15 Dark Disney Fan Theories That Completely Ruin Your Favorite Movies

Who doesn't love a Disney movie? They are good, wholesome fun for all ages, all but guaranteed never to leave you disappointed or feeling anything but happy, save for the occasional parental death here or there. So why would anyone want to ruin this magical experience? Well for starters, because it is hilarious. Just ask these memes.

There are plenty of theories floating around out there about Disney films. Like the one where Anna and Elsa's parents survived their shipwreck and gave birth to Tarzan, or the one where Ariel and Hercules are actually first cousins. While those are all good and fun to think about, there are other, far darker theories out there that are sure to obliterate all that was good and holy about your childhood. Read on at your own risk, and be warned that you will likely never be able to watch these films the same away again. Or if you're a twisted person with a sick mind, enjoy!

Here are 15 Dark Disney Fan Theories That Completely Ruin Your Favorite Movies.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Dark Disney Peter Pan Lost Boys
Start Now

15 Peter Pan Murders Lost Boys

Dark Disney Peter Pan Lost Boys

Look beyond all that nostalgia and wistfulness, and you'll see Peter Pan for who he truly is - a brat who likes to kidnap children. Although, if we are to believe a fan theory flying around out there, he's even worse then that. In fact, Peter Pan is really a deranged psychopath who kills Lost Boys before they can grow up. That certainly would explain why no one ever grows old in Neverland.

It's a bit of a role reversal if there ever was one, especially considering it holds that Captain Hook is a Lost Boy who was lucky enough to escape being murdered by Peter. Or alternatively, Hook is a hero who is trying to kill Peter before he has a chance to snuff out any more young innocent pre-pubescent children. Either way, it gives a whole new light to the line from J.M. Barrie's original story, “When they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out.

14 Carl Was Dead the Entire Time

Russell and Carl fall in Up

Is there a more heartwrenching opening in the history of film than that of Up? Watching Carl befriend his adventurous neighbor, become lifelong best friends with her and get married, only to seconds later watch her die is as sad as they come. So what could possibly make Up any more tragic? The theory that Carl's ballon riddled adventure is his journey into the afterlife after dying in his sleep right after receiving the call that he will be moving into a retirement home.

A home rising up towards the sky. A guardian angel in the guise of a boyscout who will earn his wings (i.e. badge) by helping. A talking dog who wants to eat squirrels because apparently that's a thing in heaven. The sudden appearance of an evil villain fallen from grace who wants to stop them with the aid of his hellhounds. It all makes perfect sense.

But don't feel too horrible. This theory only makes Up all the more amazing, since it is no longer the story of a curmudgeonly old white man abusing a young Asian boy on his way to dropping off a house in the middle of nowhere, but rather the hopeful tale of Carl reuniting with his beloved Ellie in heaven.

13 Kristoff is Wearing Sven's Dead Mom

Frozen Disney Theory Sven Kristoff

Say what you will about Frozen, but it nailed the relationship between the mentally unstable ice salesman Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven. Which makes the theory, posed by Reddit's superclaude1, that Kristoff is wearing the skinned pelt of Sven's mother all the more terrifyingly twisted.

Let's break this down. Kristoff and Sven grew up together because both were orphans. Kristoff wears a coat made out of reindeer fur. There's a good chance he got that skin from his fellow elder ice harvesters, who killed Sven's mother, skinned her, and gave it to the little homeless kid following them around so he wouldn't freeze to death. Around that same time, the now motherless Sven starts sniffing around Kristoff, because he can smell his mom all over him. Or, even weirder, perhaps Sven thinks Kristoff is his mom. And maybe, just maybe, Kristoff knows all this, so when we see him talking in Sven's voice, he's actually pretending to be the poor reindeer's mother. That's just messed up.

12 Aladdin Takes Place in a Post-Apocalyptic Future

While most people might think Aladdin takes place thousands of years ago, true fans know (or at least theorize) that it's actually set in the future. Why else would Genie complain that “10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck!” Or are we to believe the last time anyone saw Big Blue was during the Ice Age? More realistically, the last time Genie was making wishes come true was the 1990s. Which would explain why he makes so many modern-day references like impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger and knowing what a Goofy hat looks like.

It makes far more sense that the events of the film occur 10,000 in the future, in a time when no one would think twice about seeing an oriental rug fly. Not just any future mind you, but a post-apocalyptic future that shows remnants of advanced hover craft technology and animal testing that resulted in birds sounding like Gilbert Godfrey. Because really, is Agrabah just some made up place, or the new name of one of the few cities left standing after the nuclear fallout that turned most of the world into a giant, sand-ridden wasteland? Of course, there's also the possibility that the entire story was made up by the salesman at the beginning so that you would buy his worthless lamp.

11 Gaston Killed Bambi's Mother

Gaston Bambi Mother Disney Theory

Watch closely at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast and you'll see a familiar looking doe drinking from a stream. Now, there's no proof that that is Bambi's mother, but then again, there's no proof saying it isn't. Alas, we'll never know, because she is dead, and as many fans have postulated, that's because Gaston, a self-proclaimed master huntsman and all around dick, shot her.

We never do get to see the killer in Bambi, who was conveniently hidden behind falling snow. And we know Disney animators love inserting easter eggs of dead character between films. (Just look for Scar's skinned body showing up in Hercules.) So re-watch Gaston boastfully singing about how great he is at the tavern, and you'll surely see the decapitated head of Bambi's mother on the wall behind him.

10 Dopey and Geppetto are the Same Person

Disney Theory Dopey Geppetto

Dopey was always an outcast amongst the six other dwarves. Thanks to one imaginative Tumbler we now know it is because he wasn't actually a dwarf at all. In fact, Dopey is none other then a young Geppetto whose slapstick adventures in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves were just the formative years that would eventually lead him to building Pinocchio.

The two share very similar personalities. Both are scaredy-cats, clumsy, often confused, have big ears and a weird clown nose. As the theory goes, Dopey Geppetto was found as a baby by the dwarves who mistook him as a fellow dwarf. They took him in but on account of his obvious differences routinely abused him. When he grew too tall, they gave him the boot and he then wandered into Italy where he started woodworking. Alas Geppetto never forgot his first love, Snow White, and so he created a doll in the image of what their child would look like had they done the deed. Take a look again and you'll see that Snow White and Pinocchio do share a striking resemblance. All of which makes Geppetto even more of a lonely, creepy dude than he already was.

9 Ariel's Mom Was Murdered by Captain Hook

Peter Pan Captain Hook Ariel Disney Theory

If you've ever watched Peter Pan closely, you might have noticed that one of the mermaids swimming around Neverland bares a striking resemblance to The Little Mermaid'Ariel. While some think this might be the underwater princess herself, there is a far more logical conclusion: that it is in fact her mother.

In the direct-to-video prequel, Ariel's Beginning, we learn that Ariel's mom was killed by pirates. Anyone who's watched Peter Pan knows that Captain Hook and the mermaids hate one another. What's more, Ariel's father, King Triton, has a very strong disdain of humans. This makes sense when you consider that they were the ones to blame for his wife's death. Now, we're not sure if some random pirate did her in, if it was a hit and run either unknowingly or knowingly with their ship, or Captain Hook outright murdered her. But given the latter's evil streak and his fish-killing appropriate appendage, we'd place our bets on that last one.

8 Andy's Mom is a Toy Abandoner

Toy Story Andy's Mom and Jessie

Meet Andy's Mom. Her name is Andy's Mom, and she abandons toys, which in the world of Toy Story is nothing sort of villainous. As the theory goes, Andy's Mom was the original owner of Jessie, the rooten-ist, tooten-ist cowgirl in the West. If you remember Jessie's touching flashback of how she ended up discarded in a box to form a deep-rooted claustrophobia, her owner Emily had given her away after growing too old to play with her, as if that's a thing. Put two and two together, and the only logical conclusion is that Andy's Mom is the nefarious Emily.

Interestingly, Andy wears a human-size version of Jessie's hat in the original Toy Story, four years prior to Jessie appearing for the first time in Toy Story 2. One can only assume that the hat was his mom's, which she shared with her son when, just like she once did, he started playing with cowboy toys. Even crazier, in Jessie's flashback, you can see that same life-size hat on the bed of young Emily, whose room clearly exists in the '70s, right around the same time Andy's mom would have been a young girl. If you can't base a theory on a single hat, what can you base a theory on? Case closed.

7 Peter Pan is the Angel of Death

Peter Pan Flying Tinkerbell Wendy Disney

In another fan theory that paints Peter Pan as someone you wouldn't want anywhere near your kids, it turns out that he is none other than the grim reaper himself, holding the hands of children on their way to heaven. In other words, the Lost Boys never grow up because they are already dead.

Once again, the source for this theory comes from maestro J.M. Barrie, who bequeathed ownership and all rights to his story to the Great Ormond Street children's hospital. A generous donation to help bring in long lasting revenue, or a subtle message of reassurance for all those sick kids knocking at death's door that Peter Pan is coming to whisk them away to Never-more land? Add in that Barrie would often read his books to terminally ill kids so they wouldn't be afraid of dying, and we'd say this all seems pretty legit.

6 Anna and Elsa Aren't Sisters, But Elsa and Rapunzel Are

Frozen Disney Theory Elsa Rapunzel Sisters

Turns out that the whole sisterly love conquering message from Frozen was a sham. Because if you are to believe this fan theory, Anna and Elsa aren't even real sisters. On the contrary, Elsa and Tangled's Rapunzel are siblings (twins, in fact), and Anna is just some snowman-obsessed third wheel.

As the theory goes, Elsa shares the same parents as Rapunzel, King Frederic, and Queen Arianna, the latter of whom passed along magical powers to her daughter(s) by eating a flower, or something. After all, Anna isn't blonde, whereas Elsa and Rapunzel are. In addition, the supposed sisters are the only two princesses to have magical powers in any Disney movie ever, both are left-handed, and both share an alarming number of other similarities. The only question that remains now is why did Elsa get the boot from Corona and shipped off to the cold frozen tundra of Arendelle?

5 Cars Takes Place in a Future Where Humans Have Been Wiped Out by Pollution

There is a Grand Unified Theory of Pixar claiming that all Pixar films take place in the same universe. One particularly ominous aspect of the GUTP is where the film Cars fits in. Being the only film entirely void of humans, one can only wonder where they've all gone.

Given that the world of Cars is obviously one built by humans, in that shares an identical infrastructure and culture, there are a few possibilities. One is that at some point, people made the fateful mistake of providing their vehicles with AI, and a hostile car takeover ensued. More humankind has been killed off from pollution, and what few survivors remained fled the planet, paving the way for Wall-E. In their absence, perhaps their AI-imbued cars run the show, or perhaps these vehicles gain consciousness (aka Disney science) and take on the personalities of the humans who once owned them, explaining why they have false memories about events happening in the 20th Century like driving down Route 66 or Rascal Flatts being popular.

4 Boo is the Whackadoodle Witch from Brave

Disney Theory Monsters Inc Boos is Brave Witch

When Sully walked out on Boo at the end of Monster, Inc., the poor impressionable girl was never the same. How could she be after seeing what lay on the other side? As anyone in her situation would do, she had a mental breakdown and then figured out a way to time travel.

During her time spent running around Monstropolis with Mike and Sully, Boo picked up a thing or two about the inner workings of magical doors. Using her mystical knowledge, she one day ends up conjuring one that traverses space and time and promptly lands her in the world of Brave, where she meets Merida. Take a look around at the Witch's woodshop, and you'll see she even carved a likeness of her big blue friend to remember him by, until the fateful day came when they could be reunited. Sadly, given Boo's decrepit age in Brave, it seems like she's hopelessly devoted her entire life to reuniting with Sully, to no avail. All of which makes Boo/Witch one of the most tragic figures in all of Disneydom.

3 Peter Pan is a Pedophile

Rounding out our trifecta of ways to completely ruin any future viewings of Peter Pan, there's the strong likelihood that Pan the Man is a pedophile. Think about it: he's been traveling outside Neverland for years, maybe centuries, and has definitely seen some things spying through all those bedroom windows. Add in the fact that although physically he appears young, mentally, he's basically a 98-year-old man, and that's when things start getting creepy.

What is Peter Pan doing exactly with the Lost Boys all alone up in those trees? We shudder to think. Poor little Michael Darling. To make matters worse, in real life, J.M. Barrie used to take photographs of several kids he personally adopted, both in homemade costumes and naked, or has he tells it, “I lay thinking of this little boy, who, in the midst of his play while I undressed him, had suddenly buried his head on my knees.” Oh no! Better think twice next time you let your kids take a photo with Peter Pan at Disneyland.

2 Chip is the Illegitimate Son of Beast

Disney Theory Chip is Beast Son

If you remember correctly, in 1991's Beauty and the Beast, there was no evidence that Mrs. Potts was married other than her name and the fact that she has a disfigured child. However, she was definitely too old to have a son Chip's age, and even if she were to have a kid by some miracle it would still be impossible, given that she was a teapot at the time. Cue one of the craziest Disney theories out there.

Lumiere tells Belle that their curse has been going on for 10 years by the time of her arrival. Chip is definitely younger than that, so it stands that Chip was not Mrs. Potts' son. But whose was he? According to this theory, prior to being turned into Beast the devilishly handsome Prince Adam, could have gotten lucky with some village girl right before being cursed, or even hooked up with the Enchantress herself. Or, most disturbing of all, Belle wasn't the first woman Beast tried to force himself on in an attempt to break the curse, and in a horrific scene, this poor human victim gave birth to a talking tea cup before dying of incredibly unnatural causes.

1 Nemo Was Dead the Entire Time

Finding Nemo and Dad

What better way to ruin the touchingly triumphant father-son tale of Finding Nemo than by finding out that Nemo was dead the entire time and Marlin is hallucinating everything that happens. This particularly soul-shattering theory has Nemo dying in the same attack that killed his mother and his other siblings. The rest of the movie that follows is his father Marlin's attempt to cope with the tragedy.

Don't believe us? Marlin's oceanic journey is pretty much a spot-on allegory for the five stages of grief. Marlin doesn't want Nemo to go to school because his son isn't ready: Denial. Marlin yells at Nemo for swimming out too far: Anger. Marlin joins up with Dory, sharks, turtles, etc… to find Nemo: Bargaining. Marlin watches Nemo get flushed down a toilet and loses it: Depression. In the end, Marlin finally learns to let go of the past and change his ways: Acceptance. Oh yeah, and don't forget that “Nemo” in Latin means “nothing.” Happy watching!


Know of any other ruinous Disney theories? Let us know in the comments.

More in Lists