Disney Animation: Trivia Fun, Part 5

Disney Animation: Trivia Fun, Part 5

Walt Disney Studios proudly presents its 50th animated feature, Tangled, which opened Thanksgiving weekend to rave critical reviews and a strong $48.8 million opening weekend, just shy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One’s second weekend haul of $49.1 million.

If you are like me and you grew up with the best of Disney dominating your movie shelf (The Lion King, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Bambi, etc), you may still have a hard time naming 25 of these animated films, much less all 50. Below is the full list of Disney’s Animated Classics, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Tangled, with trivia about each film.

Part 5 of 5 (Atlantis: The Lost Empire through Tangled)

Screenshot from Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

41. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

  • Although this is the first science-fiction film in the Disney Animated Classics cannon, many of the film’s stars are veterans of the science-fiction genre, including Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future series) and Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek series)
  • The production design was based on the style of comic book artist Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, and one of four production designers who worked on the film
  • This was the last film role of Jim Varney who voiced ‘Cookie’ Farnsworth in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Slinky Dog in Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story II (1999), and who starred as Ernest P. Worrell in the Ernest film series
  • The producers originally planned a TV series spin-off called Team Atlantis, but when the movie underperformed at the box office, the series was scrapped, although a 2003 direct-to-video sequel Atlantis: Milo’s Return was later released

Screenshot from Disney's Lilo & Stitch (2002)

42. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

  • Like Dumbo (1940) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) decades before, watercolor painted backgrounds were used in the film in place of the traditional gouache technique
  • The teaser trailers for the film were known as “Inter-Stitch-als” and recreated popular scenes from Disney mega-hits (The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994) ) with Stitch making a surprise appearance and wreaking havoc
  • The film inspired an animated TV series Lilo & Stitch: The Series as well as three direct-to-video sequels, Stitch! The Movie (2003), Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005), and Leroy & Stitch (2006)
  • The Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland attraction “ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter” was re-themed in 2004 as “Stitch’s Great Escape!” and features Stitch as an escaped alien prisoner running amok in the theater space

Screenshot from Disney's Treasure Planet (2002)

43. Treasure Planet (2002)

  • The film is a science-fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure novel Treasure Island
  • Although it was the first film released simultaneously in both traditional and IMAX theaters, the film under-performed at the box office, earning only $38 million domestically and $110 million worldwide and with a budget of $140 million
  • The name of the ship, the R.L.S. Legacy, is in tribute to author Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The directing duo of Ron Clements and John Musker, who directed The Great Mouse Detective (1986), The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), and Hercules (1997), re-teamed for this film and again for 2009’s The Princess and the Frog

Screenshot from Disney's Brother Bear (2004)

44. Brother Bear (2003)

  • This was the third and final animated feature film (after Mulan (1998) and Lilo & Stitch (2002) ) produced at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida before the studio was shut down in 2004
  • This was the first animated film to change the aspect ratio during the movie, from 1.75:1 to 2.35:1, although later films such as 2007’s The Simpsons Movie and Enchanted would do the same
  • Phil Collins, who won an Academy Award for “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Disney’s Tarzan (1999), composed and performed many of the film’s songs
  • Brother Bear 2 was released in 2006, with Patrick Dempsey in the lead role of Kenai, originally performed by Joaquin Phoenix

Screenshot from Disney's Home on the Range (2004)

45. Home on the Range (2004)

  • The three lead cows, Maggie, Mrs. Calloway, and Grace, were voiced by actresses Roseanne Barr, Dame Judi Dench, and Jennifer Tilly (respectively)
  • Originally Walt Disney Studios had announced that this would be the last traditionally animated film in the Animated Classics cannon, but after the acquisition of Pixar, new Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter revived traditional animation for 2009’s The Princess and the Frog
  • This was Disney’s last feature film to use the award-winning CAPS (Computer Animation Production System), first conceived for a scene from The Little Mermaid (1989) and then used extensively in 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under and several additional Disney features

Screenshot from Disney's Chicken Little (2005)

46. Chicken Little (2005)

  • This was Disney’s first fully computer animated feature (excluding Pixar productions), as Disney’s Dinosaur (2000) was actually a combination of live-action footage and computer generated characters
  • Inspired by “Henny Penny”, the fable about a chicken who is convinced that the sky is falling and the world is coming to an end, the film is the second adaptation of the fable produced by Walt Disney Studios, after a 1943 animated short
  • The film is dedicated to the memory of Joe Grant, a Disney artist, designer, and writer whose career spanned almost seven decades from 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to 2004’s Home on the Range
  • The mostly silent character of Morkubine Porcupine says only three words in the film: “Yo”, “No”, and “Whoa”

Screenshot from Disney's Meet the Robinsons (2007)

47. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

  • The film is based on the children’s picture book A Day With Wilbur Robinson, written and illustrated by William Joyce, whose name also inspired the name of Lewis’s school: Joyce Williams Elementary
  • Disney 3D released the film in more than 600 3D-capable theaters (compared to Chicken Little‘s 84) and paired the film with the classic 1953 3D Chip ‘n Dale short “Working for Peanuts”
  • When quizzing Lewis on the Robinson family, Wilbur says that his dad looks like Tom Selleck, which is an inside joke as his father Cornelius really is played by Tom Selleck
  • Long-time Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman composed the score for the film which was his first Disney animated feature score

Screenshot from Disney's Bolt (2008)

48. Bolt (2008)

  • Although the character Bolt is based on an amalgam of dog breeds, he is primarily an American White Shepard
  • The design of Rhino, the hamster in a plastic ball, was based on Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter’s pet chinchilla
  • Miley Cyrus, who voiced Penny, performed the Golden Globe-nominated song “I Thought I Lost You” with co-star John Travolta, who voiced Bolt
  • The film was the first movie to be released in the Blu-ray format before becoming available on DVD (the DVD release was two days later)

Screenshot from Disney's The Princess and the Frog (2009)

49. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

  • The film was inspired in part by E.D. Baker’s young adult novel The Frog Princess, as well as the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Frog Prince
  • The film’s star Tiana is Disney’s first black princess and has joined the ranks of Disney’s other non-Caucasian princesses: Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan
  • New Orleans celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse cameos as the voice of Marlon, one of the alligators who tries to eat Prince Naveen and Tiana
  • The animation of the “Almost There” musical sequence was based on the art of painter Aaron Douglas, one of the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance
  • The film inspired a number of Disney theme park promotions in 2010, including “Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee”, a musical performance at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, and Disneyland’s “Princess Tiana’s Mardi Gras Celebration”

Screenshot from Disney's Tangled (2010)

50. Tangled (2010)

  • The film is based on the Brothers Grimm fairly tale Rapunzel, and although Tangled originally shared the fairy tale’s name, it was later changed so that the film’s marketing would appeal to boys by putting more emphasis on Flynn Rider and less on Rapunzel
  • Rapunzel is Disney’s first blonde princess in the Disney cannon since Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (1959), other than the oft-forgotten Princess Eilonwy in 1985’s The Black Cauldron
  • Pop singer Mandy Moore voiced the role of Rapunzel and performed all of Rapunzel’s songs in the film, including the Academy Award-nominated “I See the Light”, a duet with Zachary Levi who voiced Flynn Rider
  • This is the first Disney “princess” film to receive a PG rather than G rating from the MPAA
  • The film’s visual style was inspired by Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Romantic painting “The Swing”, and the animators used non-photorealistic CGI rendering to make the film’s backgrounds look painted while still containing depth and dimension

See also:
Part 1 of 5 (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through Melody Time)
Part 2 of 5 (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad through The Aristocats)
Part 3 of 5 (Robin Hood through Beauty and the Beast)
Part 4 of 5 (Aladdin through The Emperor’s New Groove)
Part 5 of 5 (Atlantis: The Lost Empire through Tangled)

February 27, 2011 - Latest News, Movies - Read More

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