I’ll admit, I have been obsessed with Disney for my entire life, and still very much am. So over the years I’ve collected plenty of useless Disney knowledge ranging from movies to the parks. And what’s a girl to do with all this useless knowledge? Write an article about it all!
DISCLAIMER: The words of the Lion King opening sequence is revealed somewhere in this article, you’re welcome in advance.
Simba is actually African for ‘lion.’
Lilo and Stitch was the first movie to actually showcase Hawaiian culture, and to use Elvis songs entirely.
The vultures in The Jungle Book were supposed to be voiced by The Beatles; however, due to a scheduling conflict they couldn’t make it to the studio so they had other actors instead. Hence why they look like The Beatles in the film.
101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, and Mulan are the only animated Disney films where both parents are present and don’t die during the movie.
The last film Walt Disney actually released while he was alive was The Jungle Book. The Aristocats mark the first film to be released following Walt’s death, but was also the last film he had a hand in producing. It’s the last film to show “A Walt Disney Production” at the end.
Bambi only uses 72 words throughout the entire film.
Dumbo was Disney’s shortest film, and the only film where the main character never speaks.
Whenever Aladdin lies, the feather from his turban falls on his face.
Robin Hood has plenty of recycled dancing animation from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and other films. Think of the dance sequences…
Other films that include copied sequences include The Sword and the Stone and Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland, and many more!
Sleeping Beauty was so horrible at the box office that it took 30 years for another Disney princess movie to come out (The Little Mermaid).
Gaston was the first male villain in a Princess movie.
Ariel is the daughter of Triton, who is the son of Poseidon. Poseidon is the brother of Zeus who is the father of Hercules. That makes Hercules and Ariel cousins (they also both conveniently have red hair).
To get Robin Williams to play the beloved Genie we all know and love, animators created a sequence of the Genie actually performing Williams’ stand up routines. When he saw the potential he also read and recorded his characters lines 20 times!
Snow White is the youngest Disney princess, she’s 14.
The Lion King was Disney’s first original movie where they didn’t get inspiration from something else (a play, children’s book or concept between writers and producers).
Ursula from the Little Mermaid was based on a drag queen named Divine, and Golden Girls actress Bea Arthur was supposed to voice her.
Aladdin’s appearance was initially based off of Michael J. Fox and later based off of Tom Cruise, while Ariel and Belle are based off of each other.
Frozen is the only Disney film directed by a woman and have a woman as the hero saving her sister.
Boo from Monsters Inc’s really name is Mary. It can be seen in her drawings.
The words at the beginning of The Lion King (you know, the one no one knows the words to), are “Here comes a lion, father” and “Oh, yes, it’s a lion,” in Zulu. When you hear it in English it sounds like something Rafiki would say.
And there you have it, 21 facts about Disney movies that will absolutely get you nowhere in life. Well, maybe win you a trivia game (I put all those kids at Disney World to shame!). It’s interesting to think of all the behind the scenes information we can get from a few archive interviews, or from paying attention to movies.