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‘Moana’ Is Basically ‘The Little Mermaid’ In Reverse

moana theory

Time for another Moana theory.

A while back, someone on Tumblr wrote a fan theory about Disney movies (shocker), and it’s actually worth consideration (other shocker). The idea is that Disney’s Moana is almost a perfect inverse of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and let’s not forget that both films were directed by the same duo: Ron Clements and John Musker.

What do we mean by these two movies being the same, but also not at all? Well, it’s not a perfect theory in practice, but it does say something interesting about how creative teams can recycle old ideas in ways that still feel new. You can watch this entire Little Mermaid / Moana theory as a video on Screen Junkies News, or keep reading to get my personal take.

From the video:

Tumblr user Intergalactic-Ashkenazi noticed something strange about Moana. Basically, it’s the same story as The Little Mermaid, except every detail is flipped.

Now it’s certainly not every detail, but you can easily cherry pick a few compelling examples. And there are enough of them to argue that this Moana theory is at least somewhat intentional.

Moana and Ariel are both daughters of overbearing, powerful leaders.

I almost reacted, “Well, aren’t most Disney princess movies?” But that’s actually not the case when you think about it. Pocahontas comes close, but most other Disney “father characters” that are even around range in personalities from silly (Aladdin) to wise (The Lion King).

The video doesn’t directly mention this, but the immediate “reverse” for King Triton and Chief Tui is that one fears the land and the other fears the sea. Also, one is mortal and the other has a wicked trident.

But where Ariel is a sea-bound princess longing to venture onto land, Moana is a landlocked princess longing to venture on the sea.

Counterpoint: the directors copied their own homework but made enough changes to keep it from looking obvious.

Ariel goes to a “big scary ocean lady” who turns out to be evil.

Turns out? I don’t think anyone expected Ursula to be good, but I guess the point is that to Ariel, she seemed good, which only makes Ariel continue to look like an outright moron. The best inverse is probably how Moana turns out to be a way better protagonist.

While Moana goes to a “big scary land lady” who turns out to be good.

At first, I thought the idea was that Maui is the inverse of Ursula, but instead it’s saying that Te Kā fits the bill, which I think is correct. If you go further with this, you can say that Moana seeks out a man for help finding the female villain, while Ariel seeks out the female villain for help finding a man. Or something.

Both movies have a magical necklace with a spiral engraved on it. In The Little Mermaid it belongs to the villain, while in Moana it belongs to the hero.

This one’s slightly more of a stretch because the whole “reverse” thing seems selective at this point. On the one hand, the spirals on both objects actually seem to be the reverse of each other (different placement and one’s a shell while the other resembles a wave). And one’s a macguffin while the other is more of a “power.” On the other hand…was the “heart” in Moana ever a necklace? And is green the inverse of…yellow?

I’m officially overthinking this.

The Little Mermaid has a “small good crab,” where Moana has a “big evil crab.”

The video of course shows Sebastian from The Little Mermaid side-by-side with Tamatoa, the crab who sings “Shiny.” This matches up perfectly. Moana theory saved.

In [The Little Mermaid] a human sings about eating the crab. While in [Moana] the crab sings about eating a human.

You could also argue that Clements and Musker are big fans of dramatic irony that spans across their movies. Both theories are probably correct, and some good evidence for this one in particular is the fact that Tamatoa actually makes a joke about how a crab described like Sebastian is more likable than him in a scene after the end credits.

Moana returns to her people and leads them to a new life on the sea. Where Ariel leaves her ocean family for a new life on land.

Also, Moana has no love interest. In fact, you can read this easily as a shuffling of tropes just as easily as you would some big conspiracy. Moana’s mentor, Maui, is a god, while Ariel’s mentor, Sebastian, is the crab. Ariel’s father is the god, the Kakamora are…things…and so on.

But perhaps the most important detail…

What? What is it? What is this clincher?!

The Little Mermaid sings on a rock, while in Moana the Rock sings to her.

I’ll admit, I laughed out loud at this, but only after having a miniature personal crisis of faith. And that’s the Little Mermaid is basically the reverse of Moana theory. Chime in with your own examples of how this theory holds up (or doesn’t) in the suggestion box below.


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

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni


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Snarcasm: Everyone in Disney Movies Is Related Because I Said So

anna elsa quasimodo

I’m very aware of the fact that my Snarcasm column has devolved into a weekly hatefest geared toward bad fan theories (or evolved depending on your tastes). But for obvious reasons, these “fan theories” are the articles you all have been sending to my inbox lately, so that’s what you’re going to get.

This week, I read a fan theory so asinine, so vitriolic in its apparent disdain for filmmaking in general, I had to pause and have an existential conversation with myself concerning whether or not I happen to be one of the reasons fan theories like these gain so much traction online.

I changed my mind on this because it also happens that GREAT fan theories with tons of great analysis are also gaining traction among countless readers, even if it’s at a smaller scale.

On Moviepilot, Karly Rayner posits,

Could Anna and Elsa be Quasimodo’s Ancestors? This Frozen Fan Theory Seems to Think So

In other news, “Fan Theories” have become sentient beings with the ability to think and comment on distant, totally unrelated family trees.

Let the film unanalysis begin.

Sometimes you see a fan theory so bizarre that you have the share it with the world

The rest of us just click away and pray to the Internet gods that our indifference will be rewarded decades from now.

and this Frozen/Hunchback of Notre Dame ancestor theory has been so well thought out that I just had to write about it.

Well thought out? Oh, we’ll see about that.

A Redditor named Chiquen

Not this again. Aren’t we done regurgitating every thought that originates on Reddit, Tumblr, and 4Chan?

has theorized that Quasimo could be Anna and Elsa’s ancestors thanks to a certain magical connection, and while there are definitely holes in the theory (that the author has acknowledged), it’s fun to think about the elements that tie tie the Disney universe together could apply to such wildly different movies.

Why? Why is it “fun” tying these movies together? I’m not saying that it isn’t fun, but it’s getting tiresome reading all of these connections that are made for virtually no reason.

Speaking as someone who loves to come up with fan theories, the best ones are based on a purpose. They have a reason to be brought into the discussion. Fan theories like “He’s related to her somehow” do nothing of the sort except to highlight how lazy storytelling would be if they all just boiled down to “Luke, I am your father.”

As we can see from his abilities to bring the Gargoyles to life, Quasimodo has been blessed with some sort of stone magic. Chiquen theorizes that Quasi was using gypsy magic (maybe unconsciously) right under Frollos nose.

 

Stone magic? When in Hunchback do we ever see Quasimodo “bringing” anything to life? The answer is never. The origin of the gargoyles is never explained, except that we’re led to believe they’ve always been at the top of the cathedral. The only “abilities” Quasimodo seems to possess is abnormal strength.

You can try to argue otherwise, but the fact is that the movie provides zero evidence that Quasimodo has any magical ability, or that he’s the creator of the gargoyles. A more plausible (and popular) theory is that the gargoyles were originally meant to be hallucinations, until Disney decided that was too depressing and let them interact with the real world.

Also, since when do gypsies have any sort of elemental magic? They’re known for being fortune tellers and seers of luck with slight of hand. Suggesting otherwise has no basis outside of “I want this to happen because it fits in my head.”

At the end of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo was no longer cooped up in the church and denied his liberty because he was a ‘freak.’

Well at least we know you’ve, oh sorry I mean Chiquen, watched the movie.

This means he would have had the freedom to travel, and his curious nature about the outside world suggests he would want to see as much as possible…Maybe even Arendelle! 

Yeah! And Pride Rock! And Agrabah! And the fake TV show in Bolt! And 3000 years into the future where the dinosaur does the collapses

Although taken enough by Arendelle’s beauty to call it home, Chiquen theorizes that Quasi begins to miss his gargoyle friends so he simply creates some new ones in the form of Arendelle’s bizarre, unexplained troll population. 

Except the trolls look nothing like the gargoyles. They don’t even follow the same fake laws of physics.

anna elsa quasimodo

The gargoyles could float and shoot rocks out of their mouths. That’s it. The trolls in Frozen rolled around and had magical abilities (they were even able to remove curses). There’s no comparison beyond “they’re both made of stone,” which is a weird observation, not an argument.

Chiquen believes that one of Quasimodo’s ancestors may have married into the Arendelle royal family which could explain how Else got her magic (although it has evolved over 400 years, possibly reacting to the environment) and Anna got her redheaded gene.

There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin.

Just to start, the headline says that Anna and Elsa are his ancestors, but now you’re saying they’re his descendants? This makes me think someone changed their mind on this halfway through, which doesn’t bode well for any of us.

But the biggest problem is that stone magic is not the same as ice magic (which I can’t believe is a sentence I just had to type). If genetics are somehow involved, how do magical powers change person to person, especially since you have to posit (again) that Quasimodo must have (apparently) married someone with ice powers. Then that person would have to pass that gene down over the course of 400 years and…science?

I’m not saying Disney likes to keep its science on the up and up. But even by their standards, these rules pertaining to magic aren’t just implausible, they’re completely removed from the limits of imagination possessed by the fine folks at Disney, and that’s saying quite a lot.

The argument of, “Well, it’s reacting to the change of environment” is also pointless to argue. What, there are no stones in Arendelle?

anna elsa quasimodo

Nope, just a tundra wasteland.

Next, you have to suspend all disbelief that somehow, someway, a distant foreigner moved to Norway and managed to marry his way into royalty immediately. Oh, and he’s a magic-possessing disabled man with abnormal strength. Oh, and the Hunchback sequel never happened.

Remember, this is Frozen. The movie where the entire kingdom called for the death of Elsa as soon as they found out she had ice powers. Apparently 400 years prior, they were more progressive.

While Elsa’s magic might be based on ice, she also has the ability to bring forth sensitive, friendly companions, just like Quasimodo although some might argue that this is a common Disney storytelling device.

By some, I think you mean “all.”

Because I could just as easily argue that Aladdin gave his carpet sentient powers right under our noses because that’s just as plausible as this theory.

Another piece of tenuous evidence

Tenuous? So it’s very weak? If that’s the case, WHY ARE YOU EVEN MENTIONING IT?

comes in the castle featuring a large portrait of Joan of Arc which could indicate their desire to preserve their French roots.

Hang in there, Jon. 

Of course, like most fan theories, this one is pretty tenuous and based on the authors own, personal interpretations of things and there are plenty of arguments that this is all coincidence which I will cover below.

“I just wrote about it anyway because I knew you’d read it. Now keep reading.”

Rayner goes on to parrot Chiquen’s own meandering around the subject, which boils down to explaining the stone magic/ice magic problem by claiming it’s just magic and the person “uses magic like a chisel in order to express themselves.”

Which, of course, is exactly what we saw in Frozen when Elsa couldn’t control her chisel, so her paintbrush got everywhere. Hey, both characters were in isolation most of their lives, yet Quasi is the one who apparently was able to control it so well not even the audience or the characters in the movie noticed it.

But Elsa can’t control it because…oh, we don’t want to go down that trail of thought.

Although it’s not the most convincing theory in the world, I love the creative thinking that has gone into this one and, at the end of the day, it’s Disney.

I love creative thinking too, but not when it’s aimless and provides no insight or analysis to justify its existence beyond the simplistic It’s Disney. Unless a theory is convincing enough to overcome this, there’s no point in sharing something that will make people feel like they wasted a ton of their time.

Because what is so interesting about characters being related? Especially when you have to grasp at so many straws to make it happen? It’s fun to guess at relation within a movie, or even two movies that share cameos. In that case, you don’t have to stretch much and it can provide some interesting discussion.

But crossing movies to suggest that every little character is somehow related to another character for no narrative reason comes off as a cry for attention, like you want to be the next person to posit the Jar Jar Sith theory or something similar.

To put it simply, there should be a threshold for which fan theories deserve thousands of words devoted to them on a popular platform. On Reddit, this is no big deal because you can go to a forum specifically designed to chat about theories and decide which ones make sense.

But on a huge website like Moviepilot, it’s far too easy for casual readers to stumble upon poorly researched content like this and just decide, “Hey, maybe I’ll stick to Reddit for movie news.” Therefore, they miss out on tons of other great content they could have otherwise enjoyed.

You know what is Disney? Carefully thought out stories that make you feel good after experiencing them. Let’s stick to that train of thought over obsessing which Disney characters have a 0.001% chance of being sort of related.

Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

When Disney Makes A ‘Big Hero 6’ Sequel, They’ll Almost Certainly Bring Back Tadashi.

I’ve been hanging on to this theory since before I even watched the movie back in November. In fact, the movie itself almost confirms that this is what will happen when Disney ultimately makes the Big Hero 6 sequel.

Oh? You don’t think there will be a sequel?

Here we go.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Big Hero 6 is one of the riskiest animated movies Disney has ever made. Period. They’ve never spent that much money to make a film based on something so obscure. Even Wreck-It Ralph and Meet the Robinsons looked better on paper to a Disney executive.

And it paid off. On top of getting the Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Movie, Big Hero 6 made half a billion in the box office. Only Frozen and The Lion King have made more money than this film.

That, and it’s based off of a serial comic connected to Disney’s other money-making machine: Marvel. And if there’s one thing Marvel and Disney know how to do together, it’s making Marvel sequels.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Keep in mind that although Disney has traditionally shied away from making sequels to its flagship animated features, they’ve also learned from Pixar and even DreamWorks that sequels are worth doing if the creatives behind them want the story to be told.

That’s why even Wreck-It Ralph is getting a sequel, and Frozen is of course getting milked in all sorts of media. Even though it’s not in development yet, Big Hero 6 is almost 100% for sure getting a sequel. And it will probably be called…

Big Hero 7.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

That “7” will belong to a character we know from the first movie: Tadashi. I’m calling it right now. He’ll be a villain of sorts in the sequel, inevitably joining the team fully to add that number (after all, Big Hero 6 2 is just weird branding).

But wait! Tadashi isn’t a superhero. He’s not even alive!

Only one of those statements is true, considering he was a hero, as proven by your belief he died.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Let’s put on our flashback hats and revisit just what exactly happened to the older brother of Hiro Hamada.

Hiro wanted to get accepted into the robotics program at the university where his brother and friends attended. To do this, he had to impress Callahan amidst a competitive group of other scientific geniuses. Somehow, a fire broke out, trapping Callahan. Tadashi, Hiro’s older brother, ran back inside to save him, but the building exploded moments later.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Later, we learn Callahan survived by accessing Hiro’s microbots, but it appeared Tadashi didn’t make it.

Look, if you know anything about movies, it’s that if there’s no body, that character is alive. That’s just a rule. I’m not the one who made it up.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Second, the inclusion of a fire is tantamount to how this theory works. Where do you think it came from? Most likely, one of the inventions, and no one else apparently died from its flames.

I believe this invention had to do with nuclear energy. Why? Because Big Hero 6 (and Disney) is purposefully setting up Tadashi to be Sunfire, one of the original members of the first Big Hero 6 team and a prominent character in the Marvel universe.

One of the inventions, or even something special about the fire itself, must have given Tadashi abilities that would protect him from harm, ultimately transforming him into Sunfire.

Now, I imagine a good number of you already assumed this because you know certain things. Well, here’s some more ammunition for you to spread around.

Sunfire is a Japanese mutant (like X-Men mutant) who can absorb heat and turn it into plasma. In the comics, his mutant powers were triggered by radiation from Hiroshima. He’s been in comics since the 1970s as an Uncanny Avenger, member of the X-Men, and of course, a member of the original Big Hero 6 team.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

One important thing to note is that Marvel is currently forbidden from even using the word “mutant” in its movies, making it difficult for them to use any characters from the X-Men side of Marvel. But they have managed to find wiggle room with characters like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who have many affiliations.

The same can easily go for Sunfire, and his story arc is already perfectly progressing. When Sunfire reluctantly joins Big Hero 6 in the comics (after being found by Hiro, no doubt), he actually gets possessed by their enemy and becomes a villain.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

I doubt the movie would use this villain, who is known as Everwraith, because he’s literally the combined legion of souls destroyed by the atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That’s tough to write out. But Disney could easily find another way to leverage this story arc to create some compelling narrative surrounding Hiro and his lost brother.

After all, can you imagine a fight between Tadashi/Sunfire and Baymax/Hiro? That would make Revenge of the Sith look like The Babysitters Club.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

And hey, if Elsa can have ice powers…

My biggest evidence for this theory being true is the fact is that this all fits way too perfectly for Disney not to do it. I can’t even imagine what else the writers should or could do to make the sequel even bigger than the first movie, which frankly suffered from being too much of an origin story instead of a movie about superheroes actually being superheroes.

tadashi big hero 6 sequel

Big Hero 6 is one of the most beautiful animated films of our time, and a beacon of the Disney Revival. And that’s why I think it deserves a sequel that delivers a story that is just as sincere and passionate as the first one.

And hopefully, more of the team outside of Hiro and Baymax…


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

Or just say hey on Twitter: @JonNegroni

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 11: “2319”

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and since then we’ve finished Part 1 and Part 2!

Both are available as iBooks on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, can also download the PDF versions:

Part 1: (PDF version)

Part 2: (PDF version)

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 3. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

chapter 11 pixar detective

 

Previously, on the Pixar Detective

pixar detective part 1 coverIn the year 2014, two kids embarked on a mission to find their missing friend, Mary. The friends, Stevin Parker and Wallaby Jones, teamed up with their mysterious teacher, Alec Azam, who mentored Mary in the arts of magic and traveling through time by use of doors.

Along the way, Stevin and Wallaby gained new allies, including a monster from another world and a girl with dangerous superpowers. Eventually, they were forced through a door that would lead them to the location of their next clue: Sydney, Australia.

 

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 10: The Peculiar Professor

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and we’ve recently completed Part 1!

It is available as an iBook on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, you can also download the PDF version. 

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 2. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

chapter 10 pixar detective

 

PREVIOUSLY, ON ‘THE PIXAR DETECTIVE.’

pixar detective chapter 4

Stevin Parker, Wallaby Jones, and Alec Azam (the Peculiar Professor) have teamed up with a small, purple monster named Mr. Sumner in their pursuit of their missing friend, Mary. They’ve traveled in time to 1935 and have found themselves inside a government facility called “the Hexagon,” which is run by a maniac named “the Maestro.”

pixar detective chapter 8

After splitting up, Stevin and Mr. Sumner were captured by the Maestro, who revealed his pet project to them: a girl named Sadie who has incredible powers and is known as the first “super.” Her power, which the Maestro calls “Dominion,” allows her to transform parts of her body and senses into animals, giving her incredible strength and speed.

sadiebird

Meanwhile, Wallaby made his way to Level 9, a research lab filled with strange cages and experiments. He was discovered by Willem and Flo, two of the Hexagon’s deadliest agents who are also a part of “Project Superlative,” which involves Sadie. Though they captured him, Alec showed up just in time to distract the agents and give Wallaby time to flee through a metal door that may contain more answers than even Wallaby realizes.

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates, or you can just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 9: Our Doom

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and we’ve recently completed Part 1!

It is available as an iBook on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, you can also download the PDF version. 

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 2. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

pixar detective chapter 9

 

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE PIXAR DETECTIVE.

In their continued search for Mary, our heroes found themselves within the secretive (and dangerous) government facility known as the Hexagon. But Stevin and his new friend, the monster known as Mr. Sumner, have been captured by the facility’s head madman, the Maestro.

pixar detective chapter 8

Meanwhile, Wallaby decided to go his own way by sneaking into the Hexagon by himself. Unfortunately, he was discovered by the strange, seemingly unstable agent known as Flo. With a few strategic lies, Wallaby convinced Flo that he is also an agent, and she agreed to escort him inside.

wallaby

Also inside the facility is the mysterious “super” known as Sadie. A girl who has the power of “Dominion.” But what is this power and why is she important? We’re about to find out.

sadie

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

The Pixar Detective, Chapter 6: The Collectible

Hey everyone! Welcome to The Pixar Detective, a serial novel I put together based on the Pixar Theory. The following is a fictional story that explains the theory that all of the Pixar movies are connected and exist within the same universe, using original characters and artwork. The story answers a lot of questions you may have about this theory, but through its own ongoing narrative.

The story originally launched in April, and we’ve recently completed Part 1!

It is available as an iBook on iTunes, which you can check out here. If you can’t use iBooks, you can also download the PDF version. 

Once you’re finished, check back to our Table of Contents, where we’ll be continuing the story through Part 2. A new chapter is released every two weeks on Tuesdays. And please be sure to leave your feedback in the comments for us to read through. Enjoy!

unnamed

Previously on the Pixar Detective!

wallwithoutglassesIt was a clash in the Middle Ages as Stevin Parker, Wallaby Jones, and Professor Alec Azam continued their time-traveling pursuit of their missing friend, Mary.

While exploring the mysterious cottage in Scotland, Stevin and the gang came across a cipher left behind by Mary that revealed the number 1935 as an undetermined clue.

Fresh out of leads, Alec determined to concoct a location spell that would lead them to the owner of the purple hair found in Mary’s room. With all of the ingredients they need now in their possession, Stevin and the gang are ready to track down whatever it is that took their friend.

 

Use the prompt on the sidebar to subscribe for updates or just follow me and Kayla on Twitter to stay connected – @JonNegroni – @KaylaTheSavage

Thanks for reading! What did you think of Chapter 6?

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