25 Shocking Facts About Disney

For decades, Disney has delighted the world with its cartoons, feature films, and theme parks. From Snow White to Frozen, they’ve excelled at releasing high-quality entertainment for generations. It’s unlikely their brand will go away anytime soon. Still, there’s a dark side to Disney most fans don’t know about, including uncomfortable racial stereotypes and tragic deaths. Are you curious what lies beneath the most wonderful place on earth? Here are 25 Shocking Facts About Disney.

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Ursula from The Little Mermaid was inspired by a drag queen.

divine ursulaSource: https://news.avclub.com/read-this-how-divine-inspired-ursula-the-sea-witch-1798243255

Most kids were terrified of The Little Mermaid‘s villain, Ursula. Early on in production, the animators tried several versions of the villain but ultimately landed on their inspiration from John Water’s muse Divine. Not exactly the kid-friendly inspiration you’d expect.


Feral cats are allowed to roam Disneyland.

disneyland catSource: http://www.latimes.com/local/orangecounty/la-me-adv-disney-cats-20150504-story.html

For years, Disneyland has allowed scores of feral cats to roam around. These cats have garnered many Instagram followers with lots of pictures of them around the park. Disneyland claims they help keep the rodent population down.


The Lion King was probably ripped from an Japanese film called Kimba, the White Lion.

kimbaSource: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/27/lion-king-kimba_n_6272316.html

While Disney denies stealing the story from Kimba, the White Lion, it’s hard to deny the striking similarities between it and The Lion King. The story and characters are very similar. Even the main characters names were Kimba and Simba.


Walt Disney was a secret FBI informer against Communism.

walt disneySource: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/06/movies/disney-link-to-the-fbi-and-hoover-is-disclosed.html

During the Cold War, Walt Disney collaborated with the FBI and was an informer against Communist activities. He co-founded the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals to combat Communists in the industry. The FBI frequently screened Disney films and complained whenever it had content they didn’t like.


Disney was sued over portraying hyenas as villains in The Lion King.

hyenaSource: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/lion-king-facts

Because some biologists felt the villain hyenas in The Lion King was a bad portrayal that perpetuated negative hyena stereotypes, they sued Disney for defamation of character.

Photo: Feature: pixabay (public domain), 25. Don Henry via flickr. CC BY 2.0,  & anonymous, LuvdivineCC BY-SA 2.5, 24. MB298, Disneyland Cat, CC BY-SA 4.0, 23. gadgetdude via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 22. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 21. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 20. PROCharles LeBlanc via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 19. Gareth Simpson, Roy E. Disney Animation Building, CC BY 2.0, 18. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 17. Edward Russell, Green Army Men – Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, CC BY 2.0, 16. HarshLight from San Jose, CA, USA, Matterhorn – Disneyland 2012, CC BY 2.0, 15. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 14. PoonKaMing (talk), HKMickeyMinnieMainStreetSummer07, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 12. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 11. Ur Cameras via flickr. (Public Domain), 10. Benjamin D. Esham / Wikimedia Commons, The Haunted Mansion, CC BY-SA 3.0 US, 9. U.S. Army Corps of Engin via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 8. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 7. Steve Jurvetson via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 6. UpstateNYer, Radio City Music Hall Panorama, CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. Jesús Saturnino, Bay Lake bladder, CC BY-SA 4.0, 4. anonymous, El capitan theatre, CC BY 2.5, 3. Carterhawk, Dlp nemo lagoon, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. PROInsomnia Cured Here via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 1. Eric Charbonneau, John Lasseter 2002, CC BY-SA 3.0

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