Dark Fan Theories About Animated Movies That We Can't Stop Thinking About

List Rules
Vote up the theories that have you a little disturbed.

Animated classics will always be near and dear to fans' hearts. With casts of characters, poppy musical numbers, and meaningful messages within the story, it's no wonder why fans can never get enough. From unanswered questions to character quirks, more than a few passionate fans managed to come up with some truly dark and interesting theories surrounding the best animated movies.

Check out these dark fan theories from animated movies below, and don't forget to vote!


  • 1
    24 VOTES

    Ernesto De La Cruz Was Going To Murder Hector Anyway In 'Coco'

    From Redditor u/9fingeredbandit96:

     Ernesto De La Cruz was planning on killing Hector regardless if he left or not. In the movie Hector gets homesick and is about to leave, when Ernesto offers him a shot of alcohol before he left. The whole time, Hector thought he died of food poisoning but he really died from getting intentionally poisoned by Ernesto.

    We all know this, but however it's pretty strange that Ernesto had poison on hand. Almost like he was ready for it. He was begging Hector to stay because he needed his song lyrics and they were so close to extreme fame. I feel like as soon as they would've hit extreme fame, he would've poisoned Hector anyways. Think about it, why have poison on hand if you're not planning to use it. He even said himself, he needed his lyrics not Hector himself. It makes the movie so much darker than it is.

    24 votes
  • 2
    25 VOTES

    Mirabel's Power In 'Encanto' Is Making People's Darkest Fears Happen

    From Redditor u/eviltwinn2:

    Mirabel's gift is making people's biggest fears happen. Sometimes it turns out great and other times it turns out badly. That's why her door disappears - at the time it was her Abuela's biggest fear.

    • She talks to Luisa and she sang about how afraid she was about being weak - and she's weak.
    • She talks to Isabela, who is afraid she won't be perfect, and boom cactus. Luckily she took it well.
    • Abuela is afraid they will loose their home and the magic will fail - Mirabel unknowingly makes it happen.
    • Even Bruno, he's afraid of coming out of hiding and of having another vision. Both happen.
    25 votes
  • 3
    22 VOTES

    The Prior Energy Source In 'Monster's Inc' Was The Blood Of Children

    From Redditor u/curlyquirkycolorful:

    TLDR; before transitioning to "clean" scream energy, Monstropolis as a society used "dirtier" energy in the form of the blood of children. By the end of the movie they have progressed away from "cleaner" energy in screams toward using the cleanest & most renewable energy of all - children's laughter.

    Six minutes into Monster’s Inc., a commercial for Monsters Incorporated plays on Sully’s TV while he and Mike are working out and we hear the following quote at about the 6:12 timestamp:

    “Carefully matching every child to their ideal monster, to produce superior screams, refined into clean, dependable energy.”

    If the concept of "clean" energy exists in this world and they find the need to point it out in their advertising, logic would dictate that a different, theoretically "dirtier" form of energy was harvested and utilized to power Monstropolis before children's screams.

    Something literally dirtier and non-renewable that the monsters have moved away from as a society - the blood of children.

    Since we categorize the forms of energy we use, this ranking would equate to their world as well.

    Crude oil, petroleum, & coal being dirty, finite, dangerous are environmentally the worst and least renewable form of energy humans utilize, so the equivalent in Monstropolis would be the blood of children. Therefore, as a society, the monsters would have likely moved away from it after discovering that scream energy was cleaner in the same way we're moving (albeit too slowly, especially in the U.S.) toward other, cleaner energy sources.

    Natural gas, while not actually being clean in regards to how it's harvested it is considered cleaner when it comes to its emissions and is often referred to as such. So, this would be the equivalent of scream energy, as it's a cleaner, but still not great.

    Wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, etc. are all the cleanest energy in terms of emissions, environmental impact upon usage, and methods of collection. Since it doesn't involve death or childhood trauma, this would equate to harnessing children's laughter as a resource.

    22 votes
  • 4
    21 VOTES

    'Peter Pan' Kills Lost Boys Who Grow Up

    From Redditor u/morvis343:

    The first theory is that Pan never wants his Lost Boys to grow up, and so once they do, he kills them as they no longer fit into his ideal version of Neverland. This theory generally points to Captain Hook and the other pirates being former Lost Boys who grew up and escaped before Pan could kill them. So by this theory, Hook is the good guy and Pan is the villain.

    The second theory is that Neverland is a sort of afterlife for children who died young, and so Pan brings them to Neverland so they can have a proper whimsical childhood they were denied in this life.

    I realized that these two theories could mesh quite nicely if Neverland isn't just an afterlife, but more of a waypoint on the way to the regular afterlife. So children die, are brought by Pan to Neverland, where they are given a fantastic chance at a full childhood, and then, when they grow up, Pan "kills" them, sending them along to the regular afterlife, Heaven. Captain Hook figured out that Pan was killing children and escaped without figuring out that the children were supposed to die once they've grown up. They got their chance at childhood, and now it's time for them to move on. So now Pan and Hook are locked in their conflict, both of them having the best intentions for the Lost Boys, but only Pan knowing the truth, and Hook would never listen to him long enough to entertain the idea.

    21 votes
  • 5
    20 VOTES

    'The Grinch' Is The Sole Survivor Of Genocide

    From Redditor u/EquivalentInflation:

    TL;DR: The Grinch is the sole survivor of a purge by the Whos, wiping out all nonbelievers. At the end, he's forced to convert in order to escape his life of poverty and seclusion.

    First off, there's his appearance. He's clearly physically different from every other Who: taller, green fur, yellow eyes, etc. He's a member of a completely different race than the Whos... but there's no other member of that race in sight. We also know that he's not just some genetic aberration -- the cartoon version mentions he gains the strength of "ten Grinches plus two". Not ten times his own strength, but the strength of ten people like him (plus two).

    So, where are the rest of his people? Simple: he's the Grinch, not a Grinch. They've been wiped out. Every last man, woman, and child, besides this one lonely survivor.

    But who (pun intended) could possibly have done such a horrible thing? Who (pun also intended) do we know that have a near fanatical belief in their religion? Who (this pun was completely accidental) makes up 99.9% of the population, and controls all the resources? The Whos.

    For some reason, their religion caused them to wipe out the entire race of Grinches, leaving only one alive. It wouldn't be difficult -- the Whos have massive numbers on their side (one man had 96 daughers), and for a supposedly peace loving people, seem to have some giant knives (as well as giving their kids javelins and bows). It also would be believable -- one of the few things we know about the Whos is how super religious they are. Them deciding to go all "Deus Vult" on the Grinches for refusing to follow their religion wouldn't be hard to believe.

    The Grinch survived (likely due to him being frozen in ice, only to be thawed out 100 years later by two siblings). More realistically, he likely fled, or was already living as a hermit, allowing him to escape the slaughter. He lived at the top of a remote mountain, and due to his cunning, likely had a number of traps and defenses set up. The Whos were content to ignore him, so long as he was out of the way.

    So of course the Grinch hates the Whos for killing everyone he ever knew (it's mentioned that he hates them all year round, not just at Christmas). But Christmas makes him even more enraged. He wants to forget about them, but on that day, the noise they make causes it to be impossible for him to do so. Even more enraging, they're singing religious hymns of the religion that killed his people. It's highly possible that Christmas was the anniversary of the Grinch Genocide.

    At the end of the movie, the Grinch is shown making a change for the "better". Did he though? Notably, both the book and cartoon state that "some say his heart grew three sizes that day". It doesn't just describe it happening, it states that certain people would make that claim. It's Who propaganda, to cover up the harsh truth: The Grinch had grown depressed, and knew the Whos would kill him for ruining their special day. He was open to death, especially if it involved screwing them over, and letting them know the Grinches would never give up. However, at the last moment, he had a change of heart -- not out of love, but self preservation. He decided to assimilate instead, and pretended to join their religion. That allowed him to not live in a cold cave, and also granted him a measure of security. If he pretended to be a convert who was truly inspired by them, and declared so publicly, the Who religious officials couldn't kill him without public backlash.

    20 votes
  • 6
    17 VOTES

    The Beast Kept Other Girls Captive Before Belle In 'Beauty And The Beast'

    From Redditor u/cheemsgyaru:

    When the Enchantress said he’d have until his 21st year, she meant 21 years into the curse rather than him being 21 years old. When the films going on, the curse has been in swing for 21 years. The Beast is in his 40s, which is much more in line with how his character acts and how he relates to Belle

    Lumiere's infamous 10 years line referred to the fact they hadn’t been used in 10 years “needing exercise, a chance to use our skills”. He’s literally saying they haven’t put on a show for 10 years. Not that they’ve been cursed for 10 years. He implies that in the early years of the curse either there was company or they put on shows for the Prince to cheer him up. But the fact the song is be our guest implies this is something they do for guests, most likely to win over captives

    But I believe other girls were held captive before Belle. Hints; he’s surprised Belle didn’t shudder at his paw, possibly he experienced that rejection before. They had a room ready for a girl. The furniture had protocol for guests and the wardrobe had clothes ready for her.

    I think in the early years the beast and the servants took girls to the castle through various means and tried to get them to break the curse but none of them could, at which point they’d proabbly be left to starve in the dungeon like Maurice would have. Hence the beasts memorable line “then starve!”

    I think that in the 11th year something particularly disastrous happened and he stopped trying which is why the furniture didn’t put on a show/have a guest for 10 years. Even the narration says “as the years passed, he lost hope” meaning he did once try to get girls over to break the curse and there were attempts.

    17 votes