Disney Animated Movies: 40+ Strangely Persuasive Fan Theories

Published on 01/31/2022
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Disney Animated Movies: 40+ Strangely Persuasive Fan Theories

Disney Animated Movies: 40+ Strangely Persuasive Fan Theories

We’ve all seen Disney movies, but do you know your Easter eggs from your multiverses? Character cameos, background details, and timeline overlaps have all been noted by Disney fans over the years, leading to some very convincing fan theories. While some are more credible than others, it’s fun to revisit your favorite Disney characters from a new angle and possibly see them in a new light. Take a look at this list of strangely persuasive fan theories about Disney’s animated films. There are spoilers ahead!

Moana Dies at the Beginning

Some of the theories on this list are surprisingly persuasive, and they are sprinkled throughout the list. According to this theory, Moana perishes during the storm that occurs at the beginning of the movie.

Moana Dies At The Beginning

Moana Dies At The Beginning

This theory is supported by the fact that Moana only meets gods and mystical creatures after she returns to her tribe. As a result, her journey is a battle for her life.

Finding Nemo Is About Marlin’s Grief

Finding Nemo, according to this dark Disney theory, is actually about Marlin’s grief. This theory proposes that Nemo dies in the barracuda attack at the start of the film, and that the plot of the film reflects the five stages of grief.

Finding Nemo Is About Marlin's Grief

Finding Nemo Is About Marlin’s Grief

Marlin does not want Nemo to go to school while he is in denial. He yells at him angrily. Marlin travels across the ocean during bargaining, feels despair when Nemo has flushed down a drain, and finally comes to acceptance when he can let go of the past.

Neverland Is the Afterlife

Another dark take on a classic Disney animated film. Neverland, home of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, has been interpreted as the afterlife by some viewers. This would explain why none of the characters mature, and why Peter famously declares, “To die would be an awfully big adventure.”

Neverland Is The Afterlife

Neverland Is The Afterlife

This theory is supported by the tragic fact that JM Barrie’s brother died when he was only 13 years old, the same age as Peter Pan author JM Barrie. It makes you stop and think.

Elsa Was Hidden Because of Rapunzel

You may recall from our previous theories about Disney that many people believe Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel are all descended from a single-family. Blonde hair is considered to be particularly auspicious by some members of the family, as we’ve seen.

Elsa Was Hidden Because Of Rapunzel

Elsa Was Hidden Because Of Rapunzel

As a result of what happened to Rapunzel, supporters of this theory believe Anna and Elsa’s parents, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, kept Elsa’s powers hidden. Mother Gothel not only imprisoned Rapunzel but also separated the two sisters.

Snow White Didn’t Wake Up

The fairest of them all receives true love’s kiss at the end of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When the Prince learns that Snow White is resting in a glass coffin in the woods, he rushes to her side, kisses her, and supposedly breaks the spell.

Snow White Didn't Wake Up

Snow White Didn’t Wake Up

However, what if Snow White was truly at the end of her days after a year in a glass coffin? Thus, the Prince becomes the angel of death, escorting her into the afterlife.

Gaston Is Gay

This next Disney theory isn’t exactly backed up by evidence, but we have to admit that we like it. Gaston is gay, according to this fan theory, and only pursues Belle because he knows she will never reciprocate.

Gaston Is Gay

Gaston Is Gay

Gaston can appear macho while never having to be in a relationship with a woman in this way. Plus, Gaston’s sidekick LeFou was revealed to be gay in the live-action remake, so the two could be having an affair.

Rapunzel, Anna, and Elsa Are Cousins

A brunette Rapunzel and Eugene attended Elsa’s coronation in Frozen, as any Disney fan worth their salt knows. But why is that? While it’s possible that these two are just friendly royals, some believe Rapunzel is Anna and Elsa’s cousin.

Rapunzel, Anna, And Elsa Are Cousins

Rapunzel, Anna, And Elsa Are Cousins

According to this theory, Anna and Elsa’s parents were at Rapunzel’s wedding when they boarded their doomed ship. The time between the shipwreck and the plot of Frozen is three years, which is also the time between the two films.

Belle Is Jane’s Grandmother

You could just accept it as a cute reference if you see a character from another Disney film in the movie you’re watching. You could also make an entire theory out of it.

Belle Is Jane's Grandmother

Belle Is Jane’s Grandmother

In this case, a tea set that looks exactly like Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast can be seen in Tarzan. Furthermore, Jane from Tarzan has a striking resemblance to Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Is it possible that Belle is her grandmother?

Jasmine Controlled Jafar

It’s a game-changer, and we’re not sure we buy it. Jafar in Aladdin didn’t want the lamp for himself, according to this theory. He had no idea what to do with it, the theorist asserts. It’s been suggested that Jafar was working on behalf of Jasmine, the person who reaped the greatest financial benefit from the lamp’s sale.

Jasmine Controlled Jafar

Jasmine Controlled Jafar

She is the most trapped character in the film, and she recognizes Aladdin as a non-royal from the moment she first sees him. At the end of the day, she gets everything she wants.

Megara Is a Young Yzma

Megara from Hercules is thought to be a younger version of Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove. The original post is several pages long and includes real mythology in addition to Disney lore. Yzma was a lovesick Hades worshipper who left the Incan Empire and lived the Hercules plot, according to this theory.

Mergara Is A Young Yzma

Mergara Is A Young Yzma

After that, Hercules is blamed for the deaths of his and Meg’s children, according to Greek mythology. She is then rescued by Hades, driven insane, and transported back to Peru.

Hercules and Ariel Are Cousins

Here’s another bit of Greek mythology to add to the mix. It is, after all, the basis for some of these tales. We already know that Ariel is King Triton’s daughter from The Little Mermaid. Triton is the son of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea, according to Greek mythology.

Hercules And Ariel Are Cousins

Hercules And Ariel Are Cousins

Poseidon’s brother is none other than Zeus, Hercules’ father if you’re familiar with Greek gods. Ariel and Hercules are now cousins, our friends. They both can sing, after all.

Lilo and Nani’s Parents Were in the CIA

Following that is Lilo & Stitch, a 2002 film about a Hawaiian girl and her alien-like pet. Lilo and her sister Nani’s parents die before the film begins. As a result, Cobra Bubbles, a social worker, keeps an eye on the girls.

Lilo And Nani's Parents Were In The CIA

Lilo And Nani’s Parents Were In The CIA

According to this theory, Lilo and Nani’s parents used to work for the CIA with Cobra Bubbles, an ex-CIA agent. Why wouldn’t he have split the siblings up if that wasn’t the case? Plus, why would someone leave the CIA to work as a social worker?

Gaston Killed Bambi’s Mom

It’s safe to say that a lot of these theories, like this one, are made up by fans. These are tales that could have taken place in the background of our favorite Disney films, but there isn’t much evidence for them in the actual film.

Gaston Killed Bambi's Mom

Gaston Killed Bambi’s Mom

Some people think Gaston from Beauty and the Beast came to America from France to kill Bambi’s mother because he was on his way to France to commit murder. The antlers are important to Gaston, so we’d be cautious about assuming Bambi’s mother had any.

In Up, Carl Is Dead

Up is an emotional film even without this dark fan theory. The film famously begins with a heartbreaking montage of main character Carl and his love, Ellie. Carl then sets out with his eager child Russel to keep a promise he made to his late wife.

In Up, Carl Is Dead

In Up, Carl Is Dead

According to this theory, Carl died at the beginning of the film and “Paradise Falls” is actually heaven. As a result, Charles Muntz becomes a fallen angel, and Russell becomes an angel trying to earn his wings (or badge).

Chip Is the Beast’s Son

Beauty and the Beast, if we’re being honest, raises a lot of questions. For starters, the Beast was around 11 years old when the enchantress knocked on his castle doors, and can you blame an 11-year-old for being obnoxious?

Chip Is The Beast's Son

Chip Is The Beast’s Son

In any case, according to this theory, the Enchantress bore the Beast’s child and then cursed his castle in retaliation. What about the kid? That would, of course, be Chip, who was taken in by Mrs. Potts.

Elsa, Anna, and Tarzan Are Siblings

If you don’t believe Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel are cousins, you might be interested in this theory about their family tree. According to this theory, the King and Queen of Arendelle did not perish in a shipwreck, but rather washed up on an island.

Elsa, Anna, And Tarzan Are Siblings

Elsa, Anna, And Tarzan Are Siblings

Following that, the Queen gave birth to a son named Tarzan, and the couple was eventually eaten by a leopard (these two haven’t had much luck). Interestingly, the co-director of Frozen has essentially confirmed this.

Hei Hei Is a Demigod

You might have assumed that Hei Hei, the pet rooster from Moana, was just a particularly bird-brained rooster. However, this theory elevates him to a new level. Fans believe Hei Hei is a demigod sent to protect Moana, similar to Mushu from Mulan.

Hei Hei Is A Demigod

Hei Hei Is A Demigod

Hei Hei keeps surviving when he should die, which is evidence for this theory. Furthermore, he does not appear to age and appears the same in scenes where Moana is a small child. Compelling!

Brave’s Witch Is a Time-Traveling Boo

This is a popular Disney theory, and we tend to believe it. The Witch is a master woodcarver in 2012’s Brave, and she leaves a carving that resembles Sully from Monsters, Inc. Fans quickly drew parallels between the crafty character and young Boo as a result of this.

Brave's Witch Is A Time Traveling Boo

Brave’s Witch Is A Time Traveling Boo

According to this theory, Boo used her knowledge of magical doors to go on a search for Sully and find him. She ends up in Medieval Scotland as a result of this, where she refreshes her magic skills.

Sid Became a Garbage Man as Penance

Sid the snotty kid next door got his kicks by destroying toys in the original Toy Story film. However, by the third Pixar film, we see an older Sid working as a garbage man. While some may believe Sid chose this job because it is a good fit for him, others believe he chose it for a reason.

Sid Became A Garbage Man As Penance

Sid Became A Garbage Man As Penance

Because Sid discovers that the toys are alive throughout the films, it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to work as a garbage collector to save any toys he comes across.

Mother Gothel Is the Evil Queen

When it comes to evil stepmothers, Disney is likely to rely on the same “crazy old hag” stereotype. However, some people believe that the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mother Gothel from Tangled are the same person.

Mother Gothel Is The Evil Queen

Mother Gothel Is The Evil Queen

The proof is in the pudding: both kingdoms have a similar appearance, both women wield a dagger, and both are obsessed with eternal youth. So, perhaps the Evil Queen pretended to die and then kidnapped Rapunzel.

Andy’s Mom Was Jessie’s Owner

When Emily, the owner of Jessie from Toy Story 2, tossed her in the donation bin, we all wept. Some fans believe Andy’s mother is Emily, which would explain why Andy has so many vintage toys.

Andy's Mom Was Jessie's Owner

Andy’s Mom Was Jessie’s Owner

Andy wears a Jessie-style hat rather than a Woody-style hat in the first film; perhaps he got it from his mother. Plus, Emily’s childhood bedroom is decorated in 1960s style when we see it in “When She Loved Me,” so the timeline fits.

Cars Killed the Humans

Another Disney theory that has been confirmed by people involved in the production of the films is our next one. Cars is set in the future, according to creative director Jay Ward. Sure, you could have assumed it happened in a world without humans, but that’s not the case.

Cars Killed The Humans

Cars Killed The Humans

The humans from WALL-E have been wiped out, according to this theory, and the robots have made their way into cars. Then, thanks to their sophisticated AI, they took on the personalities and accents of their previous owners.

Lady Tremaine Kills Her Husbands

The young girl’s father marries the widowed Lady Tremaine at the start of Cinderella. He’s dead not long after that. Now, two dead husbands and a ruthless quest for power add up to more than just an obnoxious stepmother. Is it possible that Lady Tremaine is a black widow?

Lady Tremaine Kills Her Husbands

Lady Tremaine Kills Her Husbands

Black widows, like the spider after which the term is named, murder their husbands. Lady Tremaine, on the other hand, grows wealthier with each passing spouse, so it’s possible she does it on purpose.

Blonds Have the Magic

When was the last time you heard someone say Rapunzel, Elsa, and Anna were all related? You’ll notice that the magical skills belong to the members of the blond family if you follow that line of reasoning. Rapunzel and Elsa wield the magic, not Anna, who is overflowing with enthusiasm and love.

Blonds Have The Magic

Blonds Have The Magic

Furthermore, when Rapunzel’s golden locks are snipped at the end of Tangled, they turn brown and lose their magic. Elsa should probably stay away from Arendelle’s hairstylists.

Wheezy Is a Villain

A torn Woody ends up on a shelf next to Wheezy, a squeezy penguin with a broken squeaker, at the start of Toy Story 2. When Woody tries to save Wheezy from a yard sale, he is kidnapped by Al McWhiggin, a toy collector. Some fans, however, are suspicious of Wheezy’s motivations.

Wheezy Is A Villain

Wheezy Is A Villain

What if Wheezy had been sitting on that shelf for years, developing a grudge against Woody and the rest of the gang? And what if he deliberately set Woody up so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the obtrusive cowboy?

This Fly Was a Human

The evil Yzma transforms spoiled Incan emperor Kuzco into a llama in The Emperor’s New Groove. While Kuzco the llama can communicate, the other animals in the film are unable to.

This Fly Was A Human

This Fly Was A Human

A spider eats a fly in one scene where a disgruntled Kuzco (as llama) is trekking through the jungle with the kindly Pacha. Before the fly dies, however, we hear it squeak, “Help me!” This means that the fly was once a human, according to the movie’s rules.

The Trolls Are the Real Villains

The dashing Prince reveals himself to be a villain long after Anna and Hans sing “Love Is An Open Door” in Frozen. Some fans, however, aren’t pleased with the sudden change of heart. After all, why would Hans defend Anna on the mountain if he wanted her out of the picture in the first place?

The Trolls Are The Real Villains

The Trolls Are The Real Villains

But who turned Hans bad if he was originally a nice guy? Of course, the trolls! The magical trolls have eliminated Hans as a possibility because they want Kristoff to marry Anna.

Aladdin Happens in the Future

Clearly, many of these Disney theories can be easily refuted. Because it starred Robin Williams, who was known for his quick improvisational skills, Aladdin is full of pop culture references. But, if you’re looking for a way to make sense of it all within the Disney universe, there’s a theory for that.

Aladdin Happens In The Future

Aladdin Happens In The Future

This theory claims that Aladdin is set in the future, rather than the past. Genie’s references to actors such as Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are explained in this light.

Captain Hook Killed Ariel’s Mom

You could argue that this theory is based on two mermaids animated in a similar style, but that would be a downer, wouldn’t it? Instead, we’ll argue that Captain Hook, the antagonist from Peter Pan, is to blame for Ariel’s mother’s death in The Little Mermaid.

Captain Hook Killed Ariel's Mom

Captain Hook Killed Ariel’s Mom

In The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s mother has died, but in Peter Pan, we see a mermaid who looks exactly like her. This has led fans to believe that the mermaid is Athena, King Triton’s deceased wife.

Scar Didn’t Ruin the Pride Lands

Scar and the hyenas ruin the Pride Lands through overhunting and reckless leadership, which is a central plot point in The Lion King. This theory, on the other hand, claims that what we see is simply the passage of time. Nobody taught these lions about seasons, did they?

Scar Didn't Ruin The Pride Lands

Scar Didn’t Ruin The Pride Lands

On the African savannah, the film begins in a fertile spring and ends in a dry summer (normal). It’s then monsoon season when Simba returns, and the Pride Lands is back to normal. It’s all part of the cycle of life!

Kristoff Wears Sven’s Mom

When we first meet ice harvester, Kristoff, in Frozen, he is seen with a young Sven. Sven’s mother was killed by ice harvesters, according to this theory, and her pelt was turned into the coat worn by little Kristoff (and later older Kristoff).

Kristoff Wears Sven's Mom

Kristoff Wears Sven’s Mom

This would explain why Kristoff and Sven are so close, which is creepy. Kristoff not only raised Sven, but he did so while wearing his mother’s skin. Scandinavian cultures are known for wearing reindeer pelts as clothing.

Bing Bong Works for Monsters, Inc.

Bing Bong’s final scene in Inside Out is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a Disney film. While we’re told that the strange-looking pink creature is Riley’s imaginary friend from childhood, some fans believe Bing Bong is a Monsters, Inc. employee.

Bing Bong Works For Monsters, Inc.

Bing Bong Works For Monsters, Inc.

Sully changes the company’s power generation method at the end of Monsters, Inc, so that Monstropolis is powered by laughter. Riley’s childhood monster, Bing Bong, could have been something she forgot about. This proves he’s still alive!

Maleficent Helped Aurora’s Parents

Princess Aurora’s christening is the start of Sleeping Beauty. The ceremony is famously disrupted when Maleficent, the evil witch, bursts in and curses Aurora. This Disney theory explains why Maleficent was so irritated by it all.

Maleficent Helped Aurora's Parents

Maleficent Helped Aurora’s Parents

The King and Queen have also struggled to conceive, as we learn at the start of the film. Maleficent allegedly helped the royals in having their first child, then became enraged when they did not acknowledge her help, according to fans. We believe it after seeing Maleficent.

Aladdin Is a Tall Tale

So, we know that Aladdin from 1992 is set in a post-apocalyptic future, but what if it’s all just a story? The Disney film Aladdin, of course, is based on a Middle Eastern folk tale. But, in any case, let’s return to the tiger’s pet.

Aladdin Is A Tall Tale

Aladdin Is A Tall Tale

Essentially, this theory proposes that the lamp salesman at the beginning of Aladdin invents the entire story in order to make a sale. It’s a little less exciting, but it’s definitely a possibility.

Gaston Is an Alternate Beast

The next Disney theory is that Gaston from Beauty and the Beast is an alternate version of the Beast, which is quite a literary one. Gaston, according to this theory, represents what the Beast would have become if he hadn’t been cursed.

Gaston Is An Alternate Beast

Gaston Is An Alternate Beast

Both of these characters, admittedly, are unlikable throughout the film, are particularly vain, and have piercing blue eyes. Gaston’s death appears to have an effect on the Beast, which is perhaps more convincing. Don’t you find it intriguing?

Scar Ate Mufasa

We’ll be the first to admit that this theory isn’t as compelling as some of the others on this list. In fact, this type of Disney theory draws conclusions based on real-life data about wild animals and real-world locations. It’s not exactly scientific, but it’s a start.

Scar Ate Mufasa

Scar Ate Mufasa

Scar, according to this theory, likely ate Mufasa’s body after killing him, which is terrifying. This is based on the skull that the villainous lion is seen toying with, as well as some interesting facts about lions in real life.

The Lamp Salesman Is the Genie

It’s a letdown that Aladdin’s entire plot is concocted by the lamp salesman at the beginning of the film. In any case, what if we told you it’s not a lamp, but rather the Genie himself? That sounds a little more intriguing, don’t you think?

The Lamp Salesman Is The Genie

The Lamp Salesman Is The Genie

Both characters have similar physical features and speak in a similar tone. Surprisingly, co-director Ron Clements admitted that the salesman was supposed to be revealed as the Genie. It was, however, lost in the editing process.

WALL-E Folks Eat Corpses

These theories have suggested that Scar ate Mufasa, Gaston shot Bambi’s mother, and Kristoff wears Sven’s mother as a jacket, among other dark Disney details. Sheesh! So, how about the notion that the humans in WALL-E eat corpses?

WALL E Folks Eat Corpses

WALL E Folks Eat Corpses

The inhabitants of the Axiom are frequently seen eating and drinking. However, as far as we can tell, the ship has no livestock or chefs. As a result, the robots are either creating synthetic food or feeding the ship’s population dead human bodies.

Ariel Saw Rapunzel’s Parent’s Shipwreck

King Agnarr and Queen Iduna set sail on a ship that eventually crashes in Frozen. The couple may have died, or they may have raised a young Tarzan, depending on which theory you believe.

Ariel Saw Rapunzel's Parent's Shipwreck

Ariel Saw Rapunzel’s Parent’s Shipwreck

Regardless, some keen observers have noted that the couple’s ship resembles the one that Ariel and Flounder swim around in The Little Mermaid. Sure, animated ships resemble each other, but we like to think that Atlantis is connected to Tarzan’s jungle in some way.

Robin Hood Is a Medieval Zootopia

There are mega theories that connect and map out the timelines of most Disney and Pixar movies, in addition to these individual Disney theories. According to some theories, every Pixar film fits into this category. Disney theorists, on the other hand, are baffled by Robin Hood.

Robin Hood Is A Medieval Zootopia

Robin Hood Is A Medieval Zootopia

The film has a lot of talking animals, but none of them are primates like The Lion King. As a result, some have speculated that Robin Hood is a medieval version of Zootopia, in which humans have never existed.

Sid Stands for Disney

This is without a doubt the most meta of all of our Disney fan theories. Those familiar with Disney history will recall that animator and director John Lasseter was fired and went on to work for Pixar. As a result, fans speculate that Lasseter named the villain of Toy Story after his former employer.

Sid Stands For Disney

Sid Stands For Disney

Because “Sidney” is an anagram of “Disney,” this theory proposes that Lasseter named Toy Story’s snot-nosed kid Sid after the major studio. It’s an anagram burn-in animation.

Christopher Robin Is Institutionalized

To be sure, many of these Disney theories begin with the assumption that one of the film’s main characters is dead or dying. In this case, imaginative child Christopher Robin is actually a patient in a mental institution, and the characters he imagines are mental illness representations. That’s a lot of information.

Christopher Robin Is Institutionalized

Christopher Robin Is Institutionalized

Eeyore represents depression, Piglet represents anxiety, Tigger represents ADHD, and Rabbit represents OCD, according to this detailed theory. The Pooh Pathology Test is an academic study and test based on this theory.

Hades’ Hair Reflects His Emotions

The following section is an analysis of Hercules’ thoughtful animation work, rather than a theory. Hades’ dynamic hair reveals a number of clues about the character’s emotional state, according to Disney fans. Hades’ hair is icy blue when he is calm and collected.

Hades' Hair Reflects His Emotions

Hades’ Hair Reflects His Emotions

When he loses his cool, however, he literally heats up, resulting in flaming locks. The idea that Hades’ power is linked to his emotions is even more intriguing. When you lose your cool, you lose control, as his hair teaches us.

King Candy Was a Cancelled Character

Character King Candy is a result of Turbo hacking the Sugar Rush code and transforming himself into the villainous royal, according to the plot of Wreck it Ralph. However, we know that the foundation for King Candy must have already existed based on our knowledge of computer code.

King Candy Was A Cancelled Character

King Candy Was A Cancelled Character

According to this theory, King Candy was supposed to be a part of the Sugar Rush but was canceled. Turbo was able to bring the character out of development and into the game in this way.

A Bug’s Life Is After WALL-E

Lastly, our final hypothesis adds to our understanding of the Pixar timeline. While WALL-E may appear to be the most futuristic Disney film, Aladdin and Cars may take place much later. We can now add A Bug’s Life to the list as well.

A Bug's Life Is After WALL E

A Bug’s Life Is After WALL E

Some fans believe that A Bug’s Life takes place after the Earth has recovered due to the similarity between the plant at the end of WALL-E and the tree in A Bug’s Life.

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