CLOSE
Original image
YouTube

9 Unbelievable Movie Fan Theories That Turned Out to Be True

Original image
YouTube

While most movie fan theories are outrageous and unbelievably bizarre, there are a few that have turned out to be true. Here are nine of them.

1. THE GENIE AND THE PEDDLER ARE THE SAME CHARACTER IN ALADDIN.

Since the release of Disney’s Aladdin in 1992, there’s been a very popular fan theory that suggests the Peddler who opens the film and the Genie are the same character. There are a number of clues that support this fan theory, namely that both characters are voiced by the late Robin Williams and are the only ones who address the audience directly. In an interview in 2015, co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker confirmed the truth about the Peddler and the Genie.

“I saw something that speculates that the peddler at the beginning of Aladdin is the Genie. That’s true,” Clements revealed. “That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that’s an urban legend that actually is true.”

The original workprint ending of Aladdin (above) included an additional scene of the Peddler revealing his true identity.

2. ROBOCOP IS A CHRIST STORY.

After the release of RoboCop in 1987, many fans speculated about the film’s hidden themes of Christianity and Jesus Christ. After all, the sci-fi movie follows a man who is brutally executed, then comes back from the dead to save the city of Detroit from evil. In 2010, director Paul Verhoeven confirmed the RoboCop as Jesus Christ theory.

“The point of RoboCop, of course, is it is a Christ story," Verhoeven said. "It is about a guy who gets crucified in the first 50 minutes, and then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes, and then is like the supercop of the world, but is also a Jesus figure as he walks over water at the end."

3. DUMBLEDORE IS DEATH IN THE HARRY POTTER SERIES.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermoine tells Harry "The Tale of the Three Brothers," a fable that explains the origins of the Deathly Hallows. The story follows three brothers who come across Death while trying to cross a river. Death felt cheated that the brothers used magic to cross because people would normally drown in the water instead, so he congratulated them for tricking him and gave them gifts for their cunning.

The oldest brother asked for a powerful wand, which he was murdered for once he reached town. The next brother asked for a stone that gave him the ability to bring back his dead lover, whose ghost disappeared as soon as she was brought back from the dead. This led the second brother to kill himself to join her in the afterlife. The youngest brother, who was humble, asked Death for an invisibility cloak to hide from him until it was time to die as an old man. Once it was time, the youngest brother revealed himself to Death and willingly went with him as an old friend.

A theory emerged that the three brothers represented characters in the Harry Potter series: Voldemort is the first brother, who died for power; Severus Snape is the second, who died for his long lost love; and Harry Potter is the third, who "greeted death like an old friend" later in The Deathly Hallows. So who is Death? One fan theory suggested that Dumbledore Is Death, because he ends up meeting Harry in the afterlife and possessed the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak throughout the series.

Eventually, Harry Potter creatorJ.K. Rowling chimed in:

4. DECKARD IS A REPLICANT IN BLADE RUNNER.

For more than 30 years, fans argued about whether Deckard (Harrison Ford) from 1982's Blade Runner was a Replicant or not. There are a number of clues that support both arguments, but director Ridley Scott confirmed the truth for fans: Deckard is, indeed, a Replicant. In the interview above, from 2002, Scott revealed the truth about Deckard’s origins.

5. JESUS CHRIST WAS AN ENGINEER FROM PROMETHEUS.

Ridley Scott’s vision for Prometheus was something much more than a prequel to Alien. Scott conceived the idea that the Engineers created humanity on Earth and when mankind devolved into endless war and chaos, they sent another Engineer, Jesus Christ, to make things right again. However, instead of making a better world, humanity crucified him.

But as it turned out, the fan theory—which started on LiveJournal—is true. Scott just opted to make the Christ analogy more ambiguous than originally conceived because he believed it was “a little too on the nose.”

“If you look at it as an ‘our children are misbehaving down there’ scenario, there are moments where it looks like we've gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire," Scott told Movies.com. "And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, 'Let's send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it.' Guess what? They crucified him.”

6. FROZEN AND TARZAN TAKE PLACE IN THE SAME UNIVERSE.

While Rapunzel and Flynn from Disney’s Tangled appear briefly in Frozen, there is a rumor that suggests Disney’s Tarzan is also linked to Anna and Elsa. As the fan theory goes, the princesses' parents were the same two people who were shipwrecked on a jungle island at the beginning of Tarzan. This would make the King of the Jungle the baby brother of Anna and Elsa.

During a Reddit AMA, Frozen co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck (Buck also directed Tarzan), jokingly added fuel to the fire and confirmed the fan theory. “According to Chris, they didn’t die on the boat. They got washed up on a shore in a jungle island. The queen gave birth to a baby boy. They build a treehouse. They get eaten by a leopard,” said Lee.

A year after appearing on Reddit, Buck double-downed on the theory in an interview with MTV News. “I said, 'Of course Anna and Elsa's parents didn't die,'" he continued. "Yes, there was a shipwreck, but they were at sea a little bit longer than we think they were because the mother was pregnant, and she gave birth on the boat, to a little boy. They get shipwrecked, and somehow they really washed way far away from the Scandinavian waters, and they end up in the jungle. They end up building a tree house and a leopard kills them, so their baby boy is raised by gorillas. So in my little head, Anna and Elsa's brother is Tarzan—but on the other side of that island are surfing penguins, to tie in a non-Disney movie, Surf's Up. That's my fun little world."

7. SPIRITED AWAY IS AN ALLEGORY FOR THE SEX INDUSTRY.

While many people see Spirited Away as a children’s movie about a young girl who learns to embrace the spirit world to return to her parents, some fans view Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award-winning film as an allegory for prostitution in Japanese society during the 19th century. The film’s protagonist, Chihiro, is forced to work in a bathhouse for an evil witch after her parents foolishly ate food that was meant for the gods, which turned her mother and father into pigs. Chihiro works as a “yuna,” which is Japanese for “a woman who works with bathers,” or a bathhouse prostitute. According to Miyazaki, “I think the most appropriate way to symbolize the modern world is the sex industry. Hasn’t Japanese society become like the sex industry?”

Studio Ghibli also wrote one Spirited Away fan a lengthy letter explaining why Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs and what their transformation represents which, according to Miyazaki, is a metaphor for greed and materialism.

8. PRINCESS MONONOKE IS ABOUT LEPROSY.

YouTube

There is a longstanding urban legend in Princess Mononoke (1997) that suggests the workers covered with bloody bandages at the factory in Irontown have leprosy (or Hansen’s disease). In its original Japanese version, the characters are described as “gyobyo,” which means “incurable disease” or “suffering the consequences” in English. The word “leprosy” doesn’t appear anywhere in the original Japanese version, but the fan theory grew in popularity.

“While making Princess Mononoke, I thought I had to depict people who are ill with what’s clearly called an incurable disease, but who are living as best they can,” Hayao Miyazaki said during a conference for World Leprosy Day. He also met with patients at a hospital in Tokyo that treated people with Hansen’s disease during the film’s production.

9. ALL QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIES TAKE PLACE IN THE SAME UNIVERSE.

YouTube

For years, fans would speculate about how Quentin Tarantino movies were connected. Aside from Red Apple Cigarettes appearing in almost all of the director’s movies, several of his characters share the same last names and traits: Sergeant Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth) from Inglourious Basterds and Lee Donowitz (Saul Rubinek) from True Romance are related, while Pete Hicox (Tim Roth) from The Hateful Eight and Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) from Inglourious Basterds are also related.

In an interview on Australian TV, Tarantino admitted that all of his movies belong in a shared universe, but in a different way than you’d expect. “There are actually two separate universes," Tarantino said. "There’s the realer than real universe, and all the characters inhabit that one. Then there’s this 'movie' universe, so From Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill take place in this special movie universe. Basically, when the characters from Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction go to the movies, Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn is what they go see.”

Original image
Getty
arrow
Lists
8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
Original image
Getty

Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

Original image
Getty Images
arrow
Lists
11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
Original image
Getty Images

Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios