Disney movies have a certain appeal to them that draws in audiences from every age group, gender, and location. They present viewers with messages that are both powerful as well as relatable; and no matter what emotion they attempt to play on, chances are they are going to succeed. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll bond with fictional characters on a level that shouldn’t be possible (especially considering the fact that these characters are cartoons). This is just the natural cycle that one enters when they decide to watch one of movies. No matter who you are, we can almost guarantee that you have enjoyed at least one Disney movie. In fact, that statement probably brought a certain one to mind, didn’t it?
It’s wonderful that Disney movies are able to be enjoyed by such a vast audience. With children being their target audience, it’s wonderful for parents to actually enjoy watching something their kids like. As an adult, it’s nice to be able to enjoy the innocence and feel like a kid again, even if it’s only for an hour and a half. But like everything else, the “innocence” of Disney movies has become completely destroyed all thanks to the internet. Anyone who has been on Facebook or who has perused through the likes of Tumblr or Reddit know exactly what we’re talking about. These websites (along with plenty more) have taken these stories about love, strength, and personal growth and turned them into dark, twisted, and rather disturbing tales. However, considering that a lot of these movies were based off of the already messed up tales written by the Grimm Brothers, we couldn’t expect anything less.
It has become extremely popular to come up with theories that alter the way audiences look at these films. The selection of them ranges from those that hold absolutely no weight to others that contain irrefutable proof. Some touch on subliminal messaging, others offer an entirely new story hidden behind the musical numbers and happy endings. In the event that some of those more disturbing theories haven’t been brought to your attention, we wanted to take the opportunity to blow your mind by listing 15 of the most disturbing fan theories that will likely change the way you look at Disney movies forever.
15 Mufasa Almost Killed His Pride
One of the biggest lessons that we learned from The Lion King was the way the circle of life worked. Throughout the movie, it really emphasized how everything is connected and without those connections, the delicate balance of life would be thrown into chaos. This lesson was shared by none other than Mufasa; and according to this fan theory, he also took it upon himself to prove how right he was.
After Mufasa dies and Simba finally gets some sense knocked into him, we learn that Pride Rock has become a wasteland. The animals have all either fled or died, save for the lions and the hyenas. There is no food, no vegetation, and basically no hope. Previously we all simply looked at this and thought that the hyenas and Scar were responsible for the tragedy — but apparently we were very wrong.
If you think back to a little earlier in the film, you might recall Simba facing his deceased father who appears to him within the clouds. Something truly amazing, yes, but also proof to support the fact that Mufasa was actually responsible for the drought that devastated Pride Rock. He clearly has the ability to manipulate the weather and he has two different motives that could have led him to this radical action. 1.) He wants to punish Scar for his betrayal and make it hard for him to keep control over Pride Rock 2.) To convince Simba to go home and take his place as king.
So if this theory is correct, then that basically means he was willing to put the lives of the Pride he was supposed to protect at risk in exchange for a little revenge and to teach his son a lesson. But wait, remember when Simba is hanging off Pride Rock and Scar is taunting him about his father’s death? There was a lightning bolt that struck around that time and caused a huge fire. What’s so strange about this is the fact that lightning strikes at higher points, leading us to believe that Scar’s lies were really angering Mufasa. That anger was displayed by the bolt that probably should have hit them. Luckily for Simba, he had someone on his side that was able to steer the bolt away.
Finally, after the battle is over it suddenly starts to rain in Pride Rock. This is another case of odd weather that Mufasa likely caused. Everything is right, Simba is king, so he could finally put an end to the drought. As great as the ending was, it doesn’t change the fact that Mufasa almost killed so many lions and was responsible for the deaths of many other animals. He did all of this just to prove a point to Simba and make him take his place in the circle of life. That’s a little extreme, Mufasa. Maybe tone it down a bit next time.
14 Andy’s Mom Abandoned Jessie
Toy Story 2 introduced us to the lovable Jessie and Bullseye as well at the easily disliked Stinky Pete. Along with these characters, we also got a really sad backstory for the cowgirl toy that broke our hearts. She had an owner named Emily who was much like Andy was in the sense that she took Jessie everywhere she went. Emily loved Jessie and Jessie loved Emily. We also very quickly found out that Emily forgot about Jessie for years before stumbling across her again, giving Jessie hope that they were reunited like they used to be, only for her to turn around and dump her in a donations box. It was very sad. Poor Jessie spent years in a storage unit after that.
Well what would you say if I told you that the girl who tossed Jessie to the side like she was nothing actually grew up to be Andy’s mom? This theory is based strongly around the fact that the hat Emily is seen wearing in Jessie’s flashback looks almost completely identical to the one Andy wears in the first movie. The only difference is that Emily’s hat had a white band around it. While Andy’s hat didn’t have the band, there are images of the movie where it actually looks like there used to be a band on it. Strange, right? It’s a plausible theory. Emily’s room is seen decorated with posters from the 60s, which would mean that she’s old enough to be Andy’s mom now. We also don’t see Emily put that hat in the donations box with Jessie, meaning that she likely kept it and possibly ended up giving it to her son. It makes sense.
13 Making Sense Of Beauty And The Beast
Beauty and the Beast has one of the biggest plot holes that we have ever seen in a movie. At the very beginning there is an introduction that tells us all about how the beast came to be the beast. Some old beggar woman came to the beast’s castle and offered a rose in exchange for a place to stay. He said no and suddenly she was an enchantress who believed he didn’t have any love in his heart. She turned him into the beast and everyone in the castle into random objects until he was able to fall in love and earn the love of that person as well. The rose would bloom “until his 21st year,” at which point the last petal would fall off and the spell would become permanent. Seeing as how the last petal fell just as Belle pronounced her love for him, that would signify that he was 21 at the time. If you remember the lyrics to Be Our Guest, Lumiere sings “10 years we’ve been rusting,” which lead us to believe that the beast was only 11 years old at the time that he told some old, strange woman that she couldn’t spend the night there. It made no sense. Especially since the imagery that we see of the prince before his transformation is definitely not that of an 11-year-old.
This theory might help fill that plot hole, though. What it states is that the beast and the rest of the castle were actually frozen in time and it was their 21st year in the transformation. The “10 years” part of Lumiere’s song can easily be linked to another part of the intro where it states “As the years past, he fell into despair and lost all hope…” This might signify that it was just 10 years ago that the beast lost hope and actually stopped trying to break the curse because he couldn’t find anyone who was willing to love a beast. If this was the time that he stopped tending to the castle, then it would explain Lumiere’s line. Not all that weird, right? Well it gets weirder.
Let’s talk about that enchantress for a moment. What possible reason would she have for targeting Prince Adam? It’s very clear that Adam had nothing to do with the running of the kingdom, seeing as how everyone has gotten along just fine without him. The theory expands further, claiming that the enchantress is actually a scorned lover of his. It would explain why she chose a spell that made it nearly impossible for anyone to fall in love with him. This would be her way of saying “Go ahead and try to find someone who will love you as much as I did,” while trying to make him feel the pain of rejection that she felt when he kicked her to the curb. In order to make things even more strange, there are some that believe that Chip is actually the love child of Beast and the Enchantress. This was brought about because Mrs. Potts is clearly much too old to have a son that young, and it is defended further by the fact that Chip and Prince Adam kind of look alike when they’re both human again. Mrs. Potts would likely be treating Chip as her son in order to cover for the prince having a child out of wedlock. This would also explain his need to banish his lover, which then explains the rage she would have towards him, and suddenly everything starts to fall into place. It’s insane. It’s twisted. We love it.
12 Agrabah Was A Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland
There exists a theory that the story of Aladdin did not take place in the past, as we thought. Instead, it claims that Agrabah actually exists in the distant future and it a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We all know that the Genie was known for making jokes and references that relate to times that had not yet existed in the event that the movie took place some few hundred-odd years ago. This theory explains how he is able to do that without some time traveling excuse that wouldn’t make sense anyway considering he states he’s been locked in a lamp for 10,000 years and he couldn’t see into the future enough to know Aladdin was tricking Genie into getting them out of the Cave of Wonders without using a wish.
First the theory explains that because of how long he’s been in the lamp and given the references he makes, Aladdin would have to take place no earlier than the year 10,300 — but more likely even later than that (it's been assumed the movie takes place in the year 11,992). This part of the theory explains a lot of the magical elements in the movie that are not questioned the way they would be if this story took place in the past. The magic carpet would actually be a form of advanced hover technology left over from before the nuclear war. Iago would be the result of a nuclear mutation that allowed their human-like speech to develop even further or genetic experimentation that is far too advanced for the time period people originally believed the movie to be set in.
The theory is further backed up outside of the movie and in the video game. There are 20th century stop signs in the game as well as possible unexploded nuclear devices that could further verify the concept that this movie took place after a nuclear war. Moving back to the movie, most of us know that Agrabah is actually not the name of a real place. Theorists have speculated that the name Agrabah is supposed to be a mispronunciation and/or combination of Arabia and Egypt that came about due to the changing interpretations as time went on after those places were destroyed. Oh, and all those places Aladdin and Jasmine visited during "A Whole New World"? Likely illusions made by the Genie since it’s not logical that they’d be able to travel that far in a matter of hours. Which only makes sense if they were places that Genie was able to see in the past since we already established that he couldn’t see into the future.
So this one is clearly a bit of a stretch and more than likely the people who wrote and worked on Aladdin simply didn’t care all that much about making sense. Whether or not you believe this could be true, there’s really no denying that whoever came up with this one clearly had a lot of free time on their hands.
11 Gaston Killed Bambi’s Mom
The theory that Gaston killed Bambi’s mom is extremely simple and to the point. The evidence behind it is not all that strong, but it’s still interesting enough that it caught the attention of a lot of Disney fans.
As we remember all too well, about halfway through the movie Bambi, his mom ends up shot by a hunter. There isn’t any further explanation about her killer within that movie, but there is one small bit of evidence in Beauty and the Beast that presents the possibility that this theory is true.
At the very beginning of the movie, we see a single doe drinking from the river. Combine that with Gaston’s wall full of animal heads and of course we’re going to questions whether or not he was the culprit! Even with barely any evidence to back this one up, it’s actually one of the more believable theories out there. It completely fits Gaston’s character and it gives us an extra reason to hate him. We have absolutely no problems with that.
10 Nala Used Simba
The theory that Nala did not actually love Simba when they originally reunited stems from a deleted scene in which Scar declares that he wants Nala to be his queen. The way the theory goes is Scar demanded that Nala be his queen and she rejected him. She ended up either running away or being exiled, which is when she ran into Simba. She wasn’t out hunting for food, nor was she looking for help. She had nowhere to go and she knew she needed protection. So her submission to Simba is not driven by the love she has for him, but rather the knowledge that she would need him if she had any hope of surviving. She also realized that if she could convince him to return and take his place as king, then she would be able to return to Pride Rock as well without having to be Scar’s queen.
This actually seems very believable. First of all, the last time she saw Simba was when she was a cub. She wouldn’t likely feel like she was in love with him after all that time. And if she did feel a sense of love for him, it would have been (as the theory states) as a political being and savior rather than as a mate. This theory hurts a bit because it makes us wonder whether Nala ever actually fell in love with him. Or has their entire relationship been a lie? For Simba’s sake, we sure hope that she did actually fall in love with him because he sure did love her.
9 Calhoun From Wreck-It Ralph Killed Her Husband
This one is less of a theory and more of a horrid realization. In the movie Wreck-It Ralph, we’re introduced to the creepy cy-bugs that exist in a game called Hero’s Duty. If you remember correctly, there was a point where Turbo (aka King Candy) was eaten by a cy-bug. The result of this was the cy-bug seemingly merged with Turbo, and created this weird cy-bug/Turbo hybrid that still thinks, sounds, looks, and acts like Turbo. Knowing this, let’s rewind a bit and talk about Calhoun’s wedding flashback.
Calhoun, the female lead in Hero’s Duty, was literally in the middle of her wedding when a cy-bug busted through the windows and ate her fiancé. It was tragic enough when we found out that the reason it happened was because she did not do a perimeter check, but it gets downright disturbing when you think about the fact that what happened to Turbo when he was eaten would have happened to her fiancé as well. The cy-bug would have morphed into her fiancé, meaning that as she was shooting and killing this bug, she was shooting and killing the man she was marrying as well. As if the image of someone you love being eaten by a giant bug right in front of you wasn’t bad enough, to sit there and look into their face as you shot them over and over had to be way more traumatizing than anyone could ever image. How about that for a wedding night, huh?
8 Dopey And Geppetto Are The Same Person
Have you ever wondered why Dopey never really spoke or why he acted so much more clueless than the rest of the dwarfs? This theory offers a very interesting explanation that’s filled with sadness and slightly disturbing detail that is shockingly believable. Looking at the picture above, it’s easy to see why this theory started. Dopey and Geppetto look almost identical, minus the age thing. They also both have very similar behaviors; both are clumsy, kind, easily confused, and a little bit on the scaredy-cat side. But of course, that isn’t enough to hold a good theory. The person who came up with this theory offered a story that is way more tragic than anything we could have ever linked to Dopey or Gepetto.
There were originally six dwarfs until they stumbled across an abandoned baby. Thinking that he was a dwarf, they took Dopey in. As time went on, the dwarfs began abusing him. They would hit him, push him, and make him do everything they didn’t want to do (a very small amount of this abuse can be seen in the original movie). At the time of the movie, Dopey likely would have been a toddler who hadn’t learned to speak yet. This would explain his clueless and rather dopey actions throughout the movie. Once he started growing and they realized that he wasn’t a dwarf, they would then kick him out of their home. The signs of abuse are clear in Geppetto’s art. There is a clock that depicts a mother spanking her child, a man hitting himself in the face, a turkey almost getting decapitated, and a hunter shooting at a bird. All very violent themes.
The theory then goes on to explain that Dopey was so in love with Snow White, even in his old age, that when he made Pinocchio he made sure to model him after her. The idea states that the puppet was supposed to represent what Dopey thought a child of theirs would look like. When you compare the image of Pinocchio to Snow White, it’s hard to say that the two don’t look like they could be related.
7 Boo Is The Witch From Brave
The theory that Boo from Monsters Inc is the witch from Brave is one of the more popular and well known theories within the Disney and Pixar fandom. It ties into this huge theory about Pixar movies all being connected in the same universe, but that is not a theory we will be getting too far into. It’s much too complex, but for more information about that theory, you can go to pixartheory.com.
The summed up version is that each movie takes place at different points in time. When put in the proper order, it shows the evolution of this universe. The one thing that links all of the movies together is Boo. The theory states that after the ending of the movie we saw, she became obsessed with finding Sully again. She ended up figuring out a way to time travel through wooden doors (which is what the monsters were allegedly doing to scare children), and she spends her entire life traveling through time in an effort to find her kitty. The problem is that she doesn’t know how to control what time period she ends up in, which is why she’s constantly jumping from place to place. The kicker is that all the Easter eggs that we see within the movies were actually left there by her when she traveled through time and accidentally brought something with her. This theory is supported by the image of Sully carved into a piece of wood in the witch’s shop. She’s also seen with a wood carving of a truck which very oddly resembles the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story. She uses "the-will-of-the-wisps" in order to continue creating magic doors for her to travel to, which is why her homestead is located within the time of Brave.
As interesting as this theory is, it’s extremely sad to think about that fact that Boo would grow up to be that age and still never get to see Sully again. If this was true, she would have spent her entire life obsessing over wanting to see him again and it’s very upsetting to think that it was all for naught.
6 There Was A Murder In The Emperor’s New Groove
In The Emperor’s New Groove, Yzma changes Kuzco into a llama. It’s all very entertaining and the movie provides a great message all about being selfless and how important friendship is. However, what you may not know is that while the entire movie is focused around Yzma wanting to kill Kuzco and never succeeding, there is a murder that a lot of us missed while watching.
Remember how humans who were turned into animals could talk? Remember how animals who had always been animals could not? Well there is a point about halfway through the movie where Kuzco is sitting in the forest and he hears a fly who is yelling out “help me!” When he looks up he sees the fly get devoured by a spider. Now, most will argue that because Kuzco was an animal, he could likely understand what other animals were saying. However, we know for a fact that isn’t true. There is a gibbering squirrel featured in the movie that doesn’t speak English, even when he’s talking directly to Kuzco. So no, he cannot understand animals who were not originally human. Therefore, that fly was probably a human originally and we witnessed him being murdered and eaten by a spider. Did anyone else’s arachnophobia just get ten times worse?
5 Anna And Elsa Are Not Sisters
So there is a very popular and hard to argue theory that states that Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen are not sisters; but instead Elsa and Rapunzel are the sisters. In fact, it’s said that they are actually twins. If you’re wondering how this is possible, then take a moment to get comfortable because the evidence to back this theory up is a mile long.
It was confirmed by one of the Frozen directors that Anna and Elsa’s parents were sailing off to attend a wedding when their ship was wrecked during their journey. The wedding was Rapunzel and Flynn’s. Along with this information, Disney has also let us know that the two movies take place three years apart. If you remember, after Frozen shows the death of the king and queen, we see “Three Years Later” show up on the screen. We also know that in Tangled, Rapunzel is 18 years of age around the time she ends up getting married to Flynn. Jumping back over to Frozen, Elsa’s coronation is taking place on her 21st birthday. Take three years off of that and Elsa would have also been 18 at the time of Rapunzel’s wedding. So we have the timeline that supports this theory.
Did you know that Elsa and Rapunzel are both left-handed? It’s true. If you watch the movies and focus on which hand they use as their dominant one, the two both show favor towards their left hands. Did you also know that 22% of twins are left-handed? It just so happens that another character in one of these movies is left-handed: Rapunzel’s mom. So we also have genetics supporting this theory.
In regards to their blonde hair, Rapunzel’s is known to be caused by the magic flower that her mom drinks while she is pregnant with her. What we don’t know is where Elsa’s came from. Unless, of course, it turns out that Rapunzel’s mom is actually Elsa’s mom as well. Her drinking the flower during her pregnancy gave Rapunzel magic blonde hair and Elsa has magic and blonde hair. These two are also the only princesses in the history of Disney movies to have magical powers. If the two powers were due to the same source (the flower) it would make so much more sense. So does the explanation that Elsa was shipped off to Norway following the kidnapping of Rapunzel in order to keep her safe. This is why her parents are so quick to have her hide her powers when she’s young. If anyone were to find out about them, Elsa could potentially end up in danger.
And to close this entry out, remember that both Elsa and Rapunzel have the power to bring something back to life. Rapunzel brings Flynn back to life, Elsa brings Anna back to life. So as different as their powers may seem, they’re not all that different after all. Is your mind blown yet?
4 Ariel’s Mom Was Killed By Captain Hook
There is a theory that has been circulating claiming that the Little Mermaid’s mother was one of the mermaids in Peter Pan. The looks of the mermaid are extremely similar to those of Ariel’s mom that we see in the prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning. On top of that, the timeline between when the films were released fits the necessary timeline to make it believable that this red-headed mermaid in Peter Pan could be Ariel’s mother.
This theory takes a very dark turn when you realize that in that prequel to The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s mom was killed by pirates. Seeing as how the only issues that mermaids ever faced in Peter Pan were pirates, we can then come to the conclusion that the pirate ship that killed Ariel’s mom was Captain Hook’s. Furthermore, this theory is backed up by the mermaids in Peter Pan hating humans and the fact that the mermaids and King Triton very clearly were scared of them even before Athena died, seeing as how the second they saw the ship, they became chaotic. This is one of the few theories that is very difficult to argue against, making it seem like maybe, just maybe it’s not just a theory.
3 Peter Pan Is A Very Dark Story
While we’re on the subject of Peter Pan, we might as well talk about how much darker the movie is than we could have originally thought. There are several theories about who Peter Pan was and what exactly his true intentions were. The less disturbing, but most heartbreaking theory about this movie is that Peter Pan is actually an angel and that Neverland is Heaven. This theory explains why kids never grow up when they end up in Neverland — the children have passed away. In this touching but heart wrenching version, Peter Pan is a guardian angel that helps these kids cross over after they meet an early death. It’s simple, but it still changes the way we look at the movie completely.
In another fan theory, Pan is not exactly portrayed as an angel. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In this version, Peter is the only child in Neverland who doesn’t grow up. Given how much he hates adults, it has been proposed that once the Lost Boys get older, Peter actually kills them off. In the book titled Peter and Wendy, there is a line that reads “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.” The phrase “thins them out” could easily be considered a way of stating that Peter kills them. The story as a whole (both the original and the Disney adaption) is dark as it is, so it isn’t that hard to believe that this could potentially be something more than just a theory. At that point the theory pops up that Captain Hook is not actually the bad guy. People have speculated that he was simply an adult that knew about how Peter was killing off these kids, and he has made it his mission to stop him.
2 Carl Was Dead The Entire Time
As if the movie wasn’t emotional enough, this theory just pushes everything over the edge. The theory is that Carl died at the beginning of the movie Up. He supposedly died in his sleep the night that he was told he needed to move out of his house and into a retirement home. The rest of the movie is supposedly Carl’s journey to the afterlife with Russell acting as his guardian angel. To get even more specific, the “assisting the elderly” badge that he was trying to earn represented the final act he needed to accomplish in order to earn his wings. In case you’re wondering why Carl’s guardian angel is a kid, it would be because him and Ellie were not able to have one of their own. If you need to verify that information, have a look at the opening sequence of the movie — but be warned, it will shatter your heart.
It’s said a lot that heaven is different for everyone who perceives it (obviously we have no actual proof of this, but it’s a very common theory), therefore it would make sense for Paradise Falls to be how Carl perceives heaven. Obviously there are some flaws in this extremely depressing theory, but it’s still one that holds enough weight to make us consider it for at least a moment. Even if we really don’t want to. For those who believe in this one, we truly hope that Carl was able to reunite with Ellie in the afterlife and that they get to exist together in bliss until the end of eternity.
1 Elsa & Anna’s Parents Had A Very Tragic End
One of the directors of both Disney’s Frozen and Tarzan is the reason that this theory even exists in the first place. We previously talked about the possible relationship between Anna, Elsa, and Rapunzel and this one stems off of that a little bit. So we know in the movie Frozen, Anna and Elsa’s parents sail off to sea. It has been verified that they were going to attend a wedding, but they were lost at sea. For a while there were claims that the sunken ship that Ariel explores during the song "Part of Your World" was that ship. Regardless of whether or not that is true, we always assumed that the couple died in the shipwreck. However, on a forum made by the creators of Frozen, it was stated that director Chris Buck says they didn’t die on the boat. In fact, the queen gave birth to a baby boy and the couple washed up on the shore in the jungle where they built a tree house only to end up killed by a leopard. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? This would mean that Tarzan is Elsa and Anna’s little brother. How strange is that.
Later on, Buck was in an interview when he stated that the reality of the two stories being connected is only in a world within his head. He also states, “I say, whatever people want to believe, go for it. If you want to tie them all together, then do it. That's the spirit of Disney.” This is the exact message that everyone who loves these off the wall and crazy theories should remember. If you want to believe, then believe. Just because one person says it isn’t the case doesn’t mean that it can’t be true in your own version of these Disney universes.