The Times Disney Went to Some Very Dark Places


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Disney has began with Mickey Mouse, who by the way, was so close to being named Mortimer Mouse! But from the film constructions to the actual designing Disney parks and creating modern era films, Disney has been part of many controversies. Some of them were pretty dark!

Ruined Childhood in 3, 2, 1...

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Now, Disney is a powerful part of Hollywood, but that’s only after decades of hard work. Here are some dark facts about Disney. Some of these may ruin your childhood, so beware!

The Magic Kingdom

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It took only a year to construct Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom and it was a very difficult construction! Although the opening of the park was historic and everyone was happy, not everything went according to plans. There were so many problems in the park that Walt Disney referred to that day as being the “Black Sunday.”

The Grand Opening

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One problem before the grand opening of the Magic Kingdom was that some details were left for the last minute. For instance, the asphalt on Main Street was poured a night before the opening and because of the heat, it didn’t have enough time to set. Women walking there found that their heels kept getting stuck into the pavement!

Fantasia Was a Flop

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Although Fantasia was a hit in the 60s, when it was first released in 1940, it was a flop! Perhaps Walt was ahead of his time and the world was not prepared for the psychedelic visual effects. In 1999, the movie got a sequel.

The Evil Queen in Snow White

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The first character that received voice in a full-length Disney cartoon was from Snow White. It was the Evil Queen that had the first line: “Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space, through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.”

Twice as Many Guests on the Opening Day

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When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1955, there were twice as many guests than the number everyone expected. How was it possible that 28,000 people were there? Well, plenty of people bought counterfeit tickets!

Snow White Voice Actress

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Adriana Caselotti was only 18 when she voiced Snow White. She was paid under $1000 and wasn’t even credited. Moreover, she was forbidden to take other roles! In 1993 in an interview, she said that she had no idea the movie was full-length, and only found out about it when she actually saw it!

Cinderella’s Stepsisters

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If you haven’t read the Grimm stories, then you don’t know that the stepsisters in the Cinderella story actually cut off their toes to make sure the glass slipper will fit. The Disney version had to make it less bloody, though… But there are a few dark moments in Disney films we haven’t paid attention to. Let’s check them out.

Robin Williams and the Academy Awards

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Robin Williams was the Genie’s voice in Aladdin (1992) and he ad-libbed so much when he recorded that it took 16 hours to record his entire lines and the ones he made up. There were so many off-script lines that the movie didn’t receive a nomination for the Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards.

The Strange Quote

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In a defamation stunt, moral conservatives claimed that Disney introduced promiscuity in their films. For instance, they said that when Aladdin met Rajah the tiger in the balcony scene, he said “Good teenagers take off your clothes.” However, the film directors said that the line was “Nice kitty, take off and go, go on.” How can you misunderstand two different sentences?

Yucky Rules

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At Disney parks, cast members had to wear detailed costumes. But what’s really dark about this fact is that they even had socks, belts, and handkerchiefs for their role and all of that was being share among the cast members. In 2001, they even had to wear issued underwear and share it! A union movement change this rule and allowed the cast members to wear their own underwear!

Disney’s Animated Movies and the Missing Mothers

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You may have noticed that movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and even Snow White and Cinderella have one thing in common: the main characters are missing their mothers. The theory goes that it was a trend that began with Walt’s mother dying in a terrible accident. Here’s what happened…

A New House

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Walt Disney bought his parents a new home after he became successful and he used to send the repairmen from his studio to fix some things at their house. Unfortunately, the team didn’t properly take care of the furnace and Disney’s mother died after she had carbon monoxide poisoning. Walt’s daughter admitted that this incident affected him so deeply he couldn’t talk about this, even after many years.

Another Strange Incident

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Since we’re on the same topic, when Walt Disney was notified of the plumbers’ strike when Disneyland was being built, he had to make a choice. He had to choose between letting the water fountains work on the opening day or have functional bathrooms. He chose the latter and it was a good decision, but that day was so hot, with over 100 degrees and thirsty guests that couldn’t buy water because everything was sold out due to the fact that the stock was planned for half the number of visitors.

Updating the Princesses

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Disney designers decided to update some princesses, and they began with Merida. They trimmed her waist, made her dress lighter and more decorated, and added some volume to her hair. Meanwhile, Pocahontas and Mulan had lighter skin tones and all of these changes were met with huge criticism.

The First Male Disney Villain

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In 1995, the first male Disney villain was Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Imagine that Disney’s first animated movie was Snow White, released in 1937! It took him nearly 60 years to feature a male villain. Until 1995, all villains were evil queens, sea witches and stepmothers.

Too Scary for the Part

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Tim Curry auditioned to get the part of Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, however he looked too terrifying to be a Disney character. And when you think that two years later he became Pennywise the Clown on It…

Women Were Not Into Creative Work

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Walt Disney didn’t accept women at the animation training school because he believed: “women do not do creative work.” Here’s how a letter from the studio looked like when a woman would apply for a spot in the Inking and Painting Department.

Replacing the Unconvincing Skeletons

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When the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was opened in 1967, it featured synthetic skeletons that looked so “unconvincing” that the designers actually asked the UCLA Medical Center to send them real human skeletons. Now that fake skeletons are very similar to the real ones, they got replaced once again.

Walt Disney After Death

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After Walt Disney died, there was a rumor that had circulated for years. People believed that his body got cryogenically frozen. However, that is false. Disney was cremated and his ashes are at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale California.

Gaston’s Last Moments

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You may have remembered how Gaston ended up in the Beauty of the Beast. It was suggested he fell to his death, but what you may not have seen is the original scene that actually showed Gaston’s face staring back at us and skulls reflected into his eyes. He also was meant to shout “time to die,” instead of “Belle is mine!”

Moana or Vaiana?

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When Moana was released in 2016, it had a different name in some countries. That’s because Moana in Netherlands was already a registered trademark and in Italy there was an Italian adult film actress with that name…

300 Million Hours!

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Frozen (2013) was such a huge project - it took 600 people to create it in two and a half years. In total, the crew worked more than 300 million hours.

Threatening the Studio

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Before Beauty and the Beast (1991) got release, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner threatened he will close the animation studio if the movie wouldn’t be a success.

Actress Pulling Off Two Voices

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Lucille LaVerne was able to voice the Evil Queen and the Evil Witch in Snow White by just removing her false teeth! That was genius!

Decisions, Decisions

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Remember the scene in Sleeping Beauty when the fairies argue what color to use on Aurora’s dress? That was an actual argument the studio crew had whether they should choose to make her dress pink or blue.

The “Man is in the Forest”

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Animators gave Disney the code name “man is in the forest.” Whenever they saw him approaching, they would say this code to let the others know they must get back to work before Walt came in.