There is no arguing that Disney’s animated films are some of the most legendary stories ever presented on the big screen. It’s almost like every myth and fable has been turned into an animated feature full of brilliance, wonder, and pure magic.
But there are oodles of small details that you may have missed from these iconic movies. From the older classics to the newer Pixar films, here are some of the most intriguing details about Disney animated movies that will make you see them in a different light.
Pinocchio Wasn’t That Big of a Liar
Pinocchio is one of the older classics in the Disney vault. When fans think of Pinocchio, one of the first things that they can remember is the fact that his nose grows when he tells a lie. Many remember the character constantly telling lies throughout the entire film.
But in reality, his nose only grew once throughout the whole movie! It grew when he told them he met a couple of large monsters with green eyes when he was walking to school. This was likely to prove that he grew throughout the story.
Guess How Many Spots Are in 101 Dalmatians
Have you ever wanted to know the total number of black spots are in the movie 101 Dalmatians? Keep in mind that the dogs are in it from beginning to end, so it’ll be a really high number. Someone counted, and the black spot count totaled to 6,469,952 total that can be seen throughout the whole film.
We are a little fuzzy on who exactly counted each spot in every frame. But the fact that Pongo had 72 spots, Perdita had 68, and the puppies had 32 each likely helps.
The Only Green-Eyed Princess
Disney is notorious for their princesses. When you think back to all of the princesses that Walt Disney Studios has brought us, all of them seem to have something special that makes them different from one another.
While Rapunzel has certain qualities that make her different from the rest of the princesses for several reasons, there is one detail that is completely unique to her. All of the other Disney princesses have blue or brown eyes, while our heroine from Tangled is the sole princess with green eyes!
Tiana Is the Only Disney Princess With a Real Job
The Princess and the Frog was a historical Disney movie for several reasons. It took long enough, but with the introduction of Tiana, the Disney universe finally got its first Black princess! But that isn’t the only interesting detail about this princess movie.
Most of the heroines in Disney films tend to fall into one of two categories: a princess or an unemployed commoner. Tiana was the first Disney princess to hold down a normal job as a waitress saving her tips to open a restaurant.
Why Does That Character Look So Familiar?
With so many Disney characters, it must be challenging to come up with unique ideas so that they don’t all look the same. Some of them might even look eerily familiar to people you’ve seen before. Turns out that the animation team at Disney often pulls inspiration for their characters’ looks from high-profile celebrities.
Aladdin is the perfect example. He might’ve started off as a daredevil in poverty-stricken Agrabah, but in the drawing-room, his likeness was inspired by one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, Tom Cruise.
Background Cameo in Big Hero 6
Disney is famous for its name and its notorious inclusion of hidden easter eggs. There are countless details planted throughout any Disney movie, particularly in the more recently released ones. These films tend to pay homage to other Disney movies a lot more these days.
They often use references to older movies or drop little hints that all of these movies take place in the same universe. Like in the movie Big Hero 6, there’s a quick scene that shows a “Wanted” poster, and Frozen’s Hans is one of the background people.
The Name Inspiration For WALL-E
There are only a few Disney movies that blatantly shout out the man who started it all – Walt Disney. Enter WALL-E. This delightful little robot is the main character in the Disney movie, all about the importance of taking care of our planet.
Once we learned that Disney’s full government name was Walter Elias Disney, it became crystal clear where the creative team got the idea for WALL-E’s name. It’s a clever, subtle reference but something that most viewers would likely overlook when watching the film for the first time.
Guess It Just Runs in the Family
Sure, the movie was called Moana, but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his character Maui really stole the show. The former wrestler not only nailed his part but apparently, he had a lot of creative input when it came to his character.
Johnson convinced producers that his late grandfather was the perfect likeness to pull inspiration for Maui’s look. Before there was The Rock, his grandfather was a well-known Samoan wrestler named Peter Maivia. It’s pretty cool to think that his grandpa served as inspiration in both his acting and wrestling worlds.
Mickey Mouse Stole the Emperor’s Groove
Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognizable characters of all time and one of the first from Walt Disney Animation Studios. It comes as no surprise that the character that became the symbol associated with Disney, Mickey Mouse, would get some sneaky cameos in future movies.
Sometimes it would be through an homage every so often or a clever reference. The Emperor’s New Groove used the shape of Mickey’s head in several overt ways. A pair of Yzma’s earrings are in a mouse head shape, the food on Kuzco’s plate, and even some of the bushes.
How’d an Apple Get on the Car?
Disney and Pixar movies are not known for their subtle titles. So obviously, when they released a movie called Cars, it was going to be filled with cars. A large mix of sick racecars of different colors and sizes are highlighted throughout the film, and they each have a big personality.
But get distracted, and you won’t see a white racing car with the iconic Apple logo in addition to the number “84” (the year the first Apple computer came out). When the movie was released, the largest shareholder of Disney was Steve Jobs.
A Hero Wears a Villain as a Cape
Viewers have come to know now that Disney movies are self-aware enough to reference themselves. They will make it a point to cleverly include hints or nods to other Disney movies. Depending on the themes of the movie, the type of references is more obvious than others.
Think about Hercules, for instance, which includes the main character wearing a cape made from Scar, the bad guy from The Lion King. Viewers are meant to believe that Scar was a hunting trophy. He may have been a villain, but did he deserve to be turned into a rug?
Walt Disney Had a Favorite Animation
It is always a curious thing to hear about what the creative mind thinks about his body of work. Walt Disney oversaw so many movies being made during his life, so it was only a matter of time before an interviewer asked him what his favorite animation to make was.
Disney claimed that the Cinderella dress transformation was his all-time favorite. Since he died in 1966, Disney Animation Studios has released countless films, and the animation has gotten better and better. Walt would be pleased with his movie legacy.
Merida’s Unruly and Long Locks
It might not be the most talked-about Disney animated film, but it definitely left an impression. Brave was as great as the rest of the great Disney movies due to its vibrant characters and breathtaking visual storytelling.
At the core of the film is the young princess Merida, who was born with long, curly, unruly, red hair. It perfectly fit her independent and outspoken attitude. Her hair was very long, to begin with, but it would’ve been closer to four feet long if she had straightened it.
A Proudly Pregnant Character
Though Chicha was only a supporting role in The Emperor’s New Groove, she broke barriers and made Disney history as the first pregnant character to be in a Disney animated film. Disney Animation Studios are notorious for their negative portrayals of moms.
In most animated movies, the maternal character is normally killed off at the start of the story or becomes a villain. Chicha’s generally positive portrayal and appearance throughout the entire film proved that Disney was going through a notable shift in how they were portraying maternal characters.
Voice of Reason Tattoo
In the movie, Moana, the daughter of the village chief, crosses paths with Maui, an infamous demigod. Besides carrying around a fish hook that magically allows him to shapeshift, Maui has tattoos all over his body that depict his supernatural achievements.
One of those tattoos is a portrait of Maui and doubles as a visual presentation of his conscience. Mark Henn was the animator who designed the tattoo. He wanted it to be both Maui’s companion and a voice of reason when Maui is in a tough situation.
A Tarzan Without His Jungle Call
With the movie version of the Tarzan story, it’s to be expected that recording the “Tarzan Yell” will be part of the process. This specific and boisterous yell is actually a registered trademark of the management company in charge of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ estate – including everything having to do with the Tarzan character.
Tony Goldwyn was the actor who voiced Tarzan in the movie but was unable to recreate the iconic call. The producers ended up having Brian Bless, who actually played the villain in the movie, record the character’s signature sound.
Lady and the Tramp is most known for that famous spaghetti scene. The movie, which tells the story of two dogs from different backgrounds who fall in love, is still beloved by fans. The film’s most heartwarming scene is when the dogs share a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.
Allegedly, Walt Disney didn’t initially approve of this carb-filled meal and removed it from the movie’s storyboards. He figured that the scene would look too messy. The directing animator, Frank Thomas, altered the scene into the now-legendary movie moment.
Spice Up Your Feelings About Hercules
From the opening scene in the Disney movie Hercules, the five muses set the tone for what unfolds throughout the film. These five women, inspired by the assorted goddesses of Greek mythology, provide the movie’s musical narration.
Alan Menken composed the film’s music and initially asked the Spice Girls to perform as the muses for Meg’s famous song, “I Won’t Say.” The British pop group had to decline to appear in the movie because of scheduling conflicts. Eventually, Menken decided to use more gospel influences instead of pop music.
Keeping It All in the Family
One of Disney’s most notorious villains is the witch from the ocean floor, Ursula. She made her debut in 1989’s The Little Mermaid when she offered Ariel a plan to turn her into a human so that she could interact freely with Prince Eric.
The character of Ursula was originally written as King Triton’s sister and Ariel’s aunt. While they ultimately decided to scrap the idea, the film does hint at their relationship when Ursula clarifies how she used to reside in Triton’s palace before being banished.
Gaston’s Dialogue Was Initially More Violent
Between his overall entitled attitude, to his constant gaslighting of Belle, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gaston isn’t a very well-liked character. The final battle between the Beast and Gaston was originally written with Gaston screaming, “Time to die!” as he stabs the Beast.
The dialogue was later changed to “Belle is mine!” in the final version of the movie. Some thought that the original line was too aggressive, while others thought that the final version was more appropriate for the storyline of the two characters battling for Belle’s love.
Dr. Facilier’s Biggest Influences
One of the latest villains to join the Disney family is Dr. Facilier from the movie The Princess and the Frog. In the movie, Dr. Facilier plays a voodoo doctor in New Orleans who dabbles in witchcraft and the dark arts.
The animators took inspiration from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson when it came to Facilier’s characteristics. Animator Bruce W. Smith used many of the pop star’s mannerisms and moves and included them in the character. Smith used Jackson’s fashion style and thin physique as the vision for the slick villain.
Ariel Look Was Inspired By an ‘80s Teen Star
It’s always an interesting process how Disney’s creative teams come up with how their characters are going to look. When it came to the leading lady in The Little Mermaid, Disney had a very specific reference that they wanted to model Ariel after.
That’s correct; despite the fact that she’s not a redhead, Alyssa Milano was emerging as a teen star right around the time that the movie was in the works. Her popularity was on the rise, and the studio figured it wouldn’t hurt to use her likeness for Ariel.
Simba With a Tiger Roar
For a company that has built a reputation for paying attention to the small details, we can’t believe that this fact is real. The Lion King is one of the most successful Disney movies in the company’s history.
The filmmakers used sound effects for all of the animal noises, including adult Simba’s roar at the end of the film. But the sound team actually used the sound of a tiger roar rather than a lion. It turns out that a regular lion’s roar wasn’t loud enough.
The Hour-Long Disney Movie
Compared to other blockbusters, many of Disney’s animated films are relatively short. It made sense since can you honestly expect a child to sit through a movie that was three hours? And yet, Dumbo took things to an extreme level.
The running time of Dumbo is a little bit more than an hour, approximately 64 minutes long, which is so short. Walt Disney was encouraged by executives to lengthen the running time of the movie, but he countered by claiming that overstretching a movie’s plot can cause the whole thing to collapse.
Sleeping Beauty Slept Through the Dialogue
In the earlier Disney animated feature films, the princesses didn’t have that much dialogue. Sleeping Beauty was released in 1959, and Aurora hardly spoke during the 75-minute-long movie. She only had 18 lines of dialogue throughout the entire film.
It all might have something to do with the fact that she was asleep for most of the movie! Aurora is the main character in a Disney movie to have the second smallest number of lines. Obviously, the baby elephant Dumbo had even less than her.
A Blend of Several Animals
As a child, you may not have read too much into what type of animal the Beast from Beauty and the Beast actually was. At first glance, you may assume that he’s some type of special feline creature. Yet, it turns out that the troubled character’s likeness was a giant mix of countless different animals.
This picture shows specifically which animal each of the Beast’s physical features are modeled after. To be fair, though, the Beast does have the feline feature of a lion’s mane.
The Scary Side of Toy Story
There are some film references that are more random than others, and one of the greatest examples of this is in all four Toy Story films. During the part of the movie when Woody was trapped in Sid’s house, the scary character’s hallway rug was very similar to the carpet in the hotel from the iconic horror flick The Shining.
It was like that on purpose! Ralph Eggleston was the production designer who loved the Stanley Kubrick movie so much that he pushed to put the easter egg in the animated movie.
From Penny Lane to the Animation Studios
There are plenty of moments throughout Disney’s history that leave viewers with a minor sense of déjà vu because they think they’ve seen a character before. As they did with Ariel and Aladdin, Disney animators pull inspiration from actual people and especially famous people.
Consider the vultures in The Jungle Book. The animators clearly modeled the birds after The Beatles. Funnily enough, Disney reached out to the band members to voice the vultures, but John Lennon turned it down because he didn’t want to do any voice acting work.
Little Brother’s Jungle Appearance
Now, this moment is a great small example of a Disney animated film subtly hinting at another one. In fact, it was so subtle that we didn’t spot it the first time we watched the movie! This means that only the most focused viewers will see this detail in the movie Tarzan.
During this particular scene, when the professor gets really close to the gorillas, a stuffed animal tumbles out of his bag and can be spotted from higher up. That toy was drawn to look like Little Brother, the small dog from Disney’s Mulan.
From a Melancholy Donkey to a Shapeshifting Robot
Voice acting is in a class of its own. It’s truly amazing how dynamic voice actors can be when it comes to what types of characters they can do, and Disney is bursting with legendary examples. One of the most striking ranges of a voice actor has to be the incredible Peter Cullen.
The seasoned veteran is the mastermind behind the melancholy voice of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Cullen’s abilities are so diverse that he also was able to voice the character of Optimus Prime in the Transformer movies.
A Shadow Hints at Future Character
The easter eggs are constant in Disney projects, but it’s not only older movies that Disney films will make references to. There have also been situations where their newer flicks will have small details hinting at what’s to come with future releases. A perfect example was in Ratatouille.
During a scene when Remy the rat is sneaking around, he ends up getting really scared from a shadow that greatly resembled Dug the dog from the movie Up. The sneaky part was that Up hadn’t been released yet!
Based on a Real Person
It may be hard to believe, but Pocahontas is one of the only Disney heroines who was based on an actual figure from history. The real-life Pocahontas was a Native American woman from the Powhatan tribe. In 1613, she was captured by English colonists.
She was forced into conversion to Christianity, was married to John Rolfe, and gave birth to a son in the years afterward. Some argue that Mulan also existed in history, while others suggest that she was merely the heroine of a classic Chinese poem.
Three Disney Princesses in One Movie
Technically, Enchanted isn’t counted amongst the fully animated films from Disney Animation Studios. However, it still holds a strong connection to classic cartoon Disney movies. Believe it or not, the movie has cameos from two of Disney’s most famous princesses – well, at least the actresses who voiced them.
Paige O’Hara, who played Belle in Beauty and Beast, and Jodi Benson, who played for Ariel from The Little Mermaid, both had roles in the 2007 mostly live-action film, playing a soap opera character and a secretary, respectively.
The X-Rated Detail in the Rescuers
Disney movies are for all ages, so they have to keep them interesting. There have been several times when Disney movies have included cheeky jokes or hidden details that are generally more catered towards the adults in the audience.
One of the most blatant details that many missed was in the movie The Rescuers. The majority missed what looked like a topless woman positioned by a window which Bernard and Miss Bianca fly past. Remarkably, Disney chose to take back 3.4 million videos after getting countless complaints from stunned families.
Lilo and Stitch’s Burning Love
Some Disney films have the oddest pop culture references in them, and Lilo and Stitch is a great example. While the King was known for having songs in his films, the popular animated flick featured many of his songs.
Hilariously, the movies Elvis starred in rarely got positive reviews, while Lilo and Stitch was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2002 Academy Awards. Many children vaguely know about Elvis, so they overly committed to the King, even making Stitch dress up like Elvis in the film!
The Evil Queen Sans Teeth
Disney has always thought outside of the box when it comes to developing sound effects for its projects. And oftentimes, the actors for those projects bring their own ideas to the table, transforming the way we think of the character.
In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Queen/Witch was played by actress Lucille La Verne. She had the idea to take out her fake teeth and then read her lines, which helped create the evil voice that made it into the final cut of the movie.
Disney Got Sued Over a Hyena
Animated movies aren’t always the most reliable sources of information about animals. As far as Disney is concerned, these cartoon depictions can sometimes have serious consequences for specific species like the spotted hyena.
In the 1994 animated movie The Lion King, the film has the three spotted hyenas as evil sidekicks for the movie’s villain, Scar. A hyena biologist was so insulted by this inaccurate portrayal that they filed a lawsuit against the movie studio for defamation of character. In the real world, hyenas are very intelligent and versatile apex predators.
So Many Sassy Sidekick Horses
If you have watched a lot of Disney films, you will likely see some repetitive patterns over time. These include plot points or characters that appear to be similar, like the Disney princesses. But it appears that there is a specific type of animal that appears in many of the movies too.
And they always seem to have the same attitude! Many of the main characters have sidekicks that are sassy horses. These 11 horses are Achilles, Angus, Buck, Bullseye, Khan, Major, Maximus, Pegasus, Phillipe, and Samson.
Who Knew Farts Would Make History?
Though flatulence is a totally regular bodily function, it was never shown on screen until Disney’s The Lion King in 1994. Pumbaa, the warthog, deals with occasional farting sessions, much to the dismay of the creatures in his vicinity. Pumbaa’s gassiness was the first time that someone farted in a Disney movie.
Never mind that it was also a hilarious and endearing character trait. Maybe the issue wasn’t Pumbaa’s smell but the fact that he was spending time with animals with incredibly sensitive olfactory glands (a lion and a meerkat).
Reusing the Luxo Ball
While most of these easter eggs and hidden details are dedicated to a particular Disney animated project, this one applies to a bunch of them, specifically the Pixar movies. Dedicated fans will remember the iconic “Luxo Ball,” obviously the yellow ball that Buzz Lightyear bounced off of.
In a classic Disney move, that wasn’t the only time it would be seen in a movie. In fact, that exact ball has appeared several other Pixar films. This includes the likes of Cars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., to name a few.
Jackie Chan Does More Than Stunts
Most Americans recognize Jackie Chan for his intense stunts in many action movies, but the actor also has some serious musical talent which he has shown off in several Disney movies. Believe it or not, Chan is an operatically trained singer and has made more than 20 albums in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taiwanese.
He also stepped in to play Captain Li Shang in 1998 for the Chinese version of the movie Mulan. Chan went on to record both Cantonese and Mandarin versions of the film’s song, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
We Almost Had a Turkey Sidekick
It’s not shocking that animators almost put a turkey in the 1995 movie Pocahontas. Turkeys are regularly found in the Virginia area where the film was supposed to have been. Originally, a turkey named Redfeather was the sassy sidekick of Pocahontas.
However, the actor behind the voice of Redfeather died. The studio decided to replace the turkey character with another common North American creature – a raccoon named Meeko. Meeko proved to be the perfect fit because of his dexterity and funny interactions with Governor Ratcliffe’s pet pug.
The Woman Behind the Fairy
When the fairy character of Tinker Bell was first introduced to audiences on movie screens in the 1953 animated Peter Pan movie, viewers were taken by her hilarious antics and adorable appearance. As it turns out, the feisty pixie was modeled after an actual woman – actress Margaret Kerry.
Animators followed Kerry so that they could accurately capture her movements for the movie’s movement-heavy scenes. Kerry even acted out several of the movie scenes using oversized props, like standing next to a pair of scissors or getting stuck in a keyhole.
Outsourcing Animation to Ensure Accuracy
An overwhelming majority of animated films take place in fantasy destinations and are then created all in one place. While creating the 1996 animated movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Disney wanted to ensure that they were portraying the city of Paris as genuinely as possible.
Disney outsourced about a fifth of the movie’s creation to an animation studio based in France. Filmmakers also traveled to Paris in order to accurately portray the city’s history and architecture; they were even given a private tour of the iconic Notre-Dame cathedral.
Less Than Three Minutes Took Three Years to Animate
When people recall the movie The Lion King, one scene normally comes to mind – the stampede. In this heartbreaking scene, a young Simba finds his now trampled father’s body. While the scene only lasted around two-and-a-half minutes, it took closer to three years to fully animate it.
Animators utilized a combo of traditional hand-drawn animation and computer special effects to develop the scene. They also researched the herd behavior of real wildebeests and flew across the real-life African savannah to accurately capture the likeness of that landscape.
Disney Developed a Whole New Language
In Disney’s 2001 movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the creative team did not only want to explore the story of an ancient underwater city, but they also wanted to take it a step further and develop an entirely new language for the people of Atlantis to use.
They called it Atlantean, and American linguist Marc Okrand was the mastermind behind the language. Okrand was famous for his work in creating the Klingon language for the Star Trek series. Okrand came up with around 1,000 words that were used during the movie.
Surfing Through the Jungle
Tarzan grew up with gorillas, so he was bound to pick up some tricks. Having been raised in the jungle, it’s only natural that Tarzan would be more at home swinging on vines and climbing trees than being on the ground.
When Glen Keane, the head animator for Tarzan, was putting together one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, he drew inspiration from professional skateboarder Tony Hawk to create his tree “surfing” scene. Keane used his own son’s experiences with extreme sports and surfing to finalize the scene.
The Creepy Range of Voice Acting
Lilo & Stitch is a movie about a rogue alien that becomes a member of a little girl’s family in Hawaii. It’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that the same actress who voiced Lilo Pelekai in the Disney film could also be the voice actor for Samara in the horror film, The Ring.
Even though they were on the opposite sides of the spectrum, both were voiced by Daveigh Chase. Many Disney fans might be shocked that a voice actor could have such a jaw-dropping range.
Dramatic Casting of Hades
It can be tough to picture anyone besides James Woods as the voice actor who played Hades, lord of the underworld in Disney’s 1997 animated movie, Hercules. But before Woods was selected, filmmakers had initially wanted another actor – Jack Nicholson.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to work out because Nicholson’s salary expectations were way higher than what the studio was prepared to offer. For that reason, Nicholson passed on the role. Animators found a way to incorporate Woods’ signature sneer and fast pace of talking into the character in the movie.
The Director Kicked a Hole in the Wall
Many viewers of The Nightmare Before Christmas will recall the movie’s ending when the threads holding Oogie Boogie together got unraveled and resulted in his demise. Director Henry Selick initially wanted an alternative ending where Oogie Boogie was revealed to be Sally’s (the hero’s love interest) dad – much to the horror of Tim Burton.
The two disagreed, and Burton even damaged the wall out of anger. Granted, Burton had been working on the movie for years before production and was incredibly passionate about the original plot.
Different Voice Actors in Different Scenes
Experiencing the physical changes from puberty is never fun, particularly for young actors. When teen actor Rickie Sorensen was cast in the animated Disney movie Sword in the Stone, he quickly realized his voice was changing. Fortunately, the director of the movie Wolfgang Reitherman had two sons that were close in age to Sorensen.
The director’s adaptability ensured that the movie’s production continued without interruption. However, the character’s voice does sound a bit different in certain scenes throughout the movie, so you can tell it wasn’t the same actor.
Six Planets Rather Than Eight
In the Disney movie based on Greek mythology, Hercules, The Fates, possess the power to look into the future, present, and past. In one scene, they detail an event when the planets will align, which will allow for a prophecy to develop. But viewers will catch that the scene only shows six of the planets.
The reasoning for this comes from actual history! The ancient Greeks only recorded six planets rather than eight because those were the only ones they could see at night. The six planets are presumed to have been Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus.
Beyoncé Lost Out Due to a Big Ego
Being one of the most famous pop stars ever can result in celebrities feeling like auditioning for a part is beneath them. When production started on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, the pop icon basically assumed that the heroine role would be handed to her.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way for ‘Queen Bey’ this time. She was among several famous stars, like Alicia Keys, who had to try out for the part of Tiana. Luckily, Beyoncé’s Dreamgirls co-star Anika Noni Rose nailed the audition and landed the role of Princess Tiana.
Location, Location, Location
Tons of Disney fans enjoy the 1961 animated movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians because of its heartfelt story and cute canine characters. The movie made Disney history as the first animated movie to be set in a particular and modern setting.
Before One Hundred and One Dalmatians, the majority of Disney movies set the story in broad geographical regions or were fairy tales that were set in fictional places. The movie’s London location was a special change that would set an example for future story-specific locations.
The Actual Pet Chameleon Pascal
Though his character didn’t have lines, Pascal is one of the most adored characters in the animated Disney movie Tangled. In the movie, Rapunzel’s sidekick is a sassy chameleon with an adorable face named Pascal. Many fans absolutely loved him.
The producers knew from the beginning that they wanted a different type of animal sidekick for this movie and went with a lizard. Funnily enough, one of the animators for the movie actually owned a pet chameleon whose name was also Pascal. When the actual Pascal became a dad, his children were included in the movie’s credits!
A Real-Life Tramp
While Lady and the Tramp has countless memorable moments and characters, not many people know that Tramp was modeled after an actual dog. The character of Tramp was modeled after an actual stray dog that one of the movie’s story artists found on the street.
After a long journey, artist Erdman Penner was able to locate the charismatic stray at the neighborhood pound where she was going to be put down. Thankfully, Penner decided to adopt her. The dog was used as one of the in-person models for the animation team.
Lilo & Stitch’s Surprise Original Setting
When storyboard artist Chris Sanders first created the idea of Stitch, he pictured the movie taking place in an isolated location. He originally considered Kansas before landing on Kaua’i, the Hawaiian island. The abundant island landscape determined the color palette and the animation process.
Sanders also came across the Hawaiian cultural belief of ohana – a concept that family can reach beyond actual relatives. As all dedicated fans of the movie will know, ohana was a central part of the plot and an overlying theme of the movie.
Children’s Movie Inspired By Dark Themed Story
When most people think of the 1967 animated movie, The Jungle Book, they associate it with funny characters and catchy songs like “The Bare Necessities.” The real story that inspired the movie was much darker than what was portrayed in the Disney version.
The movie is based on the Rudyard Kipling book with the same title. Kipling’s collection of stories had much heavier themes like abandonment, death, freedom, and law. The movie’s original story artist, Bill Peet, voted to go with the original book’s darker themes but was shot down by Walt Disney.
Modeling Maleficent After a Gothic Actress
Maleficent is one of Disney’s most notorious villains. While she’s based on assorted classic fairytale villains, her appearance in the film was distinctly special comparatively to other portrayals of evil female characters. Since the 1959 release of Sleeping Beauty, rumors spread like wildfire that the evil enchantress was heavily influenced by the likeness of Maila Nurmi.
Nurmi was famous for her curve-accentuating gowns and sophisticated gothic persona Vampira. In 2014, Nurmi’s diary entries were made public and confirmed that she was the inspiration for the cartoon villain.
The Connection Between The Avengers and Rex the Dinosaur
There was a period of time when director Joss Whedon wasn’t solely making superhero blockbusters like DC’s Justice League and The Avengers. The man behind the successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer projects was at one point one of the creative minds behind Pixar’s very first box office hit, Toy Story.
Interestingly enough, Whedon had direct input and say in developing one of the most memorable characters in the film. Rex, the anxious dinosaur, was developed by the same person who directed The Avengers: Age of Ultron!
The Human Inspiration Behind Ratigan
The Disney film The Great Mouse Detective was an animated interpretation of the classic Sherlock Holmes, featuring rats and mice in Victorian-era England. While developing the characters, animators utilized paintings and old photographs of Londoners in the 19th century.
When it came to developing the movie’s villain, Ratigan, they relied on former Disney CEO Ron Miller. Similar to Ratigan, Miller had a big and daunting frame; Miller was 6’6″ tall and used to be a professional football player. Considering how awful this villain was, hopefully, that’s where the similarities stopped.
Down Here in the Deep Blue Sea
Just the concept of a shark that keeps a strictly vegetarian diet is pretty funny if we do say so ourselves. So, it’s only fitting that someone at Disney thought the idea would work perfectly in the classic animated film Finding Nemo.
They named the character Bruce, and he is very charismatic, despite having the appearance of a scary predator. But there is a specific reason why they named him Bruce. The character was named after the animatronic shark they used to make the film Jaws.
Little Guy in a Big Man’s World
Billy Crystal has a long and successful acting career. He has starred in some legendary films, like When Harry Met Sally. But the beloved actor’s favorite role came when he starred in Disney’s Monsters, Inc. Crystal voiced one of the main roles, Mike Wazowski.
Interestingly, Crystal had a lot in common with the green, one-eyed monster. He could completely relate to the whole “little guy in a big man’s world” complex. Additionally, he recorded his lines in the same room as his co-star John Goodman, so it made everything more authentic.
Does Disney Hate Old People?
A study done by students at Brigham Young University showed that about one-fifth of Disney villains are above the age of 55 years old. Additionally, about 42% of older characters in Disney films are portrayed more negatively.
As a result, many kids view elderly people through a distorted lens because of the stereotypes reinforced by these films. Still, that doesn’t mean that all of Disney’s older characters are evil people. Consider Up, for instance. The hero of that movie is an initially grouchy, but then nice, old man!
Real Love Between Minnie and Mickey
Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been the face of Disney, but many people wonder if the iconic characters are siblings or husband and wife. Well, it turns out they were married, and life definitely imitates art when it comes to these two.
Wayne Allwine and Rissi Taylor were the voice actors behind these Mickey and Minnie Mouse for a staggering 32 years! And just like the beloved characters, the voice actors fell in love and got married. It’s not just the Disney princesses that live happily ever after.