Indisputable Proof That ‘Frozen’ And ‘Tangled’ Exist In The Same Universe

I say “indisputable,” but what I really mean is “really difficult to disprove because the evidence is compelling” (and who has time for that long of a headline?)

Frozen and Tangled are two animated Disney films that exist in the post-Disney Renaissance slew of films that ended with The Princess & The Frog. They are among the first high-profile Disney films, aside from Pixar, to use computer animation as a means to retelling classic “fairy tale” stories.

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Fan art – Colby Entertainment

Tangled, which premiered in 2010, features the story of Rapunzel. The movie was a huge success, mostly because it brought a new kind of enjoyable movie experience to both children and adults akin to the Disney Renaissance films of the 1990s.

As you may recall, the films between The Little Mermaid (you can also count The Brave Little Toaster) and Treasure Planet were animated films that took old classic icons and modernized them for a new audience.

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The “Disney Renaissance” films according to The Norman Nerd.

Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King (which modernized Hamlet), Pocahontas, Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis and Treasure Planet all featured established stories with cutting-edge animation.

Then Lilo & Stitch happened—a Disney film that while successful, signaled a departure from the old format. Disney was going for original stories.

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Meet The Robinson’s

For the next few years, Disney would continue experimenting with both CGI and 2D animation, but they would only cover new stories (probably due to the success of Pixar’s original stories).

Valiant, The Wild, Home on the Range, Meet the Robinson’s and Bolt were mitigated successes that ended up being mere shadows of how captivating Disney movies really could be.

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The Princess & The Frog

This culminated with the release of The Princess and the Frog, an obvious attempt at cashing in on the old formula (revitalizing an old story).The movie was well-received, but it still didn’t have the cultural impact that Disney was looking for—and they knew this a mile away.

That’s why in 2010, Disney threw a hail mary with Tangled, the first post-renaissance film to combine both strategies of the previous generations: computer animation and established storytelling.

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Tangled wasn’t an immediate hit culturally, but it would eventually become a mainstream staple upon DVD releases and the onslaught of meme-generation online. It was a good first start.

But Disney didn’t figure out why Tangled worked before they would make a colossal mistake in 2011, which saw the release of Mars Needs Moms—one of the biggest box office disasters in movie history.

That same year was also when they brought back Winnie the Pooh and figured out that 2D animation just wouldn’t cut it anymore—not because it doesn’t look amazing, but because the tastes of the new generation have changed.

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Wreck-It Ralph

Disney’s next experiment would come in 2012 with the release of Wreck-It-Ralph, an odd case study about a movie where video games come to life. The makers of the film clearly wanted to find a new groove for these movies without having to rip off old properties by featuring…well old properties from video games.

Wreck-It Ralph drew in viewers because it was a fantastic homage to dozens of iconic video game characters, even though it featured an original story and computer animation.

So, does Wreck-It Ralph exist in the same universe as Tangled and Frozen? Well, there’s actually more evidence that they take place in the same universe as The Fairly OddParents

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The Fairly OddParents

Hold on, let’s zoom in a little bit:

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Of course, it’s probably too good to be true.

By 2013, Disney had figured out that original stories coming out under their umbrella need to have something familiar for audiences to grab on to in order to gain momentum in the box office.

And then everything changed when Frozen came along.

tangled frozen

One of the most successful animated films of all time (especially our time), Frozen finally got the Disney recipe right. Based on The Snow Queen, the movie was a familiar, but fresh take on a classic fairy tale.

Of course, it was still successful without having to be instantly familiar to children. Thanks to a viral soundtrack, fun storytelling and memorable characters, Frozen has essentially marked the beginning of a new era of Disney movies, and what is a Disney movie without some universe sharing?

Yes, Tangled and Frozen exist in the same universe for plenty of reasons, but the most important being that the two movies are of a significant recipe that is uniquely different from every other Disney film. Also, I have evidence:

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See that couple in the bottom-left corner of the image? That’s Flynn and Rapunzel (after her hair changes color and length) from Tangled showing up to Elsa’s coronation in Frozen.

It’s clear that the animation style is seamless enough for these characters to show up in the movie without looking out of place, and you can even see that their wardrobe has subtly shifted.

Another persistent theory you may buy into was proposed by this redditor who claims that Flynn and Rapunzel were at the coronation because Elsa and Anna’s parents died while traveling to their wedding 3 years before the events of Frozen.

He also claims that Flynn actually refers to Arendelle as “being nice this time of year,” but I’ve yet to find the actual clip of him saying that in Tangled or Tangled Ever After.

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Another interesting piece of evidence is how similar the settings are conceptually. Tangled is loosely based on the fairy tale about Rapunzel, which takes place in Germany. In the movie, however, their adventures take place in the fictional kingdom of Corona, rather than any real settings.

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In similar fashion, Frozen is based on a Norwegian tale, but it takes place in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. The idea here is that Disney is trying to build new fictional kingdoms to go along with their adaptations, so you can expect to see more of this in future Disney CGI films.

Going forward, 2014’s big animated movie is Big Hero 6, which is an animated adaptation more similar to Wreck-It-Ralph than Tangled and Frozen due to its ties with “geek” culture (the movie is based on a graphic novel and features fighting robots).

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2015 will be even stranger, with the release of The Descendants, a Disney Channel Original Movie that calls back to the 90s era with the offspring of the protagonists from those films. If you needed more evidence that the Disney Renaissance movies shared a universe, then that should settle the discussion.

Other than that, however, there are no announced projects on the horizon that will continue the post-renaissance film sharing that has begun with Tangled and Frozen…for now.


Some clever commenters pointed out that The Little Mermaid may exist within this universe as well. The theory (which has now been propagated by Tumblr users and promoted by Buzzfeed) is that the sunken ship in The Little Mermaid is the same one that Elsa and Anna’s parents died on when it was lost at sea.

One piece of evidence has to do with the location of each movie. Tangled takes place in Germany, Frozen takes place in Norway and The Little Mermaid takes place in Denmark. In order for Elsa’s parents to travel from Norway to Germany via boat, they would have passed by Denmark. See below:

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I have to admit that this definitely solid evidence (and kudos to you readers who pointed it out in the comments, including my roommate who pointed out the same thing). Of course, the biggest piece of evidence is the fact that both The Little Mermaid and Frozen are based on fairy tales written by the same person: Hans Christian Andersen.

If this is all true, then that would mean Frozen and Tangled exist within the same universe as the Disney Renaissance films, albeit with some new twists to their conceptual design and settings.

Another update: a lot of people like to argue that this is somehow connected to Tarzan and/or Beauty and the Beast. Guys, it’s not. It’s just not.

Thanks for reading this. To get updates on my theories, books, and giveaways, join my mailing list.

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni

268 thoughts on “Indisputable Proof That ‘Frozen’ And ‘Tangled’ Exist In The Same Universe

  1. I’m confused, I always thought that the little mermaid took place in the Caspian Sea? Or was it just named by Ursula for giggles?

    • Oh yes, the Caspian Sea is not an ocean. It’s famous for being an extremely salty sea that looks like an ocean. I believe Ursula calls for the “winds of the Caspian Sea” to come. She doesn’t say they are in the Caspian Sea, from what I remember.

      • Jon! You Said That Frozen was bases on a norwegian tale…. It’s actually Danish! BTW Good theories you have keep it up 😀

      • In Big Hero 6,Hans shows up twice. one, When Hiro is going to the police about “kabookie mask guy”,behind the police officer is a wanted poster with Hans’ picture on it. And two,when Baymax is showing everyone the rocket fist,his fist destroys a Hans statue. My theory is that Fred is related to Hans,because why else would a statue of Hans be in Fred’s garden? He does have >SPOILER ALERT< Stan Lee as his Dad. Anything’s possible. What do you think,Jon? Please respond.

      • Hi I was just wondering if there is any theories you can give us about the Avengers cross over with Guardians of the Galaxy. You can see how there was gonna be one because at the end of Age of Ultron you can see Thanos. I’m hoping you reply so I can find out a theory. Thanks!

      • What? How? I didn’t see anything from Brave in there. Not every movie is connected,you know.

  2. Ok, I just checked out the summery of Decendents and I don’t think that will fly well. It’s just like Ever After High (which, if you don’t know, is about the sons and daughters of famous fairy tale characters going to high school together). It might get canceled like Newt. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t. I’m no expert at copyright laws but, I’ve heard some things. Plus, I thought disney only did non animation movies and everything was just special add-ons to cartoons they had. Or at lease that’s how they do it now. The last time they did an animation movie was for Phineas and Ferb and that was a while ago. They haven’t had a really successful disney channel animation movie since Kim Possible

    • I really like Once upon A Time

  3. What episode of Fairly Odd Parents is the picture from?

    • I’m not sure exactly. I believe it’s “Chip off the old Chip.” Which is when Timmy wishes he had Chip Skylark’s voice. I can’t believe I know that.

  4. Awsome theory!
    Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve also realized seeing this that Corona (wich by the way means crown in Spanish) might be based on the city of Cologne in Germany, on the Rhine. The castle on the top of the hill has nearly the exact shape of the cathedral of that city.
    Arendelle might be a version of Arendal, in the south coast of Norway.
    Also, it would be possible to tavel by boat from one city to the other since the Rhine is navigable.

  5. I have a theory that tags along to the The Little Mermaid reference: I think that Elsa and Anna’s parents were the ones that washed up on the beach for Tarzan, and that they raised Tarzan before being killed and before the baby was taken by the apes to be raised like one.

    • I’m sorry, but have you not read all of the previous comments? There’s some pretty good arguments about that exact topic you’re not the only one. Tarzans parents were a Lord and Lady not a King and Queen, that’s what it says in their wikapedea.

      • The Greystoke’s are also English, which Elsa’s and Anna’s parents are not.

      • …..Wikipedia, really?

      • wiki doesnt know everything they could be wrong

    • The mother and fathers hair colors from Frozen and Tangled are switched which makes that theory wrong by just the simplest of things but interesting idea/theory.

    • Nope. Tarzan takes place in Africa, and there are no currents which would direct North Sea shipwreck survivors to Sub-Saharan Africa.

  6. I’ve heard another theory that Anna and Elsa’s parents didn’t die from the shipwreck and found an island where they later gave birth to Tarzan, starting that whole other story.

    • No.

      There are countless reasons why that doesn’t work. Many of the comments below address it.

  7. This universe could be the Sugar Rush that we see in Ralph. The Disney Universe is so a video-game.
    No ?

  8. there are many ways you can tell that frozen takes place in norway such as the fjords, the architecture, and other cultural influences. this article explains alot about the location of frozen and even the date (1840’s) . also is quite specific about where tangeled might possible take place. no doubt about it, they could quite possibly match up.

  9. Interesting! I grow up with disney and pixar and with all this posts i see a new world!!
    I think a sequel of FROZEN with guest star rapunzel will be great! And i think a pixar/disney film who explain all the universes around the movies will be great too! (hope for…) Orestes

  10. Those same people who think Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan are both connected to Tangled, Frozen and the Little Mermaid think Bolt and Big Hero 6 are connected, too. Yeah, I watch Cartoon Conspiracy.

  11. The Tarzan theory. Hell no XD just no. But I love this Tangled and Frozen theory.

  12. You state incorrectly above that Frozen is based of The Snow Queen. Though that was the original idea there is barely any corrolayion between the original The Snow Queen and Frozen. To learn some more about this I would recommend the Disney Story Origin podcast. He has a great podcast explaining the differences and similarities between the two stories.

    • You can still be “based” on something without having a lot of correlation. The Snow Queen is the foundation for how they wrote Frozen, so yes it’s based on it. It would be more incorrect (like you’re saying) to say that Frozen is an adaptation of the Snow Queen.

  13. I once saw a pic about elsa and Anna’s parents went on the ship to ruppunzel and fins wedding but shipwrecked and Ariel swam throut it at the beginning of little mermaid?!!??!?!?

  14. Does no one notice Anna dancing with Eric’s statue (or the head of it actually) near the beginning of the movie? More evidence maybe that it’s also related to The Little Mermaid.

    • Woah! I never notested that! (although it is kinda hard to tell,since it’s a bust of his head.) I’ll have to look for that next time I see that. (Probably today– I have a 4 year old sister). Thanks!

  15. The Tangled, Frozen, The Little Mermaid clash is a very smart theory and probably took some people a long time to come up with, but I don’t think that The Little Mermaid is connected. Yes, the shipwreck in The Little Mermaid looks very similar to the ship Elsa and Anna’s parents sailed on, but keep into consideration that the ship in The Little Mermaid is extremely decayed which means that The Little Mermaid would have to come after Frozen. It might be possible, but I think that The Little Mermaid is set at the same time or before when Frozen was set. That’s just my thought, I am not sure if this is even credible, but I believe it. 😛

  16. The Chocolate pile in the “For the First Time in Forever” sequence in Frozen and the Sugar Rush game in Wreck-it-Ralph concludes that Frozen and Wreck-it-Ralph are related. Maybe Sugar Rush wasn’t destroyed by Cybugs and it was destroyed by Anna eating it. Do the math.

  17. I always assumed that The Little Mermaid was off the coast of France in the Atlantic Ocean. (Mostly due to the song that the chef sing about fish, Les Poissons).

  18. “Another update: a lot of people like to argue that this is somehow connected to Tarzan and/or Beauty and the Beast. Guys, it’s not. It’s just not.”

    Why the fuck not?

  19. Actually, it IS connected to Tarzan. Unless he was messing with people, the director of Tarzan who also directed Frozen said that the King and Queen survived the boat crash, were stranded on an island, had a baby boy, and the parents were attacked by a (whatever animal it was. Leopard?).

    So HA!

  20. I actually know of some people who believe that Anna and Elsa are the cousins of Rapunzel! I think some people say that Rapunzel’s mother and Elsa and Anna’s father are brother and sister? Because if that was the cause, it’d also kind of make sense why the King and Queen were going to Rapunzel’s wedding, as opposed to just randomly attending the wedding of some German royals who they don’t even know/aren’t affiliated with. It also makes sense why Rapunzel and Flynn would be attending Elsa’s Coronation, since Disney (of course) never really gave any ties to if Arendelle and Corona are tied by trading or friendship or whatever. Or, it could all just be easter egg-ish stuff, for all we know.

  21. A lot of people seem to be going for the Frozen/Tarzan connection theory. I personally don’t believe that Anna and Elsa’s parents got washed onto an island and got eaten by a jaguar, but anything’s possible. I do want to bring up something, though.
    Frozen takes place in the distant past (at least before people knew about gorillas). Tarzan takes place, I’m guessing, in the 1800s, as they have those projector things, and cars. There’s a MAJOR time gap. There’s no way that Tarzan could be Anna and Elsa’s brother.
    NO. WAY.
    I suppose they COULD be distantly related, but not as brothers and sisters. More like great-great-great grandmothers or something. Again, anything is possible.
    Also, I just wanted to point out one last thing. The leopard in Tarzan is actually a jaguar. Disney labels it as a leopard, but the spots prove otherwise.

  22. Descendants had premiered a few days ago. I can safely say that Descendants DOES NOT fit in the same universe as the DIsney Renaissance Movies (Or any moment in Disney’s History). Time reasons and the number of characters in the movie make that shared universe impossible.

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