You’d be hard pressed to find people in the world who don’t like Disney – or, at the very least, who don’t have to admit that Disney is extremely good at what they do.
You’d have an easier time finding people who are absolutely bonkers for all things Disney, in my experience, but you don’t have to be that type of fan to get into these 16 totally interesting facts.
16. Tinkerbell wasn’t based on Marilyn Monroe.
She was actually inspired by actress Margaret Kerry, who posed in pixie attire among oversized props to help animators craft the character.
15. Phil Collins truly did ALL of the work on the Tarzan soundtrack himself.
He even created all of the percussion sounds in “Trashin’ the Camp” by breaking cups and hitting things – including his own forehead – around the studio.
14. The clowns in Dumbo were made to look like the animators.
Burt Babbitt and Jack Kinney inspired the clown silhouettes that Dumbo sees while he’s standing outside the circus tent.
13. The Pinocchio animators were also expected to become clockmakers.
Walt Disney had the animators build real-life versions of the clocks in Geppetto’s workshop before he would approve their designs.
Disney couldn’t visualize the concepts, and so he needed to see the working models before believing they would work.
12. “Fewer Songs, More Explosions.”
The directors of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, had worked together on Beauty and the Beast and knew they wanted to take their new film in a different direction.
They had the slogan above printed on t-shirts in order to remind the crew where their focus should be.
11. Walt Disney could have ended up homeless after Snow White.
He mortgaged his home to finance the production of their first full-length animated feature, which cost $1.5 million – $27 million in today’s dollars
10. Chicha is the first pregnant character to appear in a Disney film.
She appeared in The Emperor’s New Groove and is also one of the first mother characters not to be murdered or villainized.
I’m trying to remember now if the mother in Lady and the Tramp ever appeared pregnant on screen…I guess not?
9. Mulan was originally conceived of as a romcom.
I have to think this would have turned out horribly, so I’m glad screenwriter Chris Sanders decided to go a more traditional direction.
8. Donald Duck should have gotten paid for his work in 101 Dalmations.
The voice of Donald Duck, Clarence Nash, recorded every single bark in the movie.
7. The documentary we never saw.
Trudie Styler and John-Paul Davidson directed The Sweatbox, an “awkwardly truthful” documentary about the production of The Emperor’s New Groove, that made the festival rounds but was never released.
6. The colors in Sleeping Beauty had never been seen before.
The Disney Paint Lab created new hues – those jewel tones that became an integral part of the film – using additives that made the pigments glow onscreen.
5. Robin Hood is full of recycled material.
The film was behind schedule, and so animators basically copied scenes from The Jungle Book, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and The Aristocats to save time.
4. Walt Disney’s daughter wasn’t a fan of Bambi.
She begged her father not to kill the mother in Bambi but he refused, telling her he had to stay true to the book that the film was based on.
3. Yoda inspired Mama Odie.
The filmmakers on The Princess and the Frog drew inspiration from Yoda, writer Coleen Salley, and comedian Moms Mabley.
2. The gift of Lady was inspired by Disney’s real life.
Walt Disney and his wife had talked about getting a Chow Chow, so he secretly adopted a puppy and sneaked it into a hatbox for his wife to open on Christmas Eve.
They named their dog Sunnee, though, not Lady.
1. Tim Burton worked on The Fox and the Hound.
Burton was part of the team of new artists who were challenged to make a Disney feature.
I’m sort of a casual fan, but I thought all of these were totally cool to know.
What’s your favorite Disney fact? If it’s not on this list, hit us with it in the comments!