Surprising Facts About Disney Movies You Probably Didn't Know

What are some of the more surprising things about the Disney movies we all know and love? Slide through to learn some crazy facts about your favorite Disney films.Walt Disney Company
Toy Story (1995) is the first film entirely animated using CGI. Walt Disney Company

Disney films are more than just movies; they are the memories of millions of children (and adults) around the world.

Disney films have become a touchstone to our childhood, a reminder of a time when we were able to forget the world around us and let our imaginations run wild, even if only for an hour or so. Now that we’re a bit older, it’s fun to look back at some of the surprising facts behind Disney films that you might not be aware of.

Since 1921, when Walt Disney animated Cleaning Up!!?, Disney animation has wowed audiences. It would be another seven years before Mickey Mouse was first introduced in Steamboat Willie in 1928 and another nine years before Walt Disney produced his first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. Since then, countless Disney films have been released, changing with audiences as new developments in animation became available, like in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, the first animated film fully produced using CGI.

But it isn’t just kids who have been moved by Disney’s animated film; adults too have been swept away by Disney magic. This isn’t an accident, it was always part of Walt Disney’s intentions. He once said, “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

Disney’s animation went on to inspire theme parks and TV shows and video games. The company, officially titled The Walt Disney Company, is worth billions, with properties outside the animated realm such as the Marvel Universe and the Star Wars franchise. On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice granted Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, adding to Disney’s reach.

Even though Disney is seemingly everywhere these days, it’s important to remember where it all started: the movies. So what are some of the more surprising things about the Disney movies we all know and love? Slide through to learn some crazy facts about your favorite Disney films.

After the release of The Princess and the Frog (2009), over 50 kids were hospitalized with salmonella from kissing frogs. Walt Disney Company
The voice actor behind young Bambi went on to be a decorated war hero. Donnie Dunagan received the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for his service during the Vietnam War. Bambi (1942) was his last film credit. Walt Disney Company
The first Pixar film to receive a PG-rating was The Incredibles (2004). Every other film has received a G-rating. Walt Disney Company
Frozen (2013) is the first Disney film to be directed by a woman, Jennifer Lee. Lee is pictured with co-director Chris Buck and producer Peter Del Vecho.Getty Images/Jason Merritt
Aladdin's appearance is modeled after Tom Cruise. Cruise is pictured at the premiere of Far & Away in 1992, when Aladdin was released. Getty Images/Patrick Riviere
The most expensive film ever made is also a Disney film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), coming in at $387.5 million.Walt Disney Company
Sleeping Beauty (1959) flopped at the box office. Walt Disney saw this as a sign that princess films were no longer popular. It would be another 30 years before Disney released another princess story, in 1989, with the release of The Little Mermaid.Walt Disney Company
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was the first movie to release a soundtrack album. Walt Disney Company
The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 kicked Dumbo off the cover of TIME magazine as “Mammal of the Year.” Walt Disney Company
The primary characters in Frozen (2013), Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven, sound out the name of the author of the original story “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen.Walt Disney Company
To convince Robin Williams to play the Genie in Aladdin (1992), the animators created the Genie doing Williams’ stand-up routine. Eric Goldberg, the head animator, believes these test sequences is what convinced Williams to do the project. "I think what probably sold him was the one where he says, 'Tonight, let’s talk about the serious subject of schizophrenia—No, it doesn’t!—Shut up, let him talk!'”, Goldberg told Entertainment Weekly. “What I did is animate the Genie growing another head to argue with himself, and Robin just laughed. He could see the potential of what the character could be. I’m sure it wasn’t the only factor, but then he signed the dotted line."Walt Disney Company
Disney was sued after the release of The Lion King (1994) by a hyena researcher for “defamation of character” because of the film’s portrayal of the animals. Walt Disney Company

Disney films are more than just movies; they are the memories of millions of children (and adults) around the world.

Disney films have become a touchstone to our childhood, a reminder of a time when we were able to forget the world around us and let our imaginations run wild, even if only for an hour or so. Now that we’re a bit older, it’s fun to look back at some of the surprising facts behind Disney films that you might not be aware of.

Since 1921, when Walt Disney animated Cleaning Up!!?, Disney animation has wowed audiences. It would be another seven years before Mickey Mouse was first introduced in Steamboat Willie in 1928 and another nine years before Walt Disney produced his first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. Since then, countless Disney films have been released, changing with audiences as new developments in animation became available, like in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, the first animated film fully produced using CGI.

But it isn’t just kids who have been moved by Disney’s animated film; adults too have been swept away by Disney magic. This isn’t an accident, it was always part of Walt Disney’s intentions. He once said, “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

Disney’s animation went on to inspire theme parks and TV shows and video games. The company, officially titled The Walt Disney Company, is worth billions, with properties outside the animated realm such as the Marvel Universe and the Star Wars franchise. On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice granted Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, adding to Disney’s reach.

Even though Disney is seemingly everywhere these days, it’s important to remember where it all started: the movies. So what are some of the more surprising things about the Disney movies we all know and love? Slide through to learn some crazy facts about your favorite Disney films.