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11 Disney Facts Every Fan Should Know

Aladdin was modeled after Tom Cruise

When the co-directors sat down to provide commentary for a 2004 DVD release of the film, it was revealed that Aladdin had originally been inspired by Michael J. Fox, who they eventually decided was too young. So they turned their attention to Cruise.

Lion King fact

The Lion King wasn’t intended as a golden egg-laying goose. In fact, it was the unloved cousin that Disney wanted swept under the rug from the outset. It was expected to fail. The Lion King was basically meant to be a “gap year” piece of filler to give audiences something to watch while the next Disney pet project was still underway.

Aladdin was Chinese fact

The original story of ‘Aladdin’ is set in China. In the earliest versions of the story, Aladdin is Chinese. He’s also not an orphaned street urchin but a lazy boy living at home with his mother. All the characters in the tale are also Chinese apart from the wicked magician who is from North Africa.

Dr  facilier

Since his inception, Facilier has garnered critical acclaim and major popularity with fans, making him one of Disney’s most popular villains. If you pay close attention to his dance moves and mannerisms, you’ll see flashes of Michael Jackson’s choreography here and there.

Ariel was supposed to die in Little mermaid

The original story of the Little Mermaid is much more harrowing than the Disney version. To be precise, The original Little Mermaid Ariel dies, and that isn’t even her real name.  The original story of the Little Mermaid written by Hans Cristian Anderson in 1836 is a story filled with pain, tragedy and heartbreak. You know how we just said that Ariel wasn’t her real name? The original story didn’t mention her name once and it is a clue as to the tragedy that will unfold throughout the original story of the Little Mermaid.

Snow white's face was modeled after Hedy Lamarr

Snow white’s face was modeled after Hedy Lamarr

Disney still used them as inspiration for the character's appearance and their accents. The beatles

The 1960s was an important era for Disney, with The Jungle Book being arguably the best film of the bunch. During that decade, The Beatles were all the rage in the music industry, and Disney wanted nothing more than to get the group to voice the vultures in the film!

The Beatles and Disney coming together like this would have been magical to see, but John Lennon was allegedly the Beatle that was not on board with the group voicing the characters, according to Independent. It is rumored that Lennon suggested that Elvis Presley take on the part, but at the end of the day, it wound up being other performers that landed these characters.

Despite not being able to land the group to voice the vultures, the folks at Disney still used them as inspiration for the character’s appearance and their accents. While the vultures aren’t exact replicas of the band, they all still sport shaggy hair and rock their Liverpool accents. It is a nice ripple and change of pace in the film, and the fact that this should have been the band voicing that characters makes it all the more interesting.


Marilyn Monroe appears in the sea of souls of Hades underworld in the film Hercules.

Marilyn Monroe appears in the sea of souls of Hades underworld in the film Hercules.

Yen Sid from fantasia

Yen Sid (“Disney” spelled backwards) is the powerful sorcerer in Fantasia, appearing as an old man with a long beard and robes that extended to the floor

Donald duck's family tree

Donald Duck has the largest family tree of all Disney characters

First black Disney princess

Princess Tiana from The princess and the frog was Disney’s first African-American princess

Bonus Fact:

The face of Ariel in The Little mermaid was modeled after a teenage Alyssa Milana.

The face of Ariel in The Little mermaid was modeled after a teenage Alyssa Milano

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