There are few things the internet loves more than crazy fan theories, as everything from Wall-E to Harry Potter have been subject to hilarious online scrutiny. And it turns out even the classics aren’t safe, as one fan has posited a crazy twist to Snow White and The Seven Dwarves—Disney’s first full length animated movie— and you may never see the film the same way again.
Just about everybody understands the premise of the movie. Snow White, ethereal beauty and friend to woodlyn animals everywhere, ends up living with seven dwarves in the woods until Maleficent the evil witch feeds her a poisonous apple which leaves Snow White right at the door of death and only able to be saved by a kiss from the prince. But the most recent fan theory suggests that Snow White actually dies at the end of the movie and the prince is actually a symbol for death.
This makes some sense once you break it down. When Snow White first sees the prince in the forest, she runs from him. That’s odd, considering that they’re both humans and she seems totally fine with the fact that she can basically talk to animals and is living with seven diamond mining dwarfs in the countryside somewhere. But the interaction makes a lot more sense if she’s actually running from death. Once she warms up to him, she sends him a dove, and no one releases a cage full of blue jays at a funeral. He kisses her, she wakes up, but then the two ride off into what is literally castle in the clouds. Perhaps what we saw as her waking up, was just her soul leaving the body.
It’s a grim reading, but there is typically more than one way to read a Disney movie. A Bug’s Life could easily be an allegory for the manner in which those with power aggressively exploit the working class who will eventually have to use the sheer might of their innovation to undermine a gang of ruthless oppressors. The Lion King could also be a tale about how nepotism and the hyper-centralization of political power via a monarchy create a breeding ground for staunch authoritarianism. So why can’t Snow White end with the titular main character secretly dying at the end?