There aren’t many people who’ve only seen a Disney movie once, but even on repeat viewings, some of the best kept secrets and details can still be hard to spot. Allow us to fill you in. Here are 20 Hidden Secrets in Disney Movies You Won’t Believe.
Beauty and The Beast
Younger fans might keep their eyes covered in the movie’s terrifying forest, but look again: on the worn out road signs there’s an arrow pointing to Anaheim – the home of Disneyland – and Valencia – the hom of Cal Arts, where plenty of Disney animators learned their trade.
The Little Mermaid
It’s hard to forget the visual design of the movie’s villain Ursula, but her unlikely inspiration deserves most of the credit: the 1970s drag performer “Divine.”
The movie may be set after the fall of the Disney and Pixar universe, but it’s named for the one who started it: Wall-E, as in Walter E. (for Elias) Disney.
Disney’s mascot has always had a sweetheart in Minnie, but when his voice actor Wayne Allwine met voice actress Russi Taylor a decade into his career, real life sparks flew. The two were married five years later.
A Goofy Movie
It may not get the same attention as other Disney flicks, but A Goofy movie’s famous Powerline number has a great Peter Pan easter egg backstage: Tick Tock, the Croc.
Ever gotten a real “Wicked Stepmother” vibe from Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent? You should, since both iconic villain roles were played by and modeled after the same actress, Eleanor Audley.
During the lantern sequence, one of the thousands floats down next to Rapunzel, who keeps it from sinking and sends it back into the sky. Notice the royal emblem? It’s the same one her parents sent out in her honor.
The Musical Muses of the movie steal the spotlight, but they also pay one massive tribute to the broken busts in Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.
Tom Hanks’ performance as Woody helped make him Pixar’s mascot, but his lines were actually performed during breaks from other films – mainly Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own.
With Terminator 2 releasing just years before, the animators planned to have Buzz and Woody rescued by their own Sarah Connor badass: Barbie, in her toy Corvette. Mattel who owned Barbie refused, saying Barbie’s personality wasn’t set – and because they figured the movie would flop. Good call on that one.
Toy Story 2
The team at Pixar clearly featured some Canadians, with a magazine on sale on Toy Story 2 priced at $5 America, but $50 Canadian, taking a shot at the retail mark-up for imported products.
Jessie’s exclamation, “sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln” upon meeting Woody may fit her characters, but it’s also a joke at Tom Hanks’ expense. The actual mother of Abraham Lincoln was Nancy Hanks – a distant cousin to the actor himself.
The animal cast includes a total of 64 species, but also pay tribute to past Disney releases. Assistant Mayor Bellwether is a nod to the lambs of “Melody Time” and “Make Mine Music,” and Mayor Lionheart was designed after The Lion King’s Mufasa.
The movie is all about Judy Hopps’ journey, but that wasn’t the plan. Actress Ginnifer Godwin had already recorded her lines for a supporting role to Nick the Fox’s lead, until one of the vocal crew informed her the script had been completely re-written with Judy as the star.
The team tried to be accurate with their character designs, even traveling to Africa to see native species up close. But when they realized a talking rabbit’s upper lip would be split up to its nose, they made an executive call, and stuck with the classic – and inaccurate – talking rabbit tradition.
The one-of-a-kind style and artwork in Frozen’s world might seem like a Disney animator’s work, but it’s actually known as “Rosemaling” – a traditional folk art hailing from Norway, where the film is set and was used as inspiration for Arendale.
Most fans know that the movie started development with Elsa as the villain, but when that was the plan, her character design was based on the late Amy Winehouse, with short, spiky hair and blue skin.
The movie’s success is mainly due to the bond shared by the starring sisters. That might be because unlike most animated films, actresses Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel actually recorded some of their scenes together – including the songs.