When it comes to Disney movies, people usually fall into two groups: those who think that the studio releases nothing but family-friendly adventures and important lessons, and those who see suspicious jokes, messages, or meanings below the surface. The studio will never confirm or deny just how many outlandish fan theories actually do have some truth to them, but the ideas alone are worth investigating.
Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Movie Theories That Completely Change Disney Films.
Toy Story 2 & Andy’s Mom
Most of the series is spent following the toys of Toy Story, but their owner, Andy, is just as important. But the adventures he shares with his childhood toys – and the need to give them up as he gets older – may run in his family. In Toy Story 2, fans found out that Jessie was originally owned by a girl named Emily, before she was given away. But some fans have claimed that Pixar makes it perfectly clear that Emily is really Andy’s mom.
In the first story, Andy is playing with Woody while wearing Jessie’s hat – the same one Emily played with when she was younger. Since 30 years have passed since Emily gave her up, it makes Andy’s mom the right age, and delivers a happy ending to Jessie’s story that fans never even noticed.
Tarzan & Beauty and The Beast
It’s obvious that the leading ladies of Beauty & The Beast and Tarzan have plenty in common: their hair, fair features, love of the color yellow, and a knack for taming wild men. But what if those similarities aren’t just coincidence? When the gorillas are trashing Jane and her father’s camp, the teapot set from Beauty & The Beast is visible – the one that Mrs. Potts and Chip were cursed to remain until The Beast was loved.
So, did Jane bring a French relative’s china on her trip? Or is it all from a shared family set? The time periods align, since the Eiffel Tower in Beauty & The Beast proves the movie is more modern than you would think. If it isn’t, could Jane be the grand daughter of Belle and the Beast? We’ll let the fans decide.
The tale of a prince in diguise and magical wishes is narrated by Genie, but what if the story isn’t set in Agrabah centuries in the past? What if it’s actually set thousands of years in the future? When he’s first released, Genie claims that he’s been imprisoned in the lamp for thousands of years. So how does he know to make jokes about modern movies and celebrities? Believe it or not, some fans believe Genie was trapped in our time, and waited ten thousand years, as the world advanced, and a world-ending disaster set mankind back by milennia.
Monsters, Inc., Brave & Boo
There’s no character more adorable than Boo, the little girl who refused to be scared by the stars of Monsters, Inc.. And even though she wound up back at home in the end, leaving her best friend behind cut deep. So what if she refused to give up looking for him as she got older? One fan theory asks if the teleporting-door technology used in Monsters, Inc. isn’t just moving monsters through space – but time, as well.
How Boo figured it out is a mystery, but the theory claims that she picked up plenty of magic along the way, eventually landing in the forest of Brave. There she grew old (the witch), carving pictures of Sully and the Pizza Planet truck. When Merrida comes to ask for help, she escapes the only way she knows how: by traveling across time and space using a simple door.
Up, Up & Away
No Pixar fan will forget the opening scenes of Up, following Carl Fredericksen as he falls in love, grows old, and eventually loses his wife. Living alone, it’s only a matter of time until Carl’s temper gets him committed. But instead, he escapes to see the world using thousands of balloons tied to his house. Or does he? It’s too sad to believe, but some fans think Carl actually died the night before he was headed to Shady Oaks, and the adventure is his journey to the afterlife. We don’t know if that’s an even more poetic look at the movie, or just doubling down on the tears.
As entertaining as the classic game characters may be, it was Calhoun from Hero’s Duty who stole the show. And she came with a tragic backstory, too: seeing the man of her dreams eaten by a Cy-bug just seconds before they would have been married. She’s still a soldier, and took her anger out on the bug right then and there. But wait – Cy-bugs become the things they eat: whether it’s a gun (when Ralph plays the game), candy (when they invade Sugar Rush at the end of the movie), or an actual person (King Candy becomes a Cy-bug).
It didn’t take long for fans to realize that the Cy-bug that killed Calhoun’s fiance actually became him seconds later – forcing her to kill the twisted, insectoid murderer version of him. And that puts a completely different spin on the rest of her story… not to mention a more satisfying ending.
Snow White Gets Tangled?
The Evil Queen’s name says it all in Disney’s classic Snow White, when her need to be the most beautiful woman in her kingdom leads her up against the titular heroine. She takes the form of an ugly old woman, and sets out to deceive the girl with false promises. Once Disney fans realized that the Evil Queen actually looks a lot like Gothel from Tangled, they also noticed that they’re both obsessed with staying young and beautiful, and taking advantage of young girls to make it happen.
So what if they’re the same woman? Having failed to get the job done with one Disney princess, the Queen just moved onto the next? It’s not as exciting a theory as some, but helps link Disney’s oldest movie to one of its most recent hits.
Toy Story 3
Out of all the Disney theories, people claiming that Toy Story 3 is just one massive analogy for the Nazi’s treatment of European Jews during World War II seem hard to believe. But even if the movie isn’t as clear a reference as some fans claim, the actual plot is hard to ignore. First, the toys are abandoned by their guardians, then gathered up and sent to a horrible place where they’re regularly abused, and eventually wind up inches away from death – before allies from a faraway land show up to literally pull them out of the fire.
They even end up at a new home, where toys like them are protected. That may just be a universal story experienced by all kinds of people throughout history, but given the parallels, this theory isn’t going away any time soon.
The Frozen Theory
Most fans have heard of this theory, and we’ve even explained iy in detail in our prior video post, The Secret Family Relations Between Disney Princesses. To make a long story short, the theory claims that not only are Frozen stars Anna and Elsa related to Tangled‘s Rapunzel, and potentially Cinderella herself, but the star jungle man of Tarzan. It all spawns from the unknown destination of Anna and Elsa’s parents, and their fate following a shipwreck. Did they swim to the shores of a nearby jungle, and wind up leaving their son to be raised by gorillas? It sounds outlandish, but there’s more evidence than you might think…
Those are some of our favorite theories about the real meaning of hit Disney movies, but which ones have we missed? Let us know in the commnents, and remember to subscribe for more videos like this one.