Disney characters have been with most of us since we can remember. With a history spanning decades and a whole library of films, characters, and materials, it's easy for things to become slightly muddled over time. So, it's no wonder that some of the famous faces of the company get mixed up in some common misconceptions.
It happens with any media, but with something as famous as Disney, it's a bit embarrassing to get such iconic pieces of popular culture confused. So, we're here today to clear up ten popular misconceptions about famous Disney characters.
10 Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Did Not Originate on Splash Mountain
We're not surprised so many people still believe this, considering the reputation surrounding Song of the South. But although it is where the song is most prominently featured, it did not originate in the famous Disney Parks ride, and neither did B'rer Rabbit, B'rer Fox, or B'rer Bear.
The film, though definitely insensitive in some places, does have its endearing animated moments. The song and the characters all stem from tales of Uncle Remus, which became the infamous Song of the South. There is a maelstrom of controversy surrounding the film, so don't feel bad about being left in the dark.
9 Goofy is a Dog... Sort of
One of the most common discussions amongst Disney fans is something known as "The Goofy/Pluto Paradox." If Pluto and Goofy are both dogs, why does Pluto behave like a dog, but Goofy like a humanoid character? It's tough to five a definitive answer on this one, but here's our shot!
Goofy is a dog and so is Pluto, but the difference between the two is actually quite simple. Goofy is an anthropomorphic character known as a "funny animal," like Mickey or Donald. Pluto, on the other hand, is a dog like our own favorite four-legged friends. So, in a way, they are both dogs, just different kinds. It's still a complicated matter, though: according to a 1934 memo written by Disney's Art Babbitt, his staff were to make Goofy's animations as anthropomorphic and separate from Pluto's as possible, because "one is dog. The other human."
8 Mickey Was NOT Walt Disney's First Character
Before Walt Disney Studios even existed, Disney worked on several animated short subjects before becoming the household name we all know and love.
Along with the Alice Comedies and other black and white features, Mickey's predecessor was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Due to a conflict over contracts with Universal, Disney lost the rights to Oswald, but created Mickey in the process. Oswald has since returned to Disney and has been featured in different media, including an appearance at Disneyland.
7 Peter Pan in the Haunted Hearse
Though not technically a character, there is a famous urban legend concerning Bobby Driscoll, the voice actor for Peter Pan. During the actor's adult years, he had a falling out with the studio which practically sent him on a downward spiral. When he died, his body was found in an abandoned building and wasn't identified for years.
The legend states that Driscoll's remains were kept in the horseless hearse in the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion, but these claims were, of course, deemed false. what an eerie way to be remembered, though!
6 Cheshire Cat Gets Lumped In with the Villains
This is more of an observation than a concrete constant misconception, but we've noticed that our favorite striped, smiling feline has the habit of appearing in the Disney Villains line of merchandise and decor. But why? He's not exactly what we'd call the epitome of evil. Mischief maybe, but not evil. Still, he's right there with the Queen of Hearts.
Cheshire Cat is probably a secondary antagonist at best. He's not on the side of evil, but he's probably not got the cleanest slate. He's an agent of chaos on his own side.
5 Mixed Chips
Yet another misconception that continues to be a problem for those less familiar with the house of mouse involves our favorite pair of chipmunks. Chip and Dale, just a couple of crazy rascals out to have some fun. But at times, some have trouble telling the two apart.
The best way to remember the difference is by the nose. Remember, Chip has a black nose like a chocolate chip. Dale's is big and red. Sounds easy enough, right? You'd think so, but still, the two keep getting confused for one another. Hopefully, this little trick might help.
4 Tiana Was Not the First Black Princess
The Princess and the Frog is a great flick and definitely worthy of Disney Royalty. However, whether her fans know it or not, Tiana was not the first black Disney Princess. That title was given out years ago to the leading lady of 2001's Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
Kida, princess of the famous lost city, is our first black princess, though is shamefully overlooked. Brought to life by the talented Cree Summer, Kida is one of the most memorable characters from the movie. With her white locks and ancient tribal design, she definitely stands out amongst her royal peers. We only wish she got more recognition.
3 Mulan Is Not a Princess (But She Might Be More)
Mulan is perhaps one of our favorite Disney princesses in their line up, but we don't know why she's even on the list. She's not royalty, nor does she marry into royalty. At no point in her movie is she ever given any sort of royal title, so why do we count her as one of the princesses?
It's not that Mulan isn't worthy of the rank, quite the contrary. She does more in her movie than any of the other princesses could ever dare to do. She fought against a barbarian horde, saved the Emporer of China, and had an entire nation of people bow before her. Let's see Snow White do that.
2 It's Spelled "SFX"
One of the most infamous Disney myths concerns a certain three-letter-word that appears in the leaves by Simba's head as he lays down over a peak in Timon and Pumba's jungle. This misconception has existed since the film first premiered in 1994, but has been disproven time and time again.
There is a three-letter-word that appears in the leaves, but it's actually SFX, meant as a reference to the special effects team that worked on the film. In later releases of The Lion King, the hidden text was removed and has remained unseen on modern home video.
1 Walt Did Not Work Alone on Mickey
Though everyone in the world ties the mouse with his creator, Walt did not work alone. In fact, there are actually three people responsible for Mickey as we know him today. Walt did the concept and the voice, Ub Iwerks did the original design, and Fred Moore did the modern reimagining.
After Disney did the original sketch, he called upon his friend and lead animator, Ub Iwerks, to flesh out the design which resulted in the "pie-eyed" Mickey we can see in some of Mickey's earlier work. In 1938, for his starring role in Fantasia, Mickey was redesigned by Fred Moore to be more expressive. Walt loved it, and the rest is history.