Ever since Walt Disney began charming audiences with animations of Micky Mouse all those decades ago, Disney animated films have become a pop culture phenomenon. With dozens upon dozens of iconic characters bursting into the world of Disney animation, it’s no surprise then that they have begun taking on lives of their own thanks to millions of dedicated fans who grew up with them.
While Disney’s stories rarely include the relationship dramas of other sprawling franchises, fans have taken it upon themselves to reimagine childhood favorites and new modern icons in various new pairings. These creative ships are often cross-ships, bringing together characters from different universes and exploring the possibilities. Thanks to the creative liberty that comes with fandom, many Disney enthusiasts have also made a point of increasing LGBTQ representation in their work by producing work featuring same-gender characters in love.
In order to be considered for the list, the pairing must be romantically non-canonical. Of course, this is not meant to be an exhaustive compilation of the most popular ships in the Disney fandom, and omission from the list doesn’t mean the ship is unappreciated by any means.
Here are 20 Wild Fan Redesigns Of Unexpected Disney Couples.
20 Moana and Ariel
If you think about it, Moana and Ariel as a romantic couple totally makes sense! Moana’s been drawn to the sea for years, whereas Ariel has been longing to walk on land, even going so far as to trade her voice for a pair of legs.
Maybe if they’d been in the same universe, their fates would have been just a little less rocky. Ariel could show Moana the wonders of the water, guiding the Polynesian princess as she makes her way to restore the heart of Te Fiti. On the other hand, Moana is strong-willed and puts her foot down, refusing to compromise for what she believes in, a characteristic that follows the recent trend of more independent role models for young girls.
Moana would surely point out how sacrificing Ariel’s voice to be with a man she barely knows isn’t exactly the most logical choice in the world.
As Tumblr user and artist Curioscurio’s depiction of this unexpected couple shows, the two make an irresistibly adorable pair. Imagine the pair simply floating in the ocean during sunset, perhaps braiding each other’s impossibly perfect hair as their animal sidekicks bond over their stubbornness and love for adventure and the unknown.
19 Quasimodo and Rapunzel
Despite being manipulated by Frollo and ridiculed by almost everyone else for basically his entire life, the titular Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Quasimodo, seems to have an endless well of gentleness. Even when the woman he loves falls for another man, he still greets them with love and joy rather than malice and jealousy.
Rapunzel from Tangled is in a similar situation. She’s essentially kept hostage by an abusive mother figure who only cares about using Rapunzel for her hair, yet Rapunzel somehow manages to be open and generous with her heart, even with all the toxicity.
Joanna the Mad captures the beautiful hypothetical relationship, showing how they could spend time together. Being held captive for so long has made both of them yearn for adventure, yet they’ve also developed some more quiet hobbies in their captivity. In their time together, Quasimodo and Rapunzel could travel far and wide, exploring a world denied to them. They could also stay indoors, carving figurines or painting - like the gentle and artistic spirits they are. And if Rapunzel’s still stuck in her tower during this hypothetical relationship, Quasimodo definitely wouldn’t have a problem scaling the tower, with or without her hair to help.
18 Ursula and Gaston
Less hair-braiding, more scheming and plotting. Ursula and Gaston, seen here as drawn by Robono, would make a beautifully wicked and wickedly beautiful pair, a la Descendants, perhaps. Ursula convinces Ariel to trade her voice in so she can win over Prince Eric over the course of three days, driving a hard bargain. Ursula then transforms herself into a conventionally attractive young woman who vies for Eric’s attention in order to ensure Ariel’s failure.
Given how Gaston seems to just be attracted to pretty women with no concern for their morals, it’s not hard to imagine him falling for Ursula transformed in her human persona.
Going by how narcissistic and aggressively masculine he is, Gaston clearly relishes the power he has in his village, whereas Ursula craves to rule the ocean. Maybe he could help her win over potential new subjects, and she could give him a hand with her sorcery.
Plus, considering how Gaston’s son Gil ends up working with Ursula’s daughter Uma and her pirate crew, it makes sense that Gaston and Ursula are at least on good terms in the universe of Descendants. If they’re good neighbors and their kids are buds, there’s always the chance for love in the air, Parent Trap style.
17 Lilo and Boo
A mind-blowingly inventive Tumblr thread envisions a future in which Lilo and Boo grow up and become college roommates, and Brittajj26 drew these grown-up versions of Lilo and Boo!
As a fan noted in the original post, the two would get along swimmingly as roommates, given how unabashedly quirky they are. Boo wouldn’t think twice about calling Stitch a puppy, that’s for sure. Because Lilo grows up with an alien named Stitch for a best friend and Boo grew up with chilling with Monsters Inc. in her closet, neither of them would question the other when they finally talk about their odd upbringings that they could never confide in anyone else. Stitch might be a little aggressive towards Mike and Sulley at first, but seeing how loving they are to their little found family, Stitch is sure to develop a soft spot for them.
That said, Boo plus Lilo would probably give Nani a major headache—it’s hard to imagine that they would ever truly outgrow their childlike wonder and propensity for adventure, attributes that make them so lovable in the first place. But then again, Nani could probably relieve some of that stress by finding an unexpected love of her own.
16 Elsa and Hans
After manipulating the royal sisters as much as he did in the movie, Hans has got some serious redemption ahead of him if he’s to end up marrying her sister Elsa, as depicted by PrincessofCorona. Plus, the guy tries to terminate Elsa towards the end of the movie! Nonetheless, the dreamy Prince Charming persona that Hans puts on for the first half of the film has inspired many fans to reimagine him with a redemption arc, or in an alternate universe in which he isn’t a treacherous plotter and remorseless heartbreaker.
As one of the princes of the Southern Isles, he’d be a good match for Elsa in terms of status, should her marital options be restricted by her being the reigning Queen of Arendelle.
In an alternate timeline in which the pair could work out, Hans would probably be much less power-hungry than he is in the movie— and even if he does want to have a bit of power and agency, being married to a queen could give him some royal responsibility as well.In a redemption arc, Hans would have to get out of prison first, presumably for quite a long time given his attempt at regicide. Perhaps Elsa grants a kingdom-wide pardon, and humbled by his experience, Hans uses his newfound freedom as a chance to reinvent himself.
15 Ariel and Esmeralda
In Ariel’s iconic "I Want" song, “Part of Your World”, the little mermaid talks about wanting to see humans dancin, so who better to pair her with than the Hunchback of Notre-Dame's Esmeralda?
The kind-hearted and noble Romani dancer is quick on her feet and sharp with her tongue, calling for social justice and equality for people cast to the margins of society. So not only could Esmealda teach Ariel how to dance, like in Disney Femslash Comics' rendering, Esmeralda would also appeal to Ariel’s more rebellious side.
Ariel turns out to be a fiercely protective mother, as seen in the sequel to The Little Mermaid, doing everything she can to shield her daughter Melody from danger. She’s also down to help the little guy, reaching a hand out to an orphaned merboy in the TV series.
Ariel and Esmeralda would certainly make a formidable pair with a strong sense of right and wrong, fighting for their futures and the futures of complete strangers. With Ariel as playful as she is, she could provide a respite for Esmeralda from societal pressures as well as give her a hand with all that princess privilege, while Esmeralda could help Ariel channel her rebellious streak into something more productive.
14 Gaston and Le Fou
The live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast generated a lot of buzz last year, not only because it was a major remake with a star-studded cast, but also because it promised to deliver an explicitly gay character, Le Fou, with an “exclusively gay moment” towards the end. However, once the film came out, reactions were polarised. There has been criticism of how the character’s orientation was handled in the movie, but fans such as DarkButterflyOfNight still celebrate the 2017 film’s decision to make Le Fou gay.
Even though Le Fou doesn’t end up with Gaston in either the animated movie or the live-action one, plenty of fans still support the couple, which brings to mind director Bill Condon’s remark that Le Fou wants to be Gaston and wants to kiss him, too.
Maybe in an alternate universe in which Gaston survives his fall, he could do some serious introspection and re-evaluate his life.
Gaston could come to the conclusion that the best person in his life has always been by his side.
Hopefully, in this alternatte timeline, he learns to treat Le Fou better, too, instead of dismissing him as a bumbling fool of a sidekick.
13 Rapunzel and Belle
Another potential good mate for Rapunzel is the bookish Belle, like in this piece by Punziella. In the opening of Tangled, Rapunzel mentions that she reads in her tower, a pastime that transports her beyond the walls when she’s physically still stuck there. Belle would give her some amazing book recommendations, and be down to discuss everything at length, entertaining Rapunzel even if she still can’t leave the tower.
If Rapunzel is free in this hypothetical relationship, they would definitely go an adventures as well. Aafter all, Belle is constantly yearning for something bigger than her small provincial town, so a voyage into the unknown with the wonderfully curious Rapunzel would be a treat!
Let’s be real: Belle ending up with her literal captor, the Beast, isn’t exactly the most empowering ending one could hope for, even if the moral of the story is not to judge a book by its cover. Rapunzel would be a good companion for Belle as they both come to terms with their former captivity. If Belle still wants to luxury of the Beast’s library and his servant’s feasts, being with Rapunzel would provide her with a treasure trove of books and other luxuries for life, since Rapunzel is a princess by birth!
12 Lady Tremaine and Maleficent
As the popular Descendants franchise points out, even villains deserve true love and happily ever after, and that includes classic antagonists Maleficent and Lady Tremaine (also known as Cinderella’s evil stepmother).
Based on the 1959 animated movie, Maleficent places a dark curse on Aurora, all because she wasn’t invited to the christening of the newborn princess, which is pretty petty and extreme.
While most people might not understand the extremity of her actions, Lady Tremaine may have a better grasp on Maleficent’s reasons for cursing Sleeping Beauty.
Lady Tremaine is poised and passive aggressive, to say the least. Every torment she forces Cinderella to go through is cold and calculated, and she is adept at manipulation, which means she’s probably good at putting herself in others’ shoes in order to anticipate their next move, in a twisted sort of way.
Lady Tremaine could also potentially help reign in Maleficent’s temper and impulsiveness, minimizing the damage that Maleficent leaves in her wake and helping her become more efficient in her reign as the fairy queen of evil. Maleficent could then use her magic to aid Lady Tremaine whenever Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother comes around.
They’d be a truly formidable duo determined to get their happy ending, like in this sketch by Paige Illustration, even at the cost of others.
11 Moana and Nani
Sure, Nani says in her diary that she likes David’s butt and fancy hair, but you know who else has great hair, even with all that ocean humidity and unrelenting sunshine? Moana!
Since they both live by the water, it’s not hard to imagine a meet cute between Moana and Nani like this one by Disney Femslash Comics, bonding over their love for the sea. Moana could help Nani learn to relax, even with the responsibility of taking care of her precious little sister Lilo, and Nani could help Moana learn to develop the maturity needed to be a leader even further. Since Moana is an only child, she could also be like a second older sister to Lilo and help babysit her when Nani needs to work, thus expanding their little but beautiful family.
Moana’s hung out with gods before, so meeting Jumba, Peakly, and Stitch surely wouldn’t be that big of a shock. In fact, the lovable aliens might even become Nani and Moana’s number one supporter and try to get them together with the help of Lilo, Parent Trap style.
Besides, just think of all the adorable shenanigans Moana and Lilo would be up to! Moana would definitely keep Lilo out of trouble.
10 Belle and Mulan
A Belle and Mulan and Star Wars crossover? Yes, please! CancerSyndromEdits reimagines Belle as a Jedi and Mulan as a senator in this incredible piece of fan art.
At first, one might think to reverse the roles, since Mulan is a soldier and Belle is a bookworm, but having Belle be the Jedi adds an interesting dynamic between the two.
Maybe in this alternate universe, Belle is part of the generation of Padawans taken from her family to train as a Jedi because of her high midi-chlorian count. But the truth is, she just wants to leave the Jedi and lead a quiet life with the love of her life, Mulan. On the other hand, Mulan serves in the Galactic Senate but wishes she could do something more tangible, fight on the frontlines in the battle for the fate of the galaxy. Look at all that dramatic tension!
Maybe Mulan decides to dress as a man to hide her identity more thoroughly as she ventures out to the battlefield (since women also serve in the Star Wars universe anyway). With her love’s life— and the galaxy— at stake, Belle can’t simply turn her back on the Order, knowing that this is the best way to ensure Mulan’s safety. The possibilities of this crossover are endless.
9 Megara and Jasmine
Megara is a damsel in distress who can handle the situation on her own. Jasmine is a strong-willed princess who is not a prize to be won. Together, they’d absolutely be on the same page regarding their autonomy, and understand that they don’t need men to come to their rescue when they’re in trouble. After all, they’ve been disappointed by men before.
Jasmine is obligated to marry a prince just because she’s a princess, and Aladdin basically lies to Jasmine for most of their time together. On the other hand, Meg sells her soul to Hades in order to revive her boyfriend who was in the Underworld, only for him to leave Meg trapped with Hades when he runs off with another girl.
In their crossover, Jasmine could be wandering out on the streets to take a breather from the stifling obligations of palace life, leading her to meet Meg, who is out doing Hades bidding. Given how fearlessly vocal they are with their discontent and their unhappiness, they’d no doubt end up commiserating over their disappointing experiences with the men in their lives. After several late night meetings, like the one portrayed by Disney Femslash Comics, they might begin falling for each other.
8 Jim and Anastasia
Because Disney has acquired the rights to Anastasia, the titular character is now technically a Disney princess, too!
ANRomanova has created a seamless image of two troubled teens gazing into each other’s eyes. Abandoned by his father as a young child, Jim is raised by his single mother Sarah, who is busy running the family inn. Jim is left to his own devices, wreaking havoc with his rocket-powered sailboard when he’s not helping with the family business. He eventually embarks on an adventure to find a lost treasure.
Anastasia is in a similar boat - or perhaps, on a similar sailboard. Orphaned and separated from her grandmother as a child, Anastasia— known as Anya— struggles to recall her past and her birth family. She then travels to Saint Petersburg and eventually Paris, leaving behind the isolated orphanage that she’s known for all her life.
Their willingness to venture into the unknown for a better future would make Anastasia and Jim a great pair.
In addition, having someone with a similar background would help them relate with each other. They’d be understanding and sympathetic as they each come to terms with their own difficult past, and forge a hopeful new future together.
7 Rey and Mulan
Now that Lucasfilm is part of Disney, Rey’s on the list, too! Yes, the Jedi Code prohibits romantic attachments, but following the theme of The Last Jedi, maybe it’s time to hit the refresh button. After all, Luke Skywalker doesn’t strictly follow the Code in the original trilogy either, and he becomes one of the greatest Jedi ever known nonetheless. So there’s really no reason why Rey couldn’t get some crossover love with Mulan, another fierce feminist fighter.
They both fight with staffs and (space laser) swords, and neither have trouble holding their own even when facing down the most menacing men. Both display great loyalty and love for their friends and comrades, even if they haven’t known them for very long.
In this story, Mulan could be a Force-sensitive girl from an Outer Rim planet who meets Rey through the Resistance. They could spar together, helping each other become better protectors of peace, eventually falling in love as they take down the First Order. In their downtime, they could nuzzle sweetly like in Nikki-frost’s sketch or do each other’s hair. Sure, Mulan makes top knots (and makeup removal) look super easy, but an extra pair of hands can’t hurt!
6 Moana and Merida
They’re from the opposite ends of the earth, but Moana and Merida could make a strong pair if they ever met. They’re both grounded young women determined to shape their own destinies no matter the obstacles put on their paths.
Moana defies her parents’ wishes, venturing beyond the reef in order to find more fish for her island, which has been stricken by a blight. Moana’s devotion to the welfare of her community would appeal to Merida, who shows a similar commitment to her family and a willingness to learn about leadership.
Moana definitely shows more guts and mettle in her movie than Merida’s suitors from her neighboring clans do in Brave.
Plus, having such strong familial connections would provide a solid support network even as they go through the inevitable ups and downs of any kind of relationship.
Merida could help Moana learn how to defend herself better by teaching her how to use a bow and arrow, like in this piece by Daglout. In addition, having access to both a camakau and a horse means Moana and Merida’s wild adventures would no longer be limited by geography. Merida’s three little brothers would definitely tag along for the ride.
5 Jim and Dimitri
Anastasia isn’t the only 20th-century Russian fans want to wind up with Jim from Treasure Planet. Madam-Lulu has reimagined an alternate universe in which Dimitri and Jim go to an orphanage and adopt a baby boy (who is actually baby Tarzan in this image).
The roguish and charming Dimitri is a former servant boy who helps Anastasia and her grandmother Marie escape from the siege on the Catherine Palace. Later on, Dimitri becomes a scoundrel who attempts to claim the money rewarded for the safe return of Anastasia by finding a lookalike to present to the royal family.
With Dimitri’s mischievous streak, it’s easy to see how Jim would be attracted to someone like him, even if his occupation is less than legitimate. Not only is Jim abandoned by his birth father, but he escapes with his mother when a crew of pirates destroy their family inn in pursuit of the holographic map leading to Treasure Planet. Dimitri has no known family (at least, not in the movie), and he’s one of only three known survivors from the siege during the Russian Revolution.
Much like the hypothetical relationship with Anastasia, Jim’s relationship with Dimitri could also deepen due to this shared history of loss and trauma.
4 Mulan and Jasmine
Mulan and Jasmine are both women who strive to make lives for themselves despite being stifled by gender roles imposed on them, so it’s quite easy to see how they’d hit it off, like in this piece by BirdBlinderDraws.
Sure, you could argue that Mulan disguising herself as a man is similar to Aladdin’s deception, but Jasmine would probably be more sympathetic to Mulan’s motivation. After all, Mulan joins the war effort against the Huns in order to keep her aging father safe, and since Jasmine loves the sultan despite their disagreements, she’d surely appreciate Mulan’s care for her father.
Mulan might be in awe of the way Jasmine speaks her mind, even without hiding behind the persona of a man. With Mulan’s prowess as a soldier, Jasmine might be able to roam the streets more freely instead of being confined to the palace for her safety.
Even though Mulan isn’t technically royalty, the fact that Jasmine marries Aladdin in canon is an indication that royal status doesn’t really matter in the end for the royal family of Agrabah. As a bonus, Mushu, Cri-Kee, and Rajah would be quite the trio of sidekicks as the pair kicks some patriarchal butt.
3 Jane and Amelia (Tarzan and Treasure Planet)
Although neither of them are part of the core Disney princesses gang, Jane and Amelia still hold a special place in the hearts of fans, including Frozen-chica.
In Tarzan, Jane joins her father Professor Porter’s travels in order to study gorillas, and ends up staying with Tarzan and her newfound family of gorillas.
Given how adventurous Jane is, she and Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet are an obvious match made in heaven.
Amelia is the well-respected captain of the RLS Legacy, leading a motley crew of cyborgs and anthropomorphic animals on their hunt for a legendary treasure. Jane would probably be in awe of the way Amelia steers the Legacy, piloting the ship through the stars and holding her own as the only woman on board. Amelia on the other hand wouldn’t even think twice about stopping Jane from her own escapades and excavations, knowing full well the thrill that comes with exploration.
Both of them are from movies that focus on the male protagonists’ adventures, so by teaming up, they could totally go on adventures of their own without worrying about what constitutes proper lady etiquette. Maybe they could become pioneers in intergalactic fieldwork, studying alien life forms with Jane’s incredible empathy and Amelia’s fearless leadership!
2 Jane and Kida
Another pairing involving Jane is with Kida, princess of Atlantis, depicted here by Vintagequeer-Oceansoul. As with Amelia, pairing Jane with Kida, a character from a science fantasy film, opens up a whole world of intriguing possibilities.
Jane’s inquisitive nature would surely make her open to learning about Atlantean culture as much as she can, soaking up all that knowledge like a sponge. Much like Jane, Kida is curious and kind, healing Milo’s wound and welcoming him to Atlantis within moments of meeting him. At the same time, Kida doesn’t hesitate to punch Mole when he whispers something offensive to her, something that Jane would certainly appreciate as much as Audrey and Dr Sweet.
In this Tarzan-Atlantis crossover, Jane could be an explorer searching for the lost city of Atlantis who then falls in love with the beautiful and protective Princess Kida.
As smart as Jane is, it’s not hard to imagine that she could also help Kida decipher the ancient Atlantean written language, much like Milo in the original movie. Maybe this time, though, Jane could choose a more trustworthy crew of explorers to tag along with her, lest they end up manipulated and betrayed by yet another vain, materialistic man like Rourke or Clayton.
1 Mulan and Tiana
Tiana is a grounded and pragmatic young woman with some cynical tendencies, making a solid plan with concrete steps to open her own restaurant. Mulan can be idealistic and impulsive, running off in the middle of the night to train as a solider without really thinking through the logistics of her plan. Together, they could balance each other out while bringing out the best in each other.
In yet another stunning piece by Disney Femslash Comics, Mulan is reimagined as a soldier visiting Tiana’s restaurant in New Orleans before going off to war. Judging by the coffee carafe, this alternate universe is set closer to modern times, and with both characters in America, this brings in the possibility to explore the role of race in both of their journeys as young women. While their experiences with racism would by no means be identical, they could definitely connect and relate as they find their way through a white patriarchal society.
Mulan isn’t exactly shown to be great at domestic tasks, so it would be cute to have her learn to cook from Tiana.
In return, Tiana could learn a thing or two about self-defense from Mulan, so that she can defend herself better if she ever finds herself on the run from another witch doctor.
Do you have any unexpected Disney pairings you love? Share them with us in the comments below!