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