12 Mysteries That Cartoon Creators Keep Under Wraps

4 years ago

Our favorite cartoons and animated films have sparked debate among fans: some think they are riddled with plot holes, some think those plot holes are mysteries that are meant to be solved with a little bit of imagination and a lot of attention to detail.

Today, at Bright Side, we’ve compiled a few of the changes that were made in popular movies and cartoons. Some of them remain unsolved. We’ve added a bonus at the end of the article that shows Minty Zaki’s mystery, that we hope you can help us wrap up.

1. Arnold’s parents, Hey Arnold!

In season 3, we learn that Arnold’s parents were explorers and had disappeared on a humanitarian mission in San Lorenzo, a fictional country in Central America. The show ended, and we never knew if they were alive or not, or what exactly happened to them. Only in Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, did the creators decide to wrap up this mystery. Arnold’s parents were trapped in a jungle village where they got a sleeping sickness.

2. The Krabby Patty secret formula, Spongebob Squarepants

One of the main arguments between Plankton and Mr. Krabs in Spongebob Squarepants, is Mr. Krabs’ secret formula for his famous Krabby Patties. Time and again, Plankton has tried to steal the formula to open his own restaurant, but every time he is close to getting it, either the narrator stops the story, or his attempt is foiled by Spongebob. Fans have come up with a theory online, saying that there’s actually no secret formula and that it’s just a marketing campaign led by Mr. Krabs.

3. Local animals, Zootopia

Disney decided to replace the news anchors in each country with local animals, because deer are actually not that common in other countries besides the U.S. In China a panda appears, in Australia a koala, and a Jaguar in Brazil. What do they have in common? All of them are endangered species.

4. The towers of time, Coco

Coco’s amazing animation hides the history of architecture in Mexico. If you zoom in, you’ll see that most towers in the Land of the Dead actually show the most iconic buildings from each of Mexico’s architectural eras, from prehispanic pyramids to today’s amazing skyscrapers.

5. Number A113, Pixar movies

It is hidden in all of Pixar’s movies, sometimes on the license plate of a car, sometimes on a railcar. A113 turned out to be an inside joke made by the alumni from the California Institute of the Arts, as a reference to their old classroom number, A113. Later on, other animators working for different companies joined Pixar and added the number into The Simpsons, Family Guy, BoJack Horseman, and even Doctor Who.

6. Homer’s evolution, The Simpsons

When Matt Groening created The Simpsons, Homer was supposed to be a 1980s conventional dad. As the series developed into what we know today, it became clear that he wasn’t, so his image had to change. His more realistic features were adapted to fit a lazier and more cartoonish character.

7. Bill Cipher’s secret message, Gravity Falls

In Gravity Falls’ last episode, Bill Cipher, the evil Illuminati-like triangle, is destroyed by Ford when he erases him from his memory. While this happens, Bill Cipher mumbles something backward. If played right, the message says “A-X-O-L-O-T-L my time has come to burn, I invoke the ancient power that I may return,” suggesting that he will come back later if the series has new seasons. Fans have speculated that Bill Cipher survived in the form of a bird.

8. The pizza truck conspiracy, Pixar movies

The same pizza delivery truck has appeared in most Pixar animated releases since Toy Story. Fans have pointed out that this might reflect an inside joke. The reason behind it still remains unclear.

9. Unexpected visitors, The Little Mermaid

Believe it or not, your favorite Disney characters all gather under the sea in The Little Mermaid. When King Triton assembles the masses in the opening scene of the movie, Goofy, Donald Duck, and even Kermit the Frog are in the audience.

10. Tribute to empowerment, Lilo & Stitch

Mulan appears as a reference a few times in Lilo & Stitch. Let’s not forget that Mulan was one of Disney’s greatest hits, where women actually played an active role as the hero and not just as someone who had to be kept away from danger. Also, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois both worked on Mulan and Lilo & Stitch.

11. Gargoyle Pumbaa, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Pumbaa, from The Lion King, appears as a gargoyle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or at least that’s what fans have been saying. After all, in both movies, he plays the same role: a guardian. It turns out that there’s an actual pig gargoyle on Notre Dame.

12. Pearl’s mom, Spongebob Squarepants

The only time Pearl’s mother is mentioned in the series is when Mr. Krabs screams “Mother of Pearl!” when he is surprised. According to cartoonist Vincent Waller, show creator Stephen Hillenburg has refused to reveal Pearl’s mom’s identity. Fans have theorized that she was abandoned as a young whale after birth, or even that her mom was chased away by whale hunters.

Bonus: Minty Sakura or Minty Zaki, Wreck-it Ralph!

Wreck-It Ralph fans have noticed that in the Japanese version of the movie, one of the secondary characters in the Sugar Rush race was replaced. Instead of Minty Zaki, in Japan Minty Sakura appears. To this day, the reason for this change is unknown.

Do you know of any other mysteries in cartoons? Have you solved any of the open mysteries we’ve mentioned above? Do you know why Minty Zaki was replaced? Let us know in the comments!

Preview photo credit Wreck-it Ralph! / Disney


Get notifications

Related Reads