Disney movies have been capturing the attention of children for decades. You may remember watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Cinderella as a child. Today, you may be watching Tangled and Frozen with your own children. While the final products may be magical, filming them wasn’t always. Hidden details about Disney classics are making fans see them in a new light.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Before Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs hit the theaters in 1937, nobody had ever seen a hand-drawn animated film. Walt Disney didn’t have many backers because it was the first film of its kind, so he mortgaged his hour to fund the production.
Walt Disney loved slapstick. Because of this, he told the producers to add as many visual jokes in Pinocchio as possible, and they would be rewarded. Depending on how funny the gag, they could earn between $5 and $25 for each one. When the film came out in 1940, this was good money. Today, the reward would be between $91 and $457.
When Dumbo came out in 1941, it was considered such a phenomenon that Time Magazine was going to honor the fictional elephant with the title of “Mammal of the Year.” After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Time changed their minds. Instead, they made Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Man of the Year” instead.
When they made Cinderella in 1950, the producers decided that the best way to cut costs was to shoot the entire movie in live action first. Later, they were going to trace over the footage. Some of the animators appreciated the time saver, while others weren’t too happy to be limited to pre-shot footage.
Fantasia came out in 1940, and it was the first film ever to show a Pegasus on screen. The animators weren’t sure what to do with the flying horse’s legs while it flew. They ended up figuring out, and it defined how these mythical creatures would be seen on film for that point on.
Of all the movies that Walt Disney made, Dumbo was always his favorite. He says that they weren’t restricted to any set storyline, which meant that they could use their imaginations to create the whole movie. This is why Disney held it close to his heart until the day he died.
Alice In Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland was released in 1951; however, work for the movie started back in 1933. A short version of the film came out in 1936 under the name, Thru the Mirror, and Mickey Mouse guest starred.
Snow White In the Seven Dwarfs
When they were writing Snow White In the Seven Dwarfs in 1934, three years before it was released, the producers considered using over 50 dwarfs, with distinct personalities. Eventually, they narrowed it down to seven. A few dwarfs who didn’t make the cut include Gaspy, Burpy, Sniffy, Goopy, and Biggy-Wiggy.
Pinocchio was released in 1940. Initially, it was supposed to be the third animated feature. Bambi was supposed to be number two, but the animators had trouble making the deers’ movements look realistic, so Pinocchio was released first, and Bambi being released as the third movie, two years later.
Bambi’s story was written in a novel by Felix Stalten. Walt Disney wanted to make the movie, so he bought the rights from Stalten for $1,000. This turned out to be a bargain for Disney since the film made $267.4 million at the box office.
Kendall O’Connor was one of the artists who worked on Cinderella. He used his wife, Mary Alice, as the inspiration for the Fairy Godmother. In real life, Mary Alice was known as a pillar of the community, and she was dubbed, “Fair Godmother of Burbank.”
Disney’s magical symphony was released in 1940, and it was groundbreaking. While it became famous for its technical and artistic work, it also started the change of Mickey Mouse that would last the next 80-years. Finally, Mickey Mouse had pupils.
When they were making Peter Pan, which was released back in 1953, the producers were trying to find the perfect sound for Tinkerbell’s wings. They tried every kind of bell and chime that you could think of, but none of them were right. They ended up finding perfection with a few pieces of aluminum strung together.
When Dumbo was released in 1941, the psychedelic dream sequence had many people wondering if the creators were under the influence of something when they created it. The team says that they could expand their imaginations without the need of any substances.
There were rumors in 1953 when Peter Pan was released that Tinkerbell was based on Marilyn Monroe. This was not true. In fact, the actress who gave them their inspiration was Margaret Kerry.
Alice In Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland has 15 songs. This is more than any Disney movie to date. There were an additional 12 songs written that were never used. One of them starred Humpty Dumpty.
Walt Disney always had a close connection to Peter Pan. This is because he is the only character that Walt portrayed on stage. When he was younger, he broke open his piggy bank to see a touring company perform the play. This inspired him to join his school’s production, and he landed the starring role.
In the early days of Disney animation, they often used live-action recreations to get the character’s movements just right. When they were making Fantasia, they used a football player knocking down barrels to get the scene where Mickey subdues a rampaging broom, just right.
Snow White is Disney royalty since she was the first character to make it to the big screen. She is also one of just a few fictional characters who has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
The villain in Bambi is called “Man.” Originally, Walt wanted the hunter to meet a much darker ending. In the first version, the hunter was burned alive in the fire that he created in the forest. It was soon decided that this would be too much.