Even before Elsa met the other Disney Princesses last year in Ralph Breaks the Internet, fans of Frozen were determined to link her to virtually every character in what's known as the Disney Shared Universe theory. It doesn't help that Rapunzel actually does appear in Frozen, indicating that, at the very least, Tangled exists in the same continuity as the 2013 blockbuster. But what about the Tarzan theory?
For some time now, many of those who subscribe to the Disney Shared Universe theory have connected Frozen to Disney's 1999 adaptation of Tarzan. And the newly released trailer for Frozen 2 is bound only to provide more evidence to support their hypothesis.
The Tarzan Theory
The Tarzan fan-theory is very simple. In Frozen, Elsa and Anna's parents travel on a ship to an important meeting that some suggest is actually the wedding of Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert (Flynn Rider) from Tangled. Along the way, their ship is caught in a storm and capsizes. That's suspiciously similar to the beginning Disney's Tarzan: A ship is caught in a storm and destroyed, with a married couple as its sole survivors. They live in a tree house constructed from the ship's wreckage in Africa, where they give birth to a son (Tarzan) before they're killed by the leopard Sabor.
The theory, which was endorsed in 2017 by Frozen co-director Chris Buck, states that the man and woman in Tarzan are Elsa and Anna's parents, thus making Tarzan their brother. That makes even more sense if we believe Elsa and Anna were en route to Rapunzel's wedding: Rapunzel's kingdom of Corona is an analog of Germany, south of Arendelle. So a storm takes them off-course, might send them in the direction of Africa. It could work, but that wave would have to carry them pretty far, which seems odd for a random storm. But what if it wasn't random?
The rock troll in the new Frozen 2 trailer cautions "the past is not what it seems." That might indicates this enigmatic past ties into the source of Elsa's snow powers. However, could there be more mysteries afoot? In the new footage, Elsa plunges beneath the waves, to come face to face with a magical horse comprised of water. That entity has been confirmed by Disney to be a Nokk, a guardian of the mysterious magic north of Arendelle.
Now, if the source of Elsa's powers is in the north, that may indicate Elsa's parents did something to grant their daughter this power, possibly by mistake. If the Nokk can create waves, then it's possible is was responsible for those that overturned the ship transporting Elsa and Anna's parents. Perhaps he punished the couple by casting them away from their wealth and jewels ... to far-off Africa.
Tarzan is somewhat grounded in realism. The most unrealistic detail about Tarzan is how he is able to speak to both humans and animals with little training. That could be brushed off as a plot convenience. However, it could also be the result of residual magic.
Anna and Tarzan look similar and seemingly possess no powers. But Anna is incredibly strong for such a small girl and capable of surviving being frozen alive. Whatever gifts Elsa gained from this Enchanted Source of Magic may very well linger in her family's bloodline, especially given how, as revealed in the trailer, the source of magic can manifest in different ways.
Extending that to Tangled, if the Source of Magic is also responsible for the flower that grants eternal youth, consumed by Rapunzel, this creates a dichotomy. Elsa is winter and, so fan theories go, the mysterious girl in the first Frozen 2 trailer is fall. Rapunzel, therefore, may summer, due to the sun imagery associated with the flower and Corona.
And Tarzan? He could be spring. And ... so could Anna. Together they might represent life emerging following death. Anna is frozen solid, but survives -- somehow. Tarzan is the sole survivor of Sabor's bloody massacre. He then thrives in an environment that kills humans, develops and adapts to the changing environment and, like Anna, possesses incredible endurance and strength. The same traits that grant Anna the strength to beat away wolves and endure magic curses gave Tarzan the skill to strike down leopards and master English way past the point the human brain can develop language skills.
Even if Frozen 2 never addresses this theory, the latest trailer certainly provides more fodder for the intriguing theory.
Arriving Nov. 22, Disney's Frozen 2 reunites directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and producer Peter Del Vecho with voice actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. Returning musical talents include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.