Disney movies will forever be in our hearts as the most important things in our childhood. And if we’re being honest, they remain just as good to this day. Even though we’ve aged, it doesn’t mean we need to grow up!
I would estimate that the majority of us are still watching Disney movies as they come out, whether it’s because they are actually really good, or because we’re old enough to have kids that want to watch them.
But here’s the thing, when we were young we probably weren’t appreciating how much work actually went into these movies. Now that we are older and have a general concept of time and energy, we know that making an animated movie is a huge undertaking.
There’s a lot of steps and choices that are made, and a lot of the things they do would actually be pretty surprising to you now.
1. Billy Crystal was almost Buzz Lightyear
He was offered the role of Buzz in Toy Story, but he turned it down. He ended up regretting it though, but he ended up really happy with his character of Mike Wazowski.
“It’s the only regret I have in the business of something I passed on,” Crystal said. “Tim [Allen] is a beautiful guy with a resonant voice. Mike is a better fit for me.”
2. Disney was sued by a biologist because of The Lion King
Disney had gone to the University of California’s Field Station for Behavioral Research to observe hyenas. They did the same with Lions to make sure that they were animating the characters in ways that would be believable.
After observing the hyenas, the researchers asked that Disney portray the hyenas in a positive light. As we all know, they did not, the hyenas were on the villain’s side.
One of the biologists from the university ended up attempting to sue Disney for “Defamation of Character” on behalf of the hyenas. However the the lawsuit was very quickly shut down for very obvious reasons.
3. Walt Disney had to risk his house to make Snow White
When the movie came out, it was the first of its kind. People had no idea if a feature film length cartoon would actually work out. The initial cost was budgeted at $250,000 but as time went on it raised to $1.4 million.
In order to finance the project, Disney was forced to risk his own house by taking a second mortgage out on it to get enough money to finance the film.
Luckily the movie absolutely killed at the box office and Disney was proved to be a creative genius.
4. Disney movies used to be the only color movies
That’s right, Disney owned the patent to Technicolor, so they were the only ones who were able to release color cartoons.
Luckily these exclusive rights ran out and other studios could begin releasing their movies in color.
5. Patrick Stewart was almost Jafar
He was offered the role of Jafar and was actually interested, but because of a timing conflict with Star Trek: The Next Generation he was unable to do the voice.
6. Jackie Chan voices the Beast in the Chinese version of Beauty and the Beast
He not only does the speaking part, he also sings the songs!
7. ‘Part of your World’ was almost cut from The Little Mermaid
All because of a little spill too. The iconic song sung by Ariel that I know I personally sing to myself at least three times a week was almost cut because a little boy in the test screening spilled his tub of popcorn while the song was on.
The chairman at the time thought that meant that the kid was losing interest, and that they would have to cut it. But luckily everyone else fought for the scene.
Honestly, I am 100% certain the kid was just so shocked by how beautiful the song was that he dropped his popcorn because he was so focused on the ballad that he couldn’t be bothered to hold his container.
8. The actor who played Prince Eric was only 16
Well, this is awkward for all of us kids who were totally in love with Prince Eric. While the voice of Ariel was actually 28 years old, Christopher Daniel Barnes was only 16 years old when he recorded his lines.
Eric is technically supposed to be older than Ariel, but I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as the cartoons look like they match the voice!
9. Mickey and Minnie are married in real life
After Disney wasn’t able to voice Mickey anymore because smoking had damaged his vocal chords, he hired Wayne Allwine to voice the character.
In 1986 when they were casting Minnie, Russi Taylor auditioned and got the part. Allwine and Taylor ended up falling in love behind the scenes, and were married five years after they started playing the iconic mice.
10. Sean Connery was almost Mufasa
While it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else saying those iconic lines, Disney had someone other than James Earl Jones in mind for the role of Mufasa in The Lion King. Sean Connery was a top contender, but in the end Jones won out.
Eddie Murphy was also almost cast in The Lion King as Timon, and Nathan Lane (who ended up voicing Timon) was originally auditioning for the part of a hyena.
No matter which Disney movie is your favorite, I think we can all agree that they put a lot of work into these movies and we are lucky to have them!
Disney is known for their princesses, but did you realize they are all missing the same body part? Even though they are all missing something, there are lots of other reasons why they are special.