top of page

Media Essays: 100 Facts About Disney (71-80)


Title card for the essay

Only thirty facts left to go before we hit 100 so let's get going Disney fans and see what we have in store today! Here we go...


71: Maleficent and Hades are canonically a couple(!!!)

Hades and Maleficent

This sounds utterly insane...and it is, but if we're really technical on this note, then Maleficent and Hades are officially a couple. Based on what you may ask?


First of all, you have this image up above from Disney's House of Mouse which seems to imply that Hades has an interest in Maleficent but the bigger confirmation that the two are a thing comes from the biggest load of cringe that Disney ever created, Descendants. Yes, that show that sounds like a bad fanfic brought to life had Hades and Maleficent as a couple there, complete with their own daughter named Mal. Although it would take until Descendants 3 for us to learn that Hades is Mal's father but still, if we take Descendants as canon (which I sure don't!) then MaleficentXHades is official and Hades is the Disney villain that Maleficent would officially marry. Sorry MaleficentXJafar shippers. XD


I have to say, I don't think I ever would've shipped these two but hey, maybe it could work? What do you guys think to such an idea...?


72: There was a time where Mickey and Minnie Mouse were voiced by a REAL married couple!

Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor

From one couple to another, here's a fact I find to be one of the most adorable coincidences of all time. You all know one of Disney's most famous couples, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, right? Well what if I told you that there was once a time an ACTUAL married couple voiced them both?


No joke, that actually DID happen once! For a time, Mickey Mouse was voiced by Wayne Allwine and Minnie Mouse was voiced by Russi Taylor. Sadly, both are no longer with us with Wayne Allwine passing away in 2009 and Russi Taylor passing away in 2019. However, the two currently hold the record for the longest time they've voiced their respective characters with Wayne voicing Mickey for 32 years and Russi voicing Minnie for 33 years. And as mentioned before, they were a couple in real life. Yep, straight up husband-and-wife duo voicing the mouse duo. That's like getting a real life couple to voice Donald and Daisy Duck, it just sounds adorable and hilariously coincidental! Part of me even wonders if that's why the two were the voices of the mouse couple back then, they probably thought them being married in real life made Mickey and Minnie's chemistry together feel even sweeter. ^^


While it's a shame these two legends are no longer with us, it's still sweet to think that they weren't just Mickey and Minnie in the recording booth, but in their personal lives as well. Easily one of the most adorable casting choices of all time if you ask me. ^^


73: Current Donald Duck voice actor, Tony Anselmo, worked as an animator before voicing Donald

Tony Anselmo

I always find it interesting when voice actors behind certain characters have some kind of previous background before they got their voice-acting roles and Tony Anselmo is no exception to this.


We all know him as the current voice of Donald Duck to this day with plenty of media to his name where he voices the iconic character. But not only has he voiced Donald Duck, he's done much more work for Disney than just that. Yep, he's not just a voice actor for Disney, but an animator as well. His interest in animation and working for Disney stemmed from watching Mary Poppins in the theatre back when he was young. He recalls:


"I remember leaving the theater and asking, 'How did they do this? Who did that?' and so on...So a seed was planted there, and from that time on I never wanted to be a fireman, an astronaut, or anything else. I wanted to work for Disney." - Tony Anselmo


And so with his career set ahead of himself, he attened Marian A. Peterson High School in Sunnyvale, California where he began night are classes at local colleges and began a regular correspondence with artists who animated at Disney. Some of these included Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Eric Larson and Milt Khal, four of the original Nine Old Men! He also studied at the Character Animation Department of California Institute of the Arts on a full scholarship from the Disney Family in the Autumn of 1978. He officially began his career as an animator at the age of 20 in 1980.


For his career as an animator, he's got quite the impressive resume under his belt with jobs as Assistant Animator, Key Animator, Animating Assistant, Character Animator and more on films such as The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver and Company, the entire Disney Renaissance, Fantasia 2000, The Emperor's New Groove and he even worked as a Character Layout Artist on two episodes of The Simpsons. Nowadays he mostly works as the voice of Donald Duck and hasn't had many animating jobs since 2010 but still, this is a guy who can say he's done it all. Voicing an iconic character who's original actor helped train him to do the voice and being an animator on some of Disney's most beloved movies of all time? As a Disney fan, I only WISH I had that kind of resume to boast about! XD


74: A list of Disney/Pixar Animated shows based on their movies and characters

House of Mouse

This is less a fact about Disney and more a list of cartoons they've made that are either based on their popular movies or any of their original characters. So which Disney characters and Disney movies also got made into a TV series? Which ones from Pixar also got the treatment? Let's list them and also label the years they were released in. Also streaming exclusive shows will be included too. We got:


Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989 - 1990) Starring Disney's Chip N' Dale

DuckTales (1987 - 1990) Starring Scrooge McDuck and Donald's nephews

DuckTales (2017 - 2021) Also starring Scrooge McDuck and Donald's nephews

The Little Mermaid (1992 - 1994) Based on The Little Mermaid

Aladdin (1994 - 1995) Based on Aladdin

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa (1995 - 1999) Based on The Lion King

101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997 - 1998) Based on 101Dalmatians

101 Dalmatian Street (2019 - 2020) Also based on 101 Dalmatians

The Lion Guard (2016 - 2019) Also based on The Lion King

Jake and the Neverland Pirates (2011 - 2016) Based on Peter Pan

Tangled: The Series (2017 - 2020) Based on Tangled

Olaf Presents (2021) Based on Frozen

Monsters At Work (2021 - present) Based on Monsters Inc.

Cars on the Road (2022 - present) Based on Cars

Dug Days (2021) Based on Up

Alice's Wonderland Bakery (2022 - present) Based on Alice in Wonderland

The Rocketeer (2019-2020) Based on The Rocketeer

Sing Me a Story with Belle (1995 - 1997) Based on Beauty and the Beast

The 7D (2014 - 2016) Based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Big Hero 6: The Series (2017 - 2021) Based on Big Hero 6

Baymax! (2022) Also based on Big Hero 6

Zootopia+/Zootropolis+ (2022) Based on Zootopia/Zootropolis

House of Mouse (2001 - 2003) A crossover series featuring all of Disney's characters from their original works and their movies

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006 - 2016) Featuring Mickey Mouse and the gang

Hercules: The Animated Series (1998) Based on Hercules

High School Musical: The Musical Series (2019 - 2023) Based on High School Musical

Jungle Cubs (1996 - 1998) Based on characters from The Jungle Book

Tale Spin (1996 - 1998) Also based on characters from The Jungle Book

Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003 - 2006) Based on Lilo & Stitch

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000 - 2001) Based on the Buzz Lightyear character from the Toy Story franchise

The Book of Pooh (2001 - 2003), Welcome to Pooh Corner (1983 - 1986), The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988 - 1991) and My Friends Tigger and Pooh (2007 - 2010) All based on Winnie the Pooh

Stitch and Ai (2017) and Stitch! (2009 - 2010) Chinese and Japanese anime shows based on Lilo & Stitch

The Legend of Tarzan (2001 - 2003) Based on Tarzan

The Emperor's New School (2006 - 2008) Based on The Emperor's New Groove


And those are just the really notable ones! You can find a full list of these on Wikipedia and other sites but this list should at least show you just how many Disney shows based on their own movies and characters that they have made. And I'm sure there'll be more to come in the future...


75: World War II really screwed with the studio and caused Disney to make package films

Disney package films

Do any of you remember watching films like Fun and Fancy Free, Make Mine Music, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and Melody Time? I'm sure some of you wonder why they were done the way they were and why they're so unlike Disney films beforehand. I have the answer.


Around the time of World War II, Disney were pretty much taken over by the army and had to make a lot of pro-war propaganda for the army to encourage soldiers to fight against the Nazis. It was also because of the war at the time why films like Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi struggled financially at the box office and while the army was in charge, they had to put their resources towards making those propaganda films, which didn't exactly help their finances any. At the time they could only make package films like those I mentioned above due to their low finances caused by the war and it wouldn't be until 1950's Cinderella, five years after the war ended, when Disney could finally make a proper full-length feature again. And as we all know that was a risky gamble because the whole business with the war left Disney so close to bankruptcy that if Cinderella had failed, that would've been the end of them! Crazy isn't it how World War II nearly killed Disney as well as thousands of people both military and civilian isn't it?

Donald Duck as a Nazi

Oh and I'm sure some of you want me to mention this so here we go: there's a Disney cartoon where Donald Duck is a Nazi. There, I said it. =P HOWEVER, many people ignore the context of that short and forget that Donald is only a reluctant Nazi here and it turns out to be a nightmare anyway so it never actually happened. As if Disney would ever have made Donald an actual Nazi. =P


Still, World War II remains a huge staple in the history books for many of us and even Disney has a history with this war as you've read here. Goes to show what a huge impact it had on the world at the time...


76: Oliver and Company is Billy Joel's ONLY acting role

Dodger

Credit for the image goes to sirjosh9 on deviantart


I'm sure many of you know who Billy Joel is by now. He's one of the most famous singers of all time with many hits to his name such as Uptown Girl, My Life, River of Dreams, his own cover of Just The Way You Are, For The Longest Time, Piano Man and of course, the song that practically immortalized him forever in the world of the internet, We Didn't Start The Fire. Even to this day people are STILL doing parodies of that song and the band Fall Out Boy recently did an updated version of it!


But did you also know he actually did a voice for Disney once upon a time? Yes, Billy Joel once played a Disney character, specifically Dodger from Oliver and Company. And yes, he even gets to perform a song in the movie, specifically the ever popular and beloved "Why Should I Worry?" which is practically everybody's favourite song from the movie (no duh). It remains one of, if not his only acting role to date and it's something else that people such as myself will forever remember him for. So how did he get the role? Apparently, he was recommended to voice the character by the film's director, George Scribner. He felt Billy's "New York street-smart, savoir-faire attitude" was a perfect fit for the character. Joel would then audition for the role by telephone and he was hired for the part. His reason for taking part was because he'd just had a daughter, Alexa, who was born three year before Oliver and Company's release and he thought it was a great to do something she could say and relate to right away. Isn't it sweet when actors do stuff like this for their kids? ^^


Still, performing some of the most well-known songs of all time and playing a Disney character? I think we can say Billy Joel has some big credentials to his name. Why should he worry indeed...


77: Phil Collins not only did songs for Tarzan, but also Brother Bear too

Phil Collins on Brother Bear

From one singer to another, Phil Collins is a name that has become pretty synonymous with Disney in this day and age thanks to his contributions to the studio's filmography.


As we all know, he's responsible for the legendary soundtrack for Disney's Tarzan that people to this day are still singing the songs of to this day and I even covered that in my review on the movie earlier this year. However, Tarzan was NOT the only Disney film Phil Collins worked on. No, he also did songs for Brother Bear too. Brother Bear was released in 2003 and while it has its fans, it's often considered among the more forgettable movies the studio has released. The soundtrack on the other hand is remembered quite fondly and is considered the best part of the movie. Even I have to agree that yeah, Brother Bear's soundtrack absolutely slaps with some damn good tunes in it. Then again, Phil Collins worked on it so of course it's awesome. XD


While he didn't perform every song in the movie like with Tarzan, he did perform a few numbers such as "On My Way", "Welcome" (there's one version where he performs the whole song and in the movie, he does the song along with The Blind Boys of Alabama), "No Way Out" and "Look Through My Eyes", the last one even being available on one of his albums that I got for my birthday a few years back. He also shared vocal performances with Tina Turner when she performed "Great Spirits" for the movie. He wrote all the songs for the movie with Mark Mancina composing the score so needless to say, Phil contributed a lot to this soundtrack even if he didn't perform every song.


This just goes to show what a legend this guy is. Performing songs for two Disney movies and the soundtrack is often considered the highlight of said movies? If that doesn't show how mad Phil's talents are, I don't know what does!


78: Disney was founded all the way back in 1923

Disney's founding date

With Disney celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, it feels appropriate I bring up the exact date when it was founded. So when did this mega-company begin its lifelong legacy as a multimedia franchise that has touched the hearts of audiences everywhere?


Specifically, October the 16th 1923. I'm sure for many people, it's mindboggling to think that Disney really is that old. And to think it all started on that faithful day in 1923 when a distributor in New York named M.J. Winkler contracted Walt and Roy Disney to distribute the Alice Comedies series they were making at the time. Thanks to that distributor, the Walt Disney Company got started up and would only grow from there to become the mega-giant-corporation as we know it today.


And who knows if it'll go on for another 100 years after this year is up...


79: Pixar granted a girl's dying wish to see Up

Up poster

Prepare the tissues because this is a fact that'll make you cry...


Up is one of Pixar's most beloved movies and is often hailed as one of the biggest examples of a movie that'll make you cry with the 8-minute montage of Carl and Elie's life being viewed as a visual and emotional highlight of the movie. But the movie was also notable for being part of one of Pixar's most heart-warming acts of kindness the studio has ever performed, and that was to grant a dying girl's wish to see the movie.


The girl, who's name was Colby Curtin, was tragically diagnosed with vascular cancer in 2005 and sadly didn't have long to live as a result. However, she saw the previews for Up and made it her dying wish to see the movie. Her mother, Lisa, even said that Colby was "ready to die but she'll hang on to see the movie". Unfortunately, Colby's health deteriorated over time to the point she was to sick to go anywhere, even to the cinema. So a friend of the Curtin family called Pixar themselves to send them a copy of the movie for a private screening so she could watch it. In a tremendous act of kindness and compassion, Pixar agreed and sent an employee over to their house with movie memorabilia, stuffed animals and a DVD containing the movie.


Colby and her family were treated to a private screening of Up but Colby wasn't actually able to watch it due to being unable to open her eyes so her mother had to describe the movie to her scene-by-scene as they watched. By the end, she asked if Colby enjoyed it and Colby nodded, confirming that yes, she did enjoy it. Later that night, Colby finally died from her illness with her parents surrounding her. So...so tragic. :'(


The one thing to take away from this story is that we may look down on big name companies for the horrible things they do from time-to-time, but we should also remember that there are people working at those companies that can do tremendous acts of kindness and compassion and that not everything these companies can get up to is bad. And Pixar is certainly one big example of that. I mean sending a private copy of your as-of-yet-unreleased movie to grant a dying child's wish to see it? I can't even begin to describe how wholesome that is! We can all agree that Lisa has something truly wonderful to remember her daughter by, a fantastic Pixar movie that brought Colby joy and happiness in her last day on Earth...


80: Adriana Caselotti struggled to get work after Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Adriana Caselotti and Snow White

I doubt many of you will know who this woman is so allow me to explain.


Adriana Caselotti was an American actress and singer who lived from 1916 - 1997. For Disney fans such as us, her name is forever immortalized as the voice of Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. She not only voiced the title character in the movie, but performed the songs her character would sing such as "I'm Wishing", "With A Smile And A Song", "Just Whistle While You Work" and "Someday My Prince Will Come". She was paid a total of $970 for working on the film, the equivalent of $19,746 in today's money, and she became the first female voice over artist to be named a Disney Legend in 1994.


However, life wasn't all that great to her despite being the voice of Disney's first ever Disney Princess and main character in their first full length feature film. As I said up above, she actually struggled to get more work after the movie's release. Sounds crazy I know but it's the truth! So what happened exactly? Well back in the day, actors weren't really credited for their voice-acting roles in animated movies, especially the older Disney films given Walt wanted to give the illusion that these characters were alive and all, so Adriana couldn't use the Snow White voice anywhere outside of the movie for Walt felt it would "spoil the illusion of Snow White". Bit of a hopeless cause there Walt because we all know that animated characters are voiced by real people now. =P So because of this, Adriana struggled to really get any further work in the film business, only really getting two more jobs as an uncredited role in The Wizard of Oz (1939) and an uncredited role in It's A Wonderful Life.


It's a pity that Adriana got screwed over like this but hey, at least we know she was Snow White and she'll forever be remembered for voicing the first of many Disney heroines that the studio has had headlining their movies. For the Disney Princesses, she was the first and let's not forget it...


And those are it for these Disney facts. I hope you enjoyed it and found these interesting to learn about. We only have twenty more facts left and we'll hit 100 so join me again next month as we reach the penultimate chapter of our countdown. Until then, next week, I'll be talking about the career of another Robot Wars contestant? Which one? The second UK Champion winner itself, Panic Attack! See you then media fans!

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page