Disney is a juggernaut of a company with both a rich and questionable history. From groundbreaking films to racist ones, the company has given us a lot to talk about and they still do.
By just taking a peek behind the curtain, their products have some interesting stories behind them, some of which you may not have known of. Here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about some of your favourite Disney movies.
1. Disney Had To Recall Copies Of “The Rescuers”
“The Rescuers” is a pretty fun film but Disney freaked out and recalled about 3.4 million copies of its home video released in 1999. Why? Well, because of a little nudity. Nudity? In a Disney film?
During the scene where Miss Bianca and Bernard fly on Orville’s back through New York City, there is a brief image of a topless woman in the background. It’s brief, taking up two frames and it’s almost unnoticeable unless you pause it in the right moment. We still don’t know who placed it there but… it’s kinda funny in hindsight.
2. Elsa Is the Only Non-Teenage Disney Princess
Times have changed and people are learning that it’s not okay to be creepy. Elsa from “Frozen” is apparently the only Disney Princess who isn’t a teenager being 21 years old (in the first film).
It is common knowledge that Disney Princesses are mostly teenagers with Snow White apparently being 14. What makes that weird is that her on-screen prince, Prince Florian is apparently in his late 20s to early 30s. Yeah, the 1930s were a disturbing time.
3. Elsa Was Supposed To Be the Villain in “Frozen”
“Frozen” may very well be one of the most popular animated films of the 2010s and the hit song “Let It Go” may just be one of the most annoying song of the 2010s. It looks like there was a possibility that that song would never have reached our ears as Elsa was initially meant to be the villain in the film.
Producer Peter Del Vecho previously revealed to EW that Anna and Elsa were initially not even sisters. He said,“They weren’t even royal. So Anna was not a princess. Elsa was a self-proclaimed Snow Queen, but she was a villain and pure evil — much more like the Hans Christian Andersen tale“. Further adding that they were to be an epic battle in the end with Elsa creating her own army.
Who knows what the film would have been if they went that route. Maybe there would have been an evil version of “Let It Go” or maybe there wouldn’t but it would have been a crying shame if we didn’t get to witness John Travolta presenting “Adele Dazeem” at the 2014 Oscars.
4. Spice Girls Was Approached To Sing For “Hercules”
“Hercules” is a pretty great film and the muses play a big part in making it so. Those ladies were fire and Lillias White, Vanéese Y. Thomas, Roz Ryan, LaChanze, and Cheryl Freeman took on the roles beautifully, providing us with some banger hits but it looks like it could have gone down differently.
The muses were apparently supposed to be voiced by the Spice Girls as they were actually approached to do so. They girl group were at the peak of their popularity then so it’s no surprise, but who knows how the film would have been with them voicing the characters. Not as good, probably.
5. Princess Tiana Had Some Interesting Voice Contenders
It seems like everyone wanted to be Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog”. Big names like Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Hudson were among the list of names that were considered for the voice of Tiana with Keys herself directly contacting the studio about it.
In the end, it went to Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose and it’s safe to say that it was perfect.
6. How Flynn Rider Came To Be
Flynn Rider is a good-looking dude and it’s clear why. “Tangled” directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard organized “hot man meetings” in order to make Flynn Rider the stud he is in the final product.
By pinning up pictures of Hollywood’s hottest men, they decided on the most attractive qualities Flynn should have and well, the end product speaks for itself.
7. Scar Was Initially A Baboon
“The Lion King” is heralded as one of the greatest animated films of all time. There are a number of things to praise with Scar’s portrayal being one of the highlights. However, Scar was imagined quite differently in the early stages of the film.
The plot of “The Lion King” was initially meant to revolve around the rivalry between lions and baboons with Scar heading the baboons. Now, that just sounds stupid. It’s a good thing they rewrote that to Scar being a lion and eventually to it being a more familial struggle.
8. “The Lion King” Made Hyena Researchers Mad
As mentioned earlier, “The Lion King” is considered one of the best in animation and it’s clear that many people love the film. However, it looks hyena researchers were not among them thanks to the portrayal of Scar’s backup hyena band, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.
Well, not every hyena researcher but one guy was pretty upset about it and listed boycotting the film, believing that it “set back hyena conservation efforts”.
9. Aurora Doesn’t Talk Much
It’s clear that we have some very chatty Disney characters of late but back then, it wasn’t as common. Hell, Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” only had 18 lines despite being the main character.
She apparently has the second lowest amount of lines in any Disney film. The only character who got her beat is Dumbo and that baby elephant says nothing in the whole film.
10. Gaston Was Supposed To Be A Bigger Jerk
Now that we’re on “Beauty and the Beast”, let’s talk about one of the biggest jerks in Disney: Gaston. This guy is just a cocky tool-bag and that’s putting it lightly. Apparently, he was meant to be a more a terrifying cocky tool bag as well.
In the final fight scene with Beast, you can hear him yell, “Belle is mine!“. This line was actually supposed to be “Time to die!”. It was a last minute change so the animation still mouths the original line. So, the next time you watch that fight scene, just mutter “Time to die!” when the time is right and observe how it matches the animated lips.
11. Jackie Chan Was The Beast
Dubbed films can be pretty weird unless you have someone like Jackie Chan as the voice actor cause that sounds like fun. The 1991 classic “Beauty and the Beast” is not only the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, it also had the voice acting of Jackie Chan… in the Chinese version.
Jackie Chan, who is also a classically trained opera singer, voices Beast in the Chinese version of the film. And yes, he sings too. Check it out below:
Well, there we have it! Some things you probably didn’t know about some of your favourite Disney movies. All in all, hopefully none of this altered your perception of these Disney films.