top of page

Media Essays: 100 Facts About Disney (21-30)

Updated: May 14, 2023

A title card for my essay about Disney facts.

Continued from Part 2.

Another month, 100 more facts about Disney to countdown to their anniversary. And I've got some real juicy ones for you this month so I invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the Media Man proudly presents... 100 Facts About Disney Part 3!

21: Lilo & Stitch underwent some changes after 9/11 happened

A picture for the Number 10 spot.

It's always a given that a movie will change over time during the development stage. No movie ever goes from idea to execution without changing a few things here and there. Lilo & Stitch is certainly no exception. The battle at Lilo's house with Stitch and Jumba especially played out differently to what we got in the finished version with some of the weapons looking more deadly, Lilo being chased by a chainsaw and the explosion being caused by Stitch ripping open a gas pipe and Jumba igniting it with the plasma cannon. The whole sequence can be seen here: Jumba Attacks - Deleted Scene - YouTube

But the biggest change especially was made during the climax. You notice how in this picture, we have an actual Boeing 747 chasing after Captain Gantu instead of the alien spaceship we got in the finished version? Well that's because the sequence was meant to have Stitch and the others hijack a Boeing 747 and the climax would see them flying through the towns of Hawaii. After 9/11 happened well...that was a big no-no so the sequence had to be changed. I mean the last thing Americans would've wanted after 9/11 was a big chase sequence involving a stolen plane flying through towns. So the Boeing 747 was changed into the alien spaceship we see in the movie and the setting was changed to countryside settings with no buildings in sight. I was always curious why the spaceship seemed to vaguely resemble a Jumbo Jet and now I know. XD

For those who want to see, the original sequence can be found here on YouTube as well: L&S The 747 Sequence - Deleted Scene - YouTube

Personally, I think it was for the best that the scene was changed. The alien spaceship is more visually interesting, our heroes don't have to steal anything and the spaceship at least explains how Jumba and Pleakley even got to Earth in the first place so the change only improved the movie in my eyes.

22: Pixar nearly lost Toy Story 2!

I really couldn't make this stuff up if I tried people. This was a thing that actually did happen once upon a time!

So for those wondering how this crazy story goes, here's the rundown. After the runaway success of Toy Story, Pixar ended up working on a sequel and they scheduled it to be their third movie after A Bug's Life released in 1997. Work on the movie was going well...for the most part. Come 1998, they nearly lost it all when an animator carried out some routine clearing of files. While doing this, they accidentally put in the deletion command code /bin/rm -r -f * into the root folder of Toy Story 2's assets on Pixar's internal servers. I bet that animator nearly had a heart attack when he did that and I bet Pixar nearly lost their minds after that mess-up. The associate technical director, Oren Jacob, was one of the first to notice this mistake due to character models disappearing from their works in progress. Pixar shunt down the file servers but it was too late at this point. The damage had been done and 90% of the movie they'd been working on for the last two years was practically gone. To add insult to injury? The backups had not been working for about a month. It really feels like someone just wanted Pixar to suffer that day. So because of this accident, it seemed Toy Story 2 would never see the light of day...

HOWEVER...hope in the form of the angels came for there was one saving grace in all this. Technical director, Galyn Susman, had been working from home at the time to take care of her newborn child and wouldn't you know it? She just happened to have a backup copy of the film on her home computer! Because of this, the Pixar team was able to recover nearly all of the lost assets that got wiped out. Only a few recent days of work didn't make it but enough was saved so the movie could carry on being made. I seriously hope Pixar gave her a promotion for that because she single-handedly saved the movie from being gone forever! Hail Galyn Susman, the heroine of Pixar Animation Studios everyone! :D

A funny image for the list.

23: One of the men who worked on Home on the Range does NOT like the Nostalgia Critic...

A picture for the Number 8 spot.

Yeah, I know. What does the Nostalgia Critic of all people have to do with Disney? Well that's what I'm here to talk about.

You guys remember Home on the Range right? That Disney movie about cows that came out in 2004 and single-handedly killed 2-D animation in the mainstream and inspired Disney to just go 3-D from now on? Not a lot of people like it and even Disney's own crew weren't very fond of it either. Chris Buck even considers spending two years animating Jennifer Tilley as a cow as the low point of his career and according to animator Lee Crowe, many of the people working on it referred to it as "the s****y cow movie". Ouch! When your own crew thinks you're a bad movie, I don't know what else to say at this point!

And as we all know, even the Nostalgia Critic had to jump on the "Let's hate Home on the Range" bandwagon with his Disneycember review on it. This earned the ire of a man named John Sanford, the co-director of Home on the Range. Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, no, John's not sore because Doug bashed his movie. He doesn't think very fondly of it either. He just didn't like the way Doug carried out the review. He tweeted this in response:

"Yes, I love it when people live stream Home on the Range and tweet comments. Good or bad, it’s fun. Except you, Nostalgia Critic. You can go **** yourself, you unfunny douche nozzle. My issue was the incredibly abrasive tone of his reviews, and in particular, when he accused the crew of HoTR of “laziness”. You can say what you want about the movie, it’s deeply flawed, but our crew was anything but lazy. I won’t stand for that." - John Sanford

You know you're a bad critic when even a guy who isn't very fond of a movie he worked on has to call you out on your crap, eh? And all this just further shows the importance of proper film criticism. If you're ever going to review something, you can say something feels lazy, but don't ever call the crew working on a movie lazy. Movie-making is hard work, much harder work than you can possibly imagine and you'd think having made some movies himself, Doug would understand that. I bet he wouldn't like it if anyone called his crew "lazy" either.

Also random fact: There is also a Disney employee named Doug Walker. You can see his name in the credits of films such as The Lion King. I'm not surprised people have made jokes about that at the NC's expense given that's his name too. XD

24: Why Disney doesn't want to talk about Song of the South

A picture for the Number 7 spot.

Hoo boy, this is a big rabbit hole to jump down and I'm just hoping I'm not going to get into too much trouble for this. Still, it's quite a fascinating story to talk about so here we go:

Released in 1946, Song of the South was Disney's first foray into live-action movies though it wasn't entirely live-action as we did have animated sequences as well. It was Disney's attempt to adapt the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris with the tales of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear depicted in animation. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song with "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" and James Baskett received an Academy Honorary Award for his performance as Uncle Remus. This is a historical moment for movies for back then, James became the first person of colour to ever win an Academy Award.

But this is where all the good stuff ends for the movie. As you may be aware of, this movie doesn't exactly have a great reputation nowadays and is viewed as more problematic than something to be celebrated. Disney have refused to give it a home video release and the only time the movie will ever got acknowledged is if somebody sings "Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah" or if you go to Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World in Florida as that features the animated characters from the movie...and yet they're being replaced with a Princess and the Frog theme so they haven't even got that anymore. So why is the movie so controversial and is like that movie where He-Must-Not-Be-Mentioned? The film is viewed as pretty racist for its portrayals of black people and especially featuring a controversial portrayal of slavery in where the film doesn't specify that Uncle Remus and his family are slaves, yet doesn't specify that they're NOT slaves either. So yeah, a movie maybe featuring happy slaves would definitely be a big eyebrow raiser in this day and age...

One weird thing about the film's controversy though is that NAACP executive secretary Walter Francis White wrote a piece about the film in which he said:

"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People recognizes in Song of the South remarkable artistic merit in the music and in the combination of living actors and the cartoon technique. It regrets, however, that in an effort neither to offend audiences in the north or south, the production helps to perpetuate a dangerously glorified picture of slavery. Making use of the beautiful Uncle Remus folklore, Song of the South unfortunately gives the impression of an idyllic master–slave relationship which is a distortion of the facts." - Walter Francis White

He said all that...and yet he never actually saw the movie so his opinion on the matter is worthless. Why would you ask someone to write a piece about a movie they never watched? And why would anyone take him seriously on that matter?

Now don't ask me what I think of the movie and if I agree with the controversy or not, I haven't seen it either. I dunno, maybe it is really racist and should be buried or maybe people are exaggerating and it's not all that bad. I have no idea. All I know is that this is quite a fascinating story to dig into and it fascinates me how Disney has a movie they feel this uneasy over. Still, the movie is a controversial piece that Disney doesn't want to talk about for a myriad of reasons. It's the truth, it's factual. This whole thing is NOT satisfactual...

25: Cars was the LAST Disney film to ever be released on VHS

A picture for the Number 6 spot.

Hey guys, remember VHSes? Before you modern folk had your streaming networks and your YouTube purchases and even before DVDs, this was the home media market empire for us all. Being a 90's kid and all, I of course grew up watching lots of VHS tapes before DVDs took over. Good times they were. Many of them of course were Disney movies and I'd watch a good chunk of them through those VHS tapes.

But which Disney film was the last one to get the treatment before VHSes died out altogether? Surprisingly enough, it was Cars of all movies. You'd have thought VHSes were gone by 2006 but nope, they still had room for Cars to get a VHS. Because of this, it is simultaneously the last Disney and also last Pixar movie to ever get a VHS made. It wasn't even widely released, it was only available for members of Disney's home video clubs so as a result, the VHS is extremely rare and likely VERY expensive to buy if you're looking for it so don't expect to get it cheap my friends!

Still, I'd say Cars was a decent movie for the Disney VHS line to end on an for anyone tracking it down, I wish you luck. Trust me, you'll NEED it! XD

26: The Lion King 2019 is the highest grossing animated Disney film of all time

A picture for the Number 5 spot.

The Lion King by very nature is just a money making juggernaut, isn't it? Back in Part 2, I already mentioned how the original movie is the highest grossing 2-D animated movie of all time.

The remake on the other hand is the highest grossing animated Disney film PERIOD. And yes, it counts as an animated movie. Don't try getting pedantic with me here. The movie is completely CGI animated with no real animals or backgrounds save for one shot of live-action they put in there to see if audiences could tell the difference. It's an animated movie no matter how you splice it so therefore, it is accurate for me to label it as such.

Anyway, this movie grossed over $1.633 billion at the box office when it came out. I just see this as an example of how sad things are when a pointless remake of The Lion King makes that much money while better more original movies that get made these days can only dream of making that kind of money. But enough on that. This makes it the highest grossing of the Disney remakes so far, the highest grossing CGI animated movie so far and the highest grossing animated movie of all time.

Funny isn't it how The Lion King officially holds this record for 2-D and 3-D animated movies, huh? Well if anything, it shows The Lion King is the king of animation box office records. Yes that pun was terrible, don't tell me what I already know. XD

27: At least 17 Disney films have been adapted into Broadway shows

A picture for the Number 4 spot.

Disney maybe one of the kings of cinema, but their movies have had presences in other forms of media. One of the most prominent examples of course is on Broadway. Disney is no stranger to theatre shows and many of their films had have live-stage show adaptations that either tour around the world or are shows you can watch exclusively at the Disney parks. For the Broadway stage, there have been at least 17 Disney films that have been adapted into Broadway Shows. These are Aladdin, The Lion King, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Winnie the Pooh, Pinocchio, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Newsies, Camp Rock, High School Musical, High School Musical 2 and Freaky Friday. Finding Nemo was adapted into a musical show, but NOT on Broadway so it doesn't count. It was performed at Disney's Animal Kingdom. As of current, there are stage shows planned for The Jungle Book and Coco in the future. Some are still running like The Lion King and Aladdin but a large chunk of them no longer perform so it'll be impossible to watch all of these shows at this current time.

When it comes to these Broadway shows, I've only seen the Aladdin and The Lion King shows when they came to the UK in where they perform at London's West End Theatre. And needless to say, they are AMAZING shows! I loved watching every minute of them and they remain some of my fondest memories of visiting London to this day.

Disney have proven they can enchant audiences everywhere with their films, and they've also proven they can do the same with theatre adaptations of their films. Quite a show if I say so myself...

28: Big Hero 6 is currently the only Marvel Comic to be adapted into a Disney animated film

A picture for the Number 3spot.

Disney may own Marvel nowadays but for the most part, the two companies continue doing their own things and making their own content. You don't for example see Marvel making comics based on Disney properties (unless you count Star Wars) and Disney doesn't really make movies based on Marvel Comics...except for one.

As of current, Big Hero 6 is the only comic produced by Marvel Comics to be adapted into a Disney film. The comic was first printed in 1998 and has been around since then, although it never once reached the heights and popularity of other Marvel Comics. Then came 2015 with Disney's animated movie and Big Hero 6 ended up being brought into the mainstream again, kind of like how the MCU made Guardians of the Galaxy leap from obscure to popular. Funny how it took Disney buying Marvel to make some of these properties more popular, isn't it?

One has to wonder if Disney will ever adapt any other Marvel Comics or if they'll leave it at just Big Hero 6...

29: Eight Disney animated movies have grossed over a billion dollars at the Box Office

A picture for the Number 2 spot.

Here I am talking about Disney making a lot of money again. I imagine some of you might be curious as to how many films Disney have released that have grossed over a billion dollars at the Box Office? I don't know an exact total, but in terms of their animated films that's an easy answer. There have been eight Disney animated films that have reached the billion dollar mark. The eight films are The Lion King 2019, Frozen, Frozen II, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4, Finding Dory, Zootropolis and The Incredibles 2. Out of all of them, only two are original movies (Frozen and Zootropolis) with the rest being sequels or remakes. Toy Story 3 was the first animated movie to ever cross that milestone and since then, these seven other movies have followed suit.

If you're curious on their respective Box Office gross totals, they are from highest to lowest:

The Lion King 2019: $1,657,713,459

Frozen II: $1,450,026,933

Frozen: $1,290,000,000

Incredibles 2: $1,242,805,359

Toy Story 4: $1,073,394,593

Toy Story 3: $1,066,973,008

Zootopia/Zootropolis: $1,042,533,689

Finding Dory: $1,028,570,889

Impressive totals aren't they considering animated movies aren't considered cinema as much as other movies out there and isn't taken as seriously. I bet the next Disney animated movie that breaks a billion at the box office will be another sequel or something like maybe the upcoming Frozen, Zootopia/Zootropolis and Toy Story sequels they've got in the works...

30: Dee Dee is the Haunted Mansion Bride!

A picture for the Number 1 spot.

How many Disney fans out there have been in The Haunted Mansion? The ride even to this day is still considered one of the best rides in all of the Disneyland parks and it remains massively popular even now. It was so popular that it got a movie adaptation starring Eddie Murphy and Terrence Stamp in 2003 and it's currently got a new adaptation coming in 2023 starring Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Jaime Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, Winnona Ryder and Jared Leto.

One of the most memorable things about the ride is of course the villainous Constance Hatchaway, aka the Haunted Mansion bride. She has crept out many ride attendees for years and is a tank of Nightmare Fuel for even the most hard hearted of people out there. But who did the voice for her? Who's responsible for the creepy performance that made her so scary for many? None other than fellow voice actress Kat Cressida whom is best known for playing a certain blonde-haired fun-loving girl from a certain cartoon about a boy with a laboratory...

A picture of Dee-Dee

I know. It blew my mind to find that out too. How does one go from voicing this ditzy, giggling bundle of joy to voicing a creepy ghost bride that wants to kill you?! Now I'm imagining Dee-Dee dressing up as her as a prank to scare Dexter in revenge for all the times he's called her stupid or experimented on her. XD

That's the life of an actor for you, you never know who you're going to be cast as and what kind of roles may come your way...

And those are the next ten facts about Disney I have for this month. I hope you enjoyed them and learned something interesting from this bunch. Tell me what you thought in the comments below. Join me next week as I check out the latest DCEU movie with SHAZAM!: Fury of the Gods. See you then media fans!

31 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Jacob Coad
Jacob Coad
Apr 27, 2023

Hmm, you are half-right about the Disney musicals. While yes, Disney doesn't do professional productions of some of them now, a good chunk of them have been available for licensing thanks to Music Theatre International, so there is the chance one can go see a local production somewhere. ^^

bottom of page