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Walt Disney [2]


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Born:December 5, 1901
Died:December 15, 1966 (65)
Filmography Rating:8.53 / 10
IMDB Rating:7.55 / 10
Amazon Rating:4.50 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:98.52%
(Averages are weighted)
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List of Titles and Roles/Jobs:
Dumbo [1941](40) => Producer
Mary Poppins [1964](63) => Producer

Trivia that mentions this person:
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad [1949]
  • In {The Wind in the Willows}, Angus MacBadger tells Ratty and Mole that something has to be done about Toad as he's spending too much money. This was a sly dig at [?] Roy O. Disney who was always complaining to the animators about his brother Walt Disney for spending too much money.
    Alice in Wonderland [1951]
  • During a break in the recording sessions, Ed Wynn ad libbed the speech where the Mad Hatter tries to "fix" the White Rabbit's watch. ("Muthtard? Leth not be thilly!") Walt Disney, who was listening in a nearby sound booth, saw that the recording tape was still recording Wynn's speech. He told the sound technicians, "Hey, that stuff's pretty funny. Why don't you use that speech in the movie?" The sound men objected. "We can't use that speech. There are too many background noises on the tape." Disney smiled, and told them, "That's *your* problem," then walked out of the room. Eventually, with much labor, the sound technicians managed to erase all the background noises from the recording tape so that Ed Wynn's ad libs could be used in the film.
    Dumbo [1941]
  • The only Walt Disney animated feature film that has a title character who doesn't speak.
  • A very tightly budgeted, scripted, and produced film, because Walt Disney needed the film to bring in much-needed revenue after the expensive failures of Pinocchio and Fantasia. Final negative cost of Dumbo was $813,000 (making it the least expensive of all Disney's animated features), and it grossed over $2.5 million in its original release (more than Pinocchio's and Fantasia's original grosses combined).
  • Dumbo and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are the only classic Walt Disney films to use watercolored backgrounds (they were used in this film because they were cheaper than the gouache and oils used for Pinocchio and Bambi) and the last time they were used until Fantasia/2000.
  • Initially Walt Disney was uninterested in making this movie. To get him interested, story men Joe Grant and Dick Huemer wrote up the film as installments which they left on Walt's desk every morning. Finally, he ran into the story department saying, "This is great! What happens next?"
  • The first Walt Disney movie for Sterling Holloway (the Stork) and Verna Felton (the Elephant Matriarch). Both would become regulars in Disney animated films for the next thirty-five years.
  • This was Walt Disney's favorite film made by his studios.
  • The first Walt Disney animated feature (and still one of the very few) to be set in America.
    Mary Poppins [1964]
  • Dick Van Dyke had his heart set on playing Mr. Dawes, Sr., and said they didn't have to pay him, he just really wanted to do it for the fun. Although Walt Disney had offered him the part of Bert right out, he made him audition for the part of Mr. Dawes, Sr.
  • Not only was "Feed the Birds" Walt Disney's favorite song in the film, but it is said that anytime he visited the Sherman brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman) during the rest of his life, all he would have to do was say, "Play it," and they knew he wanted to hear "Feed the Birds".
  • Walt Disney regarded Mary Poppins as one of the crowning achievements of his career.
  • Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights from P.L. Travers as early as 1938. Travers rejected his advances as she didn't believe a film version would do justice to her creation. Another reason for her initial rejection would have been that at that time the Disney studios had not yet produced a live action film. Travers finally relented and sold the film rights to Disney in 1961, although she retained script approval rights. One of the reasons prompting her to do so was a decline in her book sales.
    The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]
  • The teaser trailer tells us that the film was originally intended to by released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, playing the movie heavily as the next generation of filmmaking following in the proud tradition of Walt Disney. By the time the theatrical trailer was released, the release label had changed to Touchstone Pictures, an alternate designation of the Walt Disney Studios. [?] Michael Eisner, the then CEO and Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, found the film to be 'too dark for kids' and had it moved to their Touchstone Picture banner. In October 2006, the film was re-released in 3-D under the Walt Disney Pictures banner.
    Robin Hood [1973]
  • Initially, the studio considered a movie about the European fable, Reynard the Fox. However, due to Walt Disney's concern that Reynard was an unsuitable choice for a hero, Ken Anderson used many elements from it in Robin Hood. Particularly the animal counterparts (e.g. Robin Hood, like Reynard was a fox and The Sheriff, like Isengrin was a wolf.)
    The Rescuers [1977]
  • Fans of Walt Disney animation, and animation in general, have often mistakenly referred to the sometimes "sketchy" style in this film, as well as in others such as The Sword in the Stone and The AristoCats as "lazy" and budget-cut. In fact, the veteran animators working on these films, particularly Milt Kahl, strongly objected to their drawings being altered in any way and demanded that they should appear on the film's animation cels exactly as they had been drawn.Veteran animators Frank Thomas and [?] Ollie Johnston consider it their best picture without Walt Disney. The film even won a Special Citation Award from the National Board of Review in the United States "for restoring and upgrading the art of animation."
    Cinderella [1950]
  • When Walt Disney had the resources to return to full-length animation in the late 1940s after the war, he was indecisive over whether they should release Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland first and finally decided to have two animation crews working on each film compete with each other to see not only which would finish first but also which did the best job. As it turned out, "Cinderella" came first, being released in 1950, while "Alice" was not released until the following year.
  • Ilene Woods beat exactly 309 girls for the part of Cinderella, after some demo recordings of her singing a few of the film's songs were presented to Walt Disney. However, she had no idea she was auditioning for the part until Disney contacted her; she initially made the recordings for a few friends who sent them to Disney without telling her.
  • The transformation of Cinderella's torn dress to that of the white ball gown was considered to be Walt Disney's favorite piece of animation.
    The Jungle Book [1967]
  • The 19th animated feature in Disney animated features canon, and the last to be personally supervised by Walt Disney, himself. The first Disney film to be released after his death in 1966, just prior to the film's theatrical release.
  • Disappointed by the muted reception to The Sword in the Stone, Walt Disney was determined to come back with a universally well-regarded film. He told his animation crew to "throw away" Rudyard Kipling's book "The Jungle Book" because the original concept storyboards were too dark and dramatic. During pre-production, Disney assigned animator Larry Clemmons to head story development on the project. He gave Clemmons a copy of "The Jungle Book" and told him, "The first thing I want you to do is not read it."
  • Kaa the snake is a completely different character in the film than he is in the original book. In the book, he is a friend and adviser of Mowgli, and the one who rescues him from the monkeys. In the film, he is a villain bent on eating Mowgli. Walt Disney felt that the audience would not accept the idea of a snake as anything but a villain.
  • According to [?] Elsie Kipling Baimbridge, Rudyard Kipling's daughter, "Mowgli" is pronounced "MAU-glee" (first syllable rhymes with cow), not "MOH-glee" (first syllable rhymes with go). She reportedly never forgave Walt Disney for the gaffe.
    101 Dalmatians [1961]
  • Walt Disney was said to have been so disappointed in the layout work done by Ken Anderson on the film that he did not forgive him until the end of his life.
  • Walt Disney disliked the rough drawing style brought about by the Xerography process.
  • When Walt Disney read Dodie Smith's story in 1956, he immediately snapped up the film rights. Smith had always secretly hoped that Disney would do just that.
    Wreck-It Ralph [2012]
  • The high score of Wreck-It-Ralph's game cabinet is 120501, which is also a nod to the birthday of Walt Disney when divided up as 12/05/01.
    Up [2009]
  • The villain Charles Muntz is named after [?] Charles Mintz, the Universal Pictures executive who in 1928 stole Walt Disney's production rights to his highly-successful "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" cartoon series. This led Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse, who soon eclipsed Oswald in popularity.
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [1937]
  • Sterling Holloway, who later appeared in many Walt Disney films, was considered for the role of Sleepy.
  • Dopey initially was to talk with the voice of Mel Blanc, but was made mute instead. The same happened with Gideon in Pinocchio, though Blanc actually was the one who did the vocal effects for that. Some animators were opposed to the name Dopey, claiming that it was too modern a word to use in a timeless fairy tale. Walt Disney made the argument that William Shakespeare used the word in one of his plays. This managed to convince everyone, although any reference to the term "dopey" is yet to be found in any of Shakespeare's work.
  • Convinced that it would fail, the Hollywood film industry labeled the film "Walt Disney's Folly".
  • When comedian Billy Gilbert found out that one of the dwarfs' names was Sneezy he called up Walt Disney and gave him his famous sneezing gag and got the part.
  • To keep the animators' minds working, Walt Disney instituted his "Five Dollars a Gag" policy. One notable example of this policy is when Ward Kimball suggested that the dwarfs' noses should pop one by one over the foot boards while they were peeking at Snow White.
  • Walt Disney wanted to keep Snow White's voice as a special one-time sound, and held Adriana Caselotti to a very strict contract. Except for a tiny bit part in The Wizard of Oz, she never had a real singing part in a movie again, though she was a classically trained singer.
  • At a recording session, Lucille La Verne, the voice of the Wicked Queen, was told by Walt Disney's animators that they needed an older, raspier version of the Queen's voice for the Old Witch. Ms. Laverne stepped out of the recording booth, returned a few minutes later, and gave a perfect "Old Hag's voice" that stunned the animators. When asked how she did it, she replied, "Oh, I just took my teeth out."
    Ferdinand the Bull [1938]
  • The parade of bullfighters consists of caricatures of various Disney artists. The caricatures include (in order of appearance), [?] Bill Tytla (on horseback), [?] Fred Moore, [?] Art Babbitt, Hamilton Luske, and [?] Jack Campbell. The matador himself is supposedly patterned after Walt Disney. The little man bringing up the rear, carrying the matador's sword, is Ward Kimball, the lead animator on the scene.
    Pinocchio [1940]
  • This was originally intended to be the studio's third film, after Bambi, but given the long, tedious process for that film, it eventually got bumped down in favor of this one. When Walt Disney picked up his honorary Oscar statuettes for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he told the Academy Award audience about Pinocchio, which was still in production, holding their attention for a full twenty-five minutes. And during the musical number "When You Wish Upon a Star", when a spotlight is seen on Jiminy Cricket, one is able to see two books to the left of the screen, which are Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Walt Disney started developing these two stories for the big screen at the time of this film's release, and they would be released as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.
  • Mel Blanc, best known for performing the voices of many cartoon characters--particularly from the Warner Bros. stable--was cast as Gideon, which became his only Disney role. Walt Disney, however, eventually decided that the character should be mute, and all of the dialogue that Blanc recorded was cut, save for a solitary hiccup that can be heard inside the Red Lobster Tavern. He was also going to voice Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs until it was decided to make Dopey mute. With the exception of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (where he only provided the voices of the Warner Bros. cartoon characters), this was the only time Mel Blanc contributed a voice to a Disney film.
  • Figaro was Walt Disney's favorite character. Disney pushed for the kitten to appear in the film as much as possible. After the film, Disney swapped Minnie Mouse's little cocker spaniel with Figaro.
    The Happiest Millionaire [1967]
  • Bill Walsh was the original choice for producer. He came up with the idea of making this film into a musical, but Walt Disney moved him onto Blackbeard's Ghost instead. Ironically, that film ended up out-grossing this one by a wide margin.
  • The last live-action film that Walt Disney worked on. At the time of his death, the crew had completed principal photography, but post-production had not begun. It was with this film that the studio's trend of subjecting its live-action musicals wholesale cuts began. Radio City Music Hall, the site of the film's New York premiere, had a Disney-themed Christmas stage show and demanded cuts to accommodate it.
  • Richard M. Sherman had reservations about whether Fred MacMurray was right for the part of Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, but Walt Disney overruled him.
    Darby O'Gill and the Little People [1959]
  • Walt Disney was initially hoping to cast Barry Fitzgerald in the dual roles of Darby O'Gill and King Brian. Fitzgerald reportedly declined due to his advanced age (although his eventual replacement as Darby, Albert Sharpe, was three years his senior). Disney regretted the loss of Fitzgerald in the lead role, and blamed the film's disappointing box-office performance partly on this loss.
  • Walt Disney had seen Albert Sharpe in a stage production of Finian's Rainbow in the 1940s, and kept him in mind for the role of Darby. By the time he began casting this film a decade later, Sharpe had retired. Disney was able to convince him to come out of retirement.
  • Jimmy O'Dea and the other actors who played leprechauns were not given any screen credit, nor did Walt Disney allow any other material to be published about them in the marketing for the film. Disney's intention was to give the illusion he was using real leprechauns for the filming. Disney even went so far as to film the [Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color] episode, {I Captured the King of the Leprechauns} (#5.26), in which he and "Darby" (Albert Sharpe) manage to corner King Brian and convince him to participate in the film along with his people.
    The Gnome-Mobile [1967]
  • The set of the oversize back seat of the Rolls-Royce, along with the Rolls-Royce itself, are on display at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners MI. The museum obtained the set due to the friendship between Walt Disney and the Gilmore family.
    The AristoCats [1970]
  • This was the last animated feature to be approved by Walt Disney and the studio's first animated feature to be entirely completed after his death. It should be noted, however, that Disney had spent time working on the story for The Rescuers (released seven years later) around the time The Jungle Book entered production.
    Bambi [1942]
  • "Man is in the forest" was a code phrase used by Disney's employees when Walt Disney was coming down the hallway.
  • Unusually for the time, Walt Disney insisted on children providing the voices for the animals when they were young, instead of using adults mimicking youngsters.
  • The character of Thumper (called Bobo in the first draft) does not appear in Felix Salten's original novel. He was added by Walt Disney to bring some much-needed comic relief to the script. Six-year-old Peter Behn auditioned with several other children for the voice roles of Mother Rabbit's children. When Behn said the line (in reference to Bambi), "Did the young prince fall down?", a casting director who was watching the audition in another room shouted, "Get that kid out of here! He can't act!" However, the Disney animators who heard the audition tape loved the sound of Behn's voice. Behn was called back to the studio, and the character of Thumper was created largely based on his vocal performance.
  • The original novel "Bambi, a Life in the Woods" (1923) is not a work intended for children and Walt Disney toned down much of the material. By one description of the novel, it consists of 293 pages packed with blood-and-guts action, sexual conquest and betrayal. The forest characters include cutthroats and miscreants, including six murderers. In the original novel, Bambi and Faline are first cousins. Faline is the daughter of Aunt Ena, the sister of Bambi's mother. Walt Disney probably discarded this detail because a mating of first cousins would be considered incest. One of the discarded characters from the original novel is Gobo. He is featured in the novel as Faline's twin brother and Bambi's first cousin. His death is a major plot point of the novel. Gobo was found by a man while wounded, nursed back to health, and released back into the wild. He concluded that men should not be feared and later willingly approaches a hunter who simply kills him. One key scene of the novel missing of the film is Bambi's realization that man is neither all powerful, nor immortal. It comes when the Prince of the Forest shows Bambi the corpse of a man shot by a fellow human.
  • The last full-length animated feature made by Walt Disney until Cinderella. The gap was due to the lack of film workers (who were in military service) and materials necessary to make films when WWII was going on.
  • The hunter who shoots Bambi's mother was originally going to be included as a character in the movie. But, for a man to shoot the mother of the hero, he would have to be clearly cruel and villainous for children to accept him. Since Walt Disney didn't want to be seen as maligning hunters as evil, the character was cut and never shown in the final version of the film.
  • Bambi was Walt Disney's personal favorite of all his films.
  • In the original script Bambi was shot instead of his mother, but Walt Disney dismissed the idea and moved the shooting to Bambi's mother. Bambi does get shot later in the film but he survives. The death of Bambi's mother is often considered to be saddest and most heartbreaking moment of any film in the Disney canon. It's only rival in that respect is in The Lion King when title character's father dies.
    A Bug's Life [1998]
  • During the summer of 1994, Pixar's story department began turning their thoughts to their next film, while Toy Story was in post-production. The storyline of A Bug's Life originated in a lunchtime conversation between John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Joe Ranft, the studio's head story team. Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and WALL·E were also conceived at this lunch. Lasseter and his story team had already been drawn to the idea of insects as characters. Insects, like toys, were within the reach of computer animation at the time due to their relatively simple surfaces. Stanton and Ranft wondered whether they could find a starting point in [?] Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. Walt Disney had produced his own version with a cheerier ending decades earlier in the 1934 short film The Grasshopper and the Ants.
    Sleeping Beauty [1959]
  • Eleanor Audley--one of Walt Disney's favorite voice artists, most memorably as Lady Tremaine in Cinderella--initially turned the part of Maleficent down, much to Disney's surprise. As it later transpired, Audley was in the midst of battling a bout of tuberculosis and did not want to tax her voice too much. Fortunately, she changed her mind.
    Lady and the Tramp [1955]
  • In the climax of the picture, Trusty was originally killed when hit by the wagon. That is why Jock nudges him and he does not rouse. When Walt Disney viewed this scene, he was shocked, not wanting a repeat of the traumatic scene in Bambi, thinking that it was too intense. Walt then made the animators put Trusty into the end Christmas scene with a Broken Leg to reassure the audience that Trusty was simply knocked out and injured in the previous scene.
  • In 1937, story man Joe Grant approached Walt Disney with some sketches he had made of his Springer spaniel called Lady. Disney really liked the sketches and told Grant to put them into a storyboard. However, Disney ultimately didn't think much of the finished storyboard. Six years later, he read a short story in Cosmopolitan by Ward Greene called 'Happy Dan the Whistling Dog'. He was sufficiently interested in the story to buy the rights to it. Then in 1949, after Joe Grant had left the studio, his spaniel drawings were unearthed and a solid story using his designs started to take shape. Grant never received any acknowledgement for his contribution to the film until the Platinum Edition DVD in 2006.
  • The first feature-length animated movie to be made in widescreen (2.55:1). Made simultaneously in both a widescreen CinemaScope version and a standard Academy ratio version. It's also the widest film the company has ever created. The decision to film in Cinemascope was made when the film was already in production, so many background paintings had to be extended to fit the new format. Overlays were often added to cover up the seams of the extensions. CinemaScope presented some new problems for the animators. The wider canvas space made it difficult for a single character to dominate the screen, and groups had to be spread out to keep the screen from appearing too sparse. As the release date neared, Walt Disney was dismayed to learn that not all theaters were equipped to show a film in CinemaScope. Consequently, another version of the film had to be made, this time in original aspect ratio.
  • As the story was being developed at the studio, Ward Greene wrote a novelization. Walt Disney insisted that this be released some two years before the film itself to give audiences time to familiarize themselves with the plot.
  • The film's setting was partly inspired by Walt Disney's boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri. The film's opening sequence, in which Darling unwraps a hat box on Christmas morning and finds Lady inside, is reportedly based upon an actual incident in Walt Disney's life. After he'd forgotten a dinner date with his wife, he offered her the puppy-in-the-hat box surprise and was immediately forgiven.
  • In making this film, Walt Disney claimed that it was a "fun picture" to make (another example of such a film was Dumbo), because it was an original story and was easily adjustable as they made the film and got to know the characters - there were no pre-existing storylines.
  • The studio's first officially self-penned story since Dumbo. The original story was created by Joe Grant while Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was nearing post-production. Ward Greene used Joe Grant's original version as the basis for his novel. Greene's novel was still being written while the film was still in production. Grant's wife was said to have been angry over the story being "stolen" but Walt Disney maintained all legal rights to the story.
  • Walt Disney originally didn't want to include the 'Bella Note' spaghetti-eating scene, now one of the most iconic moments in the whole Disney canon.
    Peter Pan [1953]
  • Though the film was extremely successful, Walt Disney himself was dissatisfied with the finished product, feeling that the character of Peter Pan was cold and unlikable. However, experts on J.M. Barrie praise this as a success, as they insist that Pan was originally written to be a heartless sociopath.
    Quotes From/About Walt Disney
    Walt DisneyIt's kind of fun to do the impossible.