Skip To Content

    15 Theories About Disney Movies That'll Make You Question Everything You Knew About Them

    You'll never watch The Hunchback the same way again.

    1. Ariel's mom was slain by Captain Hook.


    In The Little Mermaid, we know that Ariel doesn't have a mother, but we don't actually find out what happened to her until the third movie, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. It turns out that Ariel's mom, Athena, was slain by pirates, and that's why she isn't around. According to this theory, Athena, who looks strikingly similar to one of the mermaids in Peter Pan, was slain by Hook himself.Mona3040

    2. Aladdin and Jasmine made a cameo in Hercules.


    There's a purple shooting star in the sky when Hercules sang "Go the Distance." In Aladdin, when Aladdin and Jasmine took their magic carpet ride, they traveled from country to country within seconds. They traveled so fast that anyone on the ground would've only see "a blur," or a shooting star.u/Snedker23

    3. In Mulan, the owner of the doll represented all the little girls "worth fighting for."


    "The song 'A Girl Worth Fighting For' ended right as Mulan and the rest of the soldiers came upon a destroyed village, where Mulan picked up a small doll. We know for certain that it used to belong to a little girl who lived in the village, since earlier, Shan Yu got the doll from his hawk and said: 'Besides, the little girl will be missing her doll. We should return it to her.' That girl is Mulan's 'girl worth fighting for,' along with other little girls in general." —u/chondroitin

    4. The toys' backstories came from Andy's imagination.

    Disney / Pixar

    The characters in Toy Story develop their traits and backstories from the way the children play with the toys. Woody doesn't remember much about his origin, nor does Buzz. But that's only because when Andy plays with Woody, he's just a "generic cowboy." Mr. Potato Head and Hamm aren't supposed to be villains, but they become more antagonizing toward Woody because Andy makes them the villains when he plays with them. Buzz even learns about where he came from based on how Andy and the other children imagine him when they pass Buzz in the toy store. —u/Jacob_wallace

    5. The Great Stone Dragon crumbled because it had used up all its power helping Fa Zhou.


    "Before Fa Zhou went off to war, the Fa family was in disgrace and living as peasants. The ancestors sent the Great Stone Dragon with Zhou to ensure that he restored the family's honor. It worked. After the war, the Fa family was catapulted upward in society, but the Great Stone Dragon had exhausted its powers protecting Zhou in the same battle that gave him his wound." —u/turtlestevenspn

    6. Gaston's true purpose was ending the "classic" Disney prince era.


    In the '90s, Disney princesses started playing stronger roles in their respective movies. They also became better role models for young girls. In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is a stereotypical prince-like character: He's charming and attractive, and he wants to save the "damsel in distress." However, he also represents toxic masculinity when he's paired with Belle, who's smart and more empowered than the princesses who came before her. With Gaston dead, BATB symbolizes the death of the "handsome prince who saves the useless girl" trope that we see in Disney's older movies."u/DashFerLev

    7. The townspeople in The Nightmare Before Christmas represented fears.


    "Every fear is represented by a person in Halloweentown, as Halloween is a holiday to celebrate our fears. The older, more universal, and more terrifying a fear is, the more prominent the person in the town is. For example, Jack represents death, the oldest and most powerful fear. Oogie, on the other hand, represents the fear of the dark and the unknown. He is the most primal fear, fear without name." —u/djmcknig

    8. Toy Story was an allegory for what went on behind the scenes at the animation studio.

    Disney / Pixar

    Before making Toy Story, John Lasseter actually got fired from Disney after suggesting they use computer animation instead of hand-drawn animation. Computer animation was still an incredibly new technology at that point in time. The plot of Toy Story revolves around Woody, a more traditional cowboy toy, who is threatened by Buzz Lightyear, a new futuristic toy. In the end, the two come together for the sake of making kids happy, much like Disney and Pixar.u/baltimorgan

    9. The characters from Beauty and the Beast changed back to their cursed forms after the movie ended.


    In Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, the Beast, Lumière, and Cogsworth appeared back in their cursed forms. Ariel was also seen talking to Prince Eric. "The only explanation for Eric to be married to Ariel, who has her legs and voice intact, but for the Beast to still be a beast and his servants to still be objects, is that they reverted to their original selves for the Beauty and the Beast's ending, but then changed back, via either another curse or, more likely, the original curse never ending in the first place." —u/HansGruber

    10. The Lion King, Robin Hood, and Zootopia all existed in the same universe.


    Zootopia's Nick Wilde was one of Robin Hood's descendants, and Leodore Lionheart was related to Simba, King Richard, and Prince John. "The Lion King was the beginning of the peace between 'predators and prey.' Over time, the animals evolved and their world became more and more like a society; King Richard continued his great-great-grandfather's vision; and this led to Zootopia, where Leodore, despite his ego and questionable leadership choices, continued as his ancestors did before him." —u/T-Rex_Is_Best

    11. The gargoyles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame were actually hallucinations.


    "Quasimodo has been locked in that tower for YEARS. That level of isolation would probably break anyone, so one day, in desperation, Quasimodo's psyche simply locked onto three stone gargoyles on the church and made three wacky, humorous friends out of them simply to keep him sane." –u/Racecarlock

    12. The entirety of Aladdin was "simply the fulfillment of his first wish."


    Instead of all the movie's plot points happening organically, they're really just the Genie's way of fulfilling Aladdin's wish to be made into a prince. "Aladdin did not wish to BE a prince, he wished for the Genie to MAKE him a prince. Everything that transpired after Aladdin made his wish was actually the Genie using his powers to pull the strings behind the scenes. At the end of the movie, he married a princess. He WAS a prince. The Genie's work was completed."


    13. Scar didn't run away because he "couldn't comprehend goodness."


    In The Lion King, Simba found out that Scar killed Mufasa. Instead of killing Scar, Simba told him to run and never come back. Scar was confused and began to leave, but then lept onto Simba and initiated a fight. "Scar couldn’t comprehend that Simba was a better person and a better ruler than he could ever be. He couldn't understand that Simba tried to give him a chance to escape. Scar couldn't comprehend goodness, and he was too stubborn to listen to anything besides his self-preservation instincts." —u/CapriciousSalmon

    14. Aphrodite's kiss made Phil more ~desirable~.


    In Greek mythology, one of Aphrodite's powers was that she was able to make others more alluring or desirable. At the end of Hercules, Aphrodite kissed Phil, and granted Phil the gift of desirability. –u/SMithsonIANPictures

    15. Black Panther wouldn't exist without The Lion King.


    According to this theory, because of Killmonger's fascination with Wakanda and African culture, he definitely would have seen The Lion King when it first came out in 1994. After seeing the movie, Killmonger would have been able to relate to Simba, and he would've wanted to avenge his father's death — just like Simba did when his father was killed by Scar. Basically, the movie Black Panther wouldn't exist if Killmonger hadn't been inspired by The Lion King. —u/obamakolama

    Theories have been edited for length and/or clarity.