We’ve all seen the Disney classical animation films, and many have us have even been to the theme parks. But there’s a whole lot more you never knew about the company that makes dreams come true. From the incredible way the movies were created to well-hidden secrets in Disneyland. So hop on, the ride is about to start.
The actors who played two Disney characters were married
It gets even more interesting than that – those characters are Minnie Mouse Mickey Mouse. Wayne Alwine, Mickey’s voice for more than 30 years, and Russi Taylor, Minnie’s voice, were married! The two met when Taylor was working on a 1988 TV special, “Totally Minnie”. Later on, they became a couple and eventually got married. The happy couple was married for two decades until Alwine’s death.
Magic Kingdom is on the second floor
You may already know that there is an elaborate system of tunnels and underground pathways under Magic Kingdom in Florida, enabling cast members to get from one point to another without “ruining the scene”. But do you know that this tunnel system was actually built on the ground floor? The entire park is situated on the second floor. Think about it next time you walk down Main Street USA.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was expected to fail miserably
Back in the 1930’s, the movie, a historic milestone in the world of animation, was considered a giant risk for Disney. Walt had a difficult time financing the film. not only did he take several loans, but he even mortgaged his own house! Many of the company’s workers envisioned the collapse of the business due to the film. boy, were they wrong or what?
The Beatles almost took part in “The Jungle Book”
the filmmakers hoped to have the members of the most famous band in history make a cameo in the animated film. they were supposed to voice the vultures showcased in the film, and the animators even incorporated hairstyles inspired by those of the band members. In the end it was a scheduling issue that cost us this amazing collaboration.
“Bambi Complex” is actually a thing
Well, not a formal one, but still. The movie shows one of Disney’s most tragic moments, when Bambi’s mother gets shot and killed. If you suffer from the “Bambi Complex”, you are very empathetic to wildlife and nature. You are also very much against hunting, and think that human should treat animals with respect.
So is “Cinderella Complex”
A person who was the “Cinderella Complex”, usually a woman, is defined as extremely dependent on men, both financially and emotionally. Such a woman also wants to be saved by a Prince Charming of some sort. The unofficial term was coined based on the character that spends her days cooking and cleaning for her evil stepmother and sister. Nowadays, this sounds quite obsolete, and whoever made up the disorder probably has some issue too..
Two generations of one family are involved in the “Frozen” soundtrack
The duo behind the super famous “Frozen” soundtrack (both its melody and its lyrics) are actually a couple – Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. They say much of their writing for the franchise was inspired by their two daughters and their relationship. One of those two, Katie, sings on an iconic track from the film – “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”. By the way, they also wrote the music for “Frozen 2”.
The only scene you remember from “Lady and the Tramp” almost wasn’t made
The spaghetti scene from the movie, during which the two dogs shared some pasta and wound up kissing, is amongst the most famous animated scenes of all time. Walt did not like the idea at all, and though that it would look weird (it does, by the way). Disney was eventually persuaded when some concept art was shown to him by a persuasive animator.
Elsa from “Frozen” was supposed to be the ‘bad guy’
21-year-old Elsa (the only Disney princess not a teenager) was supposed to be an eccentric villain, like many before her in the Disney universe. When the film’s writers heard a draft of the film’s main song, “Let it Go”, their feeling about the character changed dramatically, and they eventually completely re-wrote Elsa’s story. They made her a positive protagonist. Oh, and she was not meant to be Anna’s sister, originally. Good call on those re-writes, Disney.
Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” is based on a real person
The evil sea witch that makes Ariel’s life miserable is based on a famous drag queen from Baltimore. After any different drafts, the drawings that were used in the film were loosely based on a drag queen at the center of films such as “Hairspray” and “Pink Flamingos”. Director John Musker admitted to this, even though, according to him, “it’s sort of disguised”.
There’s a ton of extra Genie audio you’ll probably never hear
The late Robin Williams is considered one of the greatest improvisers of all time, so it should come as no surprise that as the Genie from “Aladdin”, he has recorded more than 16 hours of improvised lines. Only some of those were used in the final cut, and it seems like that we won’t hear the rest of it. Ever. Williams’s will include a clause prohibiting the release of such tapes after his passing. Incredibly, Williams’s amazing improvisation act on the movie may have cost it an Oscar for screenplay, since the Academy was not sure how much of the movie’s lines were actually written!
Walt got a very special Oscar for one of his most iconic films
In 1939, Disney received a unique, honorary award from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The Oscar was made of 8 separate statuettes – one full-size, representing Snow White, and seven small ones, representing the dwarfs. The one-of-a-kind award was presented to Disney by 11-year-old child star and icon, Shirley Temple.
Animators used some unique persuasion methods to get Robin Williams on board for “Aladdin”
When the filmmakers of “Aladdin” wanted to get Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie, they asked the company’s talented team of animators to animate the Genie to the voice of some of Williams’ comedy albums. The animators worked on that, and eventually Williams was shown the animation. According to animator Eric Goldberg, the actor laughed out loud. Soon after that, he signed the deal, and the Genie all know and love was born.
The polio vaccine gave us one of Marry Poppins’ biggest songs
Famously, Julie Andrews initially refused to play Poppins. It was because of this that Walt asked the movie’s songwriters, to write a song that will make Andrews sign the deal. The idea for the song came from one of the writers’ kid, who told his dad that the polio vaccine he got was not too bad, because it was hidden in a sugar cube. Famous song about a spoon full of sugar not only became a classic, but also got Julie Andrews on board for the entire film.
The song “Hakuna Matata” was not planned to be in the “Lion King” movie
Originally, a song by the name of “He’s Got It All Worked Out” was supposed to be included in the film, a song all about bug-eating. The filmmakers were not sure about the tune, and it was soon replaced, when the movie’s research team, came back from a trip to Africa. They remembered a specific phrase from their trip – “Hakuna Matata”, and when they told that to Tim Rice, who wrote the tunes for the film, a new song was born.
Disneyland has a club for the elites
Millions of people visit Disneyland in California every year, but only a select group from are included in “Club 33”. the only way to join it is to get an exclusive invitation. Famously one of the only places to serve alcohol in the theme park, “Club 33” is located in New Orleans Square, and many details about the experiences of club members remain hidden from the public eye.
Some living animals were brought to the company’s production sets
Walt wanted the animals in his film to look realistic, and as a working tool for his team of animators, he used to bring animals for them to draw inspiration from. Such animals were used for “Bambi” (of course), and also for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
One of Disneyland’s ride has a sporty secret about it
One of the park’s most famous ride is the “Matterhorn Bobsleds”. The snowy mountain that houses that attraction can be seen from almost any spot in the park, but many don’t know that in it is hidden basketball court. Unfortunately for most us, only employees have access to it, as a way to have some fun away from the crowds.