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14 Disney Fan Theories That Actually Hold Up

Diply 25 Jun 2016

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. And a media empire like Disney – with all of its movies, theme parks and billions of dollars – is ripe for the picking when it comes to interesting fan theories. A Beauty and the Beast / Aladdin crossover? Ariel robbing graves? Let's dive right in.

1. Does Aladdin take place after a nuclear apocalypse?

Movie Pilot | Movie Pilot

Everyone knows this movie takes place in the old-timey days. Or does it? Aladdin's genie does a lot of riffing based on 20th-century pop culture. The genie also complains about being trapped in his lamp for 10,000 years – longer than all but the most ancient human civilizations unless the movie takes place in the future. Still not convinced? In the official video game, there's a modern-looking stop sign half-buried in the sand – perhaps a remnant of the pre-apocalypse world?

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2. Tarzan's parents = Elsa and Anna's parents?

Wikia | Wikia

Impossible, you say. Just hear this one out. When asked about the theory above, the producers of Frozen stated on Reddit that the Arendelle king and queen survived the wreck, escaped to an island, had a son, and were promptly killed by a leopard. Given that Disney likes tie-ins, who else could their son possibly be?

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3. In Toy Story 2, Jessie was abandoned by Andy's mom.

Fanpop | Fanpop

Jessie has some serious abandonment issues, and there might be a good reason: her original owner, Andy's mom, abandoned her years ago. For starters, Andy's hat is pretty much identical to the hat Jessie wears in later movies — maybe because it was part of his mom's cowgirl outfit from when she was a kid.

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There's more too: in a flashback where Jessie's original owner can be seen, she looks almost exactly like a young version of Andy's mom.

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4. In Up, Carl is already dead.

Fanpop | Fanpop

What if this tearjerker got even sadder? What if, instead of Carl traveling journey to South America, the old man was actually moving into the afterlife to find his beloved wife? It's a bit complicated, but it makes a weird kind of sense.

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5. Frozen, Tangled and The Little Mermaid all take place in the same universe.

Disney Screencaps | Disney Screencaps

So, in Frozen there's a brief shot of Rapunzel and Flynn at Elsa's coronation. We also know that in the beginning of Frozen, Elsa and Anna's parents died in a shipwreck. The last we saw of them, they were getting on a boat.

Let's assume that Frozen takes place in Norway and Tangled takes place in Germany — both pretty logical assumptions based on clues throughout the movie. Both of the countries are a short boat trip away, so it's entirely possible that Elsa and Anna's parents were on their way to Rapunzel and Flynn's ceremony when their boat sunk.

Here's where it gets crazy. You know what's right between Germany and Norway? Denmark. Who lives in Denmark? Ariel, the Little Mermaid. So, yes: Ariel grave-robbed the shipwreck of Elsa and Anna's parents in The Little Mermaid.

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6. Every single Pixar movie takes place in the same universe.

Nerd Approved | Nerd Approved

This might be one of the most plausible fan theories out there. The first Pixar movie released was Toy Story in 1995, but the first Pixar movie in terms of historical periods is 2012's Brave, which takes place in medieval Scotland. Merida finds magic that turns her mom into a bear.

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Moving ahead, it's somewhat believable that this magic was carried forward, which accounts for all of Pixar's weird and wonderful creations. Writer Jon Negroni has the full scoop.

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7. Was Belle reading Aladdin?

Huffington Post | Huffington Post

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle spends a fair amount of time with her nose in a book. Makes sense — she was a bit of a bookworm. But if you pay attention to the subject matter of one of her books, you might do a double take. The book is all about "far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise." Sound a little bit like another '90s Disney movie?

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8. The Incredibles = Atlas Shrugged

Comic Vine | Comic Vine

How on earth could this Pixar film have anything to do with Ayn Rand's famous novel? Well, Bob Incredible is pretty similar to the main character in Rand's book, John Galt. Both are motivated by rational self-interest, and both are powerful members of society who feel underappreciated and disappear. Later on, Bob Incredible drops to a knee, holding a robot's body across his broad shoulders — y'know, just like the famous pose of Atlas.

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9. In Tarzan, Jane is actually the granddaughter of Belle and the Beast.

Disneyfied, or Disney Tried? | Disneyfied, or Disney Tried?

There are superficial similarities — Jane is a dead ringer for Belle, they both have romantic relationships with wild men, and they both love the color yellow. But there's something more concrete: in Tarzan, Terk is seen drumming on a tea set that looks like Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast as well as the little teacup Chip.

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Is it possible that this set is a heirloom from Jane's grandparents?

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10. As Gaston died, so did male chauvinism.

The Disney Wiki | The Disney Wiki

It's occurred to many people that, even though he's a jerk, Gaston is a bit of a hero in Beauty and the Beast — after all, he's just trying to rescue Belle from a lifetime of Stockholm syndrome with a tyrannical beast. But Belle has no use for Gaston, and he eventually dies trying to save her. If you look at it, Disney princesses before Belle mostly did what they were told by the men in their lives — and after Belle, they were considerably more empowered.

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11. Mufasa trolled Scar from the afterlife

The Disney Wiki | The Disney Wiki

We know that after Mufasa died, he was able to communicate with Simba through the clouds. And when Simba finally defeats Scar, he does so with a lot of help from the natural elements. Mufasa could control parts of nature from beyond the grave and he certainly hated Scar — so why wouldn't he manipulate the wind, sun and rain to give his son a bit of a home-field advantage?

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12. Why don't any Disney protagonists have moms?

Life Seasons | Life Seasons

It's definitely a bit weird that, for all the family drama in the Disney universe, there are a lot of characters with no mothers but strong dads. One exception to this rule is Bambi. So where is this one going? Well, Bambi was released before Walt Disney's mother passed away. Disney was close to his mom and never really got over her death.

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 Could the lack of maternal characters be out of respect for Walt Disney's grief?

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13. Did Captain Hook murder Ariel's mom?

Bright Side | Bright Side

One of Peter Pan's mermaid friends looks just like Ariel's mom, Athena. In the prequel to The Little Mermaid, it's revealed that Athena was killed by a vicious pirate.

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Since Disney loves cross-movie tie-ins, it's reasonable to assume that Athena was killed by the treacherous Captain Hook (what a jerk).

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14. The merchant in the beginning of Aladdin is the Genie in disguise. 

Slate | Slate

This fan theory was finally confirmed by the director. The merchant has four fingers like the Genie and even shares the same facial hair. So yes, that's Robin Williams voicing both characters.

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Leave a COMMENT and tell us if we missed out on any fan theories!

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