10+ Dark Fan Theories About Disney Movies

Well, once again we jump aboard the "let's ruin everyone's childhood" train, where we add some fan theories to your favorite Disney movies that make them so much darker.


Carl was dead the whole time.

Yeah, you thought it was just the beginning of Up that was sad, well this theory posits that the old man was dead all along.

His trip to Paradise Falls was his trip to paradise (heaven), Russell was an angel guiding him there, and Charles Muntz was a demon trying to drag Carl to hell using his hounds.

*Aladdin* takes place post-apocalypse.


Think about it. Genie has been in the bottle for about 10,000 years, and yet he knows all sorts of current pop culture references.

How could he know that unless our world came before theirs?

Jesse and Andy's mom.


We all remember the saddest part of Toy Story 2: when Jesse's owner leaves her alone and she's forgotten about. Well, some people have theorized that it was Andy's mom who did that.

While she never could have known, we can still hate her for it.

Captain Hook murdered Ariel's mom.

Yeesh! Sure is a lot of murder on this list.

Regardless, we found out in The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning that Ariel's mom was killed by pirates.

Captain Hook is a pirate, and there was a mermaid in the Neverland lagoon who had very red hair. Is it possible?

The Evil Queen = The Old Hag = Mother Gothel


Do you know Mother Gothel, the one who "knows best" from Tangled?

Well, some people think that Snow White's villain survived, then went on to keep Rapunzel locked up in a tower, using her hair to stay young.

*Cars* takes place after they murdered the whole human race.


In a time far into the future, humans create AI so advanced in cars that one day, they rise up and take the place of humans as the dominant species.

This, apparently, is the world of Cars.

Calhoun killed her husband.


We know she has an ex. We know he was eaten by a Cy-Bug. We know those creatures turn into what they eat.

So did Calhoun have to kill a monster with the face of her ex-lover?

Kristoff's attire.

Ever wonder what kind of clothes the loveable Kristoff is wearing?

Would he be so loveable if I told you it might be reindeer fur?

And what if...he skinned, killed, and wore his pal Sven's mom? Don't tell me Disney wouldn't do it, you all remember Bambi!

Alice is tripping out.


Sure, you could say she went down a rabbit hole and traveled to Wonderland.

Or, you could say the whole time she was on a cocktail of substances and went into a drug-related rabbit hole.

The *Frozen* parents die on a deserted island.


It was on this island where they made their own treehouse and had a baby boy.

It was on this island where they were mercilessly slaughtered by a jaguar (from Tarzan).

This was disproven by Frozen 2, but it was still a super dark theory worth mentioning.

*Frozen* and *The Shining* are the same movie.


I will let the blogger who came up with this theory explain it:

"The main character [in each movie] is a danger to family members, whose volatility increases after a long isolation inside a giant, ornate, high-ceilinged building in a cold, desolate landscape."

Hercules skinned Scar.


Somehow he survived the hyenas.

Somehow, he made it all the way from Africa to Greece, only to be slaughtered by a demi-god trying to prove that he was a hero.

Peter Pan is the Angel Of Death.


Why don't the lost boys ever grow up? Is it because of the magic of Neverland?

Or is it because they're dead and Peter Pan is the one who guided them to the afterlife?

Gaston killed Bambi's mom.


We know that Gaston is a great hunter. At the beginning of Beauty And The Beast, we see a doe drinking from a stream.

Could this be Bambi's mom?

Nala & Simba are actually brother and sister.

Walt Disney Pictures

This isn't so much a theory as it is an ugly truth.

The way that Lion prides work, is that there are several lionesses and one lion.

We know from the film that the cubs have different mothers but it would be impossible for Nala's father to be anyone other than Mufasa.

All of the characters in Halloween Town are fear personified.

Touchstone Pictures

Each citizen of Halloween Town represents a different and dark primal fear.

Jack is symbolic of a fear of death. Oogie Boogie is the fear of the unknown, etc.

The Gargoyles are a hallucination.

Walt Disney Pictures

Again, this one doesn't seem like that far of a stretch. Quasimodo has been living in complete and solitary isolation for pretty much his entire life.

It would make sense that, after a while, his mind would slowly start to slip and see things that weren't actually there.

All the animals are human.

In one particularly gruesome scene in The Emporer's New Groove, we are shown a fly caught in a spider's web. The fly screams for help before it is eaten.

But if all the animals in the film that can talk were once human, this means that this poor "fly" met a most unfortunate end.

The merchant is the genie.

Walt Disney Pictures

This longheld belief was actually confirmed by the creators themselves.

It turns out, the merchant at the beginning of Aladdin is, in fact, the genie, himself!

Belle & Jane are related.

Walt Disney Pictures

There is a fan theory that argues Jane from Tarzan is actually the great-great-granddaughter of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

First, there are similarities in their appearance.

Then, the fact that they dress the same, their affinity for wild men, and of course, this scene that shows Terk with a china set that looks oddly like Mrs. Potts.

The developer in *UP* is Russell's dad.

Walt Disney Pictures

Rember the developer who wanted to buy Carl's house?

As it turns out, that may have been Russell's father.

Boo is the witch in *Brave*.

Walt Disney Pictures

After her visit to the world of monsters in Monsters, Inc., Boo becomes obsessed with finding a way to get back to Sully.

She figures out how to use the magic door technology but can't control which timeline she ends up in. Hence, Boo is the reason why "Easter Eggs" are sprinkled throughout every Pixar movie.

It's her way to try and find her way back.

Walt Disney never got over his mother's death.

Walt Disney Pictures

If you're a huge Disney buff (like me) you've probably noticed a recurring theme over the years: several characters do not have a mother.

Some have argued this is because Walt Disney's own mother died of a horrible accident and the filmmaker never got over it.

Blatant subliminal messages and sexual innuendo.

Walt Disney has a dark side. Over the years a number of films have been accused of using subliminal messages and sexual imagery.

During the balcony scene in Aladdin, you can very clearly hear Aladdin say:

"Good teenagers, take off your clothes."

The castle that looks like...you know...

Walt Disney Pictures

This isn't necessarily a theory, because there's no debate to be had on the topic.

Stare at the castle on the front cover of The Little Mermaid and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Robin Hood is a complete and total creep.


You're going to have to turn the volume up for this one and play it back a few different times.

When Robin Hood tries to rescue Princess Fiona in Shrek, he breaks out into song with his Merry Men. They huddle together and you can hear them whisper "What he's basically saying is he likes to get..."

To which Robin exclaims...

The excitable priest in *The Little Mermaid*

Walt Disney Pictures

Jeez, this is one dirty film!

If you pause the movie in just the right moment, during the scene where Vanessa (Ursula) and Eric are getting married, you can very clearly see a rather unholy act taking place beneath the priest's robes.

Dopey & Geppetto are the same person.

This one kind of makes sense, especially when you take into consideration how similar the two characters look.

According to the theory, Dopey was never actually a dwarf at all. The 6 original dwarves found him as a baby and simply made a mistake.

Sid is the garbage man in *Toy Story 3*

Walt Disney Pictures

This one only requires a careful eye and some finesse with the play/pause action.

Take a look at the shirt that the garbage man is wearing: it's the exact same black skull t-shirt that Sid wore in the first Toy Story film!

More dirty words in *The Lion King*

Walt Disney Pictures

After a frustrating conversation with Nala, Simba ventures off on his own. He collapses out of frustration onto a bed of flowers and they blow out into the air.

Take a looks at the word that they spell...