There isn’t anything more intriguing in a creative sense than an expanded universe within the construct of a large media company. Disney (and Pixar) may have a lot of linkage in how they design their animated films and vast array of characters. However, they’ve also become one of the biggest playgrounds for fans connecting numerous films and attempting to place them within the same world.
Someday, someone’s going to spend a little too much time linking every Disney/Pixar animated film ever made into one giant globe. Let’s slow things down a bit, though, and examine one of the more intriguing shared universe theories: Frozen and Tarzan.
Rumors are, Disney is giving hints Frozen 2 is connected directly to the company’s own 1999 Tarzan film.
The ‘Frozen’/’Tarzan’ connection is complex, but does have logic
On the 20th anniversary when Disney released their adaptation of Tarzan, it’s worth exploring the possibilities of the film’s original producers giving a deliberate connection to the Frozen storyline. The insinuation in this shared universe theory is that Tarzan is essentially Anna and Elsa’s unknown (to them) brother who was the result of their parents being shipwrecked in Africa.
This stems from Elsa and Anna’s parents leaving by ship to an important meeting and reportedly dying at sea due to a storm. Fan theorists think the parents were on their way to the wedding of Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert from the movie Tangled.
Since we do see Rapunzel in the first Frozen, fans think the connection is more than logical. What makes this theory even more incredible is the idea Elsa and Anna’s parents managed to survive the shipwreck, lived in Africa, and give birth to a son (Tarzan).
While this sounds like the dreams of a fan-fiction writer, there are some kernels of seeming truth.
The co-creator of ‘Frozen’ endorsed the ‘Tarzan’ connection theory
A couple of years ago, Frozen’s co-director, Chris Buck, said to MTV he supposedly imagined this shared universe theory when Frozen was in development. In his mind, he plotted out the idea of Elsa and Anna’s parents giving birth to a boy, surviving in Africa, living in a treehouse, then being killed by a leopard.
If you saw Disney’s Tarzan, you know it’s revealed this is exactly what happened to Tarzan’s unseen departed parents, hence his being raised by apes. Despite Buck goading fans on to continue this to nurture their own storytelling imaginations, some might take his comment as mere jest rather than serious.
Yet, with the Frozen 2 trailer out, other clues are popping up indicating the production team maybe ran with this idea and wants to make it canon. It does make for a more compelling narrative to think many of Disney’s newer classics of the last 25-30 years might exist within the same geographic landscape.
When you even have Josh Gad (Olaf) teasing this idea on Twitter, Disney might be into bringing their own brand of mind-bending twists.
Will there be a major reveal of Tarzan as an unknown brother in ‘Frozen 2’?
Numerous intriguing clues have turned up in the Frozen 2 trailer, making fans go crazy at what kind of revelation the film might drop. Everything from a rock troll giving warnings about the past to a mythical underwater horse called Nokk all vaguely connect to the events leading up to Tarzan’s existence.
What would happen if Frozen 2 gave a stunning reveal of Tarzan being Elsa and Anna’s lost brother, including even meeting him? Doing so would be the first instance of a shared universe theory expanding to a level never seen on the big screen and beyond fan-fics.
Bringing something like this to the Disney universe would probably set precedent and finally make fan-fiction authors irrelevant after all these years. On the other hand, removing rumor might also take away some of the mystique making shared universe theories so interesting.
At least we won’t see shared universe speculation in other vast movie properties, like Star Wars…unless Disney also goes there.