Ask any child or adult about places that they would want to visit at least once in their lifetime, and you`ll find Disney theme park or Disneyland common in everyone’s wish list.
Reasons being, many of our generations have grown up watching cartoon characters and animated films created by Walt Disney including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – just to name a few.
Check out some fun facts about Disney and his characters that you may find interesting:
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was expected to be a big flop
Being the first animated feature film, it was thought to be a huge risk when Walt Disney started the production of our childhood favorite, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In fact, even his wife did not trust the idea but Disney decided to pursue it, and even mortgaged his house to take a loan for financing this movie. The project that was bound to fail, turned out to be a major hit.
Mickey Mouse originally had a different name
Mickey Mouse is everyone’s favorite Disney character. Be it carnivals, school events, or festive occasions, you`ll find someone dressed as a Mickey Mouse to entertain children. It is also the most commonly known character. However, it was to be named ‘Mortimer Mouse’ originally, but Walt Disney’s wife Lillian disapproved of the name (and rightly so), thus resulting in the character being named as Mickey Mouse.
Walt Disney himself did the voiceover for Mickey Mouse
After his film studio Laugh-O-Gram was shut down in the wake of severe financial losses, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood and created Disney Brothers Studio in partnership with his brother where they started creating animated cartoons. However, they lost all rights to their characters in a legal dispute, and hence had to let go of all their employees.
In an attempt to restart, Walt Disney created a new character, The Mortimer Mouse which was then renamed as The Mickey Mouse. Disney himself did the voiceover for this character from 1928 to 1947. It was the first ever cartoon character to use a synchronized sound effect.
Mickey Mouse was not the first character created by Walt Disney
It is commonly believed that Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character created by Walt Disney. However, it was not the first, but certainly the most famous one.
As mentioned above, before creating Mortimer Mouse, he was producing cartoon films with Disney Brothers Studio-the character which he later lost the rights to, was actually the first one developed by him. It was called Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit.
Mickey and Minnie wear gloves for a reason!
One fun fact about Disney that you are probably unaware of, is the reason behind most of its characters wearing gloves.
When these characters were developed and animated cartoons started being aired, it was the era of black and white television. Therefore, it was difficult to create a bifurcation between their hands and bodies, both of which were black. The gloves helped create this differentiation.
It also made the animators’ jobs easier by providing curved edges rather than them having to create the perfect shape of hands and fingers.
Once color television was introduced, Disney continued making his characters wear gloves not only to maintain the image people had become used to, but also to give human-like features to Mickey and Minnie. Without the gloves they would need to have mouse hands which would not have gone with their characters` perception.
Animation with real actors
Initially, Walt Disney created animated movies. However, later he decided to experiment and create a short film that would include both animated as well as real actors. Alice`s Wonderland was his first such production starring child star Virginia Davis along with a number of animated characters. Therefore, we can say it was the first short film created by Disney which was not completely animated.
Walt Disney did not start this big
When they say passion finds its way, they are probably right. Most of you would be surprised to know that amongst the first few jobs – Walt Disney got as a cartoonist – was drawing images for a barber’s shop who didn’t pay him in cash but instead offered free haircuts in return for his services.
We have Disneyland to thank for Doritos
The biggest fun fact about Disney is that its theme park introduced us to our favorite snack, Doritos.
Disneyland – a complete entertainment park with a theme revolving around all these fictional but relatable characters – attracts everyone. Exuberant prices and long wait times further magnify the curiosity and charm. In its early days, Disneyland had a restaurant by the name of Casa de Fritos.
Once while receiving their raw material including tortillas, the restaurant staff also received free advice from the salesperson delivering them. He suggested that instead of disposing off unused tortillas, the staff could fry and serve them as a separate dish.
In view of people`s immense likeability for this new snack, the company Frito-Lay started producing it in bulk under the brand name Doritos. So, had it not been for Disney, we might not have Doritos. Be thankful for that in addition to all the entertainment they provide us!
The world of Disney is so large that it is impossible to accumulate all the interesting facts about its characters, their creator and the theme parks in one article. Irrespective of how many fun facts or unknown details we learn about them, one thing will remain constant – Disney was and will remain our all-time favorite!