Most Popular Fan Theories About Disney Movies

If there’s one thing we know about Disney, it’s that the creative geniuses behind their films know how to surprise us.

One of the best things an animator can do is insert little Easter eggs into their animated movies that can only be noticed by most detail-oriented fans. These hidden gems often take the form of beloved characters making background cameos in other movies. It’s usually very fast and subtle, so you have to pay close attention to find them.

These discoveries have led to a ton of fun, far-fetched, and maybe true theories that connect Disney movies in ways we didn’t know is possible. Here are some of the most popular and convincing fan theories about Disney movies.

Boo From Monsters Inc. Is Also the Witch From Brave

Anyone who has seen Brave knows that one of the Witch’s magical talent is disappearing whenever she goes through doorways. If that special skill sounds familiar, that’s because the last characters who traveled through doorways to other worlds were the ones from Monsters Inc.

This connection sparked a popular theory about Boo, the little girl from Monsters Inc., being the Witch from Brave. People believe she might have gone through too many doors, wound up bending through space and time, and somehow ended up in ancient Scotland.


As far fetched as this theory sounds, there’s more reason to believe it. In the Witch’s workshop, you can see a carving of her monster friend Sulley. People have taken this Easter egg to be direct evidence of the Witch’s true identity.

Jane From Tarzan Is Belle’s Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter

There are several theories about Tarzan, but this one might be the most probable.

Fans believe Jane is somehow related to Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Not only do the characters look very similar, but they both possess an uncanny ability to connect with people who are considered beast-like.

There’s a couple of scenes that support this claim, like when Terk is playing drums on a teapot that looks suspiciously like Mrs. Potts. In the same scene, there’s a split-second shot of a chipped teacup that could be Chip from Beauty and the Beast. The rationale behind this theory is that Jane could have inherited the tea set as a family heirloom.

Anna, Elsa, and Rapunzel Are All Related

People believe that Anna and Elsa from Frozen and Rapunzel from Tangled are all related. That’s because you can see Rapunzel and Eugene (a.k.a Flynn Rider) show up in Arendelle for Elsa’s coronation.

This theory also connects to the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents. People think the King and Queen of Arendelle were traveling to Rapunzel’s wedding when their boat capsized. Not only does the timeline match up, but Frozen co-director Chris Buck even confirmed their parents were on their way to a wedding.

People have taken this Frozen theory one step further. They believe the sunken ship Ariel explores in The Little Mermaid is the one that had the King and Queen of Arendelle on board.

Tarzan Is Anna and Elsa’s Little Brother

There’s another long-lost family theory linking Frozen and Tarzan together. It suggests the King and Queen of Arendelle did not die in the boat crash but instead washed up on the shore of a jungle island.

This began on a Reddit AMA with Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee. In answer to a question about what happened to the King and Queen after their boat capsized, Lee said: “According to Chris [Buck], they didn’t die on the boat. They got washed up on a shore in a jungle island. The queen gave birth to a baby boy. They built a treehouse. They got eaten by a leopard.” This means that Tarzan is actually the son of the King and Queen of Arendelle, which makes him Anna and Elsa’s brother.

Lee later clarified that her comments were a joke. However, could there actually be some truth behind this convincing storyline?

Carl Dies at the Beginning of Up

The first few minutes of Up are famously heart-wrenching. We watch Carl meet his future wife as children, they grow old together, and she eventually dies leaving him and the viewers very sad. Thanks, Disney.

After Carl is deemed a public menace for accidentally injuring a construction worker, he turns his house into an airship with thousands of balloons. He does this to escape being forced into a retirement home.

However, one fan theory suggests that Carl actually dies in his sleep the night before his big adventure. Everything that follows is either a dream or his journey into the afterlife.

Ariel’s Mom Was Killed by Captain Hook From Peter Pan

Like many Disney protagonists, Ariel from The Little Mermaid grows up without a mother. Although the original movie never mentions her at all, in the 2008 prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, she’s finally revealed as Queen Athena. During said movie, we find out the queen was killed by pirates.

Some fans theorize the pirates that killed her were actually Captain Hook and his gang. In Peter Pan, there’s actually a mermaid on-screen that looks a lot like Ariel — right down to the purple seashell bra.

Hercules and Ariel Are Cousins

Some people connect The Little Mermaid to Hercules because of the mythological origins of the protagonists’ fathers. It’s a bit of a complex family tree, so we’ll try to keep it simple.

Ariel’s father is King Triton, who in Greek mythology was the son of Poseidon. Poseidon is brothers with Zeus, the king of the gods. We also know that Zeus is the father of Hercules.

If this family history rings true in the Disney world, that would make Hercules and Ariel first cousins, once removed.

The Young Girl in Toy Story 2 Is Actually Andy’s Mother

Although the timelines for the Toy Story franchise have never been confirmed by Disney, many people believe that Toy Story 2 actually comes before Toy Story. Moreover, Jessie’s owner Emily grows up to become Andy’s mom.

It’s a bit confusing, but there is some sense behind it. In the original Toy Story, Andy plays with vintage toys like Woody that have been around since well before 1995. Also, Woody is wearing a Jessie hat.

In Toy Story 2, you get a peek into Emily’s childhood bedroom that’s decorated in 1960s flower-power style. This would age her to be around 30 years old in 1995, which is when the first movie came out. That’s definitely old enough to have a six-year-old son and possibly gives the Toy Story franchise a more definitive timeline.

Peter Pan Takes Place in the Afterlife

There are a lot of magical elements within Peter Pan, such as flying children, fairies, mermaids, and a pirate ship that can fly through the air. Since J.M Barrie wrote his first Peter Pan book, there’s a theory that Peter is actually a gentle spirit who shepherds dead children to the afterlife.

This would mean that Wendy and her siblings somehow died. So, their adventures with Peter in Neverland is the universe’s way of transitioning them to their new life as spirits. This theory also proposes that Peter and the Lost Boys never grow up because they’re already dead.

It’s a bit of a grim theory, but it makes a lot of sense.

Aladdin Takes Place in the Future

Although we’re introduced to Aladdin as a story that happens in ancient Persia, some people believe this tale actually takes place thousands of years in the post-apocalyptic future. Some sort of environmental disaster has blanketed the Earth in sand, leaving the population decimated.

This theory gets its legs almost entirely from what the Genie says when he first comes out of the lamp: “10 thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!” That line, plus the impersonations of a few notable celebrities — like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rodney Dangerfield, and Jack Nicholson — have convinced some people that Aladdin is set in the future.

The Other Animals in The Emperor’s New Groove Were Once Human

In The Emperor’s New Groove, Yzma morphs Kuzco into a llama so she can seize his power. While he’s a llama, Kuzco can still speak English. Eventually, he makes his way back to his palace after being dropped in the jungle by Pacha.

On his way out of the jungle, he spots a fly that’s caught in a spider’s web screaming “Help me! Help me!” Some people believe that this English-speaking fly means that Kuzco isn’t the only person that’s been turned into animals by Yzma.

Gaston Was the Hunter Who Killed Bambi’s Mother

This theory has been largely dismissed because of geography. Beauty and the Beast is set in France, while Bambi takes place somewhere within North America. Despite that, some people still believe the hunter who killed Bambi’s mom was actually Gaston.

Despite the geographic difference, Gaston is still the perfect suspect. His ruthless personality would make him guilt-free about making an adorable fawn like Bambi an orphan. Plus, he has a hobby of decorating with antlers which could come from hunting in his spare time.

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