These Disney fan theories will change everything you thought you knew about your favorite childhood movies. They totally switched up the script to these classic stories you loved to watch growing up. Some of them you probably could have guessed, while others will make you totally surprised. These feel-good, family-friendly films you’ve come to know and love might actually be hiding some secrets or underlying storylines that will completely change the way you look at these classic children’s movies. A lot of these theories claim to have connections to other Disney films as well.
Disney animators are known for sneaking an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or even a character from another film into their movies, also known as “Easter eggs,” which fans have come to look out for. Some Disney fan theories have even been confirmed by film producers to have been true, so there is the potential that all of these theories could have some truth to them. Check out these 15 fan theories about classic Disney movies that will totally change your childhood.
15. Captain Hook Got Ariel’s Mom
There is a mermaid in Peter Pan that swims around Neverland that looks an awful lot like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Some Disney fans theorize that this mermaid in Peter Pan is actually Ariel’s mom, Athena. In the prequel to The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Beginning, viewers learn that Ariel’s mother was killed by pirates.
In Peter Pan, it is clear that Captain Hook hated the mermaids. Some people have even suggested that it was Hook who killed Athena. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s father King Triton loathes human beings, which would make sense if they were responsible for his wife Athena’s death. However, it is also entirely likely that the animation technology just wasn’t great back then and all of Disney’s mermaids looked the same.
14. Nemo Is Actually Not Alive For The Whole Movie
There is a fan theory that Nemo actually died with his mother and the rest of his siblings at the beginning of Finding Nemo. Some even point out that Marlin’s journey to find Nemo actually parallels the five stages of grief.
He is in denial when he is not ready for his son to go to school. Marlin gets angry when Nemo swims out too far past the coral reef. He bargains with Dory, turtles, and sharks to find Nemo. He gets depressed and loses it when he sees Nemo being flushed down the toilet and lastly, at the end, Marlin learns to let go of the past and change his ways, which is the final stage of grief: acceptance. Also, Nemo literally means “nothing” in Latin.
13. Peter Pan Is The Grim Reaper
Some Peter Pan fans believe that the magical little boy who never grows up is actually the angel of death! Basically, the lost boys never grow up because they are no longer alive and Peter Pan is the one who leads the children into heaven.
This theory is even more believable because J.M. Barrie, the author of the book Peter Pan, left all of the rights to his story to the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital when he died. What could have been thought to be a generous donation may have actually been a subtle message of reassurance for the sick children in the hospital. Also, before he passed away, Barrie would often read Peter Pan to terminally ill kids in the hospital so that they wouldn’t be afraid of dying.
12. Aladdin Took Place In A Post-Apocalyptic Future
A lot of people think that Aladdin took place in the Middle East thousands of years ago. However, many fans think that it actually took place far in the future. When the Genie gets out of the lamp, he complains that “10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck!” If Aladdin was actually taking place in a post-apocalyptic future, the last time the Genie was out of the lamp would have been in the nineties, but if it took place in the past, he would have never even seen humans before.
The Genie also makes references to things that he would not have known if he had never had any human interaction before, like impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger and knowing what a Goofy hat looked like. Plus, did you ever notice that no one looks twice at the oriental carpet flying across the sky? In a post-apocalyptic future, a flying rug might not be so outlandish.
11. Up Is Carl’s Journey Into The Afterlife
Anyone who has watched the movie Up knows that the beginning is certainly a tear-jerker. We see him fall in love with and lose his beloved wife within the span of minutes. However, some fans suggest that Carl’s balloon adventure that follows is actually his own journey into the afterlife, because he supposedly passes away in his sleep after receiving the phone call that he would be moving into a retirement home.
The boy scout who accompanies Carl on his journey is actually his guardian angel, who earns his wings, or badge, by helping him reach his destination. This fan theory has Carl reuniting with the love of his life, Ellie, in Heaven at the end, so it does not totally ruin the story for viewers.
10. Toy Story 3 Is About The Holocaust
This startling fan theory says that Toy Story 3 parallels the Holocaust. When Andy leaves for college, abandoning his toys, it can be compared to when the Allies “left behind the Jews as the Third Reich conquered Europe,” according to Jordan Hoffman of UGO.com.
Woody’s speech about losing friends and taking a position in the world is comparable to the station scene from Roman Polanski’s The Pianist. Buzz Lightyear suggests that the toys find sanctuary “in the attic,” which compares to the Jews hiding from the Nazis. The toys are then sent to Sunnyside where they are put to work just like Jewish people were in concentration camps. Not to mention, Sunnyside was filled with guards and the toys were subject to horrifying experiments. Finally, the toys are thrown into an incinerator before escaping to a new home.
9. Chip The Cup Is The Beast’s Illegitimate Son
If you think about it, Mrs. Potts the tea kettle never mentioned a husband and it was only assumed that she was married because of her name. She was obviously an elderly woman who was much too old to have a son as young as Chip in Beauty and the Beast.
Lumiere lets Belle in on the secret that the objects in the house have been subject to a curse for the last ten years. However, Chip seems to be much younger than that. Some fans have a theory that Chip was actually not Mrs. Potts’ son at all, but rather the Beast’s illegitimate son. When the Beast was still Prince Adam, he may have been with another woman from the village just before being cursed, or was maybe even with the Enchantress herself. Others say that it is possible the Beast tried to break the curse before meeting Belle with another girl who gave birth to the talking teacup.
8. Tarzan Is Anna And Elsa’s Brother
In Frozen, Anna and Elsa’s parents were presumably killed in a shipwreck when the girls were young. However, some Disney fans think that their parents were actually Tarzan’s parents too. Tarzan begins with a young couple who are stranded on an island with a newborn baby. The theory suggests that the couple is actually the King and Queen of Arendelle who have survived the storm from Frozen.
Both films take place around the same time period and the characters look strikingly similar as well. If Anna’s father had a bigger moustache, he would resemble Tarzan’s father. It is also totally possible that the couple could have had another child while stranded at sea. Although, if this theory holds true, that would mean that Tarzan was the rightful heir to the throne and Elsa would be out.
7. The Merchant In Aladdin Is The Genie In Disguise
This Disney fan theory is one of the few that have been confirmed by someone who was involved with the film. People think that the merchant at the beginning of the movie who tries to sell the lamp to Aladdin in the street is actually the Genie in disguise. Aladdin’s director Ron Clements actually said that the merchant or “peddler” was supposed to divulge that he was the Genie at the end of the film but the story was edited and the big reveal never made it into the movie.
The merchant even has only four fingers like the Genie, as well as the same facial hair markings and clothing. Robin Williams also voiced both characters. The director joked that this fan theory was “an urban legend that actually came true.”
6. Gaston Ended The Life Of Bambi’s Mom
Anyone who has ever seen Bambi will know that the viewers never get to see Bambi’s mother’s killer, because his image is strategically hidden by falling snow. If you watch the beginning of Beauty and the Beast over again, you will notice a deer drinking from a stream.
Disney animators have been known for inserting past characters into other films. Some fans have theorized that the deer in Beauty and the Beast is actually Bambi’s mother and she was killed by the egotistical huntsman, Gaston. If you watch the scene where Gaston sings in the tavern, you will also notice a deer head on the wall, which resembles Bambi’s mom. Now, there is no proof that this theory holds true, but again, the animators have created an awfully similar-looking doe.
5. The Evil Queen From Snow White Is Mother Gothel From Tangled
A lot of Disney fans seem to think that the Evil Queen in Snow White and Mother Gothel in Tangled are one and the same. For example, they both use a strikingly similar-looking dagger. They are both obsessed with perpetual youth and have similar motives. Snow White and Rapunzel both represent ways to achieve youth and beauty.
The Evil Queen demands to be the most beautiful in the kingdom, even going to murderous lengths to keep her beauty. Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel, holding her captive for years to retain her youth and good looks. However, the theory falls apart a bit when you realize that both the Evil Queen and Mother Gothel die at the end of the movies. Although, when there is Disney magic involved, anything is possible.
4. Jane From Tarzan Is Belle’s Granddaughter From Beauty And The Beast
There is a fan theory that Jane from Tarzan is actually Belle from Beauty and the Beast’s granddaughter, or at least some kind of descendant. This theory likely began because of the character’s extraordinary resemblance to one another. The two films use similar animation techniques so they have comparable facial features and even dress alike.
Belle and Jane also have similar personalities — they both love the color yellow and are in relationships with wild men. Also, in Tarzan, Terk can be seen drumming on a set of teacups that looks almost identical to Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast. Although, if you remember the end of Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts was reverted back to a human so it could just be a similar-looking tea set.
3. Andy’s Mom Was Jessie’s First Owner
Jessie is introduced in Toy Story 2 as a cowgirl with a fear of abandonment after her last owner, Emily, neglected her before getting rid of her. Throughout the movie, Jessie learns to trust again and finds happiness with Andy and his toys. However, one fan theory suggests that Emily was actually Andy’s mom and that she was Jessie’s original owner and forgot about her.
Fans are quick to point out the red hat that Andy’s mom gives him, which looks similar to Jessie’s cowgirl hat. However, Andy’s mom does not ever recognize Jessie during the film with nostalgia or any sort of emotion. Also, Jessie does not recognize Andy’s mom but that could also be because the last time Jessie saw her was when she was a child.
2. Cars Takes Place In A World Where Humans Are Extinct From Pollution
Disney fans think that all Pixar films take place in the same universe. Some fans of Cars seem to think that the story occurred in a world where humans do not exist because they have become extinct from all the pollution. The world of Cars was built by humans and has a similar infrastructure and culture, but theorists suggest that there was a hostile car takeover. The few humans that did survive fled the planet, making room for the Pixar film Wall-E.
The excess pollution killed off all human life and the cars are left to run the show. With the absence of humans, the cars take on the personalities of the humans who once owned them or somehow gain a consciousness of their own.
1. Geppetto Is Dopey The Dwarf As An Old Man
Dopey the dwarf from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Geppetto from Pinocchio may actually be the same person. There is a fan theory that Dopey’s early years with Snow White and the dwarves were just leading up to him building Pinocchio as an adult.
Dopey and Geppetto are very similar characters. They are both extremely fearful, clumsy, and often confused. They also have comparable features, like floppy ears and a big nose. The theory says that Dopey was mistaken as a dwarf when he was found by Snow White’s dwarves. When he grew up and they realized he was not like them, they kicked him out and he found himself in Italy where he took up woodworking. Geppetto also apparently created Pinocchio to look like if he and Snow White had a child together.