Disney Pixar movies are known to be a little darker than what meets the eye, especially when it comes to hidden adult jokes and the deeper meaning behind some of the most beloved children’s movies. While some of these theories are fun and lighthearted, others can get very dark.
Carl Fredrickson (‘Up‘) Is Actually Dead
The beloved movie “Up” is a tearjerker. In the opening sequence, viewers get to watch a romance story unfold between a young Carl Fredrickson and his wife, Ellie, which ultimately ends with her death. However, the fan theory that goes along with the film would make things even sadder. Many fans have theorized that Carl actually died at the beginning of the movie and that the viewers are actually watching his journey into the afterlife. According to the theory, he’s being guided by an angel to Paradise Falls, the destination he and his wife always planned to visit together. Also, Russell, the young Boy Scout who follows Carl to Paradise Falls throughout the movie, is believed to be an angel who is trying to get his wings — referred to as his final Wilderness Explorer badge — by helping Carl cross into the afterlife.
The Witch From ‘Brave‘ Is Actually Boo From ‘Monsters Inc.‘
Fans of both “Monsters Inc.” and “Brave” have conjured up the idea that Boo, the adorable protagonist from “Monsters Inc.,” grew up to be the evil witch from “Brave” who gives Merida the potion that turns her mother into a bear. Monsters Inc. fans point to a carving of Sully in the witch’s shop as support for their theory that the witch is Boo. They believe that when Boo got older, she set out to find Sully again and used the doors in “Monsters Inc.” to time travel in hopes of finding him. Eventually, one of the doors led her to the 10th century (the century in which “Brave” is set) where she ultimately settled down.
Nemo Actually Died With His Siblings and His Mom (‘Finding Nemo‘)
This theory is one of the darker ones when it comes to Pixar movies. Some fans have speculated that Marlin, Nemo’s dad, was so devastated after losing his wife and their eggs during the shark attack that he imagined Nemo in order to cope. In fact, the word “Nemo” in Latin roughly translates to “nobody,” leading many to believe that Marlin is searching for his already dead son.
Bing Bong From ‘Inside Out‘ Is a Monster Who Worked for Monsters Inc.
In one of the more light-hearted theories, some posit that Bing Bong, Riley’s imaginary friend in ‘Inside Out,’ is actually a monster who works for Monsters Inc. and is assigned to Riley’s room to make her laugh. Based on Bing Bong’s appearance, the theory doesn’t seem like too far of a stretch. Also, after Boo and Sully built a connection, the purpose of Monsters Inc. shifted from scaring children to making them laugh.
Elsa and Anna (‘Frozen’) Are Rapunzel’s (‘Tangled‘) Cousins
While the relation between these three Disney princesses may not seem obvious, quite a bit of evidence suggests otherwise. Upon a closer look, Rapunzel and Eugene can be seen attending Elsa’s coronation in “Frozen.” Furthermore, both Elsa and Rapunzel are blonde and were born with magical powers. Lastly, Elsa and Anna’s mom shares some very similar facial features with Rapunzel’s biological mother, making them possible siblings.
Anna and Elsa’s Parents Died on the Way to Rapunzel’s Wedding
Fans took the previous theory to the next level by claiming that Anna and Elsa’s parents were on their way to attend Rapunzel’s wedding when they passed. After all, Rapunzel looks the same in her “Frozen” cameo as she did when “Tangled” ended with her short brown hair. This theory would also explain why Rapunzel and Eugene attended Elsa’s coronation in the first place. While this theory seems plausible, in “Frozen 2,” Elsa and Anna discover that their parents died while searching for a “cure” for Elsa — though that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have made a pit stop!
Anna and Elsa’s Parents Survived Their Shipwreck and Gave Birth to Tarzan
The theories regarding the “Frozen” franchise continue with the idea that Tarzan, Anna and Elsa are long-lost siblings. According to the theory, the king and queen of Arendelle never died on the ship but instead got washed ashore. The queen, having already been pregnant when she left Arendelle, gave birth on the island. Most fans believe this theory because of the similarities between Tarzan’s parents and Anna and Elsa’s parents.
Ariel’s (‘The Little Mermaid’) Mom Appears in “Peter Pan” and Was Murdered by Captain Hook
While Ariel’s mother never makes an actual appearance in “The Little Mermaid,” many fans suspect that Ariel’s mom does appear in “Peter Pan” and that Captain Hook murdered her. In “Peter Pan,” there’s a certain red-headed mermaid at the mermaid lagoon that bears the same features as Ariel. It was also revealed that Ariel’s mother was murdered by pirates, and the mermaids in “Peter Pan” don’t exactly have the best relationship with Captain Hook and his crew.
Ariel and Hercules Are Cousins
Fans of both “The Little Mermaid” and “Hercules” believe that the sea princess and demigod are first cousins once removed. Greek mythology buffs know that Ariel’s father, King Triton, is the son of Poseidon — the god of the sea — making Poseidon Ariel’s grandfather. According to Greek mythology, Poseidon and Zeus are brothers, making Hercules King Triton’s nephew and Ariel’s cousin.
Many of the theories regarding Disney and Pixar will never be confirmed or denied, but it can still be fun for viewers to analyze their childhood movies more deeply. Not only do some of these seem like they might be possible, but the creators of these Disney Pixar movies have teased the possibility of their validity time and time again. Considering that these movies share a handful of creators, it would not be terribly surprising to find out that every once in a while, their creators leave hidden easter eggs that, when cracked open, reveal a universe of undiscovered lore.