Jon Negroni explores the possibility that every Pixar movie takes place in the same universe of humans, animals, machines, monsters, and magic:
In Brave, Merida discovers that there is “magic” that can solve her problems but inadvertently turns her mother into a bear. We find out that this magic comes from an odd witch seemingly connected to the mysterious will-of-the-wisps. Not only do we see animals behaving like humans, but we also see brooms (inanimate objects) behaving like people in the witch’s shop.
We also learn that this witch inexplicably disappears every time she passes through doors, leading us to believe that she may not even exist. Don’t get ahead of me, but we’ll come back to Brave. Let’s just say, for now, the witch is someone we know from a different movie in the timeline.
It’s convoluted as hell, but fun to think about.