If you ask anyone what some of the most prominent memories from their childhood are, most people will probably include Disney in one way or another. Whether it’s watching Disney movies or TV shows, trips to Disneyland, a Disney movie-inspired item of clothing or accessory, or even dressing up as a Disney character for Halloween.
Yes, Disney played a pretty big part in our childhood, but just how much do we really know about the franchise? Did you know that Ursula from The Little Mermaid was inspired by a drag queen? Or that Disney literally got sued over how it portrayed hyenas in The Lion King? Scroll down to read more about this, and other random facts about Disney you might not have known.
A drag queen was the inspiration behind Ursula’s appearance in The Little Mermaid
When they were designing Ursula, the animators behind the movie tried many different versions, including one which the iconic villain had a shark tail and a pink mohawk. But they finally decided on a version which largely resembled the drag queen named Divine. And if you think someone would take offense to inspiring a villain, you’d be wrong. Even though, the man behind Divine, Glenn Milstead died before the movie came out, a documentarian who chronicled his life said that if he’d known about it, “he would have wanted to play the part himself.”
Cats are allowed to freely wander around Disneyland
Even though most visitors don’t really notice the cats much, there are feral cats running around Disneyland, perching atop rooftops or under foliages. There are many who do, however, and they feed them and even take pictures of them to post to Instagram. According to Disneyland, the cats are pretty useful for keeping rodent numbers down, so it’s a win-win situation.
The Lion King is believed to be copied from a Japanese movie called Kimba, the White Lion
After the movie was released, many people were quick to find similarities to the Japanese animated movie, Kimba the White Lion. One of the most obvious is the main characters’ names: Kimba and Simba. However, the creators of Lion King have vehemently denied that any inspiration was taken from Kimba, the White Lion.
Disney was sued for portraying hyenas as villains in The Lion King
Yes, a group of biologists believed that the portrayal of hyenas as the villains in the popular kid’s movie was one that enforced negative stereotypes surrounding the wild animals. As such, they decided to sue Disney for defamation of character – for hyenas. I can’t say I blame them, I did hate hyenas for a long time after watching The Lion King.
If you liked those facts, watch the video below for even more: