WTFAW: Frozen/The Shining

Seeing as spring is finally returning, I think it’s fitting to repeat last years celebration, and look at another theory about Frozen. Think of it as a nice way to say farewell to winter.

So, what is the theory today, Dave?

Dave: The theory is that Frozen is a retelling of The Shining!

Hmm… Nope, that’s it. You’ve gone insane. That is the only explanation here. At long last, you have actually lost your mind.

Dave: No, wait! You haven’t heard the arguments!

I don’t think I need to hear them. But I AM actually curious about the background here. So against my better judgement, explain to me how you’ve arrived at this conclusion.

Dave: Ok, so there’s Elsa/Jack, the menacing main character, who is a danger to their family, and who isolates themselves in a big, building in the middle of a cold wasteland.

Right…

Dave: Anna is a proxy for Danny, who is prevented from entering a particular room, and have to play by themselves. And they are both injured by the main character. Kristoff is a stand-in for Halloran, Olaf is Wendy and Hans is Grady!

Oh sweet mother of god, this is stupid… The only blessing is that you had the wherewithal to divide the theory in segments. That at least makes dissecting it easier. Let’s begin.

You suggest Elsa is a parallel to Jack Torrance. But their personalities and their struggles are radically different. The smallest issue is probably that unlike Jack, Elsa is never portrayed as menacing or threatening.

But more importantly, Elsa’s struggle is founded in the double nature of her powers. The powers aren’t, in themselves, evil, but can be harmful if not properly controlled. She has been brought up to fear her powers and to believe that they are a curse, rather than a gift. This fear of herself and the pressure it has put on her throughout her life is the focus of her character.

Jack’s struggle, meanwhile, is the pressure from his job, along with frustration and isolation. This, coupled with him struggling with alcoholism and the fact that the PLACE HE IS IN IS HAUNTED, slowly drives him insane.

Elsa’s isolation in the castle as she’s growing up, while not exactly healthy, doesn’t drive her insane, and her later self-imposed exile does the complete opposite! Instead of becoming murderous, she allows herself to actually explore those powers. That entire song “Let It Go” is all about how now, the pressure is GONE! She is free to test those powers, for the first time in YEARS!

And it turns out that, when she doesn’t have to suppress the powers and keep them hidden, she can do amazing things. Like building an enormous palace of clear ice in less than forty seconds!

Dave: Ah, but they both hurt a family member.

Yes, but again, the circumstances are completely different! Elsa accidentally hit Anna in the head with an ice blast when they were playing. Jack broke his sons arm in a DRUNKEN RAGE! Again, Elsas powers aren’t inherently a bad thing, only an ability that requires control. Alcoholism and being able to use magic are pretty fucking different, don’t you think?

And perhaps most importantly, Elsa doesn’t try to MURDER PEOPLE! At no point does she threaten people or run around and break through doors, or slam axes through peoples chests! Whatever harm she causes is either accidental or, in the case of her facing the guards, self-defense. Freezing Annas heart or plunging Arendelle into a magical winter were not intentional acts. She was faced with a fear she has been struggling with for most of her life: losing control and hurting people. She wasn’t overcome with alcoholic anger or homicidal madness!

Then there’s Danny and Anna. It’s true that both are forbidden to enter a particular room, and are seen playing on their own. But again, that is ignoring all the many, many ways their characters differ. Anna is desperate for affection and company, first being separated from her sister, and then the death of their parents. This loneliness is what draws her to Hans, which sets off the central plot.

Danny doesn’t follow that character arc, nor does he fill the same role in the plot. As soon as Anna grew up, which I remind you was in the first 11 minutes of the movie, the similarities between the two characters ended!

But even ignoring that, there’s something missing from Anna, I feel. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is… What was it Danny had in “The Shining” again…

Oh, right. He had the powers, the whole reason it’s called The Shining in the first place! Telepathy, seeing ghosts, having a vision of an elevator flowing with blood…

Remind me, what supernatural powers did Anna have?

Dave: Well…

I’ll tell you what magic powers Anna has. None!

Nada, zilch, absolutely fuck all!

Kind of strange for a parallel, isn’t it?

Now, explain how Kristoff is supposed to be Halloran?

Dave: Well, both have a supernatural connection to Anna/Danny. Kristoff was raised by the same trolls that saved Anna, and Halloran has the same psychic powers as Danny.

Right, but that connection between Anna and Kristoff isn’t brought up to Anna in the movie. And that is, yet again, a very vague parallel to draw. That’s just one step above “Halloran spoke to Danny, and Kristoff spoke to Anna”. Kristoff and Anna’s relationship isn’t based on their “supernatural” connection, but the fact that Kristoff helps Anna, and over time the relationship grows between them.

Dave: But Halloran brings the snowcat to save Wendy and Danny from danger, and Kristoff brings Sven to save Olaf and Anna from danger.

What the fuck are you talking about!? When did Kristoff “bring Sven to save Olaf and Anna from danger”!? He rode on Sven, getting back to the castle to save Anna. Not only is that not the same thing, but you are demoting Svens character to be on par with a LIFELESS OBJECT!

Hallorans and Kristoffs occupation, motivations, roles in terms of story and their FATES are all completely different! At no point was there a scene with Kristoff being killed by Elsa, and Olaf and Anna escaping on Sven.

Which brings us to Olaf and Wendy. Explain.

Dave: Well, they’re both goofy supporting characters that-

I’m sorry, what did you just say? You’re saying they’re both goofy characters? Ignoring the “supporting” part, in what fucking universe would you consider Wendy Torrance “goofy”!? I’m sorry, but I must have forgotten what a fucking laugh riot it was when Jack slowly approached her on the stairs, talking about how he was going to… what was it again… Oh right!

I’m just going to bash your brains in. I’m gonna bash them right the fuck in!

Oh, and who can forget that milestone of comedy, on par with Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine, watching Wendy cry and shiver in terror, as her insane husband was smashing through the bathroom door with a fucking axe!

Seriously, you’re taking that, and don’t see a single issue with equating that with the snowman who doesn’t know that happens to snow in summer!? If you’re not crazy, you’re either dumber than I thought, or you have some deep fucking issues regarding women that you need to sort out right fucking sharpish! This is almost offensively stupid at this point!

And Hans being a proxy for Grady doesn’t work either, simply because their actions and motivations are complete opposites. Hans wants to keep Elsa from using her powers, so that he can eventually kill both her and her sister, and seize the throne. Grady wants to encourage Jack to murder Wendy and Danny, the same way he murdered his family. Both are evil, but Grady is an agent of whatever inherent malice resides in the hotel, whereas Hans is the initiator of his own malice.

Dave: Ok, but there’s a scene in Frozen where Olaf opens a window and Anna slides down on the snow outside. There’s a similar scene in The Shining, where Wendy opens a window and Danny slides down the snow.

Oh, of course! Because both Danny and Anna climbed out a window, that means these two movies are identical! I understand now. I take it all back, Dave.

Dave: Really?

Of course not, you fucking dipstick!

So, are those all the arguments?

Dave: No, there’s one last detail, regarding the ending.

Oh, happy day…

Dave: The movie ends with someone being frozen solid.

Yes, but in The Shining, that was Jack, and in Frozen, it was Anna. Also, call me pedantic, but there’s a pretty massive difference between freezing to death and literally becoming ice! 

So that parallel doesn’t really work at all. Oh, and there’s also the pretty crucial detail that Jack FUCKING DIED, whereas Anna, in case you forgot, didn’t!

Dave: Of course not! This isn’t The Shining.

Thank you! That’s what I’ve been trying to say.

Dave: This is Disney’s The Shining!

Wait, what!?

Dave: They disneyfied it, giving the story a happy ending! Instead of Elsa freezing to death, Anna froze, giving her life to save Elsa. This showed Elsa that love could help her conquer her wintry outbursts and-

Shut up, Dave.

Dave: What?

Stop talking. Stop talking right fucking now, or I will hurt you in ways you cannot imagine.

Did you actually listen to what you just said, Dave? This is why it’s too simple to just call you an idiot, because this transcends ordinary stupidity. It seems pretty clear that something, at some point, snapped in your brain, and you have gone insane.

Honestly, I was kind of enjoying this on a strange level up until now. But here, you’ve gone from playfully annoying to actually distressing. You bring a theory that is almost nothing but generalizing and cherrypicking details about these two movies, bending over backwards trying to twist things to fit it… and then, you bring an argument that is blatantly contradicting all the rules presented up until that point…

Dave: Uhm….

And you actually try to argue that the fact that they are not alike, that the parallel doesn’t work… is SUPPORTING the theory!? By extension, you’re trying to say that “Of course there are differences. This is DISNEYS take on the story”!

This is what I mean when I say you’ve snapped! You’ve gone fucking delusional!

This is one of the most frustrating theories I have ever read! It is nothing but cherry-picking, willfully ignoring crucial details about characters and events and completely missing the point of both movies.

The Shining is a psychological horror story, with supernatural elements, about a man slowly going insane and trying to murder his family, in a setting of isolation and paranoia. Frozen is a family movie about the relationship between two sisters, and the dangers both of prejudice and suppressing emotions.

The two have virtually NOTHING IN COMMON, except for the presence of SNOW! The entire thing just stinks of desperation! So you know what? That’s it.

Dave: What?

WTFAW is hereby suspended!

Dave: You… you mean you’re ending it? You’re ending “Why The Fans Are Wrong”?

No, but I’m putting it on hiatus, because you’ve clearly suffered some kind of mental breakdown from overexposure to idiotic fan theories.

See, I can stand you being naïve, enthusiastic and with an open mind, but you are no use to me at all when you’re so open-minded, your brain falls out! So I am sending you on vacation until you’re back to simply being stupid.

Dave: But… for how long?

Considering you looked at a theory that suggested Frozen is a retelling of The Shining and thought “Yes, this makes sense to me”?

I suggest you pack a big bag, because you’re gonna be gone a long fucking time…

 

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WTFAW: Batman (Pt. 3)

It’s been a long time since we covered some fan theories about Batman on this blog. In fact, the last time I talked about him, it was back in May last year, when I talked about a fan theory based on The Dark Knight. So in celebration that spring is on the horizon, let’s revisit the topic of the caped crusader, and some of the madness he has inspired. Dave?

Dave: Alright. I have two theories today. The first one is that the Joker in The Dark Knight is actually Bruce Waynes brother.

Aha, I see. Elaborate.

Dave: Well, in the movie, the Joker crashes a party and notes that one of the guests, who stand up to him, reminds him of his father, who he hated. The last person who stood up to a thug in the Nolan movies was Thomas Wayne.

Right…?

Dave: He later mentions how peoples morals are shallow and temporary, and how they will cast out freaks like him and batman like lepers, if given a chance. This hints at him being abandoned, perhaps by his father.

Uh-huh…

Dave: And where did the Joker meet the insane people that work for him? We know one of them, Thomas Schiff, was an imate at Arkham. If the Joker was also locked up in Arkham, they could have met there, and both broken out during the events of Batman Begins. And the Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman. He tries to protect him! Maybe that’s out of brotherly love?

Ok, let’s break this down, shall we. First of all, you say that the last person to stand up against a thug in the nolan movies was Thomas Wayne? What about Batman?

Dave: He doesn’t count.

What?! Why not? Alright, what about the guy in the bank, who pulled a FUCKING SHOTGUN on the bankrobbers? Doesn’t that count as “standing up to a thug”?

Also, Thomas Wayne didn’t “stand up” to Joe Chill. On the contrary, he was calm and cooperative, willingly handing over his wallet when told to. He only acted when Joe aimed his gun at Martha, at which point he jumped between the two, and got shot.

That is not “standing up to a thug”. So that argument doesn’t work.

Then, there’s the interrogation scene, when the Joker notes how both he and Batman are outcasts. You conveniently left out that the Joker makes it clear that they will “cast Batman out as a leper” when they no longer NEED him. That’s not really pointing to being abandoned by your family, but rather by society.

You know, that thing that’s his entire point in that scene? How all the “civilized” people will turn on each other and abandon their morals, when push comes to shove?

And as for Thomas Schiff, who says he and the Joker met in Arkham?

Dave: Well, where else would they meet?

Oh, I don’t know. Fucking ANYWHERE, after Schiff broke out of Arkham?! Batman even notes that people like Schiff are exactly the type of people the Joker attracts.

And this theory only really works, if the Joker knows who Batman really is. But it’s clear in the movie that he doesn’t know! He actually remarks, during that interrogation scene we talked about earlier, on how he thought Batman was really Harvey Dent for a while, given how eager he was to save Rachel.

He does draw similarities between himself and Batman, but he also has no qualms about killing him. Or did you forget how he was arrested moments before STICKING A KNIFE IN BATMANS FACE?!

Dave: Uhm…

Furthermore, isn’t the Joker and Bruce of a comparable age? It’s hard to say for certain, but Bruce was the only child of Thomas and Martha. We never see or hear of any other kids, so if the Joker was his brother, he must be older. And he has to be older by several years, since he must have been abandoned before Bruce was born, since Alfred doesn’t remember him.

But the Joker doesn’t look that much older than Bruce. In fact, if the actors age is to go by, he is actually several years YOUNGER than Batman. Heath Ledger was 29 when he played the Joker, and Bruce Wayne is most commonly in his mid 30’s in canon.

But that, I admit, is debatable. But even ignoring that, let’s not forget that this idea also hinges on Thomas Wayne abandoning his son. Here’s my question. Why?

Dave: Well, maybe because he was deformed at birth, which explains those scars and-

Firstly, Thomas Wayne doesn’t seem like the kind of person to abandon his son because of birth deformities. Secondly, those scars are not birth defects. Those are scars caused by physical trauma, like getting a knife shoved through your mouth. After all, you notice how, every time the Joker explains how he got his scars, it’s always by mutilation? If it was birth related, he would probably mention that.

Dave: Well, maybe it was because of mental reasons? Maybe Thomas put him in Arkham and-

Arkham Asylum is a home for the criminally insane. And yet, there is no criminal record of the Joker. In fact, that is a point. Part of this theory argues that it’s weird that the police can’t find a criminal record of the Joker, which this theory claims only makes sense if he was sentenced as a minor, thus suggesting he was abandoned by Thomas Wayne.

First of all, if you commit a crime that places you in a home for the criminally insane, that would still be put on your criminal record, and you would still appear on the patients list even if you are a minor.

Secondly and more importantly, that argument only makes sense if we first assume the Joker was in Arkham before the events of The Dark Knight. Which is an assumption that this argument is supposed to justify! This is fucking circular logic!

There is no evidence that the Joker was in Arkham, and they even specify in the movie there is no record of him being in Arkham, and this theory uses this as an argument that he was in Arkham!

Wasn’t that some kind of red flag to you that this theory might not hold up, Dave?

All of this should prove, pretty conclusively, that this theory isn’t just wrong, but so willfully idiotic, it’s almost painful!

Now, what was the second theory? And it had better be a bit less stupid.

Dave: Ok, so the second theory is that Alfred is Bruce Waynes father.

Yes, he is. And…?

Dave: See, it makes sense in a way, if… wait, what did you say?

I said yes. Alfred is definitely Bruce Waynes father. I don’t see where the fan theory is, here.

Dave: So… I’m actually right? You’re not kidding me here, are you? April 1’st isn’t for another two weeks, you know.

I could say the same thing, Dave. If this is all from this theory, then yes, you are absolutely right, for once. I’m genuinly astounded.

Dave: Wow, I’m… not really sure what to do at this point. I mean, I was expecting you to be opposed to this theory.

Not at all. I am all for it. I don’t see how… Wait a minute, do you mean his biological father?

Dave: Yeah.

Ah, now I get it. Yeah, that’s fucking stupid. But please, explain the theory.

Dave: But… you just said…

I know what I said. Explain the arguments.

Dave: Well, Alfred is way too protective, faithful and snarky towards Bruce to just be a simple butler, but not to be his real father.

Right. I see what has gone wrong here. It’s a bit of a rare situation, this. You’ve somehow picked up on all the clues, and got them absolutely right… but drawn the wrong conclusion based on them. I could be wrong, but I don’t think this has ever happened on this blog before.

Because you are right. Alfred isn’t just a simple butler. He is, without a doubt, Bruce Waynes father.

Dave: Then what is the problem?

The problem is, he doesn’t have to be Bruce’s biological father to be his dad! This is the man who raised him, guided him, assisted him and has done his damnedest to protect Bruce ever since he became an orphan. Hell, even BEFORE that, Alfred has been a part of Bruce’s life. He is Bruce’s closest confidant and ally, throughout pretty much all incarnations.

Dave: But what if Alfred and Martha Wayne had an affair and-

And what evidence is there to support that?

Dave: Well… uhm… Ok, but why has Alfred stuck around for so long to help someone he’s not related to, then?

Because he is a good man who, like I said, has been a part of Bruce’s family since before the kid was born! Would it really be so irrational that he recognised that he was the last family Bruce had!?

This has to be some kind of record, Dave. With the first theory, pretty much every single thing you said was wrong, and it even imploded in on itself without you noticing, and with the second you got every single argument correct, and STILL managed to be wrong!

I don’t know if I’m more impressed or sad for you, Dave.

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WTFAW: Coraline

Dave: I want to talk about Coraline.

That’s nice. While we’re listing things we want, I want a luxury yacht, a billion dollars and not having to deal with your bullshit while I’m busy having the fucking flu!

I need rest, plenty of fluid and aspirin. What I don’t need is the deranged ramblings of a lunatic, adding to a headache that could already split an engine block in half!

Dave: But aren’t you the least bit curious what I’ve found? At the very least, it might kill some time.

Yes, along with plenty of braincells…

Dave: Come on! You haven’t even heard what they are.

They”? You mean you’ve got more than one!? Listen, Dave. It’s nice that you’re enthusiastic, but I’m not in any state to deal with fan theories. So unless these are particularly idiotic and insane, I won’t be dealing with them right n-

Dave: Coralines parents are dead!

…Say what now?

Dave: That’s the first theory. The theory is that Coraline is all about a young girl struggling to deal with the death of her parents.

Right… And what are the arguments to support this, if I may ask?

Dave: Coralines mother at one point mentions an accident, pointing to a neck brace she’s wearing. At no point do we see either her or Coralines dad interact with anyone else besides Coraline. There’s even a scene with her making copies of her parents out of pillows, sleeping between them.

They died in a car crash, and Coraline now lives with her senile neighbours, that let her roam around freely.

Ok, then. Let’s dissect this, shall we?

This theory seems to ignore a fair few crucial details, but that’s not really something new. Let’s start with the neck brace.

We can suppose that, if this theory was true, the neck brace means Mrs. Jones died from a broken neck, right?

Dave: Yeah.

So how, then, did Mr. Jones die? He doesn’t have any obvious injuries, from what I can tell. Fatal car crashes tend to leave pretty serious injuries, seeing as they are… you know… fatal.

As for her making pillow replicas of her parents, that’s only after the Other Mother kidnaps them, leaving her alone. She misses her parents, because all of a sudden, they have gone missing.

Now, earlier in the movie, she’s annoyed that they neglect her and are busy with their work. If we’re playing armchair psychologists, all that, on its own, might be interpreted as her projecting her frustration. Her parents are dead, so they ignore her.

But that is missing some important things. For example, you claim that her parents never interact with anyone except Coraline.

The thing is, they do!

They interact with the moving company at the beginning, handing one of them a one dollar tip.

Dave: We never see who that is, though.

Well, it’s true we never see their face, but we see a pair of arms. And whoever it is, is wearing a green jumper.

You know, the exact kind of jumper we see Mr. Jones wear a few minutes later.

Nobody else in the movie fits that body type or wears clothing that looks like that. Is it not fair to assume that the figure in the door and Mr. Jones are one and the same, without us having to see their face?

And if Coraline’s parents aren’t actually there, who was driving the car?

Dave: What car?

When the Jones family arrives at the Pink Palace, who was driving the car? It remains by the house, so it must be someone in the building. But both Mr. Bobinsky and Miss Spink can be seen watching as the family arrives.

And Miss Forcible has too bad eyesight to have a drivers license, not to mention both of them remark that, when the parents go missing, they’ve lost their ride to the theater. This suggest that NEITHER of them can drive.

And before that, when the family heads out to submit the catalogue, Mr. Jones is briefly approached by two Shakespearian actors.

So, we do see people interact with them.

Another problem, that I can see, is that the theory seems to ignore most of the movie.

It suggests Coralines parents died in a car crash. So how does the Other Mother fit into it? The focus on buttons? On dolls and copies and talking cats and stolen eyes?

After all, that whole thing, by your reasoning, must be a response to the trauma. But none of it connects to the idea of the trauma, and just seems arbitrary.

And of course, let’s not forget.

If all of it is just Coralines imagination, if she imagined the whole thing with the Other Mother and the mirrored world…

Where did the doll come from? We see Wybie give her the doll, because it looks like her, and the movie shows that the Other Mother made the doll. Your theory doesn’t give an alternate explanation. Not to mention Coraline sees the ghost of Wybies great aunt in the other world BEFORE she is shown a picture of her by Wybie.

Dave: But what about the groceries?

What groceries?

Dave: Coraline finds her moms groceries on the table, but they’ve gone rancid! It’s because they’ve been there for months!

You mean the groceries that Mrs. Jones went out to buy earlier in the movie? We saw when she left to buy them, and in the interim, Coraline leaves for the Other World. Then she stays there until the next day. Fun fact about fish and fruit. You can’t leave that out for long before fish and bananas go bad. Left in room temperature, in a damp house, it’s not going to take “months” for a bunch of bananas to go bad.

12-14 hours will probably do the trick.

And besides, Coraline hasn’t been living in the Pink Palace for “months”. She’s been there four days at most.

And all this is ignoring the idea that you’re suggesting a young girl lost her parents in an accident… and she is randomly placed with a pair of senile old women, who leave her alone in a big flat.

Honestly, what is it with stop motion movies and you having no understanding of how adoption and foster parenting works? Because you did the same thing when we talked about The Burton Theory!

What lunatic court would go “Ok, obviously traumatized child who have just lost both parents? Go live with these two guardians who are clearly unfit for parenting, who will leave you alone in this empty flat”? You don’t think some kind of grief counselling would step in? Maybe a foster home or an orphanage?

And while I admit it might be possible, that still doesn’t explain the doll, the car or any of the other arguments against the theory.

Really, the only way for all of this to add up is if Coraline is making everything up. Spink and Forcible, Wybie and his grandmother, parents, the house, the other world, ALL OF IT.

And at that point, this has become a “it was all a dream” theory, and the ONLY credible bit of evidence to support it is the fact that Mrs. Jones wears a neck brace!

So you’ll pardon me if I’m ever so slightly dubious…

Now, I understand you have another theory about the movie?

Dave: The second theory is that Coraline never escaped the Other World.

Ok, explain.

Dave: Well, when the movie ends, we see the cat disappear behind the sign of the Pink Palace. This suggests that Coraline didn’t defeat the Beldam, and only entered another fake world. After all, her parents neglected her throughout most of the movie, but after she defeated the Beldam, they want to celebrate and everything is fine and dandy?

This is just another ruse by the Beldam!

But… none of them have buttons for eyes…

Dave: Of course not! The cat tore the buttons from the Beldams face! So now they don’t have buttons for eyes anymore. When he disappears behind the sign, he’s going through another portal to the real world!

Oh good god, this is stupid…

So they have normal eyes, because the cat ripped the buttons from the Other Mothers face. Did you forget that, when he did that, she couldn’t see anymore!

Shouldn’t this mean that instead of having buttons for eyes, nobody should have any eyes at all?

As for the parents suddenly wanting to celebrate, they are celebrating that the catalogue is finished. You know, that thing they were both so occupied with, Coraline felt neglected? Now that they don’t have to worry and stress over that, they can relax again and make up for neglecting Coraline! That’s not the Beldam manipulating her. That’s an ongoing subplot of the movie!

Next, you’re saying that during the entire story, the cat has been assisting Coraline and being squarely against the Beldam from the very beginning…

But now, he just leaves her to her fate, out of nowhere? He doesn’t tell her “By the way, I can still talk, and you haven’t escaped yet”?

The ghost children, who’s souls have been freed, warn her to get rid of the key, but not that she’s still in a fake world?

This implies that the ghost children are also created by the Beldam. But why tell her to get rid of the key, and then her hand tries to get the key back? Just let her get rid of the key, so she can’t escape!

None of this makes any sense!

Dave: Well, how did the cat disappear, then?

You mean like we already know that he can? He has already shown the ability to teleport. And he can clearly pass between worlds on a whim, since he doesn’t pass through the little door. He even remarks on it himself.

It’s a game we play. She hates cats, and tries to keep me out. But she can’t, of course. I come and go as I please.

In fact, during that very same conversation, he SHOWS HE’S ABLE TO TELEPORT.

This is an awful and idiotic theory, Dave.

Dave: Well, I have another that-

No! I have had enough of fan theories and now I’m going to go rest my aching, flu-ridden head.

And unless you want to know what it feels like to have buttons sewn into YOUR eyes, you will let me sleep, Dave!

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WTFAW: Toy Story

It’s time, I think, that we looked at another Disney theory, in this case a theory about Toy Story. Thankfully, this time it’s just one theory, as opposed to three. So what have you got for me, Dave?

Dave: Todays theory is that Andy’s mom is really Emily, Jessies previous owner.

This is one of those theories that keep popping up from time to time. It’s been a long time coming, so let’s review the evidence, shall we?

Dave: Well, one of the biggest pieces of evidence is Andy’s hat.

What about it?

Dave: It’s identical to the hat we saw Emily wear during Jessie’s flashback. Maybe Emily gave her hat to her son. When Andy then gets Jessie, Emily simply doesn’t recognize her.

Ok, interesting arguments. It would be really nice if it actually was true. But since I’m writing about it, it should be clear that it isn’t. Let me explain why.

Let’s start with the less reliable counterarguments. According to the disney wiki, Andy’s mom is 28 in the first movie. If we assume it’s supposed to take place in 1995, then she would have been born in 1967. But during Jessies flashback, we know that Emily was a teenager during the late 60’s, which makes sense. She was clearly a big fan of the show Woody’s Roundup, which ran during the 50’s.

But of course, the matter of the age of Mrs. Davis is based on a wiki page, so it might not be 100% reliable. But then, let’s look at it the other way. If Andy’s mom was a teenager in the late 60’s, maybe 15-16 by the looks of it, that means she is around 40 in the first movie. The third movie takes place 11 years later.

I don’t want to make any wild assumptions about age, but…

TSM
51 years old? I have my doubts.

But like I said, that is one of the more flimsy arguments. So let’s move onto something more compelling.

One of Jessies most defined character traits in the second movie is her resentment and heartbreak over being abandoned by someone who she thought loved her, but then just threw her away. She spent years with Emily, someone who she loved and cared for, right?

Dave: Right…?

Well, you said earlier that Andy’s mom simply didn’t recognize Jessie when Andy got her. Now, that argument on its own might hold up. But you’re forgetting something pretty crucial there.

Jessie would recognize Emily.

She even says as much herself:

You never forget kids like Andy or Emily. But they forget you.

There is no way in hell that Jessie, who has spent DECADES of grief over Emily abandoning her, wouldn’t instantly recognize her if she saw her again.

Add to that the fact that she spent another 7 years living with Andy. You’re saying that in all that time, she didn’t recognize her? Nobody referred to Andy’s mom by name in 7 years? Not once did she put two and two together?

In the third movie, she at one point laments them being abandoned, saying “This is Emily all over again”.

So no. Sorry, but I don’t buy that.

But perhaps the biggest argument against this theory is, oddly enough, your first argument. See, Andy’s hat is not evidence that Emily is Andy’s mom. In fact, it is the complete opposite, because we know that can’t be Emily’s hat.

Dave: What do you mean?

Weren’t you paying attention? Emily cared a lot about Jessie, growing up. And when she rediscovered Jessie, years later, her first course of action was to donate her. To give her up.

Dave: Yeah. So what?

Well, if she would do that with the doll, the focus of all her affections…

Why the hell would she keep the hat!? Why would THAT be the part she held onto, over everything else? Why would the hat be the thing she gave to her child, years and years later?

That makes no sense!

And since the hat is the most tangible piece of evidence offered in support of the theory, that means the theory doesn’t work. The argument you have presented actively contradicts the theory!

So no, Emily did not grow up to become Andy’s mom.

But I must admit, as fan theories go, it’s not as stupid as it could have been. Unlike the last time we talked about a Pixar movie, this one actually had something to support it. This theory is simply misguided, rather than insane or idiotic.

I would say I’m proud of you, Dave, if I thought for a moment that this would become a habit, and we wouldn’t be right back to insanity again next time…

Dave: To insanity and beyond, you mean?

Shut up, Dave.

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A (Second) Guide to Fan Theories

The Christmas season has passed, and the new year is upon us. And to mark the occasion, I’ve got a little gift for you, Dave.

Dave: Yes, but I’m a bit worried about what it is.

Oh, why ever would you be worried? After all, you only decided to bring me not one, not two, but FOUR idiotic fan theories during the buildup to Christmas, effectively polluting the whole of december, with your “Three Weeks of Fan-Mas”! Why would I be mad about that?

Dave: I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to!

So now, I have something to give you. Wanna guess what it is?

Dave: No, I don’t want to know!

I am going to give you…

Dave: Please no!

A fan theory lesson!

Dave: NOO- wait, what?

See, I came across a theory that, at its core, is plausible. The problem is that the arguments supporting it do not work. However, that doesn’t always mean a theory is broken. Sometimes, on rare occasions, a seemingly bad theory just needs to be modified. And that is the case with this theory.

Somewhat annoyingly, it’s yet another Harry Potter theory.

The theory is that when Harry uses the Resurrection stone, he doesn’t actually see his parents and Remus and Sirius.

Dave: No?

No. Instead, the theory suggest that these are more… spectral images conjured by the stone, to encourage Harry to kill himself. The arguments are that it’s very out of character for these four people, who have all tried their best to help and protect Harry, to suddenly just be completely fine with him dying now.

Even with all that is at stake, and the nobility of the act, it’s hard to believe that James and Lily, who gave their lives to save Harry, and who protected him even AFTER dying, when he fought the newly restored Voldemort, wouldn’t object to him just allowing himself to die like that. But no, they’re all fine with it.

The theory then points to the supposed origin of the stone, and how it was created by Death, as a means to kill someone. So when Harry uses it, it does what it was meant to do. It tries to kill him. Dumbledore knew this was what the stone does, and wanted to ease Harry’s passing. Dumbledore wanted him to willingly sacrifice his life, in the belief that he would save everyone else.

That was his plan. The protection Lily used to save Harry survived with Voldemort taking his blood, so the killing curse would only destroy the soul fragment inside Harry. And Harry’s sacrifice would protect everyone else from Voldemort, in the same way Lily protected Harry.

But like I said, this theory isn’t perfect. However, with some alterations, it can be made Plausible. That is, to where there are arguments for and against it.

In other words, we will twist theories to suit facts, rather than facts to suit theories. Let’s begin.

To me, the main issue with this theory is that, according to it, the tale of the three brothers is true. That in turn would mean that Death is an actual person in the Harry Potter universe. And I don’t buy that. As Dumbledore said:

I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects.

And the rest is just legends to add to the mystique of the Deathly Hallows. But let’s look at the resurrection stone in that light, then.

Why would Cadmus Peverell seek to create a way to raise the dead? Let’s suppose there is a nugget of truth in the tale, and it was because of a lost love. He tries to raise his fiancé from the dead, and he thinks he succeeds. We don’t know exactly how the stone was created, but we do know that intent or lack of concentration can skew the result of magic.

We can suppose that Cadmus was deeply heartbroken and abysmally depressed when he made the stone, so perhaps, rather than making a link to the afterlife, the overwhelming grief was enough to make the stone into a device that tries to comfort its wielder, by any means necessary. To most who use the stone, it would simply show them the image of a dead friend or relative, ensuring them that they are happy and have no regrets.

But in the case of the inconsolable Cadmus, the most effective way for the stone to comfort him and make his pain go away was to convince him to kill himself, thus being reunited with his lost love. Either that, or he realized that it was failure, and its comforts are just empty words meant to make him feel better, leading to deeper despair and finally suicide.

And in Harry’s case, it shows him Remus, Sirus, James and Lily, who all ensure him that they are proud of him, that they don’t blame him, and that it will be painless. They comfort him, and attempt to ease his passing. Because that is what the stone does. It comforts him.

Dave: So… this theory actually makes sense?

Yes. Inasmuch as there are valid reasons for why it could be true. However, there are equally valid arguments to suggest that Harry actually sees James, Lily, Remus and Sirius.

After all, we know that the afterlife is a thing. We know that when people die, they can stick around as ghosts or… move on. We also know that neither Dumbledore, Sirius, Remus, Lily or James are ghosts.

So we can reasonably suppose that Albus simply explained his plan to the others when he died and passed into the afterlife. That in turn explains why none of them are worried and they are all fine with Harry sacrificing his life: Because they KNOW it’s not permanent. If they tell him the truth, the plan fails. He has to be willing to sacrifice his life, granting everyone else the same protection as Lily granted him, and also destroying the soul fragment within himself.

And with that, there are arguments both for and against the theory, which to my mind makes it plausible. It’s up to the reader, if Harry meets his parents again or not, when he uses the stone.

Of course, there’s also a small addition to the original theory, suggesting that Dumbledore is Death, but I’ve already covered that once. It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.

So that’s my gift to you, Dave. Sometimes, all a theory needs is a different approach, and it can go from idiotic to somewhat plausible.

How’s that for a holiday miracle?

Dave: Well, I’m glad you’re in this good a mood, because I’ve got another fan theory that I’d like to discuss.

Oh, I’m indeed in a very good mood. Which is why I will allow you to simply leave, hoping in vain that you’ve learned something from this, instead of stapling your testicles to a firework for making that suggestion.

Dave: Oh… Well, in that case, Bye and Happy New year.

Happy New Year, Dave.

Back to Main Page

 

WTFAW: Santa Claus

There’s something in the air, I feel…

Dave: Christmas cheer?

No, impending stupidity. I think it’s about time we wrapped up the “Three weeks of Fan-Mas” now.

Dave: Alright. I’ve got a theory about The Santa Clause!

Well, I suppose it’s only fitting. So what is the theory?

Dave: Ok, the theory is that Bernard is the son of Scotts predecessor.

Ok… What do you base that on, then?

Dave: Well, it’s a bit strange that he looks so different from the other elves. He’s noticeably taller, for example. Also, he gives Charlie a magic snow-globe, with which to summon his dad. Why would he have that, unless he himself had a need of it?

Is that all? Well, then.

You’re saying that Scott accidentally kills Bernards father, and Bernard just accepts it? You’d think he’d be a bit more upset about the death of his father, or at the very least have some reservations about helping the man responsible. That doesn’t quite add up, does it?

And while you may be right that Bernard is a bit taller than the other elves, there are some details he shares with them.

Such as the fact that his ears are pointy!

We know that the previous Santa must have been human, just like Scott, since it’s clearly a title passed from person to person. Scott took over from the previous santa, who in turn took it over from another person, and so on.

Therefore, if Bernard is his son, he must be human too. But he isn’t human, but an elf. Which makes sense, because while the elves LOOK young, they are really quite old. So how come, if your theory is true, a kid who may well be CENTURIES younger than his coworkers, gets the post of Head-Elf?

In fact, you mentioned the snow-globe. You remember what Bernard said when he gave it to Charlie?

“Be very careful. This is very old, just like me.”

Ignoring the fact that, according to your theory, Bernard has LOST HIS FATHER, and yet is absolutely fine with not only helping the guy responsible, but to give his kid what would have to be a treasured memento of his father and the connection they had, within DAYS of losing him…

Dave: Uh…

Even ignoring ALL OF THAT, he outright says that he is very old. What possible reason would he have for lying about that?

Dave: I don’t know. But why else would he have the snow-globe?

Weren’t you listening? Bernard is very old. How many Santas do you think he has seen come and go over the years?

Do you think Charlie is the first kid a Santa-to-be has brought to the north pole? Isn’t it far more likely that Bernard knew this was a possibility, and had the snow-globe with him just in case?

Really, I have to ask… is this really it? I mean, I’m happy to be done so fast, but I was expecting something more, given the occasion.

Dave: Well, it’s really close to christmas , so I thought it’d be fitting to theme it around Santa. Sorry it was so anticlimactic.

Right. You know what? I cannot believe I am about to say this, but… give me another theory.

Dave: Really? You mean it?

Yes. You were really excited about this whole fan-mas stuff, so I guess if we can’t have “intelligent”, we can at least have “entertaining”. But make it an interesting one.

Dave: Alright! Let’s see… Oh, I know! You know Santas magical powers?

Yeah…?

Dave: He has a sack that is larger on the inside, he can appear and disappear seemingly at will…

Right…?

Dave: And he manages to deliver toys to children all over the world in one night, which could only be possible if he had some kind of time-travel magic.

Where are you going with this?

Dave: Don’t you see? Santa is a wizard!

A wizard? As in “yer a wizard, santa”, wizard?

Dave: Exactly!

So let me get this straight… I give you ONE CHANCE to bring me a second fan theory to discuss… and you bring me a fan theory about Harry Potter?

Dave: …Yes?

After what I said the last time we covered Harry Potter, where I think I made it crystal-fucking-clear that I am sick to death about these endless theories about Harry Potter… and you bring me another, four days before christmas.

Dave: Uh…

No, it’s ok. I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.

Actually, scratch that. I’m boiling with rage, if I’m honest. There’s disappointment as well, but mainly rage. But it’s this close to christmas, and I don’t think it’d be keeping with the holiday spirit to murder you violently.

Instead, I will ask you to elaborate.

Dave: Well, there’s not much else to say, is there? Santa uses memory alteration to make people forget he was there, and he uses a time turner to solve the time problem. And the reason he’s at the north pole is because he’s an exiled wizard! He broke Clause 13 of the International Statute of Wizard Secrecy, by performing magic in front of muggles! The North Pole is International Waters!

I see. Well, it’s an interesting theory, but again, it doesn’t quite work. For example, we have the problem that your theory suggests that Santa is real. And yet, nobody in the Harry Potter universe makes any mention of him as a real person.

Furthermore, if he uses the obliviate spell, which removes memories, then how come there are descriptions of him? How can anyone know who he is or what he does, if he wipes the memory of anyone who sees him?

If he can apparate, how come he needs a sleigh to get anywhere? We know that people still buy christmas gifts for each other, so why does santa need to deliver gifts?

Dave: He could alter peoples memories to make them think they bought gifts?

Wait… he makes gifts and delivers them, then alters the parents memories so they think they bought the gifts and then what? Removes money from their bank account? That’s just insane and stupid!

And finally, you’re saying he has been exiled by the wizarding world, and has to stay at the north pole. Presumably to avoid the law. Correct?

Dave: Yeah…?

One can assume, then, that he has nowhere else to go, and by extention that he is considered an international criminal, sought after by all law enforcements agencies in the wizarding world, right?

Dave: I suppose.

Then my question is this: How have they not caught him by now?

Dave: What do you mean?

Think about it. If your theory is true, Santa has been exiled for breaking the law about using magic in front of muggles, and has to stay at the north pole to avoid the law.

Except according to your theory, he keeps committing the same crime over and over. All over the world. In the same night. AT THE SAME DATE EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

He doesn’t change his MO, his tactics, his targets… He has done the same thing for what has to be CENTURIES, and nobody has ever caught him?!

That makes absolutely no sense!

Let’s summarize. Santa is never mentioned to exist, the arguments against his existence are the same in the wizarding world as in the real world and even if he DID exist, he would not be able to do the same thing twice, let alone for literally hundreds of years!

So for all those reasons, this theory is stupid.

And with that, the “Three Weeks of Fan-Mas” is over and done with.

Dave: Yes, I suppose. Now we can relax, and welcome the new year.

We can, but we won’t.

Dave: We won’t?

I’m not finished with you yet. You have brought me FOUR stupid fan theories during these past three weeks. Two of them were about the same movie, and one was about a subject that I have TOLD you I am sick to death of. You have made me suffer through your idiocy for THREE WEEKS, and dumping this madness on me only a few days before christmas!

So I’ve got a little gift for you, in view of that.

Dave: What is it?

You’ll see next week. But suffice to say, I will really, really enjoy it!

Merry Christmas.

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WTFAW: Home Alone (Pt. 2)

Dave: It’s time for the second week in the Three Weeks of Fan-mas!

Goody. So what subject is the nonsense about this time?

Dave: Today is about Home Alone!

No, did a theory on that last week.

Dave: Yeah, and I’ve got another!

Splendid. I hope for your sake that next weeks theory is at least about another movie. I would hope it made sense, but why wish for the impossible. But I digress. What is the theory?

Dave: Kevins mom Kate sold her soul to the devil.

…Well, of course she did. And what exactly is there to support this?

Dave: This one is kind of obvious, really. In the movie, she desperately tries to get home to Kevin, at one point getting stuck at Scranton Airport. While there, she’s told that there is no space on any planes further, until the day after. She tells them that she is going to get home, no matter what. To quote her directly:

Even if I have to sell my soul to the Devil himself, I am going home to my son.

Dave: Immediately afterwards, she is approached by Gus Polinski, who offers to give her a ride to Chicago. And he plays the clarinet!

Ok, one piece of madness at the time.

Let’s start with the simple idea that Gus appears as soon as Kate makes the offer of her soul. But for that to make sense thematically, he would have to appear the instant she makes the offer. You know, “speak of the devil, and he shall appear” and all that.

Dave: Yeah?

The problem is, he is already in the background long before she makes that offer, and in fact, we can see the reason he got involved. He didn’t react to anything Kate said, up until she made it clear that she is going home to her eightyearold son.

And he then takes her aside and offers her a ride, since he and his band are going to Milwuakee. And his motivation is that it’s christmas time.

Seems to me he’s more of a good samaritan than the prince of lies.

And as for her offer of selling her soul, by that reasoning, literally ANYTHING SHE DID TO GET HOME would therefore cost her her soul, according to your logic. In other words, there is absolutely no reason for the devil to get involved what so ever. After all, she didn’t specify a time frame for when she would be home.

So why would the devil who, in case you forgot, is FUCKING EVIL, shift a single hoof to help her?!

Dave: Ah, but old folklore tells of people summoning the Devil at a crossroad. Scranton aiport is at a crossroad! It’s where highway 84, 81 and 80 meet.

Well… no. Firstly, the definition of a crossroads is a point where four different roads meet. This is where three roads meet. That’s not really a crossroad. Secondly, even if it WAS a crossroad, it’s also 1.3 km away. That’s not “at” the crossroad. That’s “a fair distance from the crossroads”. If you can summon devils at that distance, I’d say the crossroads is completely unnecessary at that point.

And then there’s the clarinet. Explain.

Dave: Well, the clarinet is a wind instrument!

Yeah… and?

Dave: and the devil likes wind instruments!

…Ok, is this going to be another thing like you did with Pulp Fiction? Where you just make shit up to support your argument? Otherwise, I’m going to need some explanation or a cited source or something.

Dave: I figured you might, so I brought you this, an excerpt from the bible! Ezekiel 28:13

You were in eden, the Garden of God […]The workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was prepares in thee in the day that thou was created.

Dave: Tabrets and pipes refer to percussion and wind instruments. Therefore, the devil has wind instruments and percussion instruments built into him, and is fond of them!

Ok, I am not a bible studier. I am not pretending that I can pick up all the subtleties in the bible, which may have been lost, added, misinterpeted or mistranslated over THOUSANDS OF YEARS…

But I think it’s a pretty flimsy argument to say that one solitary sentence means playing a clarinet automatically makes Gus the devil. Especially when I’m pretty sure the biblical “pipes” refers to… you know, pipes and flutes, not a clarinet, which wouldn’t be invented until about the 1700’s?

And isn’t it strange that the devil would appear in a movie that is supposed to be set in the real world, where nothing else supernatural happens?

Dave: Well, the slapstick is a bit unrealistic. If you heated up a door handle until it glowed, the door would catch fire, and a paint can to the face might actually kill you!

Maybe, but isn’t  that just for comedy? You’re suggesting that the devil appears, at random, to get the soul of ONE RANDOM PERSON, for no good reason! There’s no signing of contracts or handshakes or anything you would expect from a faustian pact. And then the Devil, Evil Incarnate, is genuinly helpful and friendly, and her selling her soul appearantly has NO negative side effects at all?

Dave: Uhm…

Isn’t it much more likely that she just made a hyperbolic statement, and a good samaritan decided to help her out, because she needs help, he has the means and the time to help her, and it’s christmas, and he’d have to be a stone cold bastard to ignore a desperate parent who needs to get home to her kid?

Doesn’t that seem a bit more reasonable and believable than “Devil randomly turns up in the movie that hasn’t been supernatural before or after”?

Dave: Well… yes…

Good. so that’s the SECOND week of Fan-Mas done with.

Dave: Only one more to go! Aren’t you excited? Oh! I just realized! If Gus Polinski is the Devil, what if Old Man Marley is God? I mean, he is-

Continue that sentence, and I will stab you to death with a candy cane…

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