11. The Sword in the Stone
The Flexible Time Theory is the only explanation for the perfect impression Louis (a simple alligator who has never left the Bayou) does of Madam Mim (the witch who fought Merlin in medieval Britain, fourteen centuries earlier). The only logical explanation is that Madam Mim’s obsession with duelling compelled her to travel through time and face off against Mama Odie. This would mean Louis is thinking of Madam Mim and not Odie, when he describes a foreboding witch he’s seen in the Bayou.
12. The Fox and the Hound
Similarly, the squirrel from The Fox and the Hound bears a striking similarity to Wart when he was a squirrel in The Sword in the Stone. Merlin proves he can travel through time when he returns from Bermuda wearing anachronistic sunglasses, so this could be Wart on another squirrel adventure; further proving how easily the veil of time is lifted in the Disneyverse. (Merlin’s Bermuda connection could also help to make sense of The Tarzan Theory.)
13. The Little Mermaid
As The Princess and the Frog shows, magic has repercussions in the Disney world. Even contemporary settings like 20th Century New Orleans show an awareness of the old legends. Take, for example, this effigy of The Little Mermaid’s King Triton.
And in Aladdin Genie pulls Sebastian out of his bag of tricks. This could be an example of Genie’s ability to take objects out of time, but let’s consider for a moment the possibility that Aladdin is a connected time-period to The Little Mermaid. Remember how we connected Aladdin to The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
Well here’s Cinderella’s King and Grand Duke attending Prince Eric’s wedding in The Little Mermaid. (Bearing in mind the origins of these fairy tales, French dignitaries attending an event held by Danish royalty isn’t particularly surprising. See also: The Frozen Theory.)
And here’s a cameo by Cinderella’s wicked stepmother in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, who ‘asks for love’ in the chapel. Presumably Lady Tremaine found it in Cinderella’s father, and his death is the reason she can’t bear to look at his daughter.
15. Peter Pan
So what brings Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up – to observe a boring royal decree? The Darlings live in World War II-era Britain, yet here he is in the Once-Upon-A-Time of Cinderella. Maybe we can assume flying ‘second star to the right and straight on till morning’ can bring him to all sorts of time periods.
16. The Black Cauldron
It would explain how he comes to team up with Tinkerbell, who is seen helping light a cave in The Black Cauldron’s medieval setting. Clearly time is a difficult concept in the Disneyverse, especially when some of its stories seem to exist in fairy tales of their own. Let’s call this…
‘The Disney Princess Theory’
Tangled poses a problem as Rapunzel has the books of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty in her library. We could assume this means all three are fiction (and therefore, by extension, so is every story we’ve so far mentioned), but the regular use of storybooks as framing devices in Walt Disney’s movies can also tell us that this is the way these characters perceive their lives. Their stories are so full of magic and excitement it’s no wonder they would be recorded in fairy-tale biographies for young women to pore over. This may be how the ‘Disney Princess’ archetype is repeated throughout time in the Disneyverse – as each generation read these tales, they too start pining for their version.
18. Sleeping Beauty
Unfortunately this also means evil legal guardians can take inspiration in how to lock up their daughters. Clearly Tangled’s evil witch, Gothel took some pointers from Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent when she locked Rapunzel in a tower with a spinning wheel.
Pinocchio is another archetype who likes to appear in time-periods he has no business being in. Genie’s established time-bending ways may be easy enough to explain…
But here Pinocchio is again in Tangled. He could be an incredibly popular design for a puppet that appears in both Italy and Germany in the mid-19th Century, but why is Pumbaa there? The truth is more complicated, and lies much later in our list.
20. Oliver and Company
First we bounce back to the 20th Century and Oliver and Company, where we find the princess archetype again permeating the Disneyverse. Is this Aurora, Cinderella, or another Disney city girl looking to find her freedom?
Follow the link below to the final ten Disney movies – where I explain how all this is possible (and more):