Tag: Trivia (page 1 of 2)

Ooh! A piece of trivia! These thirteen things about Disney’s Hercules will have you praising the gods, Or cursing us to Hades. Either way, we aren’t speaking Greek here.

13. The role of Hades is one of James Woods’ all-time favorite characters. So much so, any time Disney needs him to reprise the character for any cartoon show and video game, such as Hercules: The Series or Kingdom Hearts, he has agreed to do so. When this film was about to go over-budget, he offered to refund his salary and finish the film for free. Disney decided against this, and finished the film anyway.

12. Hades was scripted as a slow, menacing character until James Woods took the role and impressed the crew with his rapid-fire style. Even after the script was rewritten, Woods ad-libbed many lines.

11. The animators spent 6 to 14 hours to render a frame of the Hydra, depending on how many heads it had.

10. The Spice Girls were originally approached to portray the Muses following an invitation to sing one of the songs, but declined the offer due to scheduling conflicts.

9. Early into production, the filmmakers decided the Hydra would ultimately have thirty heads by which the animators created one master head, and the computer could multiply the heads to their desired scale. Overall, thirteen animators and technical directors spent nearly a year-and-a-half creating the four-minute battle sequence.

8. Due to backlash against the previous two Disney releases of Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules was released to lighten things up. The major criticisms of the two films were that they were “too dark” and dealt with “serious issues” that Disney shouldn’t use in their animated films.

7. The film’s interpretation of the character of Hades is said to be based on Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, who left the Walt Disney Company on bad terms to form DreamWorks Pictures.

6. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements envisioned Mount Olympus as a city composed of clouds. In order for the animators to achieve the directors’ vision, the painted backgrounds of clouds and cloud-like imagery were blended with hand-drawn effects animation to create a morphing technique that were used for baby Hercules’ cradle and Zeus’ reclining chair.

5. A sequel was planned starring the children of Hercules and Meg, which was scrapped along with many other sequels after John Lasseter became CEO of both Disney and Pixar.

4. Scar makes a cameo in this film as a pelt. This could be a built in joke from The Lion King as Zazu joked Scar would make a good throw rug.

3. The promotional ads featured Hades saying “Two thumbs way way up”. Film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel complained, pointing out that “Two Thumbs Up” is a phrase uniquely invented and trademarked by them, and the use of it in promotional ads implied that the film had received “Two Thumbs Up” when only Ebert gave it a favorable review. Ebert thought the ad was misleading and unfair and asked that the line be removed from the ads, while Siskel quipped that they ought to make it “Two Thumbs Down.”

2. “Hades’ line “…hey, you, get off my cloud’, when telling the Sisters of Fate about Zeus, is part of the chorus off The Rolling Stones” single of the same phrase.

1. Despite the positive critical reception, the film under-performed in its theatrical release notably in comparison to its predecessors before ultimately earning $252.7 million in box office revenue worldwide.

Hercules (1997)

G | 1h 33min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 27 June 1997 (USA)

The son of Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writers: Ron Clements (animation screenplay by), John Musker (animation screenplay by)

Stars: Tate Donovan, Susan Egan, James Woods

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James and the Giant Peach (1996)
PG | 1h 19min | Animation, Adventure, Family | 12 April 1996 (USA)

An orphan, who lives with his two cruel aunts, befriends anthropomorphic bugs who live inside a giant peach, and they embark on a journey to New York City.
Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Roald Dahl (based on the book by), Karey Kirkpatrick (screenplay)
Stars: Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Pete Postlethwaite

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Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned? Well that’s because they just heard about these thirteen things from Disney’s Pocahontas. So thanks for giving us your time while you gobble these up.

13. Animators working on the film regarded it as being one of the hardest films ever produced by the studio. The complex color schemes, angular shapes, and facial expressions meant that the film was in production for five years. The hard work paid off, however. Pocahontas is now frequently cited as being one of the most beautifully, and realistically, animated characters in the Disney canon, her fluid movements mainly being attributed to rotoscoping.

12. The film’s release on June 23, 1995, was also the 400th anniversary of the real Pocahontas’ birth.

11. The Disney executives had all the secondary animal characters, such as Meeko and Flit, lose all of their dialogue in order to make the film a bit more serious.

10. The end credits song “If I Never Knew You”, was cut after children in test audiences found it boring and the adults found it too depressing. At the time, it was almost fully animated, with the exception of color. The unfinished sequence was shown in ABC’s 1997 airing of the film. For the 10th anniversary DVD release, the animation was completed and the song inserted back into the film, as well as a short reprise in the final scene.

9. “Colors of the Wind” was the first song written for this production, and helped define the tone and direction of the film. Though this song features the word “mountain” in its verses, the real Pocahontas supposedly never saw any mountains in her lifetime. The Powhatans and the Patawomecks both resided on the Atlantic coastal plain.

8. John Candy had provided a large amount of voice work into a character named “Redfeather”, a turkey as Pocahontas’ sidekick. However, after Candy’s death in 1994, the concept was scrapped.

7. In real-life, Pocahontas would have been more likely to be topless and likely covered in tribal tattoos, even her face.

6. Pocahontas is one of the few cartoon characters to be granted a proper “photo spread” in Harper’s Bazaar. For the June 1995 edition, Gianni Versace, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, and Isaac Mizrahi all designed special outfits for her, which were then drawn by Disney animators for the magazine.

5. Upon it’s initial release, then-studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg regarded Pocahontas as a more prestigious project than The Lion King, and even believed that it had a chance of earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, following in the steps of Beauty and the Beast. However, the movie was less successful commercially than was hoped with its more adult themes and tones, which did not appeal to younger children.

4. John Pomeroy was the Supervising Animator for John Smith, and watched several Errol Flynn movies, as reference for the movements of the character. Once the look of Smith was finalized, fourteen other animators were drafted in to make him come to life.

3. As all the actors recorded their dialogue separately, they did not meet each other until the premiere. Mel Gibson did not attend the premiere because he was away filming Braveheart. As of 2019, Irene Bedard (who voiced Pocahontas) still has not met him.

2. Shirley “Little Dove” Custalow-McGowan, a descendant of the real Pocahontas, worked on the film as a consultant. When she discovered that there would be a lot of artistic license with history, she left the project. Her appearance was also an inspiration for how the animated Pocahontas would look.

1. This is the first Disney film to be censored before going to theaters, due to “racial slurs in the song ‘Savages'”. Some lyrics where changed for the film, as they were viewed as inappropriate (even though authentic to the setting). If you watch the scene in the film, it’s obvious the animators had no time to match the mouth movements with the new lyrics. Interestingly, for some unknown reason, the original motion picture soundtrack still features the earlier lyrics.

Pocahontas (1995)

G | 1h 21min | Animation, Adventure, Drama | 23 June 1995 (USA)

An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth-century Virginia.

Directors: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Writers: Carl Binder, Susannah Grant

Stars: Mel Gibson, Linda Hunt, Christian Bale

Bambi (1942)
G | 1h 10min | Animation, Drama, Family | 21 August 1942 (USA)

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.
Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong (as Sam Armstrong)
Writers: Felix Salten (from the story by), Perce Pearce (story direction)
Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey

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Dumbo (1941)
G | 1h 4min | Animation, Drama, Family | 31 October 1941 (USA)

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.
Directors: Samuel Armstrong (as Sam Armstrong), Norman Ferguson
Writers: Joe Grant (screen story), Dick Huemer (screen story)
Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, James Baskett

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Fantasia (1940)
G | 2h 5min | Animation, Family, Fantasy | 20 June 1941 (USA)

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.
Directors: James Algar (uncredited), Samuel Armstrong (uncredited)
Writers: Joe Grant (story direction), Dick Huemer (story direction)
Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton

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Pinocchio (1940)
G | 1h 28min | Animation, Comedy, Family | 23 February 1940 (USA)

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee
Writers: Carlo Collodi (from the story by) (as Collodi), Ted Sears (story adaptation)
Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Jack Bailey

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(Hakuna Matata) Here are thirteen thi-ings! What a wonderful phrase! Here are thirteen thi-ings! Ain’t no passin craze! It means more knowledge, for the rest of your days. It’s our Lion King, philosophy. Here are thirteen thi-ings!

13. A few weeks before the film opened, Elton John was given a special screening. Noticing that the film’s love song had been left out, he successfully lobbied Jeffrey Katzenberg to have the song put back in. Later, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

12. The team working on the film was supposedly Disney’s “team B,” who were “kept busy” while “team A” worked on Pocahontas, on which the production had much higher hopes. “The Lion King” became a huge critical and commercial success, whereas “Pocahontas” met with mixed reviews and a much lower box office.

11. The wildebeest stampede took Disney’s CG department approximately three years to animate. A new computer program had to be written for the stampede scene that allowed hundreds of computer generated animals to run but without colliding into each other.

10. In early drafts, Scar was a rogue lion with no relation to Mufasa. However, the story writers thought relating him to Mufasa would be more interesting, a threat within. This is why Scar and Mufasa differ so much; they weren’t originally designed to be related.

9. The animators were so impressed with Jeremy Irons’s performance that they worked Irons’ features into Scar’s face.

8. Besides inspirations from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the story also has elements of the Osirian family myths of Ancient Egyptian mythology.

7. Several character names are based on Swahili words: Simba – lion, Nala – gift, Sarabi – mirage, Rafiki – friend, Pumbaa – simpleton/weak-minded, and Shenzi – barbarous/uncouth/uncivilized/savage. Despite the fact that Zawadi is the Swahili word for gift, Nala’s name also means gift.

6. Jim Cummings (voice of Ed the Hyena) had to fill in for Jeremy Irons for the finale of “Be Prepared.” Irons threw out his voice after performing the line, “you won’t get a sniff without me!” The rest of his recording didn’t sound powerful enough.

5. HIDDEN MICKEY: One of the bugs that Timon pulls out of a knothole during Hakuna Matata is wearing Mickey Mouse ears. When Mufasa tells Simba about the Great Kings of the Past if you look at the stars in the wide shot you can see Mickey Mouse.

4. The best-selling home video of all time, with more than 55 million copies sold to date.

3. Veteran voice actor Frank Welker provided all the lion roars. Not a single recording of an actual lion roaring was used because the producers wanted specific sounding roars for each lion.

2. This was the highest grossing film of 1994 worldwide and the second highest in the U.S. behind Forrest Gump.

1. There is a lost verse of “Hakuna Matata” that was storyboarded which explained Timon’s situation. It was later used in The Lion King 1 and a 1/2, also known as The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata.

They were so big that it took more than one continent to contain them. These thirteen things that you probably didn’t know about The Rescuers Down Under, should satisfy your cravings for squeaky sleuths until the inevitable live action version comes out.

13. This was Eva Gabor’s last film before her death in 1995. A third Rescuers movie was planned for 1996, but after her death, this and all future Rescuers movies were scrapped.

12. In the original Rescuers film, the albatross Orville was voiced by Jim Jordan, who died two years before this film released. The producers didn’t want to replace Jordan, so Orville was replaced with the character’s brother Wilbur, voiced by John Candy. This is a reference to the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, the inventors and pilots of the first functional airplane.

11. Disney’s first animated sequel. This would later carry on with Fantasia 2000 and Winnie the Pooh, whilst the rest of the sequels would be straight to video.

10. This was the first 100% digital feature film ever made. The animation and backgrounds were done traditionally but all of the coloring, many effects, and the final film printing was all done digitally. This was also the first film produced with Disney’s Academy Award-winning “CAPS” production system, which cut the production time down by at least six months.

9. On its initial release, this film was preceded by the Mickey Mouse short subject The Prince and the Pauper. Interestingly enough, this was only the second Mickey Mouse short made since the 1950s, with the first being Mickey’s Christmas Carol, which was made to accompany the 1983 re-release of The Rescuers.

8. The twisted version of “Home on the Range” that McLeach sings was not performed by George C. Scott. It was instead sung by the voice of Joanna, Frank Welker.

7. This is the least successful film released during the Disney Renaissance between 1989-1999. After it only grossed $27,931,461 from that weekend’s box office, Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg pulled all television advertisements for the film. Opening on the same weekend as Home Alone, which went on to gross more than ten times as much, did not help its cause. This financial failure discouraged Disney from releasing subsequent non-computer-animated sequels in theaters with very few exceptions.

6. Originally Wilbur’s calendar was to have a picture of Bart Simpson from The Simpsons; which can be seen in the original animatic.

5. A lifelong Disney fan, Bruce Broughton jumped at the chance to compose the score and turned down an offer to score Home Alone to work on this film.

4. Is the last Disney Film to be accompanied by a Featurette that’s over 20 minutes long, up until Pixar’s Coco 27 years later.

3. The first Disney animated feature to use fully-rendered CG backgrounds.

2. Storyboard artist Joe Ranft constantly bolstered the creative morale of his crew, but rarely drew storyboard sequences himself. In addition to this, Ranft entered creative disagreements with the studio management and marketing executives, including one disagreement where he optioned for the casting of an Aboriginal Australian child actor to voice Cody, which was overridden with the decision to cast “a little white blonde kid.”

1. Noting the rise of Americans becoming more environmentally conscious, this marks as the studio’s first film since Bambi to have an animal rights and environmental message.

The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

G | 1h 17min | Animation, Adventure, Crime | 16 November 1990 (USA)

The Rescuers Down Under Poster

The R.A.S. agents, Miss Bianca and Bernard, race to Australia to save a little boy and a rare golden eagle from a murderous poacher.

Directors: Hendel Butoy, Mike Gabriel

Writers: Jim Cox (animation screenplay by), Karey Kirkpatrick (animation screenplay by)

Stars: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, John Candy

Here are 8 secrets that maybe you didn’t know about this unique Disney hybrid between a spinning ride and a dark ride: Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin!

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