Disney's animated features are some of the world's most beloved and treasured films. From Snow White to Moana, the house that Walt built has no shortage of lovable characters and treasured stories. The funny thing is, the narrative of these modern-day fairy tales might go a little further down the rabbit hole than we know.
The Disney animators have a habit of sneaking Easter eggs and cameos in many of their features. These little tidbits have sparked a Disney Universe theory fans absolutely adore. Be our guest as we share ten shared universe fan theories we're sure you'll love.
10 Mary Poppins Might Know Captain Hook
Mary Poppins is certainly a mysterious character despite her delightful demeanor. It's unknown exactly what she is or where her magic charm comes from, but we know one thing. Mary Poppins gets around. A slew of theories about her has arisen in recent years. She's been everything from a wizard to the nanny of Christ, but the most interesting involves a certain pirate captain.
In the song "Can You Imagine That" from Mary Poppins Returns, she mentions pirates who "won't grow up and don't grow old." Is this a reference, or is it her way of name-dropping an encounter in Neverland? We certainly believe it.
9 Gaston Shot Bambi's Mom
In the opening of Beauty and the Beast, there is a doe drinking from a stream as the camera zooms in on the castle. The animation is almost identical to Bambi's mother in the 1942 film, which makes this theory all that more probable. What if the hunters in Bambi were from Belle's village?
Before you say the hunters could have been anyone, think back to Gaston. We know he's a mighty hunter from the pelts Lefou brings when we're first introduced to him, as well as the antlers in all of his decorating. He could very well be the hunter responsible for the saddest moment in Disney history.
8 The Genie Is The Merchant
Now a theory confirmed by the Disney animators themselves. The merchant from Aladdin is actually the Genie telling the story of how he earned his freedom. They both have a similar design, they both wear blue, and they are, of course, voiced by the legendary Robin Williams.
Another side to this theory dictates that the entire story is an elaborate fabrication told by the merchant. Obviously, a genie in disguise has to be the more Disney-approved route, and we have to agree. We are 100 percent behind this theory, and so is Disney.
7 Scar Survived...Briefly
This one might be a little harder to believe, but the evidence presented is still quite convincing. After his defeat at the hands of his nephew, Simba, Scar is cast off of Pride Rock and left to the mercy of the hyenas. We presume he was either scorched or eaten alive, but someone else says different.
He puts the glad in gladiator, and he might be the one responsible for turning Scar into a handsome throw rug. In one of the scenes from Hercules, we see the demigod wearing Scar's pelt as he gets his portrait painted. Could Scar have become the Nemean Lion? It does seem to lean that way.
6 Belle Is Jane's Ancestor
At first glance, you might think Belle and Jane Porter only have a passing resemblance. But upon further inspection, the two have a bit more in common than we thought. They might both be beautiful brunettes who like wearing yellow, but let's go deeper.
Both have a penchant for books, an academic personality, an affection for animalistic love interests, and the same animator, Ken Duncan. If that wasn't enough to seal the deal, take a look at the tea set Terk jams on. Seems like she might have inherited a familiar teapot. Coincidence? You be the judge.
5 Genie's Been Across The Disney Universe
If Aladdin takes place in an ancient Arabian kingdom, how does the Genie know so many different references? Sounds like a plot hole in a Disney classic, right? Other than the mad genius that was Robin Williams, there is a theory that might explain the reason Genie is so pop-culturally savvy.
Genie might have seen a little more than he lets on since being imprisoned in that lamp. Not only that but what about after he gets his freedom? Who says a being like a genie is bound to one universe? He might have seen more than a few Disney flicks... or witnessed them unfold.
4 Robin Hood Is A Prequel To Zootopia
We're not going to lie, we're pretty partial to this idea. The theory states that Robin Hood takes place in a medieval Zootopia universe. And no, we're not just saying that because both leads are foxes. Look at some of the design choices made. The resemblance is uncanny.
Look at the designs of King Richard and Mayor Lionheart, as if the name wasn't hinted enough. Or better yet, Robin Hood and Zootopia are one of the few films whose animal casts are to scale (i.e. mice are mouse-sized). We're definitely starting to see more than a few connections.
3 Mickey's Magical Adventures
You've heard of the famous Hidden Mickeys scattered all throughout various Disney properties. Three circles in the shape of his head and ears aren't that hard to miss, it's been engraved in our brains for so long. But what if we challenged you to find the master mouse himself?
Mickey's had his fair share of cameos in an almost Stan Lee-level of appearance. He might blend into the background or in a crowd shot, but it would appear he's been wandering outside of Toon Town for a while. He's been to Zootopia, Atlantica, and possibly even Tivan's Palace. The mouse cannot be contained.
2 A Live-Action Universe?
The most recent theory on our list comes from an Easter Egg in 2019's live-action Lion King. Because Timon no longer dresses in drag and does the hula apparently, the filmmakers had him deliver another famous Disney line. Almost inviting the hyenas to "be their guest."
With all the live-action remakes coming out, we're starting to wonder if Disney is creating an MCU-esque universe for their properties with this callback to the previously remade Beauty and the Beast. We're not entirely sure, but unless Mulan starts quoting Simba, we're putting this idea on the backburner. But hey, with Disney, anything can happen.
1 Fantasia Tells A Complete Story And Powers The Disney Universe
This one is out there, but it really gets our attention. In the right order, all the Fantasia sequences tell a strange and mystical creation myth of the Disney universe. From the dinosaurs of "Rite of Spring" to the monsters on "Bald Mountain," Fantasia's story involves the creation of light, life, and magic.
The theory also provides an interesting source for the universe's element of magic. Good magic is powered through imagination, thus the symbol of the magic hat shared by Yen Sid and Mickey. But black magic comes from the infernal realm inhabited by Chernabog. It's an interesting concept that is certainly worth studying.