Even Belle and Aladdin can’t stop thinking about it. (Images: Disney)
It’s been years (decades, in some cases) since the release of The Little Mermaid, Mulan and other beloved Disney films, and yet we still can’t stop obsessing over them.
Barely a day goes by without a new plot theory making headlines or Snow White and her princess posse being “reimagined” by someone with a deft hand at Photoshop.
To be perfectly honest, we can’t look away — and the latest fan theory, linking two of the most popular Disney creations, has us particularly entranced.
Here’s the story: You might recall that in Beauty and the Beast, Belle is a mad bookworm. She’s always wandering around with a basket full of books and her nose stuck in one of them, a fact that puzzles her fellow townfolk.
Her brutish, cleft-chinned admirer Gaston is even less impressed. “Belle, it’s about time that you got your head out of those books and paid attention to more important things… like me,” he tells her in one scene, before carelessly tossing her novel in the mud. Ugh, Gaston. He’s the worst.
Watch: We asked Aussie celebrities to quote their favourite movies on the AACTA red carpet. (Post continues after video.)
Anyway, during the song Belle our well-read heroine pops in to her local library to replenish her supply (it was a time before Kindles, remember). When the librarian informs her there’s nothing new on the shelves, she settles on a personal favourite — which, as the librarian quickly points out, she’s already read twice. Classic Belle.
“Well, it’s my favourite! Far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise…” she explains.
A few verses later, she elaborates on the narrative while hanging out with some sheep next to a stone fountain, as you do. “Oh, isn’t this amazing? It’s my fav’rite part because, you’ll seeeeee…” she sings.
“Here’s where she meets Prince Charming, but she won’t discover that it’s him ’til chapter three!” (You’ve got the tune in your head now, don’t you? Sorry.)
When you think about it, this story sounds a little familiar, doesn't it...? Tumblr user PetiteTiaras pointed out that Belle's beloved narrative is rather similar to that of a Disney film that came out in 1992, the year after Beauty and the Beast.
Here's the evidence: This story encompassed "far off places" (the fictional Arabic town of Agarabah), daring swordfights, magic spells (as performed by a magic genie), and a prince in disguise. Yep, we're talking about Aladdin.
'Sure,' you might be thinking. 'But that can also be applied to Game of Thrones.'
That's a valid point, but Belle's line about meeting Prince Charming line kind of seals the deal. In Aladdin, Princess Jasmine meets 'Prince Ali' and knows something's up, but doesn't learn his true identity for sure until later.
This isn't the first time a fan has proposed a 'unified Disney universe' theory.
A couple of years ago, the suggestion that Frozen, Tangled and The Little Mermaid were all linked — in a nutshell, Elsa and Anna's parents died while sailing to Rapunzel's wedding, resulting in the shipwreck Ariel hangs out in — sent the Disney fandom into a meltdown.
While this new theory has caused a bit of excitement, some fans have been quick to point out the purpose of Belle's 'book' was to simply foreshadow her own storyline. (Post continues after gallery.)
After all, she does end up in the far-off castle where there are swordfights, magic spells and a prince in disguise (Prince Adam!) who is later revealed by true love's first kiss.
Arguably, this arc could also be applied to Sleeping Beauty.
It's all very intriguing. Just to be sure, we're planning a Disney viewing night this weekend.
What do you think?