Behind the Magic: 31 Surprising Facts About Disney Films

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1The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Disney created a short called The Sorcerer's Apprentice to boost Mickey Mouse's fading popularity. As production costs began to mount, they decided to include it as part of a feature film set to classical music. This became the classic Disney film, Fantasia.

2. Thousands of families adopted Dalmatian puppies after the release of “101 Dalmatians” in 1996. Within a year there was a 25% increase in Dalmatians at shelters and rescue organizations.

3. Disney's film "Song of the South" (based on the "Uncle Remus" books and famous for its "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" song) has never been released in its entirety on home video in the United States due to its offensive racial stereotypes and benign portrayal of ex-slaves and their former masters.

4. Disney renamed "Rapunzel" to "Tangled" and "Snow Queen" to "Frozen" because they blamed feminine titles for underperforming box offices.

5. Merida (Brave) is the only Disney princess to not have a love interest, sing in the movie, or come from an official Disney film.

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6Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Disney successfully lobbied Congress to extend the length of copyright protection in order to prevent Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain. The law was later referred to as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act

7. The Creators of Disney Pixar's "UP" had the voice actor of Russell, Jordan Nagai, do various physical exercises such as sprinting around the studio room as fast as he could and then stopping immediately in front of the mic to recite his line, producing a more genuine effect of child-like energy.

8. About 3.4 million copies of the animated Disney movie, ‘The Rescuers’, were recalled in 1999 because it contained two frames where there was a naked woman in the background.

9. Disney's Aladdin is based off the 1940's 3 times Academy Award-winning film The Thief of Bagdad.

10. November 18 is Micky Mouse's birthday. Steamboat Willie was released in 1928 and is considered by Disney to be his official birthday.

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11The Lion King

The Lion King

There is an alternate ending to The Lion King, where Scar defeats Simba by throwing him off Pride Rock to his apparent death. A fire then consumes Scar who stands there, laughing manically, while he burns to death. It was deemed "too dark" for a Disney film.

12. Mulan is currently the only official member of the Disney Princess franchise who is technically not a legitimate princess "in the traditional sense," as she was neither born the daughter of a king or queen nor does she become princess consort by marrying a prince.

13. Beast, from Beauty and the Beast, is a chimera with the head of a buffalo, eyebrows of a gorilla, body of a bear, jaws, and mane of a lion, tusks of a boar, and legs and tail of a wolf.

14. Disney's "Pocahontas" (1995) was originally supposed to feature a talking turkey named Redfeather voiced by John Candy. After Candy's death, Redfeather was dropped from the film and it was decided the animals shouldn't speak.

15. A Bug's Life, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc. were all conceived on a napkin during a lunch.

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16The Incredibles

The Incredibles

When making 'The Incredibles', director Brad Bird intentionally used artists who were likely to either quit or be fired from Pixar; because he believed only they could create everything that he needed.

17. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won Walt Disney a special kind of Oscar: It consisted of one full-size Oscar and seven miniature ones.

18. Before "Let It Go" was written, Elsa was the main villain in ‘Frozen’, however, the song was so uplifting that her character was changed instead of the song.

19. Disney's 'Big Hero 6' has the biggest cast of any Disney animated film with 15 main characters and 701 unique characters which were all animated.

20. Lots-o'-Huggin bear from Toy Story 3 was originally meant to appear in the first film but the technology needed to animate his fur did not yet exist.

21Robin Hood

Robin Hood

The Hamsterdance song is a sped up version of the intro to the Disney Robin Hood movie (1973).

22. To create cars suitable for animals to drive in Zootopia, Disney enlisted the former head of design at Ford.

23. All of the 90's Disney movies are from a period called the Disney Renaissance, which was considered to have started with The Little Mermaid (1989), and ended with Tarzan (1999), wherein Disney made $3.9 billion worldwide.

24. Disney released a movie during World War 2 called "Der Fuehrer's Face", which depicted Donald Duck having a nightmarish time in the Nazi Regime. It is the only Donald Duck film to win an Academy Award.

25. Pixar animators working to finish 'Toy Story 2' had such a heavy workload that many chose to work long hours even though Pixar discouraged it. Animators developed carpal tunnel syndrome, and one even forgot he had left his baby in the backseat of his car all day.

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