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“It’s All Connected” Fan Theories

When you start to get into the realm of fan theories, it opens up a whole new frightening frontier. Granted, some of the theories out there are fun and harmless. Back in 2013, there was a theory circulating that all Pixar movies exist in the same universe. That theory is neat, whereas the theory that Carl died in his sleep at the beginning of Up has a darker tinge to it. (At least Carl had a chubby little guardian angel to accompany him on his journey through the afterlife, whereas we still seem to be stuck on the same Hades boat, drifting down toward the center of a Charybdis-like whirlpool inside Villain Mountain at the imaginary Dark Kingdom.)

Disney loves to kill off parents in its animated movies; it has been doing it in new and ever more traumatic ways since Bambi’s mother. But according to one theory, which E! Online details here, the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents in the mega-hit Frozen actually crosses that computer-animated film over with two hand-drawn animated features: namely, The Little Mermaid and Tangled. In a nutshell, this theory — which originated from a fan on Tumblr — states that “the king and queen of Arendelle were on their way to Rapunzel and Eugene’s wedding [in Tangled] when their boat sank.” And “that sunken ship in The Little Mermaid is the king and queen of Arendelle’s.”

So you see, in the Dark Kingdom, even the province of princesses is not safe. An alternate version of the Frozen theory, which is again detailed by E! Online, states that Anna and Elsa’s parents never sank to the bottom of the ocean, but rather, “washed up on the shore of a jungle and the queen later ‘gave birth to a baby boy’ and built ‘a treehouse’ before getting ‘eaten by a leopard.’” This would mean Tarzan is none other than Anna and Elsa’s long-lost brother. For what it’s worth, Chris Buck, one of the co-directors of Frozen, actually put forth this theory himself in a reddit AMA.

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In the Shadow of Parade Dragons

All this talk of Frozen now gives us the perfect segue for putting Uncle Walt’s head back on ice. We’ve really only scratched the surface here. There is probably a whole host of other intriguing tales that we have excluded from our case files. What about that old story of a guest falling to his death from the Skyway in Tomorrowland? What about the claim that Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom can be disassembled in the event of a hurricane, like the one that hit Florida back in September?

In August, after passing through a metal detector to enter the Magic Kingdom, I personally witnessed a rather nasty fistfight spill out into the street, right in front of the closed Hall of Presidents attraction as the Festival of Fantasy parade was rounding the corner to Liberty Square. That seemed somehow symbolic of the state of the world in 2017. As the parade’s black dragon loomed large over us theme park guests, it left me feeling there definitely was a dark underbelly to the Most Magical Place on Earth.

As Josh Spiegel recently noted in his look at two Disney-tangential festival films, The Florida Project and Escape from Tomorrow, the Disney experience is in many ways predicated on “an agreed-upon lie,” whereby we surrender ourselves to escapism. The same could be said for urban myths. If you want to go deeper down that Black Rabbit hole, to Bizarro Wonderland, there are scandalous sites with punny names like Mickey-Leaks, not to mention prurient tell-all books like Cast Member Confidential. Before you go venturing off your Disney park map into the dangers of uncharted territory like that, however, just remember one thing. As they say in the song “Heffalumps and Woozles:” Beware. Beware. Be a very wary bear…

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