21. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
We can’t know which Disney princess is standing on that curb in Oliver and Company, though it’s significant that it’s in the same film that Tito happens to sing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ ‘Heigh Ho’.
There really is no good reason for a Chihuahua living in 1980s New York to know this song from Walt Disney’s classic, and there is actually little else to connect Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs‘ world to our Disneyverse. Did a pale princess or a troupe of dwarfs find their way in to this time, whistling a merry tune? Or is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a popular fictional film in the Disney world, as it is in ours? (It wouldn’t be the only one.)
Oliver and Company which brings us conveniently to…
‘The Disney Dogs Trilogy’
22. Lady and the Tramp
In Oliver and Company, while Dodger sings ‘Why Should I Worry?’ we see Peg, Jock and Trusty being walked by their owners. Since Peg was a stray in Lady and the Tramp the optimist in us will assume Oliver and Company is later in the timeline and she has since found a happy home.
23. 101 Dalmations
Which makes 101 Dalmations the earliest in the trilogy, as we see a young Peg sitting unloved in a pet-shop window.
Not to mention the appearance from the titular Lady and the Tramp themselves; lending their voices to Pongo and Perdita’s ‘Twilight Bark’ to bring the stolen Dalmatians home.
Which brings us full circle back to Oliver and Company, as Pongo (or perhaps one of his now full-grown pups) appears in that same song, straining to escape his lead.
24. Basil the Great Mouse Detective
In Oliver and Company, we also see the notorious Ratigan from Basil the Great Mouse Detective in the photos of Georgette’s suitors. This makes us squeamish so we’ll follow this connection without commenting on any inter-species significance.
25. Alice in Wonderland
The appearance of Bill the Lizard as one of Ratigan’s henchmen is odd, since we might assume Wonderland is a dream world in the Disneyverse. Clearly that rabbit-hole works a lot like Peter Pan’s dimension-travelling ‘second star to the right’. When Alice sneezes and sends Bill flying it must have knocked him clean out of Wonderland, and, unfortunately, in to a life of crime. Tragic, really.
Dumbo fits a similar category to Pinocchio, since outside of his own film he only appears as a toy. Movies didn’t exist in the time of Basil the Great Mouse Detective so we can only guess his cameo is as a popular toy who later has a film made about him.
27. Lilo & Stitch
Meaning the toy Dumbo in Lilo & Stitch may well be a toy from the movie about the toy, which would be incredibly meta and so I completely approve.
Mulan is the only fictional film we can be certain exists in the Disneyverse, as we see the same poster that was used to advertise the film in our world. There is even a restaurant in the film called Mulan’s Wok which is presumably some kind of PR tie-in.
So, if Mulan is a fictional film in the Disneyverse, how do we explain Jane’s father in Tarzan carrying a toy dog that looks exactly like Mulan’s dog? It can’t be movie merchandise, as Tarzan is clearly set in a time before cinemas.
The answer’s simple: it isn’t movie merchandise, it’s a mascot Jane’s father took with him on all his adventures. Little Brother’s appearance in Mulan must be based on that toy, meaning Jane or one of her siblings went on to work in the movie industry and included the mascot in honour of their adventurer father. (This fits with the early projector Jane’s father has with him in Tarzan, which I investigate further in The Walt Disney Theory.)
In this case, a story like Tarzan’s would almost certainly also be one of the films they made (as well as Snow White and Mulan). This would make Tarzan both a fictional film and a real event in the Disneyverse (but which are we watching?)
While on the subject of Tarzan, Mrs. Potts and Chip’s appearance could be further proof that artefacts in the Disneyverse travel through time to be at important events.
We could assume that it was the same set from Beauty and the Beast, but that would make it an heirloom centuries old and would require its own theory to explain.
30. Treasure Planet
Finally, if Stitch is real, why he is a toy in Treasure Planet?
This one is simple. After all the trouble Stitch causes when he first arrives on Earth, it’s no surprise that he might inspire the odd cuddly toy. He is incredibly cute, after all.
And that brings us to the end of our 30! But wait, didn’t I promise to explain how character archetypes like Pumbaa, the Disney Princesses, and Bambi’s mother appear in wildly different time periods?
Well that secret lies in the Lilo & Stitch sequel: Leroy & Stitch…
‘The Stitch Experiments’
After Stitch finds places where each of the 625 experiments (or ‘cousins’, as he calls them) belong, he then has to rally them together again to defeat a cloned army of Leroys. When we see Stitch’s army of experiments there are two obvious outliers.
Among the experiments are Timon and Pumbaa – which is the key to explaining how these character archetypes appear throughout time…
They’re being made.
Sons that long for adventure, daughters who dream of freedom, parents who die tragically and evil relatives who seek to control them. The Disneyverse is one big experiment; a series of algorithms playing out in a loop, trying to perfect and thereby understand the logic of fairy tales.
And this is why magic exists in the Disneyverse: once you see the patterns, you can manipulate them. You can reach through the code and tip the odds in the favour of good or bad – place a magic lamp for a hero to find, a collection of fairy tales to inspire an escape, a pair of friends to guide the way. This is why the world is repeating the same characters and narratives, because it’s all part of the same alien experiment, it’s like one big computer program, working on the same problem.
Or… Stitch thought Timon and Pumbaa were aliens.
To see how the Disney Theory connects Frozen, Tangled and The Little Mermaid, read: