess with Wendy and joke that “they were only trying to drown her?” There’s one mermaid with light red hair that talks to Peter. If we make a small assumption, things make sense. If mermaids, mystical as they are, are able to travel between this world and Neverland, it sounds like Athena might have visited often with her gal pals. Well, what if one day she ventured to Neverland to hang out with Peter, and Captain Hook, murderous as he is towards Peter, caught and killed her to spite him?
7. Ariel and Hercules are Tots Cousins
This isn’t even really a theory — it’s kind of just a flat out fact. We’re not even having to make assumptions within the Disney universe! This theory is really based on just history — well, historical mythology. In mythology, King Triton (who is Ariel’s father) is the son of the Greek God of the oceans, Poseidon. Poseidon, in turn, is brother to Zeus, who presides over all the Gods in Olympus. Continuing on, we all know that Zeus is Hercules’s father (birth-father, that is). So, connect all the dots: that means that Ariel is Hercules’s cousin, once removed. Apparently, the red-headed gene runs strong in the Gods. Also, is there a gene that leads people to abandon their homes in favor of living with their significant other? Because they’re both guilty of that — Ariel abandons mer-culture to live with Eric, while Hercules busts his butt to get into Olympus only to peace out and go live with Meg.
6. Nemo Was Dead All Along
Finding Nemo is already a heart-bursting story. In the opening scenes of the movie, we’re interested in a couple of young, starry-eyed clown fish who are ecstatic to start their family, and within moments, everything is stolen from them by a hungry barracuda. Marlin’s wife and all of his babies have been eaten, and in the blink of an eye, he has nothing — except one little egg that grows up to be Nemo. But… what if he doesn’t really? Some fans theorize that Marlin’s story of finding Nemo is actually an allegory for his proceeding through the stages of grief after tragically losing his family. First point of evidence: the name Nemo is actually Latin for “nothing.” But all you really have to do is track the progression of the movie to see that it’s true. Step one: denial — Marlin won’t let Nemo leave home. Step two: anger — Marlin angrily tries to take Nemo home when he swims too far off. Step three: bargaining — he journeys across an entire ocean to try to find his son again. Step four: depression — when Marlin sees Nemo flushed, he gives up. And step five: acceptance — Marlin ends up saying, “I’m so sorry, Nemo…” Tears. Tears everywhere.
5. The True Hero of the Incredibles Was Edna
Anyone that has seen The Incredibles knows that Edna Mode is a hero, not just because she helps heroes, but because she is a woman to aspire to be. She is fierce and savage and merciless and so perfect — Beyonce probably aspires to be like Edna Mode. She is such a deserving and wonderful diva. But it’s possible that Edna is actually more of a hero than anyone else in the movie. Think about it: Edna is and has always been the go-to resource for any hero requiring costuming. If someone like Syndrome were creating a costume that would be impervious to Mr. Incredible and all his super friends’ powers, he’d be sure to utilize Edna’s prowess. So what if he forced her to make his costume, and, knowing fully well he was up to no good, employed the one unbreakable rule for all superhero costumes and gave him a cape? She knows that capes are practically a death sentence to any active superhero, so is it possible that she ensured Syndrome’s downfall from the moment he was fitted for a costume?
4. Hans Was Turned Evil By Trolls
Frozen is already an iconic classic that will probably be watched by generations of children. The romantic interests get a bit confusing… Hans, a young prince from a nearby kingdom, intends to woo either Princess Elsa or Anna so that he can rise to reign one day. It’s easy to label him as a bad guy, but maybe he truly wasn’t. Maybe, when he stumbled into Anna that sunny afternoon in Arrendale, he truly fell in love at first sight. But something big happened that changed everything. Kristoff clearly fell in love with Anna fairly quickly; he was definitely in love by the time he introduced her to his adoptive family of trolls. If you listen to the lyrics of the song “Fixer Upper,” it’s pretty clear that the trolls intend to get Anna’s fiance (Hans) out of the way so that Kristoff and Anna could be together… so what if they placed a spell on Hans to make him evil, thus turning Anna against him?
3. King of Arrendale is Rapunzel’s Uncle
Continuing on with our Frozen fan theories, there are a few pretty cool ones that connect these princesses to Tangled. The first is that the King of Arrendale, the same one that dies when Anna and Elsa grow older, is actually also Rapunzel’s uncle. It’s not too far-fetched; assuming Arrendale is in Norway, which the movie’s motifs pretty strongly indicate, and Rapunzel is from a town in Germany, which is also strongly suggested, it wouldn’t be too out there to guess that a royal family married into the throne in Arrendale or down in Rapunzel’s kingdom. It also makes sense because it explains the magical genetics inherited by certain children in each family. Interestingly enough, the blonde gene seems to carry magic — only blonde children in either of the princesses’ families are born with magical abilities, like healing hair or ice projectiles. Every other family member, including the parents and Anna, doesn’t have magical abilities.
2. Violet and Dash Were Known Supers — From Birth
Alright, let’s leave Frozen and Tangled alone for a while. Instead, let’s look at one of our Pixar favorites, The Incredibles. This fan theory isn’t exactly about the plot or future of the characters, but about their pasts.
The Incredible family assumes that baby Jack Jack is the only one of them not to have superpowers because he has never before displayed them. If that is their train of logic, that means that Violet and Dash probably showed off their superpowers quite early in life — maybe even upon delivery or while they were still in the womb! Think about those possibilities! Dash probably kicked the crap out of the insides of his mom (good thing she stretches pretty painlessly), and Violet might have come out of her mom already invisible. That is freaking’ terrifying. But we suppose it’s a really good thing that Jack Jack waited till he was in the arms of a villain to light ablaze.
1. Boo is The Witch From Brave
Remember Boo from Monsters, Inc? She loved spending time with her “kitty,” aka Sully. But while it was a wild adventure for Sully and Mike Wazowski, think about how much wilder it must have been for Boo. She was just a little girl that was kidnapped from her home and transported to a whole other parallel universe. That’ll mess a kid up — maybe enough to make her a crazy old witch that jumps through realities trying to understand them. Maybe just like the one that we meet in Brave when Merida seeks out help to control her overbearing mother? If you look around the witch’s cabin in Brave, you’ll find numbers over the door (similar to the lights over the Monsters, Inc. doors) and a carving of Sully himself! It’s plausible she traveled back in time to Merida’s age in order to learn more about the magical wisps — perhaps they are the key to her finding Sully again?