Disney’s Hidden Theories

Kaylee Powell, Staff Writer

I am a firm believer that one is never too old to enjoy Disney. I have been watching their movies ever since I can remember and as long as they continue to release movies, there’s a chance I’m going to watch them. Although I have a love/hate relationship with the franchise, I cannot deny that sometimes their movies hit the mark and make me want to think on a deeper level.

Now, I’m aware these movies are meant for people half my age so there may simply just be mistakes, but where some choose to see plot holes or slip ups, I see theories. On YouTube, Reddit, and TikTok you will find a huge community of like-minded people who agree with my sentiment and who believe that there are a bunch of secret underlying messages in each movie that somehow tie all of the movies together.

After deep diving into each of these platforms, I have found my three all-time favorite Disney theories. The first favorite theory is that Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna, and Tarzan are all part of the same bloodline. My second is that the fairy godmother in “Cinderella” is Cinderella’s mom. My third favorite theory is that Riley from “Inside Out” could be genderfluid or nonbinary.

The first theory is that Anna and Elsa are not actually sisters just cousins and that Rapunzel is Elsa’s true sister. Think about it, where did Elsa get her powers from? Who else has powers? Rapunzel! We know Rapunzel got her powers from a magical flower that her mother drank when she was sick but we have no clue where Elsa’s came from. I believe that Elsa got her powers from Rapunzel’s mother as well and that the two are actually twins. When Rapunzel was kidnapped their parents sent Elsa to stay with her cousin, Anna. This explains why Iduna and Agnarr, Anna’s parents, were unable to answer the rock trolls when they asked where Elsa got her powers from. Based on punnet squares it’s also more likely for them to actually be twins.

Even though Anna and Elsa may not be sisters, Anna isn’t an only child. Anna has a brother. We all know the famous shipwreck at the beginning of Frozen where the waves knock the boat over and then it cuts to a funeral. In these scenes we never actually see the people on the ship die. There is another classic movie though that starts with a shipwreck where there are two people and a baby trying to fight their way off a burning boat. They manage to get to the mainland and survive long enough to build a shelter before the parents eventually die at the hands of a tiger. I’m talking about the vine-swinging, ape-fighting, Tarzan. Maybe, just maybe, Anna’s long lost brother is Tarzan who was born on the ship after it was thrown off course and eventually burned on the coast of a random jungle.

The director of “Frozen,” Chris Buck,  even confirmed this belief in an interview. He  said, “I think Jen [Lee, “Frozen” co-director] and I were walking to a meeting, and I just started to tell her the entire story. I said: ‘Of course Anna and Elsa’s parents didn’t die. Yes, there was a shipwreck, but they were at sea a little bit longer than we think they were because the mother was pregnant, and she gave birth on the boat, to a little boy. They get shipwrecked, and somehow they washed far away from the Scandinavian waters, and they end up in the jungle. They end up building a tree house and a leopard kills them, so their baby boy is raised by gorillas’.”

My second favorite theory is that the fairy godmother in “Cinderella” is actually Cinderella’s mom in ghost form. The idea is that the evil stepmom actually killed Cinderella’s mom so she could marry Cinderella’s father for his riches. The stepmom would then marry her father and keep him alive long enough to be written into the film. She then killed him as well and tried to steal all his wealth but kept Cinderella in the house so it wasn’t suspicious. One day Cinderella’s late mother realizes how hard life is for her so she comes back as her angel. The fairy godmother then does everything she could to give Cinderella a good life. Cinderella is the only one who can see the fairy godmother because the fairy godmother is really just her mother.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen utterly evil people in Disney movies so I wouldn’t put it past them to make this theory true. The time difference between Cinderella’s dad’s first and second wife is also fishy. We’ve seen in past movies like “Snow White” that poison is definitely an option for characters.

My third favorite theory is Riley from “Inside Out” being genderfluid or nonbinary. This one is very simple, every other character has all male presenting or female presenting emotions while Riley has a mix of both. Another point to Riley being genderfluid or nonbinary would be the colors she wears. Disney is known for having deeper meaning when it comes to colors. Riley is seen mostly wearing darker, gender neutral colors, but we do get a pop of color when she’s wearing a rainbow sweater. This one is just a simple theory that is fun to think about and isn’t too deep or worth the fight that some people are willing to put up.

Overall these are just fun theories that I like to follow as time moves on. If you’d ever like to find more videos on these theories or others, you can find many YouTube videos from SuperCarlinBrothers and The Film Theorist or r/disneytheories on Reddit.