I am the father of two small girls. I, therefore, watch a lot of Disney movies. I am also a science fiction and fantasy author as well as a literature professor, so when I watch Disney movies, I begin to analyze them in weird ways. A few years back I posited the Grand Princess Unification Theorem which linked Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella into one shared narrative involving a couple fairies meddling in the lives of mortals to breed the ‘perfect’ princess for some purpose of their own as yet undetermined. There were, however, a couple princesses left out of the equation.
For the nonce, Mulan, The Princess and the Frog, and Brave clearly exist as a part of their own particular historical heritage and I see no real way to join them together with each other or any other of the stories thus far discussed. I have, however, devised a theory linking Frozen, Tangled, and The Little Mermaid. Ready? Here we go.
A Secondary World
The three films in question do not link up to the ones set in our world, since there is no mention at all of anything pertaining to it and the kingdoms depicted bear little to no resemblance to actual historical kingdoms of any kind. What this means to me is that these three films are set in a secondary world and, what’s more, they are all set in the same world. Now, with Frozen and Tangled this is no surprise, as Flynn (Eugene) and Rapunzel are guests at Elsa’s Coronation. This clearly places Arendelle and Corona (Elsa and Rapunzel’s respective home countries) in the same universe. What’s more, the two countries maintain diplomatic relations or, perhaps, are even distantly related by blood (Rapunzel could easily be a cousin of some sort).
How does The Little Mermaid fit in? Well, first let’s consider geography. All three countries, as depicted, are maritime powers, with shipping and boating being apparently key aspects of their economy. Corona seems to be situated on the mainland, as does Arrendelle (though Arrendelle is clearly further north). Eric’s kingdom appears to be island based. It fits. Heck, he is even very likely related to Prince Hans, who is said to be from “the Southern Isles.” He’s probably one of Eric and Ariel’s children (more on that later).
Furthermore, the level of technology and even the fashions of the three countries are interrelated. We see a lot of doublets, for one thing, and the women’s gowns, while different, are different variations on an approximately contemporaneous style. They could easily, easily be from different corners of the same continental region in the same world. Even their soldiers seem to be operating using the same kinds of weapons, armor, and so on.
Here’s Where It Gets Interesting…
Now, assuming these three settings are three parts of the same world, what happens when Elsa’s power is revealed? As I’ve mentioned before, Elsa’s power is simply unparalleled. It has the power to destabilize the whole world and, if this is a world with Corona and Eric’s kingdom, things are going to get unstable there, too. For starters, there is the inevitable war between Arendelle and Weaseltown which the courageous Duke of Weaseltown tried to prevent by assassinating Elsa (unsuccessfully).
Prince Eric is not “prince” by this time – he and Ariel have been married for a long time, and Ariel has borne fourteen children. This was done, wisely, as a guarantee for the small nation’s trading prowess. As his children’s grandfather, Triton, King of the Ocean, would never sink a vessel with one of his grandchildren aboard. Hence, Eric convinced Ariel to bear a number of children and raised them all as saliors – they traveled the world in Eric’s naval and maritime vessels, and they never encountered any kind of oceanic mishap. Triton loves his grandchildren, after all.
But you know who Triton doesn’t care for, apparently? Anna and Elsa’s parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle. Indeed, Triton doesn’t give a crap about any other humans at all. Ariel’s inhuman origins, though probably not well known as facts, are no doubt whispered as rumors. When one of Granddaddy Triton’s little darling boys is cast out and humiliated by some Arendalish sorceress, Triton is displeased. If Triton is displeased, you can bet Eric is also displeased (because if your father-in-law is King of the Ocean and you live on an island, you do whatever the hell he wants).
The Duke of Weaseltown is no dummy, and he would doubtlessly propose an alliance against Arendelle to King Eric. With his father-in-law in a froth, Eric sees it might be wise to back the Weasels (pronounced “wessels,” please!), even if his youngest son is a douchebag. He demands an apology from Queen Elsa. Elsa, having vivid memories of almost being hacked to death by Prince Hans, probably tells him exactly where to stick it. War develops.
What About Corona?
The war, however, quickly becomes a stalemate. Elsa can send no ships against Weaseltown or the Southern Isles, since Triton will sink them. Likewise, the Southern Isles and Weaseltown can’t come near Arendelle without being frozen solid. The contest becomes one of trade embargos and espionage–you either stand with the Southern Isles or bend your knee to the Snow Queen.
Corona is the tiebreaker. As evidently the wealthiest and most militaristic nation of the three, if they side with Arendelle or the Southern Isles, the other side stands a strong chance of losing. Furthermore, Queen Rapunzel’s legendary healing abilities (still retained, mind you, despite her loss of hair – that’s why we still have Flynn/Eugene to kick around, after all) are a potent ally in their own right.
But which side does Queen Rapunzel pick? On the one hand, she has some kind of pre-existing relationship with Queen Elsa. On the other, pissing off the King of the Ocean seems like a really, really bad idea. So, she remains neutral, but for how long? When Anna shows up in her court in the dead of night with a desperate plea for help, how can she refuse? When she accepts a state visit from Queen Ariel, riding atop a swell of the ocean big enough to swallow her city whole, how can she not be worried?
Well, anyway, it’s a pickle. A damned interesting pickle.
If Disney wants somebody to write a political intrigue-based novel set in this little world of theirs, they’ve got my number. I want to know what happens.
Hey, check this image out:
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