Disney is responsible for providing us with childhood memories of watching its movies and shows; in fact, name one person in your life who has never encountered a Disney film. That is the power of Disney: its content is, for the most part, timeless. As fans grow older and eventually start families, it is more than likely that they will introduce their children to the same films and shows that impacted their earlier years. Speaking of fans growing older, there are also tons of questions that would come to mind, such as what if this happens? Or, are these movies or shows connected in anyway? These questions would eventually evolve into theories, and there are a ton of Disney theories that have been speculated around the internet. Some are silly, yet joyful and entertaining, while others are bleak and incredibly depressing.
To this day, there are many theories that have not been confirmed or debunked by the creators of the movies, but there are few that have been mentioned in interviews. Whether the theories are true or false, it is still fun to think of the theories in the way they are presented and how much evidence there is to back up. Sometimes, the theories can be answered from the movies or shows themselves. It takes deep thinking to put together the pieces and figure out the theory, which might sound challenging, but it is quite the scavenger hunt. Theories are debatable based on their context, but it is all in good fun even if they are true or not. Here are 14 Disney theories that have been confirmed, and 11 that have been rejected by the creators:
25 Real: Quite A Long Dream
As the only Disney Channel show on this list, Hannah Montana seems like an innocent sitcom about a teenage girl living a double life as a pop star and high school student. The theory revolves around how everything that happens in Hannah Montana takes place in the mind of a young Miley.
This scene was included in the DVD release, but airings of the series finale included another ending, due to kids being possibly confused. Either way you look at it, Miley got the best of both worlds.
24 Rejected: Not Exactly One Of A Kind
Out of all the Pixar films, Toy Story has a huge number of fan theories, with most of them being rather sad. This one involves Andy’s father (also conveniently named Andy), who was the only person to own a unique version of Woody and passed it down to his son when he had passed. Like other fan theories, this one is just as tragic.
Co-writer Andrew Stanton debunked this theory hard. He tweeted as a response to this theory: “Complete and utter fake news. Everyone go back to your homes. Nothing to see here, folks.” Ouch, what a way to have a theory busted.
23 Real (Probably): Part Of The Family
The Little Mermaid’s Ursula is one of the greatest Disney villains to date as she’s over-the-top, but incredibly cunning. There have been theories speculating that she is actually the sister of King Triton, and it is technically true.
There were early drafts of the movie’s script that includes the mentioning of Ursula being Triton’s sister. In fact, the movie even states that Ursula used to live in the palace, but any reference of her being related to Ariel or Triton is nowhere mentioned.
22 Rejected: No Sign Of Galactus
Guardians of the Galaxy became a huge pop culture phenomenon thanks to its successful box office performance and critical acclaim. As this movie was carefully crafted to fill in a lot of references to other Marvel properties, there has been one fan theory that seemed too good to be true, only to be debunked by writer and director James Gunn.
The Collector scenes raised a connection around Galactus, but James responded to this fan theory in a tweet, saying: “Getting lots of messages about Galactus in the Collector scenes. No, he’s not there in any way.”
21 Real: Advanced Technology In The 60s?
When you watch the beginning of the first Incredibles movie, it looks like it takes place in the mid-twentieth century, specifically the 60s. But, once Bob and Helen start their family, and after years went by, there is a mixture of modern technology and old-fashioned homes and cars.
According to the movie’s producer, John Walker, “Brad [Bird]’s watchword for the whole movie was that it should seem like the early-sixties vision of the future.” So, this means that the film takes place in the 60s, but technology evolved faster compared to our world.
20 Rejected: Special Guests
For this entry, we’re going to cheat a little since it has not exactly been debunked by the creators. Instead, a voice actor gave her thoughts on this theory. The theory states that Frozen and Tangled are connected due to Elsa and Anna’s parents attending Rapunzel and Flynn’s wedding, and the latter two attended Elsa’s coronation because of that.
Mandy Moore, the voice for Rapunzel, stated in regard to this fan theory: “There is no connection as far as I know… but sure, people can imagine what they will all day — that's their prerogative.” While the two movies are somewhat connected, Mandy’s opinion is reasonable since Rapunzel and Flynn are nothing more than Easter eggs in Frozen.
19 Real: The True Source
Frozen has made a household name for itself, with one of its reasons being the infamous song “Let it Go.” However, Elsa’s ice powers are still a mystery despite the king of Arendelle stating that she was born with them.
Just how did she get those powers? In the original script, the leader of the trolls, Pabbie, stated that the alignment of Earth and Saturn caused Elsa to possess Cryomancy abilities. While the movie cut that important detail out, the answer to this long-awaited question has finally been answered!
18 Rejected: Rey's Parentage
Ever since The Force Awakens, fans all over the world were waiting for The Last Jedi to answer the questions about the origins of Rey’s parentage. There were theories ranging from Luke Skywalker being her father to even Han and Leia being her parents, which would make her related to Kylo Ren.
But, director Rian Johnson decided to blow everyone’s minds in Episode VIII, for better or worse. Near the end of the film, Kylo Ren knows the answer to who Rey’s parents are, and like us, we were surprised. Instead of being related to a Skywalker, she is instead the daughter of junk traders who sold her for drinking money.
17 Real (Probably): Is Queen Athena In Peter Pan?
A common trope for Disney Princesses is that one parent is missing. Ariel is no exception since up until the third Little Mermaid movie, her mother was nowhere to be seen. Queen Athena is last seen with a pirate ship, possibly Captain Hook's, coming towards her and ending her life.
In Peter Pan, there was a mermaid that had red hair, which could have been Athena when she was younger. In context, this is a promising theory due to the similar connections to Athena’s fate and familiar physical features both mermaids have.
16 Rejected: Plot Hole Clarified
When it comes to this theory from The Incredibles 2, it is more about the plot’s inconsistency more than anything else. This theory came from Wyatt Wu, stating in the first of his tweets: “So, when all the supers are on the boat the last thing everyone in the city sees on TV is mind-controlled Mr. and Mrs. Incredible making that whole speech that Superheroes are a threat.”
Director Brad Bird responded to this, tweeting: “I don’t agree that it’s a “plot hole.” I assumed the audience would figure out that, once the boat was stopped, normal exchanges of information would happen between that crash and the villain being taken away.” This goes to show that not everything the film leads up to at this point must be shown.
15 Real (Probably): Descended From Royalty
When you see the connections from Disney films, the immediate thought is to point out where that person or object came from. For example, in Tarzan, Jane somewhat resembles Belle from Beauty and the Beast. It also helps that the Easter eggs shown in the 1999 movie include the chinaware similar to Mrs. Potts and Chip.
It is very possible that Jane could be a descendant of Belle. While Jane is English, and Belle is French, it’s still a high chance since the countries are very close to each other.
14 Rejected: Whose Ship Is That?
Sometimes, we just want to believe that whatever is shown in a movie has to be connected to another movie. While Frozen sparked a ton of fan theories, this one is among the most popular. This theory states that the ship Ariel scavenger hunts in is the same one where Anna and Elsa’s parents were on before it sank.
However, when brought to the attention of Ron Clements and John Musker, the directors of The Little Mermaid, Musker stated that the crossover theory is interesting, but is like fan fiction.
13 Real: Intriguing Origins
Monsters Inc. is a thought-provoking movie just from the world-building alone. The lore, while not mentioned much in the film, is incredible and has a lot of originality. The monsters' whole purpose is to spook children as a means of generating a power source from their screams, but why is that?
A DVD extra mentions that the monsters were formally humans who were shunned for their abnormal appearances. Once they found an island with peculiar fruit, it turned them into monsters and it motivated them to spook humans as revenge.
12 Rejected: What Did He Say?
Aladdin is a widely beloved Disney movie and it still holds up to this day. There are a handful of theories that revolve around this animated classic, which range from logical to subliminal. For some time, fans believed that Prince Ali himself said something rather suggestive.
Aladdin just became more adult than it needed to be from that rumored line. However, the theory has been debunked thanks to his voice actor Scott Weinger. He said in an interview: “The truth is that I never said it. I never said it! I feel bad being a myth buster, although it's probably a good one to bust.”
11 Real (Probably): The Fate Of Lilo's Parents
Like with a lot of Disney films, most of the protagonists are seen without the need of parental figures unless they are essential to the plot. But, for Lilo & Stitch, the deceased parents are what make this movie work so beautifully.
YouTuber The Fangirl made a video detailing some information regarding Mr. and Mrs. Pelekai’s passing. Lilo mentioned that they were driving in the rain, but it seems to be a lot more than that in the YouTuber’s video. Long story short, Lilo’s parents are possibly firefighters and/or paramedics that lost their lives in a storm.
10 Real: Fun School Trip
Like Disney, Pixar loves adding Easter eggs from other movies to put into their new films. The 2015 hit Inside Out is one of the cleverest films with the ingenious concept of personified emotions.
Once Finding Dory, a sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo, was released in 2016, there was a familiar face. Toy Story’s official Facebook page showed a video that featured Easter eggs throughout Pixar films and the first one showed that Inside Out's Riley appears in Finding Dory.
9 Rejected: Not A Subliminal Message
Before Frozen came into existence, The Lion King was the highest grossing animated film of all time. It was so popular that there were a lot of fan theories that related to the characters or even nature itself. While Disney is mostly aimed towards kids, there are some hidden references adults can enjoy.
This one involves a subtle, yet inappropriate, message. When Simba sighed and plopped down on the ground, dust formed and created the three-letter abbreviation “SFX,” which was a nod to the special effects team that worked on the film. However, fans and viewers of the movie thought they saw something else.
8 Real: Definitely Not Finding Food
Back to The Lion King, this theory involves Nala, Simba’s childhood friend turned love interest. At first, we assumed that she was trying to find food since Scar had taken over the Pride Lands and caused a catastrophic atmosphere.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Scar actually banished Nala from the Pride Lands, which was why the latter went looking for Simba and managed to find him. From the Broadway musical, the song “The Madness of King Scar” capitalizes on this theory being true.
7 Real (Probably): A Hidden Heir
This is where the theory for this list is on middle ground. It is confirmed, yet, also not exactly true, but let’s go over it. Due to Elsa and Anna’s parents being at sea, it is stated that the Queen of Arendelle was pregnant and gave birth to who we know as Tarzan.
Chris Buck, one of the directors of Frozen, and also the director of Tarzan, referenced this theory by saying, “So, in my little head, Anna and Elsa's brother is Tarzan, but on the other side of that island are surfing penguins, to tie in a non-Disney movie, Surf's Up. That's my fun little world.”
6 Real (Probably): Epic Connections
Greek mythology is a fun, but confusing, subject. Disney included this mythology in 1997’s Hercules and there was a connection we’d never thought of until digging a little deeper. While Poseidon was not an important character in that movie, he is the father of Triton, who appears in The Little Mermaid.
Poseidon is Zeus’ brother, who is Hercules’ uncle. With that connection, it makes Triton and Hercules cousins, while also making Ariel and Hercules cousins once removed. Talk about a familial connection right there!
5 Rejected: That Certain Shooting Star
Again, there are a lot of fan theories that involve two movies being connected in one way or another. Whether they’re Easter eggs or not, it does raise some eyebrows. Back with Hercules, this theory includes Aladdin in the mix.
When Hercules sings “Go the Distance,” there is a purple shooting star that might have been a reference to the magic carpet Aladdin and Jasmine were riding on. But, director Ron Clements cleared that up and confirmed that it was more than likely Pegasus as the shooting star.
4 Real (Probably): The Same Universe
One of the most popular theories in Disney and Pixar history has to be the movies all being connected. After all, with the references mentioning each movie in subtle ways, it is just insane not to think that all Pixar movies are connected.
Like with Inside Out’s Riley appearing in Finding Dory, there are other instances that occur, such as a similar tree appearing in both A Bug’s Life and Up. It is also possible that the witch from Brave is Boo from Monsters Inc.
3 Rejected: Not What You Think It Is
The Little Mermaid has been the target of having subliminal messages in its film, including a strange architectural design for Ariel’s palace, but this theory specifically has to do with the priest near the end of the movie. Once Prince Eric and the disguised Ursula (posing as Vanessa) were about to wed, the priest seemed a little too excited to see the latter.
It was actually his knee that was sticking out, which was animated by Tom Sito. Director Ron Clements backed this up, saying: “He was designed with knobby knees by animator Tom Sito who was not thinking of anything other than this slightly weirdly designed character. That was never the intention.”
2 Real: The Genie's Identity
Ron Clements and John Musker debunked a lot of theories in the Disney films they collaborated on, but if there is one famous theory that they were more than happy to confirm, it was the Genie’s identity. The peddler, who is seen with the lamp at the beginning of the film, is in fact Genie!
Clements commented, “That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course, Robin did the voice of the peddler.”
1 Rejected: You Got The Wrong Prince
If there is a bizarre theory in Disney, this one takes the cake. This theory revolves around Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. When the musical number “Belle” occurs in the former film, Belle is seen reading a story that involves sword fights, magic spells, and surprise, a prince in disguise!
Fans believed that this was a reference to Aladdin, which would be released a year later. Gary Trousdale, the director of Beauty and the Beast, denied this theory by saying: “I think Howard's [the lyricist] idea was that the prince in disguise was an allusion to the Beast.” Plus, the story that Belle is reading takes place in a European setting, not Arabic.