I almost used “Things You Didn’t Know About Disney Films” as the title for this post, but I remembered that we’re on the Internet. It’s a little bit difficult to come up with facts that people don’t know yet, so it’s better if we just list some interesting facts about several Disney movies. You probably already know most of these facts as they’ve been floating around on various list type articles, but maybe there’s one or two that are new to you.
The Real Inspiration for Ariel in the Little Mermaid
There are two conflicting backstories being passed around regarding the inspiration behind Ariel in the Little Mermaid – first is that it’s based on actress Alyssa Milano (Charmed), while there are also those who say that it’s based on a Disney producer who also became the model for Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. The thing is that both are true; the face and personality of Ariel is based on Alyssa Milano’s character Samantha Micelli from the sitcom Who’s the Boss?, but her body and animation was modeled after Disney producer Sherri Stoner.
Lilo and Stitch Has More Elvis Presley Songs Than The King’s Own Films
Lilo (and by extension, Stitch) was portrayed in the movie as a very big fan of Rock and Roll icon (and sometimes actor) Elvis Presley, and the film features several of his songs either playing in the background or being sung/lip-synced by the characters. The film actually had more of Elvis’ songs than any films he did. The interesting thing is that many of Presley’s films were panned by critics, while Lilo and Stitch was nominated as the Best Animated Film in the Academy Awards in 2002. We’re guessing critics would like films to have more Elvis songs.
The Total Number of Black Spots Used in the 101 Dalmatians: 6,469,952
No, nobody was obsessed enough to count each of them. It was the animators who revealed that they achieved the spotted Dalmatians by approaching the patterns as a constellation – once they create one “anchor spot” another was placed in relation to that spot and so on and so forth until the full pattern was achieved. Altogether, they used a total of 6,469,952 spots throughout the film, although as far as the total spots in the Dalmatians, there’s probably only 3308 if my math is correct (there’s a huge chance it’s not, use the comments for corrections), because the animators have also revealed that Pongo sports 72 spots, Perdita 68, and each puppy having 32 each.
UP Broke One Disney Stereotype Regarding the Elderly
According to a study done by Brigham Young University, around 22% of Disney villains are older than 55 years old, with 42% of older characters overall being portrayed negatively. They had concerns that Disney films impacted children’s perceptions of the elderly through the negative stereotypes (not to digress, but their study probably didn’t address the fact that many of the original fairy tales that Disney adapted had even worse portrayals of the elderly, and just about everyone else. Prince Charming didn’t wake Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, if you know what we mean.)
Disney-Pixar’s UP completely broke said negative stereotypes about adults, as one of the main protagonists is an elder man who is shown to be kind and capable of handling himself (although he is still shown as grumpy during the early parts of the film.) Even the antagonist is shown as a highly capable senior citizen, who is not evil for evil’s sake, if at all. Just obsessed at the wrong things.
Jackie Chan Was in Beauty in the Beast
Back in 1991, Jackie Chan voiced and sang on the dubbed Chinese version of Beauty and the Beast. It’s not that known in the US, but it’s hardly surprising as Jackie Chan (along with colleagues Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, and several other kids who went on to become fixtures in Hong Kong cinema) grew up in a theater troupe that trained kids in operatic singing, dancing, acting, martial arts, and stunt work.
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