By their nature, animated movies are impossible. As kids, we watch them in awe, never doubting for a second that a candlestick could make out with a feather duster. Why wouldn't they? But after the onset of adulthood grinds that wonder into a fine gruel, that magic disappears. Without the benefit of imagination, adults turn to cynicism to fill the new plot holes they've found in their childhood favorites. New theories arise to recontextualize chipper Disney landscapes into the bitter world adults recognize. When reading the depressing fan theories we've collected, you might find yourself saying "These are kids movies!" but it's best to keep an open mind when it comes to movies with living toys.


1. Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph killed her own husband at the altar


Jane Lynch plays a battle armor version of herself in Wreck-It Ralph as Calhoun, as the main character in the movie's fictional video game Hero's Duty. Like any bog standard video game action hero, she was programmed with a tragic backstory. In this case, Calhoun's wedding was crashed by a giant Cy-Bug that proceeded to murder and consume her husband-to-be.

Though she defeated the Cy-Bug with her pocket chaingun, the damage was done. Calhoun was minus a husband, and that spot in her heart filled with seething hatred. The built-in tragedy is a handy plot device that gives the character a reason to have a chip on her shoulder, but it's goofy and meta enough to be played for laughs. But that scene holds a horrifying secret.

See, the thing with Cy-Bugs is that they take the form of whatever they consume. Here's what happens when a Cy-Bug eats Ralph's gun while he's in the Hero's Duty game:

So if a Cy-Bug eats a laser gun, it takes on the properties of that laser gun. Later on in the movie we find that if a Cy-Bug eats candy, it takes on properties of that candy. If the Cy-Bug ate the internet, it would probably morph into a mass of boobs with blonde spiky Goku hair. We know that this transformation extends to Cy-Bugs who eat people, because we get to see the previously-eaten King Candy in Cy-Bug form.


Look at that face again. That isn't just the mortified expression of someone who lost their husband -- that's the face of someone who has to destroy an evil monster that is taking the form the person they loved most in this world, the one who died a sudden excruciating death moments before. We know that the change only takes a few seconds -- by the time Calhoun gets done with the Cy-Bug, there's no doubt that she's had to shoot her husband in the face. As wedding nights go, it's in Game of Thrones territory.

I'd like to say it doesn't get more depressing from here on out. I'd like to say that.


2. Aladdin takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland


Did you ever wonder how the Genie in Aladdin was able to recall and impersonate Jack Nicholson and Rodney Dangerfield? Or how he was able to joke that Aladdin's clothes were "so 3rd century," or turn Abu into a 1950s muscle car ? One solution from the depths of 4chan posits that Aladdin actually takes place in the distant future, after a horrific nuclear war.

Think about it. The movie never specifies the time or the country. When we first meet Genie, he's complaining about the neck pains he has thanks to 10,000 years of indentured lampitude. If Genie knows enough about pop culture to become a game show host, this must be the far-flung future -- around 12,000 AD. The primitive technology can only be explained by a giant world-ending catastrophe that wiped out almost everything but the Middle East. You still have some high-tech leftovers like the magic/nanomachine carpet, but for the most part it's all wooden carts rolling around "Agrabah," a mispronounced "Arabia." The apocalyptic wasteland motif even made it to the video game, where you can see a stop sign buried in a sand dune:


You could say that a mystical being like Genie experiences time and space in different ways than humans, and that he says he's going to Disneyland at the end of the movie because he's really going to time-travel, but that would be silly and not at all realistic.