Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures | Silver Screen Partners IV

Our Favorite Disney Fan Theories

Are you one to look for Easter eggs in all things Disney, Marvel, and Pixar? Then you're going to love these Disney movie fan theories.
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I’ve always loved watching people theorize about Disney’s Easter eggs for years. And while some seem a little too unbelievable, there are a few that are really convincing. There are thousands out there if you’re looking for them. However, I’m only going to talk about the top fifteen theories that I’ve come across.

‘Toy Story 2’: Jessie’s Owner Is Andy’s Mom

Jessie in flashback from Toy Story 2
Pixar | Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

I’m going to start with the theory that’s been more or less confirmed by the creators of Toy Story. Andy’s mom is the little girl that used to play with Jessie. Emily is who Jessie thinks about in “When She Loved Me.” I still can’t listen to that song and not cry a little bit thinking about how my childhood toys must have felt.

I don’t remember who started this theory, but it’s been in my head for years. Andy’s mom would be about 30 when Toy Story was set (the 1990s), and she would have had the decorations that we see in the flashbacks. It also mentioned that Andy was wearing the same Jessie hat that Emily wore when she was a kid.

Pixar: All of the Movies Are Connected

Bing Bong and Riley on Rainbow Wagon from Inside Out
Pixar | Walt Disney

You’re probably familiar with this theory that started in 2013. Jon Negroni said that each Pixar movie is set in the same universe at different points on a linear timeline. I don’t have nearly enough time to cover how every movie is connected, but one of my favorite parts added in the last few years is that Bing Bong from Inside Out is actually a Monsters, Inc. monster.

This specific Bing Bong theory is that the colorful monster Joy and Sadness meet is just a memory of the friendly monster that visited Riley often. It goes on to say that despite “dying” in Riley’s memory, he’s still alive and playing with kids all over the world. So next time you watch Inside Out, you don’t have to cry as hard as you did the first time Bing Bong sacrificed himself.

Read More: Mental Health Representation in Movies and TV Shows

‘Brave’ and ‘Monsters, Inc.’: Boo Is The Witch From ‘Brave’

Boo from Monsters, Inc.; Witch from Brave
Pixar | Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures

This is one of my favorite movie theories of all time. Do you remember Boo from Monsters, Inc. and how she and Sully reunited at the end of the movie?

This theory says that she learned magic and how to use the transporting doors as a way to get back to him as she got older. If you look closely, you can even see one of the witch’s carvings looks exactly like Sully. I don’t know about you, but I believe this one.

‘Peter Pan’: Captain Hook Is a Former Lost Boy

Captain Hook from Peter Pan
Walt Disney | RKO Radio Pictures

This one actually seems plausible to me, but only because I read the book the movie was based on. In the original tale of Peter Pan, he “got rid” of the boys that grew up.

This theory changes that idea a little bit: instead of “getting rid” of them, he offers them a choice of leaving willingly and going back home or joining the pirates and doing “adult” things. Another version of this theory was that Captain Hook never matured as he aged, and he rebelled against Peter Pan.

‘Lilo and Stitch’: One of Lilo’s Parents Was in the CIA

Lilo and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch
Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures

Since we don’t know much about Lilo’s parents other than they died and left Nani as Lilo’s sole caretaker, I want to believe this. How else would we explain Cobra Bubbles choosing to leave the CIA and become a social worker for the sisters?

This theory from Reddit user Kapu_Koa says that one or both of Lilo’s parents worked closely with Cobra Bubbles. It would also explain why he waited until the last possible chance to take Lilo from Nani. I don’t want to think of this possibly not being true.

See related: The Saddest Movies on Disney Plus

‘Frozen’ and ‘Tarzan’: Anna, Elsa, and Tarzan Are Siblings

Anna and Elsa from Frozen; Tarzan from Tarzan
Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures

I know this was debunked, but I loved the videos talking about this fan theory when the first Frozen movie came out. The theory, which Frozen co-director Chris Buck talked about regularly, said that the King and Queen of Arendelle were actually stranded when their ship went down.

The couple had their baby right before their ship crashed, so Tarzan would be much younger than his sisters. Although this is canonically untrue, it’s still just as heartbreaking as what really happened to the parents. In Frozen II, Anna and Elsa discovered the ship and the actual way their parents died.

‘Frozen’ and ‘Tangled’: Elsa and Anna Are Rapunzel’s Cousins

Elsa and Anna reuniting in Frozen 2; Rapunzel from Tangled
Walt Disney

Moving on to another of Elsa and Anna’s possible family members, we have Rapunzel from Tangled. This one still hasn’t been debunked. I want to believe it so much because Rapunzel and Eugene did make an appearance at Elsa’s coronation.

The original theory that goes hand in hand with the Tarzan-Frozen theory suggests Anna and Elsa’s parents were traveling to Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding when their ship sank. The main reasoning was that Tangled came out around three years before Frozen.

Another reason this theory is popular is that Rapunzel and Elsa have magical powers. The only downside to this part is that we learn how Elsa got her powers in Frozen II. Regardless, I would have loved to see some interactions between the possible cousins.

‘Frozen’: The Rock Trolls Were the Real Villains

Rock Trolls from Frozen
Walt Disney

While I can’t stand thinking this theory is true, it would make sense. I can’t remember the first place I saw this, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. According to the theory, the trolls cast a spell on Hans to not love Anna, pushing her to be with Kristoff.

This seems a little unlikely, but it’s interesting to see how people see the trolls from a different perspective. On the other hand, I’ve seen quite a few theories about Hans’s motivations, including that two of his brothers are the thieves that betray Flynn Rider in Tangled.

‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Hercules’: Ariel and Hercules Are Cousins

Hercules from Hercules; Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures | Silver Screen Partners IV

I can’t find the original Reddit post about this mythology-based theory, but I think it’s one of the most interesting I’ve seen. While there’s no reason to suspect Ariel and Hercules are related in their movies, we can thank Triton and the gods that made appearances in Hercules to thank.

In Greek mythology, Triton is Poseidon’s son. And Hercules is Zeus’s son. Therefore, technically, Hercules is Triton’s first cousin and Ariel’s first cousin once removed. Can you imagine that Disney runs with this theory with the upcoming live-action remakes of the movies?

‘Beauty and the Beast’: Belle’s Book in the Opening Song Is Another Disney Story

In the opening song of Beauty and the Beast, Belle describes the book she gets from the bookseller that she’s read hundreds of times. She mentions “far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”

Does that sound familiar? For me, there could be two theories based on her description alone: Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty. But when we do get a glimpse of the book while she’s reading it to the sheep, it definitely shows a scene that could come out of the latter.

‘Aladdin’: The Story Takes Place in the Future, Not the Past

To be completely honest, I have believed this theory since I first came across it on Reddit. Sure, just from watching the movie without looking too closely at the pop-culture references, the film looks like it was set in an ancient Arabian setting.

However, when you pay attention to the genie’s many references and impressions, you can assume he’d lived through the 20th century. He does impressions of Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among other figures from pop culture. And the magic carpet watches a television, something that wasn’t around in ancient times.

‘Tarzan’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Jane Is Belle’s Descendant

Jane from Tarzan; Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Walt Disney | Buena Vista Pictures | Silver Screen Partners IV

Let’s take a couple steps back and talk about Belle from Beauty and the Beast again. Don’t you think she bears a slight resemblance to another leading lady from the ’90s? This theory says that Jane is a descendant of Belle and The Beast.

It started when we got a glimpse of a teapot set that looked just like Mrs. Potts and Chip, minus the faces, of course. From there, the theorist said they are both brainy, witty, and willing to venture into the wildlife. They also wear yellow amazingly well, but that’s just a bonus to this theory.

‘Encanto’: None of Bruno’s Prophecies Are Set in Stone

Bruno using his powers from Encanto
Walt Disney

Let’s kick off three Encanto theories with one about everyone’s favorite Disney uncle. When we finally meet Bruno in Encanto, he explains that Mirabel’s prophecy kept changing. It wasn’t set because she hadn’t decided what to do yet.

This leads to the theory that all of his prophecies are like this, with the exception of a select few. Take Dolores’s fortune, for example. She was told the man of her dreams would be engaged to someone else, but Mariano never actually got engaged because of Mirabel’s prophecy debacle.

‘Encanto’: Mirabel Is the Reincarnated Abuelo Pedro

Mirabel and Pedro (flashback) from Encanto
Walt Disney

This Encanto theory leads into the last theory on this list, but I wanted to get it out of the way because it seems a little less believable than the next one. According to Reddit user Double_Okra_9995, Mirabel is Pedro reincarnated, hence why she instinctively went to where he died.

Throughout the movie, there’s tons of symbolism and metaphors. So it kind of fits that the girl who wears flowers and butterflies (which we see in the flashback, on the candle, and at the river) would be the next Pedro in the family.

‘Encanto’: Mirabel Didn’t Get a Gift for Many Different Reasons

Rounding out the Disney fan theories, we have the many possible reasons why Mirabel didn’t get a gift. The most heartbreaking of the three I find most plausible is that Casita didn’t want her exploited like her sister, Luisa.

Out of all the Madrigals, Luisa’s strength was used daily, even when she was losing it as the magic was running out. She put aside her own problems 24/7 to help others with theirs, and nobody asked how she was doing. Casita didn’t want Maribel to go through that. And before you ask about Camilo, his shapeshifting wasn’t exploited because nobody needed him all the time.

The second reason why Mirabel might not have gotten her powers was that she wiped her hands on her dress before touching her doorknob. When we watch Antonio’s ceremony, he touches the candle and then the doorknob without pause. But Mirabel wipes her hands off like you would sweaty hands.

Now, we get to the last theory, and it’s that Mirabel is the next Keeper of the Candle that will take over after Abuela. Since Abuela doesn’t have powers, she’s able to dedicate her attention to the family, the town, and the Miracle candle. I mean, we already get a glimpse of that being the reason when Casita became magic again when Mirabel added the last doorknob to the newly built Casita.