20 'Dark' Fan Theories That Have Us Looking At Kids' Movies Differently

When it comes to popular entertainment, there are always a few ways to interpret the plot: the actual, direct plot as it's told, the subtext that isn't overtly mentioned, and the wild theories that a fan came up with.

I think we can all agree that the wild theories are probably the most fun, so let's dig into a few interesting examples.

*How The Grinch Stole Christmas*: there's no god in Whoville, just Christmas.

Universal Pictures via IMDB

"The Whos are a Cargo Cult that has heard of Christmas, but not Jesus. Santa Claus and his elves represent the technologically advanced society delivering goods.

"I'd bet that one of the Whos was (a long time ago) tinkering with a radio contraption and picked up a bunch of human TV-broadcasts that occurred around Christmas-time (Christmas movies, TV shows, and advertisements involving holiday shopping and gift-giving), but they lacked the context to understand the religious basis for the holiday.

"All they got was the consumerism and cheer - basically they got non-denominational American Pop-Culture Christmas where mom doesn't even make you go to church on Christmas eve."


*Hocus Pocus*: it's a failed ritual from *Cabin in the Woods*

Buena Vista Pictures via IMDB

"The ritual to please the Ancient Ones in America must have 5 archetypes die in a particular order for them to be satisfied. It would stand to reason that The Organization don't just have that one cabin set up to do this very important task, but perhaps they settled upon the cabin years later because it was easier to control and once they figured out how much they were able to manipulate their victims to fit their type.

"In Hocus Pocus, Max and his family move from L. A. to Salem, presumably because the parents have a job change. Why else go 3000 miles in the other direction? This job change was set up by the Organization.

"Alison even said that her mother used to run the museum in the house, but shut it down because 'a lot of spooky things' kept happening there. The Organization did this to increase mystique and draw in some daredevil types. But, they spread the witches' legend too well and no one from town is lighting the Black Flame Candle."


*Matilda*: she's a government experiment.

"Matilda could be a successful government experiment. In the first lines of Matilda, narrator says: 'Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same.'

"From here we assume Matilda is different and has a purpose as someone '[...] will grow to be butchers, or bakers [...]' and Matilda would to be a military weapon, created by the government. She was adopted by a dumb family, for the reason she couldn't be noted if she show some out of curve behaviors or skills, which in another family (an intelligent one) probably it could be perceived.

"Matilda learns how to take care of herself, showing her first power: survival instinct. She learns to read, tie her shoes, making a better breakfast and look for information (going to library), in early age. And later, she shows morale when she understands that her father is a cheater car salesman (even being too young to understand these moral issues)."


*Scooby Doo*: the gang is actually a cult.

Warner Bros. Pictures via IMDB

"The gang consists of a bunch of teenagers dressed in more conservative, old-fashioned clothing, even though this is the late 1960s, when many youth were sporting colorful tie-dyes in rebellion against the old order.

"Mystery, Inc. might be trying to present themselves as better than the others (though why the hell they colored their van that way is anyone's guess). This is deceitful, as no one would suspect a bunch of homely-dressed kids to be a cult obsessed with the supernatural. This could also be the explanation for the seemingly-gratuitous inclusion of the term 'Incorporated' at the end of the service's name.

"TL;DR: The Scooby-Doo gang fits the mold of a cult and obsessively hunts for the supernatural in order to wreak horrible paranormal havoc on the world."


*Back to the Future*: Doc Brown wanted to die.

"The Doc is ready to kill himself along with Marty in that parking lot during the first time travel scene. Not only has he never tested the time machine, but he claims that many of his inventions have been failures.

"So during the moment when he's about to find out if his life's work was a huge success, or a complete waste, he not only drives the Delorian towards himself, but grabs onto Marty when he tries to run away. If that first time travel test was a failure, they both would have been killed. Which is exactly what Doc wanted had the experiment been a failure."


*The Princess Bride*: the storyteller wasn't the best storyteller.

20th Century Fox via IMDB

"When Wesley wakes up in the pit of despair, he is greeted by an albino nurse with a very stereotypical, high-pitched cockney 'Medieval Torturer' voice.

"We get the usual gag of him coughing and clearing his throat and speaking normally, and as the audience we believe the previous voice was in fact a symptom of his throat being congested.

"However! Remember too that this is a meta-narrative. We're watching a story that the grandfather in the story is reading aloud to his grandson. I think this scene is a result of the grandfather reading the story trying to do a voice for the Albino Nurse that he couldn't keep doing because it was too hard on his throat, which is why he coughed and sputtered. Apart from the british accent, the Nurse's voice is very similar to the grandfather's in tone."


*Mary Poppins*: she's related to Pennywise the clown.

"Both Mary Poppins and Pennywise are supernatural creatures of the same race that feed on human emotional energy.

"Among their similarities. They can produce illusions. They are associated with a red balloon. They both love to dance, people forget about them once they leave their presence. They seem to hibernate for about one and a half decades between feedings.

"In both cases children end up floating. And feeding into my addition - both are associated with a Red Ballon. Now how many of them are there one earth? I think mankind secretly knows. How? Red Balloons. 99 Red Balloons floating in the summer sky - Coincidence?"


*Moana*: her grandma was also chosen by the ocean, but didn't have the courage.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures via IMDB

"My theory is that Moana’s grandmother also had the opportunity to restore the heart of Te Fiti when she was younger, but never had the courage to follow through and do it. This lead her to become the character we saw in the movie, who has a lot of knowledge about what Moana should do and how to do it, and is constantly guiding Moana along that path.

"Here are a couple points to support that:

"-The first time we see the grandmother she specifically calls out the fact that Moana may feel that inner voice driving her into this quest. I think the grandmother had the same thing when she was younger.

"-The grandmother pretty much gives her a complete plan to restore the heart of Te Fiti: take one of the hidden boats in the cave, follow the star, find Maui and order him to help (including the exact dialogue that Moana later used), and then find the island."


*The Brave Little Toaster*: it's about mental patients.

"The movie is about mental patients who escape from the ward and try to cope with the real world

"The toaster has extreme Claustrophobia. Lamp has aggression issues. Vacuum has OCD Blanky has stalking issues/extreme co dependence Radio is bi polar AC unit is extremely violent.

"In the opening scene everyone is in the asylum. Lamp radio and blanky live together. Toaster lives by himself due to his claustrophobia. Vacuum lives by himself due to his ocd. The AC unit is in solitary confinement probably due to past violence issues, that is why he is stuck in the window. The living room represents the common room."


*Ratatouille*: Gusteau served Ego frozen food.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures via IMDB

"Anton Ego wasn't unreasonably harsh or just didn't like Gusteau's food. Gusteau's food had dropped in quality a few years before his death. And it wasn't Anton Ego alone that caused the star to be lost, Ego was simply the final nail in the coffin. He's the voice that confirmed everyone's past suspicions which convinced the culinary community to remove the star.

"In the movie, we see that chef Skinner was branding Gusteau for frozen foods from burritos to Chinese foods. And had ideas for corn puppies. It does appear that frozen food is completely Skinner's idea and doing. But I do suspect it started when Gusteau was still alive."


*Coraline*: everyone's already dead.

"So this theory is that all the residence of the Pink Palace are dead. Mr Bobinsky died of radiation poisoning, Miss Spink and Forcible of old age and the Jones' from a car crash. The house itself is purgatory, the Garden is Heaven and the other world is Hell.

"Let's start with the proof of the fact the characters are dead. If you haven't already heard about Mr Bobinsky's medal, it's a cleanup award medal for the chernoble [sic] accident (this also explains why his skin is blue, at least in cartoon logic) so it's pretty safe to assume the aftermath of that work caught up with him leading to his death.

"Miss Spink and Forcible are both handicapped. One can't walk very well and the other can't see, so it's safe to assume they're pretty old and just passed away naturally. As for the Jones' the first conversation Coraline has with her mother talks about a car crash which explains the mother's neck brace.

"It seems completely out of the ordinary and useless to mention - why bother mentioning it? Why is it important to know? Because the car crash killed them."


*The Wizard of Oz*: Dorothy is the Wicked Witch of the East.


"Dorothy does, in fact, meet alternate versions of people she knows in Kansas. (Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Wicked Witch of the West, and The Wizard.) However, she never meets an alternate Dorothy.

"When Dorothy's house crushes the Wicked Witch of the East, we never see her face. In fact, the only thing we really know about her appearance is the fact that she and Dorothy have the same shoe size. Is it possible that, in Oz, one copy is drawn to destruction in order to avoid paradoxes?

"So I propose that Dorothy's copy was the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy simply replaced her in the world when she crushed her at the beginning of the film."


*Star Wars*: why the 'high ground' matters.

"Obi-Wan turned to Anakin and said 'It's over, I have the High Ground' because he, just like Anakin now, had once been in a position where success requires a massive vertical leap over your opponent and he knew the risk that move entailed.

"Obi-Wan begged Anakin 'Don't try it.', but Anakin misinterpreted that plea. In his hatred and overconfidence, Anakin felt Obi-Wan's fear and thought he had found the situation where he could best his master.

"He believed he had found a strike that Obi-Wan could not repel and now, of course, his statement about the High Ground was simply a bluff! Unfortunately, Obi-Wan's true fear was that the only way to survive that slope on Mustafar, the only hope for the Republic to live, was to make one of a million past nightmares reality."


*Ice Age*: why the humans disappear.

20th Century Fox via IMDB

"Included with the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) is a short film entitled "No Time For Nuts" where the lovable Scrat discovers the skeleton of a scientist buried under the snow. In the palm of the scientist's hand? A time machine.

"Scrat does as Scrat does and gets into a variety of hijinks that eventually culminates in him being thrown into some strange alternate dimension with a lot of clocks and acorns. Clearly, this is some sort of rip in the space-time continuum, which angers God.

"But would a just God be angry at Scrat, a simple creature that knows only how to fend for himself and try his best to survive, or would God be angry at those who ENABLED the poor saber-toothed squirrel to cause such damage? The clear answer is the latter, but God is not one who acts with a scalpel. His decision is to bring the hammer down on ALL of humanity, for they have attempted to play God."


*Beetlejuice*: the Maitlands were murdered.

"Adam & Barbara Maitland didn't die in an accident. They were murdered! By none other than their rudely overbearing realtor, Jane Butterfield. From the very moment Jane jump scares her way into the story she's hot on the Maitlands' asses to allow her to sell their house, and it's noted, that they've refused repeatedly.

"Adam & Barbara go into town almost immediately after Jane leaves their house and are killed returning home when their car goes off a bridge to avoid hitting a dog. I propose that after being refused too many times and in need of a commission to care for her weird ass, sickly son, that Jane cut the brakes of the Maitland's car which is why they couldn't stop from going off the bridge.

"Damage to the car hid Jane's sabotage and she walked away scot free with a hefty commission after a quick turnover of the house to the Deetz's."


*Harry Potter*: you HAVE to ask the Sorting Hat.

"Godric Gryffindor set up the hat purposefully so that it would never just choose Gryffindor. We know that the hat sometimes will shout out a house almost instantly, which we never see occur with Gryffindor.

"The test isn't if someone is brave already, it's if they have the bravery to make the choice. If someone wants to be brave, they can be, and by getting the validation from the hat, they then start choosing that for themselves. Neville stands up for himself, both to Malfoy and to the trio. Percy throws aside his ambition for his family, and for what is right, Ginny becomes self confident and self assured.

"TL;DR: The Sorting Hat choosing Gryffindor is a placebo effect, people allow themselves to be brave by choosing the option."


*Hook*: Lost Boys who grow up are murdered by Peter.

Tri-Star Pictures via IMDB

"The first theory is that Pan never wants his Lost Boys to grow up, and so once they do, he kills them as they no longer fit into his ideal version of Neverland. This theory generally points to Captain Hook and the other pirates being former Lost Boys who grew up and escaped before Pan could kill them.

"So by this theory, Hook is the good guy and Pan is the villain. The second theory is that Neverland is a sort of afterlife for children who died young, and so Pan brings them to Neverland so they can have a proper whimsical childhood they were denied in this life."


*Hunger Games*: Katniss was saved from being sold for sex.

"Finnick reveals that Snow sells tributes to people in the capital if they have a desirable body. We learned that Finnick was being prostituted when it was earlier assumed he just had a lot of lovers. In the book, Katniss wonders why Snow never sold her off.

"I believe he did sell her off. Cinna was a capital insider on high society and would have known exactly what was in store for Katniss. I think he bought her with full intention of shielding her. I think he did this because he was touched by her willingness to step into the games for her sister."


*Grease*: Sandy actually drowned.

Paramount Pictures via IMDB

"TL;DR: The entire movie was a drowning woman's coma fantasy.

"At the end of Grease, Sandy and Danny get into a red convertible and drive away from the fair. The car promptly defies the laws of gravity and flies into the sky. How did the car fly? At the start of the film, we see Danny and Sandy meeting on the beach.

"Later, Danny explains through song that they first met when Danny 'saved her life - she nearly drowned.' Sandy actually did drown on the beach that day. As she drowned, her brain deprived of oxygen, she had a vivid coma fantasy involving her summer fling with Danny, where they shared a magical year of high school together.

"The visions get increasingly outlandish as time passes, until finally, as Danny desperately trues to resuscitate her on the beach, she sees herself flying to heaven in her dying moments."


*Jurassic Park*: it's a propaganda film made by Hammond.

Universal Pictures via IMDB

"The Lost World ends with the public finding about about the dinosaurs, namely that a T. Rex that John Hammond cloned ate a bunch of people in San Diego. Also now the world knows that Ian Malcolm was telling the truth in his book, a book that’s obviously not kind to John Hammond or his for-profit monster island.

"Hammond clearly needed to get together some good PR and control the story, so what better way than produce a big blockbuster propaganda movie so everyone forgets Ian Malcolm’s tell-all story?"


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