Weirdly Persuasive Fan Theories About Disney Animated Movies 

Lisa Waugh
Updated March 20, 2020 94.8k votes 13.7k voters 494.1k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the Disney theories that actually sound plausible.

Are you one of those Disney fan theory collectors or obsessors who loves looking for all of the Disney movie connections and sharing your wizardry with others? Then you may know some of these theories. But if you’re brand new to the world of Disney theories, consider this list your very own Disney Theory 101.

Did you hear the one about Boo from Monsters, Inc. showing up in Brave as the witch? Or the one about Andy’s mom from Toy Story actually being Jessie’s owner, Emily? And what about the brutal slaying in The Emperor’s New Groove? That spider committed straight-up homicide.

There are some odd Disney movie theories out there too, so brace yourself. Some fans believe that Carl passes at the beginning of Up and that the rest of the film is his journey through the afterlife to reunite with his beloved Ellie.

Some Disney fan theories, though, are just fun. Bing Bong could be alive and well in the Monsters, Inc. universe even though he faded from Riley’s mind in Inside Out. Plus, there are some pretty interesting Disney movie connections that make Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel cousins, as well as Ariel and Hercules. Delve into this Disney theory list and capture even more Disney magic than you knew these movies held.

Ariel And Hercules Are Cousins
Ariel And Hercules Are C... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Weirdly Persuasive Fan Theories About Disney Animated Movies
Photo:  Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Searching for a little genealogy, Disney and Greek mythology style? See if you agree: Ariel’s father is King Triton, the son of Poseidon. Poseidon is Zeus’s brother. Hercules is the son of Zeus. King Triton and Hercules are first cousins, making Ariel and Hercules first cousins once removed.

Is this plausible?
Jessie’s Owner Was Andy’s Mom
Jessie’s Owner Was Andy’... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Weirdly Persuasive Fan Theories About Disney Animated Movies
Photo: Toy Story/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

So many things help line up the theory that Andy’s mom is Emily. Andy wears a Jessie hat, not a Woody hat in the original Toy Story; Emily probably wanted to share a piece of her childhood when she got him Woody, one of the Roundup Gang.

Also, Emily decorated her room with '60s era pop culture so she’d be the right age, in her thirties, when the Toy Story trilogy begins.

Is this plausible?
Anna And Elsa Are Rapunzel's Cousins; Blondes Hold The Magic
Anna And Elsa Are Rapunz... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weirdly Persuasive Fan Theories About Disney Animated Movies
Photo: Frozen/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When King Agnarr and Queen Iduna sail off, they may have been heading to Rapunzel’s wedding. When Rapunzel turned up for Elsa’s coronation, fans definitely saw these two events as a sign that Anna, Elsa, and Rapunzel are related. They argue that Rapunzel wouldn’t make the journey from Germany just for any royalty.  

There's also a theory that the blond cousins carry the magic in the family. Rapunzel’s superpower hair and Elsa’s freeze ray powers are no accident. And King Agnarr and Queen Iduna may have very good reasons for hiding their daughter away after seeing what happened to her cousin Rapunzel.

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Captain Hook Is The Reason Ariel Doesn't Have A Mom
Captain Hook Is The Reas... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weirdly Persuasive Fan Theories About Disney Animated Movies
Photo: Paramount Pictures/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

There’s a striking mermaid in Peter Pan who looks a lot like Ariel and could very well be Athena, who was slain by pirates. The two films' release dates help bolster the theory as well. The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, when Ariel was 16.

Peter Pan was released in 1953 and the unnamed red-headed mermaid would have been 36. Ariel was born in 1973. So maybe Athena was slain as a result of the actions of Captain Hook.

Is this plausible?