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Contrived Coincidence / Animated Films

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Contrived Coincidences in animated movies.


  • 5 Centimeters per Second:
    • In the third act, Takaki and Akari somehow end up passing through the same railway crossing at the same time, at a location that was significant to both of them to boot. This is one of the things that suggest Akari might not have really been there at all.
    • In the manga adaptation thereof, after a day of fruitlessly searching Tokyo for Takaki, Kanae gives up, sits down and calls home, telling of her intention to perish the thought and just go home. Then it's strongly implied Takaki just happens to pass by.
  • An American Tail:
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    • Fievel gets washed overboard in a raging storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Instead of drowning, he somehow ends up inside a floating glass bottle, which somehow ends up washing ashore right onto Liberty Island, which coincidentally is near New York, where Fievel's family was headed. Luck and the ocean currents were definitely on little Fievel's side, apparently.
    • More coincidences occurred where Fievel and his family kept missing each other when they were in the same place.
  • The Emperor's New Groove:
    • Yzma's miraculous survival when she fell off of the top of the palace. For no reason at all, at that very moment, a trampoline had been accidentally delivered to the palace and set up where she was falling.
    • Lampshaded when Yzma (in cat form) has finally gotten the potion back from Kuzco and is promptly squished by Kronk throwing open the other opening of the chute he had fallen into a good while ago (too long ago to have taken this long, but this movie runs on pure Rule of Funny). His quote — while still oblivious to what he had just done — "Wow. What are the odds of that trap door leading way out here?"
  • Frozen:
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    • When the raging winter is ended and the frozen fjord all six central characters are standing on is thawed, they all happen to be right above a boat that allows them to keep afloat, avoiding falling into the thawing harbor.
    • The villain had extraordinarily good luck for just two days of executing his plan. Hoping for a chance to gain the throne of some kingdom, Prince Hans visits a royal family he knew nothing about due to their reclusiveness. By nighttime he's already engaged to Arendelle's princess out of her sheer impulsiveness. A few minutes later the queen flees, the princess goes after her, and Hans is given acting command of the kingdom. The next day Princess Anna is wounded in a way he can easily blame on Queen Elsa, giving him all the cover he needs to murder them both and become king.
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    • Upon managing to find a shop after being nearly frozen to death, Anna meets Kristoff and recruits him to help her find Elsa. Then later upon being struck in the heart by her sister, said man coincidentally happens to know the trolls for help, aka the same person who has been adopted and had previously met both her and Elsa. If that man happens to be any other ice harvester, then she wouldn't even know about the trolls at all let alone how to break her curse.
    • The room that Olaf runs into coincidentally happen to be at the same room that Anna was left behind by Hans whom the latter intends to freeze her to death allowing him to save her in time. And of course the fact that he found her Just in Time leads to the lucky coincidence below.
    • Anna is incredibly lucky that she managed to freeze at the exact time for Hans' sword to break and be blown away. If she froze earlier, she would not have been able to intercept the sword just in time for her to shield her sister against Hans' killing blow. If she froze later, she would have met a bloody end in front of a grief-stricken Elsa whose sight of her sister being cut in half would have likely traumatize her even further and would either snap in rage or hit the Despair Event Horizon even further that she takes her own life.
  • Hoodwinked:
    • It's clear that the four main characters ending up in Granny's house has to be this. In order, Granny Puckett arrives first, parachuting in through the chimney, coincidentally just as the Wolf and Twitchy are arriving at the house. Her parachute gets caught in the ceiling fan which ties her up and throws her in the closet. The Wolf and Twitchy search the place, presumably for maybe no more than five to ten minutes before Red Puckett, the person they are trying to get information from about the Goody Bandit, arrives. By even more coincidence, Kirk, the lumberjack, is trying to cut down a giant redwood tree up a hill from Granny's. By freak coincidence, just as Kirk is hearing a scream from the cottage, the tree topples and takes him down the hill, and throws him through the side window. About half the plot is Legs working this out, since the cops originally didn't believe a word of it.
    • Red Puckett is like Contrived Coincidence to a T: The bandit strikes her granny's store while she happens to be in a treehouse nearby (he's gone by the time she reaches the store, so it's clear she jogs a short distance).
    • Later, the Wolf just happens to show up when she falls from the cable car (though this is revealed by the Wolf's story to be because he was doing surveillance on her based on information from his informant Woolworth).
    • Red and the Wolf happen to end up traveling through the same coal mine at the exact same time. Their carts come within a few feet at least twice, and neither character notices the other. Further more, it just happens to be a coincidence in both of their cases that they stumble upon the coal mine: Red finds it through Japeth, who lives in a mine shack that turns out to be the first building she's seen in a few hours, while the Wolf happens to find a ladder out of the cavern he and Twitchy have been traveling through (having trusted Boingo with directions).
    • Red happens to encounter Granny while her mine cart is airborne. Granny has just escaped an avalanche and is flying home in a parachute.
    • All four characters' encounters with Boingo have to count: in Red's story, he just happens to be on the roadside when he sees her riding by on her bike. In the Wolf's story, he conveniently shows up at the right time to suggest a (not) shortcut to Granny's place. In Kirk's story, Boingo conveniently happens to be the first passerby to show up after Kirk finds his truck raided. He also appears right before Granny's ski race to get her autograph. This is because he's actually the Big Bad and behind much of the plot. He's by the roadside because he just finished robbing the store when he first meets Red and when he meets Kirk, he and Wolf run into each other because both are following Red, and he's actually there arranging a hit on Granny when she meets him.
  • Ice Age 5: Collision Course: Manny forgets about his and Ellie's anniversary, and just when it looks like he's going to be exposed in front of the whole ceremony, meteorites suddenly explode in the sky like fireworks, and the crowd believes it was a gift for Ellie.
    Manny and Sid: (to each other) Nice save with the light show. Wait, you didn't do this? Then who did?
    Ellie: Oh, Manny. I was so afraid you'd forgotten, but you lit up the sky for me? How'd you do it?
    Manny: Uh, well... A magician never reveals his secrets.
    Ellie: Aw...thank you.
  • The LEGO Movie:
    • Done twice. The first time, when stranded in the ocean, Batman claims there's no chance of a rescue ship approaching just as Metalbeard's ship arrives. The second time, they need to build an Octan jet, to which Batman says there's no way they'll get access to a working hyperdrive. Cue the Millennium Falcon coming in.
      Batman: Are you kidding me, the same bit?!
    • However, the multiple coincidences are justified in-story by The Reveal: the whole LEGO universe is a story being told by an 8 & 1/2 year-old kid who's making up the plot as he goes.
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, Dave somehow knew ahead of time that the Penguins were going to break into Fort Knox and go for the vending machine long before they even told Private of their plans.
  • The Road to El Dorado: The guy the duo gambles against happens to have a map to El Dorado just as the Spanish Fleet is leaving for South America, the duo happen to wash up right on its shores after days adrift at sea, and a volcanic eruption happens (and cancels itself) just as the duo are asked for proof of their divinity.
  • Tokyo Godfathers has quite a bit of this, to the point of being a plot point. One of the main characters repeatedly mentions that the baby they've found is a gift from God, and we see many times that she might be what's making everything fall into place so perfectly.
  • Toy Story: Sid just happened to be at Pizza Planet where Woody and Buzz were trying to find Andy. It also happened that he decided to try the Claw Machine when Woody and Buzz accidentally ended up in it.
    • Toy Story 4: Buzz develops the idea that his red voice button is his conscience, and presses it when he's not sure what to do. Somehow, whichever prerecorded voice line plays is always the one with the useful advice.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Fix-It Felix, lovestruck by the Statuesque Stunner Sergeant Calhoun, compliments her as "one dynamite gal". Which just happens to be an unstoppable Berserk Button for her, as it's what her late fiancé used to call her.
    • Another one is Ralph discovering that Vanellope is a legitimate character in her game rather then a glitch: In anger, he threw the medal he "won" in the Hero's Duty game at the game screen. This knocked the taped on the out of order sign off to reveal Vanellope's picture on the side of the Sugar Rush arcade cabinet. Which so happens to be right in view of the Fix-it-Felix cabinet.
  • In Yellowbird, the titular character and his flock are caught in a storm and opt to take shelter in an abandoned oil tanker half buried in the seafloor. There are plenty of signs that the ship has been sitting there for years, but only after the birds arrive does it begin to collapse and sink into the depths.


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