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Media Essays: 100 Facts About Disney (51-60)

Title card for my Disney facts list

Only four more months left before we reach Disney's 100 anniversary and we're already halfway through this countdown so let's keep on going until we reach 100 everybody!

This batch of facts will include some princess related trivia, some Pixar facts, a bizarre urban myth about Donald Duck and some interesting behind-the-scenes stuff. So if you're ready Disney fans, let us begin this next batch of facts...

51: Princess Melody from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is Tara Strong's favourite voice role

A picture of Melody

We all know who Tara Strong is, or at least I assume any of you media fans reading this will since only geeks like ourselves know who she is. XD Tara Strong is a prolific voice-actor with an impressive portfolio of many, many, MANY roles in animated films and TV shows for several years and is among the most beloved voice-actors working in the industry today. Having played so many characters, which one would you have guessed is her favourite role? I imagine many of you would've assumed either Raven, Bubbles, Timmy Turner or Twilight Sparkle. Well the actual answer is NEITHER OF THEM!!! =P

No, of all characters, her favourite role she's had in anything is actually Princess Melody from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. Yeah, you wouldn't have thought a character from a mediocre Disney sequel would be someone's favourite role, would you? So why is Melody Tara's favourite role she's played? Quite simple: she's a huge fan of The Little Mermaid so for a fan like her, it's easy to imagine she must've been giddy with excitement and joy. I mean how many fans of the movie can proudly boast to have been the voice of Ariel's daughter?! It's much like how only few Doctor Who fans like David Tennant can proudly proclaim they've played The Doctor himself/herself, it must've been an amazing feeling for Tara. Heck, she even says she cried tears of joy upon meeting Jodi Benson, the voice of Princess Ariel herself. Aww, bless. ^^

All I can say is congrats to Tara for getting such a role and I'm glad it means so much to her. The film itself may be mediocre, but at least she got some joy out of it. While we're talking about Melody...

52: Ariel is the ONLY Disney Princess within her franchise to ever sire a child

A picture of Ariel and Melody

Before you ask, no, I'm not counting Descendants. I want to forget that thing even exists...

If we go by the official Disney Princesses within their own movies and NO other media, then Ariel is the only Disney Princess who currently has a child. You ever noticed that? No other Disney Princess has ever had children after their Happily Ever After. Even with all the Disney sequels we got, ONLY Ariel ever got to have a child with her daughter being the main character of the movie she appeared in. So I guess Ariel and Eric love each other more than any other Disney couple in history because nobody else got a kid, just them. XD

What's funny about this is that during the making of Fantasia 2000, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner had a rather...unusual idea for a segment in the movie. The original draft for the "Pomp and Circumstance" segment was going to feature all the Disney Princesses and Princes in a wedding procession with the princesses all pregnant at this ceremony. He got the idea after hearing the song at his son's graduation. To nobody's surprise, the animators refused to work on this weird as hell idea and thus it was scrapped. Still, had the segment been made the way Michael Eisner thought of it, we could've had more Disney Princesses having children in that case...

Still, unless Disney sequels make a come back and give us more Disney children, Ariel and Eric will remain the only Disney couple to have their own kid. Personally, I say the other Disney Princesses are lucky. They won't have the stress of parenthood to deal with. Hope you have fun with THAT Ariel and Eric! XD

53: Brenda Chapman was NOT pleased when Merida was made part of the Disney Princess franchise!

A picture of Merida

Brave was an interesting Pixar movie at the time for it was Pixar's first real movie to have a main female lead and compared to most Pixar movies, this one feels the most like a "traditional" Disney film of the bunch. So naturally when this movie came out and it had a main character who happens to be a princess, Disney had to include Merida as part of the Disney Princess franchise. People did NOT approve of this idea at all. A lot of fans gathered together to make a petition calling for Merida to not be part of the franchise and even Brenda Chapman herself hated this move, feeling it was sexist of Disney to do this, that they missed the point of Merdia's character and she gave Bob Iger a piece of her mind over this! She said:

"I think it's atrocious what they have done to Merida. When little girls say they like it because it's more sparkly, that's all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy 'come-hither' look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It's horrible!

Merida was created to break that mould. To give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance." - Brenda Chapman

And honestly, Brenda's right to complain about this because Merida being part of the Disney Princess brand goes against her character something fierce. You all remember that her entire story was about getting away from that kind of lifestyle, right? Yet here's Disney making her a part of it. What kind of mixed messages you sending here Disney? =P

54: Cars 2 is the only Pixar movie to be critically hated

The poster for Cars 2

This is something I'll forever detest because Cars 2 isn't even a bad movie and doesn't deserve an ounce of the hate it gets. But facts don't care for your feelings so I can't be too salty about it. Facts are facts after all.

But yeah, as any Pixar enthusiast can tell you, Cars 2 remains the only movie they've made so far to not be critically beloved. Most Pixar movies tend to be critically acclaimed masterpieces or considered decent but not up to their usual standards. Cars 2 is neither of those with the most negative reviews ever given to a Pixar movie and even audiences find it to possibly be their weakest movie and maybe even the only Pixar movie to be considered "bad". While some Pixar movies in recent years have had lower critical scores than usual, especially Lightyear, even they still get better reviews than Cars 2.

I'm one of those few people that actually likes the movie and I don't understand the hate it gets. No really. I'm strange, I know. XD Still, it says a lot doesn't it when Pixar's library of content is of such high quality that the worst they produce is a Cars sequel that (in my opinion) is still a fun watch and quite enjoyable. Even Disney has more movies that are considered bad by comparison. XD

56: Onward was inspired by the director's own childhood experiences with his lost father

A pic of a scene from Onward

I'm talking about Pixar a lot in this entry, aren't I? XD

Anyhow, this I feel is a rather interesting one to talk about as it's always interesting to hear about where inspirations come from and how writers get ideas for their stories. It's quite common that writers draw from real life experiences when writing their stories and this is the case with Dan Scanlon, the director of Onward.

If you remember the plot of the movie, Onward sees Ian and Barley trying to bring their deceased father back to life with magic but wacky hijinks ensue. That's pretty much the case with Dan Scanlon. Like the elf brothers in the movie, he lost his father at a very young age. He was only one at the time so he doesn't even remember him. The thing that inspired him to write this movie was an unearthed audio recording of his father that he actually ended up playing for the crowd at a D23 event. He went on to describe the plot of Onward was follows:

"I have always wondered who my father was, and that question became the blueprint for this movie."

The story takes place in a modern fantasy world where there once was magic — real magic — but it was hard to do and complicated to learn, so people just lost interest. In this world, a mix of "the fantastical and the everyday," humans don't exist. There are only elves, trolls, and sprites — or "anything that would be on the side of a van in the '70s. Oh, and unicorns are everywhere. They roam the streets of this modern, magical suburbia like rodents.

In the film, we're going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father." - Dan Scanlon

I can imagine how personal this film was for him. I can also relate to that as I too lost a relative when I was too young to remember them. It was one of my grandfathers and all I have of him is an old video recording from back in the 90's. :( But I digress, it never ceases to amaze me where creators draw inspiration from and Onward remains among the most interesting origin stories for a Pixar movie in my eyes.

57: Donald Duck was NOT banned in Finland for not wearing pants!

A picture of a Finnish Disney comic

Remember the time Optimus Prime said "Do not believe everything you read?" in the Transformers Prime episode "One Shall Fall"? Well, that's the case here. Donald Duck being banned in Finland for not wearing pants is nothing more than an urban myth. Complete and utter fiction. So where did this bizarre myth even come from if it's NOT true?

This is about to sound extremely weird but I swear it's the truth! This myth came about because of an incident in 1977. A Helsinki councilman named Matti Holopainen proposed discontinuing the use of city funds to subscribe to Aku Ankka, a very popular Disney comic that was published in Finland as well as the US and is even more popular in Finland than in the US. The city had financial difficulties at the time and Matti thought discontinuing city funds to subcribe to the comic for youth centers would be the solution to the problem. This bit him in the arse HARD for when he ran for a parliament seat, his opponent outright called him "the man who banned Donald Duck from Helsinki" and Matti lost the election as a result. Talk about a blow to your career, losing an election because you banned Donald Duck comics. What's next, somebody loses an election because they banned Star Wars or something? XD

How this twisted into "Donald was banned because he doesn't wear pants", I have no idea. Some say it was down to exaggerated reports. If that's the case, this just further proves why you can't always trust the news. Otherwise myths like this get created. XD

58: Jeffery Katzenberg actually considered giving Goofy a different voice for A Goofy Movie

A poster for A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie is one of those movies that has become a cult classic in recent years. And for good reason too, it's quite underrated and far better than a movie starring Goofy had any right to be. ^^

And yet Jeffery Katzenberg nearly threw a wrench in everything by suggesting something incredibly stupid. He thought audiences wouldn't tolerate listening to Goofy's trademark voice for around 90 minutes so he considered getting someone else to voice Goofy instead of Bill Farmer, like Steve Martin for instance. Farmer ultimately stayed but Katzenberg told him to do Goofy's lines in a normal voice, something even Farmer himself was confused about. He even insisted to Katzenberg that audiences wouldn't want to hear Goofy with any voice other than his own. He recorded his lines with a normal voice for about a week-and-a-half before eventually, Kevin Lima and Roy E. Disney told him to just do his normal Goofy voice, which Farmer was all too happy to do.

It's a good thing they did too as hearing Goofy with any voice other than his goofy voice would be like hearing Donald Duck without his trademark duck voice. It just wouldn't work and wouldn't sound like the character anymore. Honestly, it feels like you could make a list of dumb ideas Jeffery came up with during his time at Disney...

59: Glen Keane animated the bear fight in The Fox and the Hound

A pic of the bear fight

I imagine Glen Keane is an animator whose name will be familiar to many animation fans, historians and enthusiasts out there The work he's produced for Disney especially has a lot of legendary moments to his name with this being one of them.

While working as a supervising animator on the movie, he was the one who animated the bear fight in The Fox and the Hound. This was actually his first job as a supervising animator no less and he collaborated on the scene with John Lasseter. I have to say, talk about a BIG first impression! That scene is among the most memorable scenes in the movie and one of my personal picks for the scariest Disney moments. And he really went all out on this scene too by making the bear look utterly terrifying and making the scene as intense as it was!

While we're on the subject, here's what else Glen Keane is known for amongst the Disney fandom. He animated several characters in many different movies such as Bernard, Miss Bianca, Penny, Elliott the Dragon, Gurgi, Princess Ellionwy, Hen Wen, Professor Rattigan, Ariel, The Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and much more, he worked as a character designer and/or supervising animator on The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company, The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Treasure Planet, he was an Executive Producer on Tangled and he directed his own animated movie with Over the Moon in 2020. So yeah, this guy has quite the animation resume.

Glen Keane's a Disney Legend for a reason and his great contributions to some of Disney's greatest movies ever cannot be overlooked. His work on the bear fight especially will stand as his finest achievement for me...

60: The original pitch for Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers didn't even include the famous chipmunk duo

A pic of an old Disney concept

It's always interesting to hear about what could've been with various media. Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers is one such example.

The series was originally going to be a spin-off of The Rescuers but Katzenberg didn't want it to interfere with The Rescuers Down Under as that was being made at the time. So Tad Stones pitched a new idea titled "Metro Mice". In this concept, there was originally an Indiana Jones-type mouse named Kit Colby and a kangaroo rat named Colt Chedderson. Other characters would've included a far-sighted eagle named Eagle Eye, a chameleon named Camilla and a martial arts-savvy, baseball crazy cricket named Chirp Sing. There was also an older version of Gadget present too along with Zipper, who was more or less the same as in the finished result. As you can see, it's quite different from the Rescue Rangers we know today, isn't it?

When Tad pitched this idea, Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg both liked the concept...but they felt the cast needed a change around. They wanted to keep making shows out of pre-established Disney characters so they dropped pretty much everybody while replacing Kit Colby with Chip, changing Monterey Jack's name and species, aging Gadget down and adding Dale to the team. This was a change for the better in my eyes as Chip N' Dale really needed the extra exposure and really needed something more to them than just being Donald or Pluto's rivals in the cartoon shorts. Still, imagine if the series kept on going and they brought back these concepts to make a sort of Rival Rangers team? That would've been interesting...

And that's all for this batch of Disney facts everyone. I hope you enjoyed the list and found these facts interesting to learn about. Just four months left before we're finished so be sure to stick with me until the end, OK? ^^ Share your thoughts down below too.

Next time I'll be reviewing the Netflix exclusive movie with Nimona. See you then everyone!

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Well, gotta love Tara, she is not only a great voice actress, she is just like us deep inside, whom would be really happy to be part of a project connected to our childhood.

Probably disney princess have kids off-screen but it is not the focus of the movies so that part of their lives would remain unseen.

Yeah, Merida is not a type that would fit in with the disney princesses. SHe does her best to break away form that.

haven't seen onward, though.

Goofy not using his iconic voice would be like asking the sun to stop shining. It wouldn't work. Seriously, it's called braincells, people!

Whoa, Chip 'n Dale really went through quite a few changes. But…


Erin Delgado
Erin Delgado

Interesting facts as do like the Little Mermaid parts the most and I do argee Cars 2 is very overhated as it isn't that bad, plus I am sure there are worse Pixar and other films worse and I do like the Onward part. :)

Btw, I'll be seeing Ninoma too. :)

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