200 voters

Magical Fan Theories From The Disney Renaissance That We Can't Stop Thinking About

Updated April 29, 2021 1.8k votes 200 voters 4.9k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting theories surrounding the Disney Renaissance.

Basically all of our childhoods are firmly rooted in the Disney classics. Specifically Disney's "Renaissance" films - The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King, to name a few. One of fandoms' favorite things to do is come up with fan theories. From unanswered questions to character quirks, we managed to round up some of the most interesting fan theories surrounding some of our favorite classic Disney films.

Which fan theory do you find most believable? Vote up your favorites!

  • 1

    Hades' Flame/Hair Color Represents His Power/Emotions Perfectly

    Photo: Hercules / Buena Vista Pictures

    From Redditor u/SupaBloo:

    In the movie, Hades has blue flames for hair, and when he gets upset it turns red/orange. Many would point out that this doesn't make much sense, because blue flames are hotter, so when he gets angrier it seems to suggest his flames get stronger, but the color actually would suggest they get weaker, as red/orange flames aren't as hot as blue flames.

    Hades' henchmen become very afraid of him when he's angry, and the way his flames grow big and bright suggest he's getting stronger with his anger, but I think it's meant to represent him actually getting weaker.

    Think about it, through the entirety of the movie Hades is at his most dangerous when he's calm and collected (blue flames). It's when he loses his cool and gets angry where he seems to be most vulnerable and starts to really slip up with his plans. Rather than staying calm and thinking through rationally, he erupts and just goes all out, which fails. It gives Hades character a moral to the story, as well. If you lose your cool and erupt in anger, you only make yourself weaker.

    Interesting theory?
  • 2

    Gaston Was The Last Classic Disney Prince

    Photo: Beauty and the Beast / Buena Vista Pictures

    From Redditor u/DashFerLev:

    So firstly, he fits the bill of the prince:

    • Handsome
    • Independently wealthy
    • He can afford 5 dozen eggs a day which works out to 1,800 eggs a month in a pre-factory farming economy. To keep up with his addiction, he's getting his eggs imported.
    • Everyone loves him for no discernible reason.
    • When he gets dismissed, rejected, and publicly humiliated, everyone in the tavern joins in to cheer him up.
    • He only cares about the princess because she's pretty.
    • Prior princesses displayed no value to their princes other than their looks, yet they're on board for marriage after a night.

    But he's the bad guy. What went wrong? Disney started empowering girls. Gaston genuinely cared about Belle in a town where (without the chance meeting of prince Adam) she'd otherwise die a spinster. But it wasn't enough- he had to like her for the right reasons. He portrayed gender roles as something vile and demeaning. Yes. While he went out and earned their living (as some sort of ecosystem-destroying hunter?) Belle would tend the homestead and when he came back from days or weeks in the wilderness, he'd come back and relax. Oh, the sarcastic horror. She's better off on the breaking wheel.

    And what's crazy is, if you look at the unfolding events from his perspective, he's actually the hero. Belle's dad bursts in rambling about how a monster kidnapped his love and locked her in a dungeon in a castle they should be able to see from town but can't for some reason so he gets him committed, as you would do if your girlfriend's father burst into the bar and started raving to you about it. He finds out the beast is real and has locked Belle in there for who knows how long and he rally's the town to help him protect everyone. And in true role reversal, the monster slays the handsome prince so that the princess can start making her own choices, saves her man, and makes her happy ending happen rather than having someone else give it to her.

    Gaston's death was symbolic of the death of the "handsome prince saves useless girl" era of Disney.

    Interesting theory?
  • 3

    Fa Zhou Was A Vital Part Of The Chinese Army Plan

    Photo: Mulan / Buena Vista Pictures

    From Redditor u/Wash_zoe_mal:

    Tl;Dr The army planned on giving the young Captain Shang a wise veteran to help with his misfit unit, but Mulan took her father's place, making the Captain's job much harder.

    In the movie Mulan, Fa Mulan takes her father's place in the army, pretending to be his son, Ping. When Mulan arrives at the encampment, it is stated that they did not know Fa Zhou had a son. Mulan was assigned to the same unit her father was in his place. The unit is full of misfits, and lead by a young inexperienced Captain. Mulan joins the ranks and together they defeat the Huns. But their unit was never supposed to see battle. They only reason they saw combat was because the main army had been wiped out. They were an auxiliary unit, and no one had expected them to see real combat.

    My theory is that they were hoping Fa Zhou, Mulan's father, showed up. They were well aware he was older and unable to fight along side the young men. When Mulan first arrives, they know of Fa Zhou by name and reputation. As a wise soldier of the last great war, he was supposed to help shape the misfit unit. He had rank so he would have been put in a leadership role with the unit, helping guide them into being proper soldiers. As a veteran he would have made a great ally for the young Captain on battle tactics and on how to guide young men. Something the Captain could have used.

    Mulan showing up in Fa Zhou's place took that mentor to the young and inexperienced soldiers away making the Captain's job harder. The army planned to give him an experienced soldier who could no longer fight to help him, instead he struggles with his soldiers and himself throughout the film.

    Interesting theory?
  • 4

    Rafiki's Magic Changed The Pridelands

    Photo: The Lion King / Buena Vista Pictures

    From Redditor u/Jacob_wallace:

    TLDR: The Pridelands are naturally a desert and it's only because of Rafiki's magic that it is otherwise.

    A plothole often pointed out is that when Scar takes over, the Pridelands dry up and all the herbivores leave. The pride tries to convince him to move on to other lands for better hunting. As soon as Scar is defeated, it miraculously rains, restoring everything.

    My theory is that the Pridelands are naturally a desert. Under Mufasa's reign, Rafiki regularly did weather magic to maintain the lands. Scar doesn't respect the circle of life and doesn't seem to have the same treaties with certain herbivores like Mufasa did (Scar imprisoned Zazu, and would've likely eaten him if Simba never interfered). So no more weather magic from Rafiki, and the lands dry out.

    Assuming Simba has a realistic lifespan, he's only gone a year. This is enough time for the lands to dry out so thoroughly. As soon as he takes out Scar, Rafiki does the weather magic and restores the land. There's a desert just beyond the borders of the Pridelands. So without Rafiki, this desert would extend into the Pridelands. We also see the hyenas living in deserted areas. For whatever reason, hyenas don't get the land that Rafiki makes livable. The habitable area of the Pridelands seems to be relatively small.

    This also explains the hierarchy of the Pridelands. Everybody treats Mufasa's family as royalty, even those who would be eaten by them. This makes little sense. The forest that Timon and Pumbaa are from have no such hierarchy. But if the lions have a special arrangement with Rafiki to maintain the lands so they don't dry out, treating the lions as royalty makes a lot more sense.

    Interesting theory?