The Jane Theory
A teapot looking like Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast appears in Tarzan. That theory suggests its another symptom of Disney’s erratic magical characters, but what if it wasn’t?
What if the tea-set Tarzan’s gorilla-friend Terk is drumming on is actually a centuries-old heirloom from the Porters’ noble past? In fact, it could be just one of the clues connecting Jane Porter to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
You see, cutlery isn’t the only thing Jane has inherited from her royal ancestor.
There’s her dress-sense:
Her eccentric father:
Her taste in (slightly wild) men:
And her passion for civilising those men:
It’s also interesting that we don’t have a surname for Belle or her father Maurice, and Belle goes on to marry Beast, whose popular name ‘Prince Adam’ isn’t even officially recognised.
So how do you connect the daughter of an eccentric French inventor to the daughter of an eccentric British adventurer?
Through an eccentric German Duke, of course.
As commenter Kate O’Gara pointed out on The Tarzan Theory, Frozen‘s Duke of Weselton looks more than a little like Jane’s father, Professor Q. Porter.
This is because he is the familial link that connects Beauty and the Beast and Tarzan.
If we take an estimate from the original story’s publication (La Belle et la Bête in 1740),Beauty and the Beast‘s French setting is probably somewhere in the late to mid-1700s. Based on similar estimates, Frozen is likely set in the mid-1800s.
However, Frozen‘s Duke is from a German town called Weselton. How can he be the grandson of a French prince?
Because something happened between those two dates…
Prince Adam and Belle probably fled France to avoid the guillotine but were still well-off enough to win favour with the German nobility. It would explain why the Duke incorrectly corrects the pronunciation of ‘Weselton’ as ‘WESS-ul-tun!’ when a German native would pronounce it ‘VAY-zel-tun’. (The Duke’s German accent is authentic, but it’s possible he is too used to his immigrant parents’ pronunciation.)
This family link would also explain why the Duke is so terrified of ‘sorcery’ and magical women with long fair hair.
Because his grandfather was cursed by a blonde enchantress.
Clearly the legend of his grandfather falling afoul of a magical enchantress have been passed down in the Duke’s family (though sadly not accompanying the lesson about vanity – as proven by his poorly-attached toupee).
Since the Duke is frozen out of all future trade with Arendelle at the end of the film, it’s possible he wouldn’t have been popular with his constituents on returning to Weasel Town. Maybe he would start looking for a change of scenery. He’s clearly a resourceful and adaptable businessman, and his family wouldn’t be strangers to change.
He would just need the right opportunity to profit from, say…
The Duke seems like the kind of guy who knows a goldmine when he sees one. If he made it to Britain soon after the first Industrial Revolution, he would probably do pretty well for himself (and help his children to do so too).
Well enough that his grandson went on to be a professor with the means to lead expeditions to the African continent. Not filthy rich, by any means, but rich enough to be well spoken (that German accent would grow unpopular in pre-World War I Britain) and hold on to a few heirloom tea-sets.
And having come from a family that had yo-yo’d between rags and riches across Europe, you can bet his descendants would be adventurous, adaptable and able to understand people who don’t necessarily speak their language.