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Down The Rabbit Hole: 20 Weird Disney Fan Theories (That Might Actually Be True)

Ah, where would we be without the wonderful world of Disney? For nearly 90 years, the name Disney has been synonymous with laughter, magic, and wonder. The artists, animators, and Imagineers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to give us all magnificent worlds and colorful characters that have been with us for decades. We've seen the city of Agrabah, climbed Pride Rock to see everything the light touches, plunged the depths of Atlantis, and soared to infinity and beyond with all our favorite animated friends. The fictional kingdoms, cities, lands, and worlds born from the house of the mouse have their legends and lore as big as any mythology, series, or epic.

As with all fandoms, Disney fans are no exception to fan theories, connection, and the six-degree treatment. As we are all connected in the great circle of life, so are many Disney flicks, filmmaker supported or otherwise. From Disney characters being secretly related to supernatural or cosmic forces pulling the strings behind important plot points, Disney films have no shortage of theories, hypotheses, and speculations concocted by its fanbase. Some are probable and not impossible, others are completely out of left field, and some have even been confirmed by the filmmakers themselves. There's a lot of manipulated Disney Magic to go around, but we've narrowed it down to a curious collection of fantastic fantasies. Here are 20 of the most outrageous Disney fan Theories.

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20 GASTON MIGHT BE THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN

This one is a bit flimsy, but we can't deny the similarities are very intriguing nonetheless. The pompous pretty-boy, Gaston, is one of Disney's most beloved and recognized villains. With his broad swagger and colorful huntsman attire, he easily stands out amongst the Disney villain lineup. But there's something spooky about how close he resembles another character.

The theory states that Gaston might be The Headless Horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It stands because Gaston's attire was inspired by Brom Bones from the 1949 film, who ambiguously might have been the Horseman. What ties it together is how close Gaston on horseback resembles the famous ghost, especially when he's holding the magic mirror. It's not a solid theory, but it has its point.

19 MOTHER GOTHEL IS THE EVIL QUEEN

Unlike the previous theory, this one may have a little bit more of a leg to stand on. Let's think about it for a moment. Both Snow White's Evil Queen and Mother Gothel from Tangled are obsessed with youth and beauty, have an affinity for mirrors, and both are changed into old hags at the end of their films.

Perhaps the Queen survived the fall off the cliff and stole away to where she found the lifegiving flower and used its power. Being a magic practitioner, she would have been able to figure out the spell to awaken the flower and keep hidden out of sight for so many years. Could Gothel be the queen or some distant relation? We'll let you be the judge.

18 ROBIN HOOD TAKES PLACE IN A MEDIEVAL ZOOTOPIA

Both Robin Hood and Zootopia have been compared and contrasted six ways to Sunday. Everything from Nick Wilde being a direct descendant of Robin Hood himself to Prince John's clan continuing to rule has been flung back and forth by creative fans. There is one, however, that stands tall and proud amongst the Disney fandom.

The idea that Nick and Judy share a universe or timeline with the fox of Sherwood Forest is not only believable but very probable. Both worlds have no human characters, there seems to be a class difference between predators and prey, and the animals aren't just anthropomorphic, they're to scale. It's more than easy to see why the theory is so accepted, and its one we can happily believe.

17 SID BECAME A GARBAGE MAN TO SAVE TOYS

Everyone remembers Sid Philips, the mean toy-harmer and former next-door neighbor to Andy and his toys. Not much was heard from the kid since he was traumatized for life by Woody, Buzz, and the mutant toys in the first Toy Story film, but we saw him return in Toy Story 3, where he is now no longer a nightmare next-door, but a metalhead garbageman.

The theory states that Sid chose to become a garbageman in order to save discarded toys from the dump. This is highly plausible given the fact Sid knows about the sentience of toys. Perhaps he sees it as a penance for all those years of strapping action-figures to firecrackers. We've certainly got no complaints. At least he's happy about it.

16 FROLLO IS ACTUALLY AN ADULT PINOCCHIO

This one is a stretch, but entertaining. Pinocchio and Judge Frollo couldn't be further apart if they tried, but this theory gives us something to think about. After Pinocchio becomes a real boy, he has to maintain an ironclad sense of morality to keep his humanity. Where better to do that than in a position of law?

Jiminy Cricket couldn't follow Pinoke forever, so he had to maintain his righteousness otherways by delving into religion and law. The theory suggests Pinocchio left Italy and changed his name to pursue a career that was not his fathers, as many did during the Rennaissance. He becomes a minister of the law and keeps to his askew moral code. Not the most believable, but maybe the most interesting.

15 PLEASURE ISLAND THRIVES

While we're on the subject of Pinocchio, here's something that escaped the attention of many a hardcore Disney buff. In any other Disney film, the villain(s) get their just desserts and normally meet a comedic or fitting end. But in the case of Pinocchio, that's not what happens.

Honest John, Gideon, and the Coachman, all commit villainous acts... and don't get caught! We're serious. Pinocchio becomes a real boy, Jiminy Cricket gets his gold medal, and all is happily ever after. The theory is that Honest John and Gideon are still out there swindling, and the coachman is still turning hundreds of kids into donkeys. Not exactly what we'd consider a fairytale ending.

14 HERCULES AND ARIEL ARE COUSINS

This one is not only a fan favorite but one that has evidence to back it up. As stated above, the famous Olympian hero and the little mermaid with the golden voice share a familial bond. According to mythology, Triton is the son of Poseidon, king of the sea, who is the brother of Zeus, and Hercules's father, making the two cousins on their fathers' sides.

Both of them possibly have Olympian blood, which would account for Herc's strength and Ariel's supernatural singing abilities, as well as the fact both of them have red hair. Though Ariel might lack the incredible physique of her Grecian cousin, we can't deny the slight resemblance between the two. We can see why this one was so often speculated.

13 BELLE IS JANE PORTER'S ANCESTOR

Similar to the previous theory, this one has more than a few pieces of convincing evidence. Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Jane Porter from Tarzan very well could be direct descendants. Both are similarly designed, share a color palate, and both of their love interests possess animalistic qualities. Coincidental, maybe, but there's more to it than just some design choices.

It's true they have their yellow dresses, love for books, and men with huge amounts of hair, but there's one thing that cinches this theory closed. Jane and her father possess a tea set that is identical to Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast. Some might call it an easter egg, but we call it evidence.

12 THE MERCHANT IS ACTUALLY THE GENIE

Anyone familiar with Aladdin knows about Robin Williams's performance as the Genie, but they might have missed his improvisational performance as the merchant in the opening. This, along with some design choices, led fans to theorize that the merchant was actually the genie in disguise telling the story.

Both the merchant and the Genie were blue, have similar beards, are tied to the lamp, and share a voice actor, but its the deleted scene that seals the deal. An unused ending cuts back to the merchant, who reiterates that things are not always what they seem before turning into the Genie and ending the film. This was how Disney themselves confirmed the theory and left us wanting one last performance from the great comedian.

11 TARZAN IS ANNA AND ELSA'S BROTHER

A theory up for debate for some time now amongst the Disney fanbase is the fate of Anna and Elsa's parents in Frozen. In the movie,  they are presumed lost at sea. But Disney fans speculate that the ship in frozen is the same ship featured in 1999's Tarzan and that Tarzan's parents are none other than the king and queen of Arendelle.

The royals do look similar to Tarzan's parents, but that's not the only factor going for them. It was confirmed by the director of Frozen, Jenifer Lee, that the king and queen were shipwrecked, had a baby boy, built a treehouse, and were eaten by a savage leopard. The Lord of the Apes might just be the Prince of Arendelle.

10 NALA WAS BANISHED BY SCAR

This was a theory that was expanded upon and even featured in a Broadway show. Before Nala is reunited with Simba towards the second act of The Lion King, we find Nala stalking the grasslands outside Timon and Pumbaa's jungle. How do you suppose she found her way there?

Based off of deleted scenes, the theory states Nala was banished by Scar for rejecting his advances. Yeah, we know, it's as icky as it sounds. Though the scene was scrapped, it was later worked as "The Madness of King Scar" for the stage. It was obviously not featured in the film, but it is still accepted as canon by the fans.

9 BOO IS THE WITCH IN BRAVE

There is a mile-long Pixar theory involving magic, life-forces, and transdimensional travel, but it all circles back to a little girl and an old woodcarving witch. It seems strange that these two could be intertwined at all, but there's a large group of fans that would see otherwise.

The theory is that Boo, driven by the desire to reconnect with Mike and Sulley in the monster world, goes to great lengths to try to open a portal back to them. The Witch travels by magical doors and even has an engraving of Sulley and a carved version of the Pizza Planet Truck in her workshop. She's obviously more than your average eccentric spellcaster.  If you still need more proof, we highly recommend checking out the Pixar Theory.

8 BELLE AND THE BEAST WILL HAVE TO FLEE THE KINGDOM

Let's be honest, Disney fairytales and historical accuracy hardly go together, but that doesn't stop the fan theorists. Beauty and the Beast is considered by many fans and film lovers alike to be the perfect Disney flick. But given the culture and the time period, Belle and the Beast inhabit, their happily ever after might not last very long.

Given that the two are both members of the French aristocracy, they could possibly be close in proximity to the dawn of the French Revolution. This was further pushed by the live-action remake in which a cleaver in the kitchen comes down on some food, resembling a guillotine. Could this be foreshadowing times to come?  Gaston might not be the only one wanting the Beast's head.

7 THE ENCHANTRESS WAS THE BEAST'S SCORNED LOVER

Yet another theory based in Beauty and the Beast, we change gears from the historic to the fantastic as we take a look at how the Beast came to be. We're familiar about the curse from the Enchantress who "saw there was no love in his heart." The question is how and why would a sorceress suddenly and randomly appear at someone's castle? Perhaps there's more to the story?

There is a theory that the Enchantress is actually a spurned lover. We see in the remake the prince had several candidates at his ball, perhaps she might be one that didn't make the cut? She has the right motive and what better way to mend a broken heart than a little magical poetic justice?

6 ALADDIN IS JUST AN ENTICING SALES PITCH

We've already mentioned the merchant from Aladdin before. He might be the Genie in disguise, but there's another theory that, though undermining and less magical, would make a whole lot of sense. What if the lamp isn't magical at all, and it's just a story concocted by the merchant?

What better way to sell an old lamp than by giving it an enchanting and enticing story that goes with it? The merchant might be more crafty than we first believe. Right out of the gate, he seems like a typical salesman, despite the charm of the late Robin Williams. Perhaps he's not above fabricating some backstory behind a commonplace antique? Magic genie or manipulative trader, you decide.

5 ANDY'S MOM OWNED JESSIE

A recent theory in the Pixar mythos states that Jessie, once abandoned by her owner Emily, actually returns to her. Though it may not be the happy reunion one would expect. The theory is that Andy's mom is actually Emily, and the image behind it is very convincing.

When we're introduced to Jessie's backstory, we see Jessie loved by a girl through the years before being cast aside as her owner grew up. What makes us assume Andy's mom is Emily is not only the fact what we see of her resemblance to Andy's mom but the hat Emily wears is the same one Andy owns, just without the pink band. Perhaps Emily passed it down to Andy? The evidence is very telling.

4 THE TREE ON ANT ISLAND IS THE PLANT FROM WALL-E

One's a cautionary tale about polluting the planet, the other is an insect production of  Seven Samurai, that goes well together, right? The Pixar theory suggests that the plant rescued in Wall-E went on to have a full life and sustain an island full of insects. It sounds like a stretch, but you'd be surprised how effective it is.

In A Bug's Life,  there are absolutely no humans present, but there is plenty of evidence of them having existed. This is perhaps because humans are either scarce or there are none to be found and the bugs are living in a post-human world.  Knowing this, with the familiar terrain and absence of humans, we can certainly see why this theory stays afloat.

3 WOODY IS ONE OF A KIND

Perhaps the most recent speculation surrounding our favorite cowboy, a new theory suggests that Woody might be a one-of-a-kind toy created after his TV show. It also suggests that Andy's father was his first and previous owner before passing it down to his son. The theory does more than provide a tangible backstory but also fills in some blanks from the first film.

If Woody is one of a kind and made after his show aired, it would explain why he didn't have an identity crisis like Buzz or have any knowledge about the Roundup Gang. This also explains his rarity and why Al wanted so much to put him on display. Whether Andy knew it or not, Woody was valuable merchandise.

2 SORA IS MICKEY

Sora, the spiky-haired protagonist of Disney's Kingdom Hearts, has become one of the most recognized video game characters. He tends to stand out from the typical RPG hero. With his large yellow shoes, red and black attire, and infectious smile. He does look a bit different from his peers, but where have we seen that look before?

An amusing theory amongst the Kingdom Hearts crew is that Sora is actually a human version of Mickey Mouse. This is partially due to the fact that Mickey was originally the hero of the series, but due to contracts and licensing issues, this was rendered impossible. So the developers created Sora, fusing parts of Mickey and characters from Final Fantasy, thus a character and fan theory were born.

1 MUFASA PLAGUED THE PRIDELANDS

We know what you're thinking, how does this one work? Allow us to explain. Remember the big monologue about how we're all connected in the great Circle of Life? Scar apparently missed the memo. When Scar betrayed his brother and took his place as king, that upset the natural and mystical balance.

Since Scar took his brother's life and upset the Circle of Life, nature reacted accordingly. It's believed that Mufasa's demise interrupted the circle and that Scar's reign was unnatural. So, half the blame is to Scar and the overhunting, the other half is from Mufasa's cosmic intervention. It is only through Simba taking his rightful place as king that the Circle of Life regains the balance of nature. How's that for an awesome theory?

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