By now most Disney fans have heard of the Pixar Theory. The Pixar Theory was created by Jon Negroni who argues that every Pixar film is tied into one grand narrative, in an interrelated universe. In other words, every Pixar film ever made can be put onto one timeline, mapping them into one unified world.
The emergence and popularity of the Pixar Theory has led Disney fans all over the internet to start speculating that all of Disney is connected, and we should be looking for these connections everywhere. Other theories have emerged which connect not only all the movies of the Disney canon into one ‘DisneyVerse’, but have even started drawing connections between the world of Pixar and that of Disney.
While some of the theories stretch to make their connections, some of them are so compelling that it’s impossible to believe that these connections are a coincidence, leading many to believe that the creators of the films have a much bigger narrative in mind as they produce each film.
We at HourLoop, have compiled a list of the most popular Disney and Pixar theories, but be warned: some of them have gone viral and you will no doubt have heard of them before, while others are less well known and will have you so mind blown that you will be processing them in your head for weeks to come.
The Walt Disney Within Walt Disney
The most mind-bending Disney theory of all time lies with a clue found in the film Tarzan.
We know from several Disney films that the characters within Disney films all watch the other films. For instance, in Oliver and Company we see a Chihuahua singing “Heigh-Ho”, suggesting that he is familiar with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Why would a 20th century, apartment dwelling dog know a song sung by Germanic dwarves hundreds of years before? Because he saw it in the film. Similarly, in Lilo and Stitch, Lani has a poster of Mulan on her wall – she has seen the film.
In Tarzan, we have three key things:
- Jane is depicted as someone who loves to draw
- Jane’s father, Professor Q Porter is seen in possession of a toy from Mulan
- Professor Porter has a large amount of early cinema equipment
What do these facts amount to?
According to DisneyTheory.com, Professor Porter took Jane’s drawings and made them into animated movies, making Jane the first Disney animator. The professor then went onto make the other fictional movies within the Disney-verse, making him the Walt Disney, within the Disney films.
Boo: Key to the Pixar World
The Pixar theory hinges on this first theory: that Boo from Monster’s Inc. and the witch from Brave are one and the same.
While this might seem like a stretch, there is actually some crucial evidence to indicate that it’s correct, and Boo growing up to become this character is the glue that binds the entire Pixar theory – and universe – together. According to the Pixar theory, Brave is the first and last film in the timeline.
Merida discovers magic in Brave, which is used by the witch who disappears and goes through doors (like the monsters do in Monsters Inc.) It is through this magic that Merida discovers, that inanimate objects and animals are able to behave like humans (like Merida’s family do once they are bears). This propels all of the events that can be seen throughout Pixar movies, ultimately concluding with Monster’s Inc.
After the events of Monster’s Inc. Boo misses Sulley and never really recovers from it. As an adult, she makes it her mission to find him again until she finally discovers how to travel through doors and goes back to the source of the magic which Merida discovers in Brave. This explains why the witch’s house in Brave contains a wooden carving of both Sulley from Monster’s Inc. and a handmade wooden Pizza Planet truck.
As the witch/Boo travels from place to place attempting to find Sulley, she leaves behind items which become the ‘easter eggs’ we see in Pixar films (the Buzz Lightyear that can be seen in Finding Nemo, the Lots-O’ Huggin Bear that can be seen in Up etc.)
Monster’s Inc. and the Demise of Humanity
According to proponents of The Pixar Theory, Monster’s Inc. takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans are no longer the rulers of the earth. The energy crisis which occurs at the film’s opening has taken place because humanity has dropped so dramatically in number.
With the advent of the scream machine and the ability to travel through doors into the human world, the monsters are now able to harvest their energy, until of course, Sulley and Mike discover that laughter produces more energy than fear.
Carl’s Untimely End
One Pixar fan has posed an interesting theory which seeks to explain the film Up. According to this theory, Carl dies in his sleep at the start of the film, after he is told that he will have to leave the house he shared with Ellie, to go and live in a retirement home. The remainder of the film depicts Carl’s journey through the afterlife, with Russell as his guardian angel. The reason Russell plays this role is because his attempt to get his ‘badge’ is interpreted as an angel trying to get its wings, and Russell’s role as a child is a symbol of the child that Ellie and Carl wanted to have earlier in their marriage.
Frozen, yet Tropical, Parents
During a Reddit session of “ask me anything,” the directors of Frozen confirmed that Elsa and Anna’s parents were traveling to attend a wedding when there boat sank. It is generally speculated that the wedding they are in attendance of is that of Rapunzel and Eugene from Tangled, since these two later attend Elsa’s coronation.
However, according to the directors, the parents survived the shipwreck, and washed up on the shores of the African Congo where the queen gave birth to a baby boy. They then built for themselves a treehouse before meeting their end by way of a vicious leopard. If this is all sounding familiar, then it’s because this is the exact plotline for the earlier Disney movie Tarzan. That’s right. The King and Queen of Arandelle are Tarzan’s parents.
An Evil Double
Believe it or not, a prominent theory has been circulating which posits that Mother Gothel from Tangled and the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are the same person.
According to an eagle-eyed Tumblr user, the dagger and knife seen in Mother Gothel’s draw in Tangled is identical to the box and dagger that the Evil Queen presents to the hunter in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is also worth noting the similarities between Mother Gothel and the Evil Queen: they are both fiercely preoccupied with staying young and attractive, and when Gothel returns to her true age just before her death, she looks strikingly similar to the Evil Queen’s ‘old hag’ disguise. Coincidence? We think not.
Andy’s Mum, Emily.
A plausible theory which has gained a lot of momentum on the internet is the true identity of Andy’s mother in Toy Story.
In Toy Story 2, we meet Jessie – a yodelling cowgirl doll who once belonged to a girl called Emily. Emily was the perfect owner until she grew up and didn’t want to play with her doll anymore, leaving Jessie to be picked up by a collector. The memory sequence that depicts Jessie’s time with Emily places Emily as a child in the 1950s, and a teenager in the 60s. This would make Andy’s mother the right age to be Emily.
Interestingly, Andy is in possession of Woody and a red cowboy hat which is seen on the child Emily. Where did Andy’s mother get such a hat? Why have we never heard her first name?
Andy's mom is Emily.
From Ariel to Arendelle
In addition to the theory that the Queen and King of Arendelle are Tarzan’s parents, is the theory that the ship did in fact sink, and Ariel found it.
After their ship sets sail from Norway (where the Kingdom of Arendelle is set) en route to Germany (where the events of Tangled take place), the ship gets blown off course and sinks just outside of Denmark, where Ariel finds it at the bottom of the ocean.
The Inside Out of Ratatouille
One of Inside Out’s most obvious easter eggs is the dead rat Riley finds on the floor of her living room, after they move into their new house. This dead rat has a striking similarity to Remy from Ratatouile.
Could Remy have moved from Paris to the United States and met his end inside Riley’s new house?
One fan theory suggests that since monsters can travel through time using doors, Randall from Monster’s Inc. at some point travelled into the sphere of The Incredibles, and met Violet. His ability to make himself invisible inspired Violet to create her invisibility suit.
A Bugs Life: The End of Time
If you ever wondered why there are no humans in A Bug’s Life then it’s because of the Pixar Theory. According to the theory, by the time of the events of Wall-E¸humans are have been completely superseded by machines are now rule the earth. Few humans have survived. During the credits of Wall-E, we see the robot with a shoe which contains the last plant life on earth. This plant grows into a large tree with a striking resemblance to the central tree visible in A Bug’s Life.
The reason we see no humans in the film is because A Bug’s Life takes place after the events of Wall-E – when humans have been overtaken by machines. By the time of the film, insects and birds have repopulated the earth, but few humans exist. This makes A Bug’s Life post-apocalyptic, set just before Monster’s take over the world in time for Monster’s Inc. and Brave. We have come full circle.
Beauty and the Jane
A prominent Disney easter egg, in conjunction with some character similarities, has prompted a wide-spread theory that Jane from Tarzan and Belle from Beauty and the Beast are relatives.
The similarities include:
- Yellow dresses
- Eccentric fathers
- Taste in ‘wild’ men
- Passion for civilising those men
It is also interesting to note that Mrs. Potts and her entire teaset feature in the film Tarzan. How did they get there? Perhaps Jane inherited them from her great-great-great-great grandmother, Belle.
The Beauty, the Beast and the Duke
Since the events of Beauty and the Beast take place during the French Revolution, it is fair to assume that being nobility, Prince Adam and Princess Belle would have chosen to flee from France into Germany. The Duke of Weselton is the grandson of Belle and Adam who raise their children in Germany after the revolution.
This theory holds even more water when we consider the Duke's attitude toward Elsa. The Duke has knowledge of Adam’s curse from the blonde enchantress, making him particularly weary of Anna’s fair haired sister and her dangerous powers.