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Media Essays: 100 Facts About Disney (61-70)

Facts about Disney

The end of the countdown draws near. Only 30 facts left to cover after this one.

So without further ado, let's dive into this next batch of facts...

61: A scene in Lady and the Tramp was inspired by a moment in Walt Disney's life

Lady in a hat box

I'm sure you've all heard this story before, but I feel I have to cover it anyway as it's a pretty cute fact about the movie.

Remember that adorable opening scene in Lady and the Tramp where Darling's given a puppy for Christmas? It's easily one of the cutest scenes in Disney history, and it was inspired by an equally as cute moment in Walt Disney's life. You see, he missed a dinner date with his wife, Lillian Disney, and as you can imagine, she was a bit put off by that. So how did Walt make it up to her? He bought her a Chow puppy as a gift in a hat box much like how Jim Dear gave Darling Lady the same way! How sweet is that? ^^ I can imagine Lillian was very quick to forgive Walt after that and the dog spent the rest of its life very well loved and cared for by the Disneys.

I know I'd love it if my partner gave me a puppy as a gift. Wouldn't you? ^^ I guess the moral of the story is if you miss out on important dinner dates, give your husband/wife a puppy and it'll make things all better...unless they hate dogs that is. XD

62: Inside Out went through a total of 27 emotions before settling on the five we have in the movie

Emotions chart

It's probably not that surprising that Inside Out had to pick through a lot of different emotions before settling on the main five we have in the finished product. The finished film has Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear as we know, but what other emotions were considered during the concept stage of the movie? Quite a few. Some of these include irritation, envy, greed, gloom, despair, depression, love, schadenfreude, ennui, shame, embarrassment, and hope. Joy would've been happiness or optimism before they settled on Joy and before we had the core five, it was originally going to be a core seven with emotions like contempt and surprise being a part of the team. But Pete Docter felt surprise and fear were very similar so surprise wasn't necessary and contempt was also dropped, and so we have the core five that we know and love today.

One does have to wonder though, what would've been like if some of these emotions were in the movie? I bet love would've been a fun one to write for. Maybe the upcoming sequel will give us some of these abandoned emotions that didn't make it in this movie...

63: Chicken Little of all movies actually ended up saving the company!

Chicken Little

This fact sounds INCREDIBLY insane and believe me, it DOES sound insane but honest to God, it's the truth! Trust me on this!

Chicken Little is an odd duck (or should that be an odd chicken?) in the history of the Walt Disney cooperation. It's the first all-CGI movie that Disney Animation Studios ever produced and it paved the way for the company being all-CGI from now on with a couple of exceptions like The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh 2011. It's also considered one of the worst movies that Disney has made with heavy criticism directed to its mean-spirited tone, clear attempts to try and be like Shrek and unlikeable cast of characters. Many Disney fans aren't in any mood to defend this. And yet this movie ended up being one of the biggest heroes of the company much like how Snow White, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid saved the company back in their respective eras. How so?

For the full details, watch this video from ElectricDragon505: How Chicken Little SAVED The Walt Disney Company - YouTube

But for now, I'll summarize as much as I can. Back in the 2000's, Pixar was making a big impact on the animation industry with its CG animated films and they along with DreamWorks's Shrek and Blue Sky's Ice Age were becoming big hits while Disney's 2-D movies were more often than not flopping hard (Lilo & Stitch being a notable exception). So Disney had to make the transition from 2-D to 3-D if they had a chance of surviving. Their hopes all banked on Chicken Little's success and Chicken Little did well enough to tempt the company into taking that extra step forward to go into 3-D. The film's success was also going to determine if Disney and Pixar stayed together or if they go their separate ways for at the time, they were considering splitting up from one another. Chicken Little managed to gross $314.4 million worldwide in spite of the bad reviews and that in Disney's eyes was enough for it to be considered a hit. It proved that while they couldn't make CG films on the level of Pixar, their CG films were able to make money and so after that, they reached in agreement which saw Disney buy Pixar for a total of $7.4 billion, making this a kind of merger between the animation studios of Disney and Pixar.

And what came out of this? Disney made more CG movies and during the 2010's, they pretty much had a second Renaissance with movies like Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootropolis and Moana being huge successes and big fan-favourite movies that Disney fans are still in love with to this day. Yeah, all of that is because of Chicken Little of all movies! Who knew a bad movie could have a great impact on a company? XD In this case, the sky really wasn't falling for Disney with Chicken Little's success...

64: Elemental is Peter Sohn's second directed Pixar movie and based on a personal experience in his life

Elemental poster

I covered this in my review of Elemental but it deserves to be mentioned again here. Many stories in media are based on life experiences and for Peter Sohn, the director of The Good Dinosaur and Elemental, this was the case here.

Peter pitched the idea for Elemental with the concept being based around the idea of whether fire and water could ever connect or not. The story itself was inspired by his personal life. He's the son of Korean immigrants who lived in New York City in the 1970s. He stated:

"My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx."

"We were among many families who ventured to a new land with hopes and dreams — all of us mixing into one big salad bowl of cultures, languages, and beautiful little neighbourhood. That's what led me to Elemental." - Peter Sohn

For those who have seen the movie, it's easy to see how this came to be and how his personal life fits into the story of Elemental. Sohn's experiences as a Korean immigrant also is likely the reason why the movie became such a big hit in South Korea, for audiences there can relate immensely to the film's story. Sadly, Peter's parents would both pass away during the making of this movie. It's a shame really as I bet they would've loved to have seen this deeply personal movie their son directed based on their lives. I'm sure they're smiling down on him wherever they are...

65: Somebody counted how many explosions, buttons pressed and gunshots there are in The Incredibles

It's amazing how much people have no lives or too much spare-time on their hands, isn't it? Because this is an actual fact that someone was sad enough to detail. XD According to IMDB, The Incredibles movie contains a total of 35 explosions, 189 buttons being pressed, and approximately 640 gunshots. Why someone felt the need to count all that, I have no idea. Was it really that important for them to learn that fact? XD

Then again, I'm now detailing this for you guys so am I just as sad as that person for giving you such an irrelevant fact about The Incredibles of all films? I'll let you guys decide on that. XD

66: Treasure Island from 1950 was the first ever live-action movie that Disney made

Treasure Island poster

Back in the day, Disney used to make just animated shorts and films or animation/live-action hybrids throughout the 30's and 40's. It wasn't until 1950 when Walt Disney made his first ever FULLY live-action movie. And as you can see, that movie was Treasure Island. Walt Disney worked as a producer on it with Byron Haskin as the director. The movie starred Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver. Interesting enough, Bobby would be in two other Disney films including Song of the South and of course, Peter Pan.

This movie is notable in the history books for being the first adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel to be in colour, and Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver also popularized the "pirate accent" that many fictional pirates speak with in media. He's even the "patron saint" of International Talk Like A Pirate Day (yes, that's a real day. Look it up!) as a result. Yeah, turns out most fictional pirates are unintentionally doing a Robert Newton impression, much like how most portrayals of Dracula are unintentional Bela Lugosi impressions. Weird, innit? XD

Nevertheless, this is an important movie in the history books for Disney for it marked the first of many live-action movies that the company would produce alongside their animated content, which only allowed the company to grow even bigger as they proved they can make movies for both animation and live-action.

67: Patton Oswalt got cast in Ratatouille thanks to one of his stand-up routines

Black Angus Steakhouse

It's always interesting to learn what leads to actors being cast in certain movies, and Patton Oswalt getting the role of Remy in Ratatouille is one example.

For those who know who Patton Oswalt is, you'll be familiar with some of his comedy stand-up routines as well as his acting performances in film and animation. His sketch about the Black Angus Steakhouse is one of those stand-ups he did and it was this very stand-up that got him the role of Remy in the movie. Brad Bird was clearly amused at listening to him describe all that food in the sketch and thought that was perfect for the character.

If you're interested, you can listen to the whole skit right here: Patton Oswalt Black Angus Steak Video - YouTube

Fitting isn't it that a stand-up routine about food got Patton cast in a movie about food, eh? It'd be like if someone got cast in Finding Nemo because they're a marine biologist or something. XD

68: The Aristocats was the first Disney movie made WITHOUT Walt Disney's guidance

The Aristocats

For those who know their Disney history, Walt Disney himself would pass away in 1966 following complications from lung cancer surgery. He was working on The Jungle Book at the time and the movie would have to be concluded without him for he died before it was completed. No doubt that was a heavy blow and a solemn loss for everyone at the studio at the time. I can't begin to imagine how devastated they were...

So with that in mind, some may wonder what was the first movie the company officially made without Walt's guidance whatsoever? It was this one, The Aristocats. The most amount of involvement Walt had with the movie was approving of the project personally and contacting Phil Harris to voice Thomas O'Malley but otherwise, the film was made pretty much entirely without him. He didn't write, produce or direct the movie or anything. I imagine it was a hard time for everyone to move on from The Jungle Book to this with Walt no longer at the helm to guide them. The 70's was a tough time for everyone and it wouldn't be until the 80's when The Little Mermaid began the Disney Renaissance as we know it and made Disney a powerhouse name all over again.

69: The Jungle Book 1994 is the first ever Disney live-action remake

The Jungle Book 1994

Hey guys, remember how Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland kick-started that annoying trend we have now of Disney remaking their animated classics into soulless, lifeless live-action remakes for cheap nostalgia bait? Yeah, turns out it didn't actually start there. There were live-action Disney remakes as far back as the 90's. So what was ACTUALLY the first live-action Disney remake ever made if it wasn't Alice in Wonderland?

It was this movie right here. Yes, Jon Favreau wasn't the first to direct a live-action remake of Disney's The Jungle Book. It was done already all the way back in 1994. The film starred Jason Scott Lee as Mowgli and other actors that were in it included Cary Elwes, John Cleese and Sam Neil. The movie is a weird adaptation of The Jungle Book for the animals in this version don't talk for some reason. Don't ask why, I really have no idea. It received praised for the acting performances, action and visuals but was also criticized for not being very faithful to the original source material and some feel its PG-rating wasn't warranted for the film's much darker and more violent than the rating would suggest.

Funny to think that it all started here, isn't it? It's also funny how The Jungle Book officially has two live-action remakes, though the 2016 one will be better remembered while this one, I don't think that many people remember it that much. Also the 2016 movie's a more faithful adaptation of the Disney film so just stick with that. I wonder if the remake craze would never have happened if this movie never existed now I think about it...

70: Which video-game characters appear in Wreck-It-Ralph and which ones didn't make the cut?

Wreck-It Ralph

This movie will forever stand as one of Disney's most interesting and experimental movies they've ever created. I mean you never would've thought Disney would make a movie centered around video-games, would you? And who knew we'd be in a situation where now we can declare Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Bowser and M. Bison as unofficial Disney characters? XD

So for those who maybe wondering, what's the full list of video-game cameos we get in this movie and which video-game characters missed out on appearing? Let's list them:

Physically Appeared: Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman, M. Bison, Bowser, Pac-Man, Neff, Cyril the Zombie, Yellow Robot, Mishaela (but she's referred to as Sorceress), Shinobi, Angel Kids, Frogger, Dig Dug, Zangief, Ken Masters, Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy White, Glyde Ghost Monster, Inky Ghost Monster, Blinky Ghost Monster, Pinky Ghost Monster, Taizo, The Skiers, The Qiz, Turtles from Frogger, Yuni, Basketball players from Double Dribble, The Beholder (referred to as Cycloptopus), Paddle 1 and Paddle 2 from Pong, Bentley Bear, Knight and Ostrich, Pitfall Harry, Q*bert, Coily, Slick, Sam, Ugg, Peter Pepper, Satan (but he prefers to be called Saitine), Kano, Sub-Zero, Paperboy, The Bartender and The Cowboys from Root Beer Tapper and Jackson De Box the Clown.

Appeared In Pictures: Miles "Tails" Prower, Amy Rose, Knuckles the Echidna, Espio the Chameleon, Bean the Dynamite, Bark the Polar Bear, Fang the Sniper, Thomas Rogan, The Centurion, Joe Musashi, Gilius Thunderhead, Blanka, E. Honda, Dhalsim, Guile, Sagat, Balrog, Ms. Pac-Man, an alien from Space Invaders, Charley Chuck, Dirk the Daring, Mr. Egg, Mr. Hotdog and Mr. Pickle.

Planned To Appear But Didn't: Dr. Wily and Mario

So yeah, they managed to get a lot of cameos in there! And that's just what I could find on the Disney and Wreck-It Ralph wikis! These lists may not even be complete and there could still be cameos that we haven't found yet. Who knows...

And that's it for this list. I hope you enjoyed learning these facts about Disney and I'll see you again next month as we cover 71-80. Next week I'll be reviewing The Dragon Prince's latest season and Miraculous Ladybug's first ever feature length film on Netflix. See you then everyone!

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