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5 Documentaries About Disney You Probably Don't Know About

It's not always magic and fairy dust behind the scenes.

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1. Waking Sleeping Beauty

IMDB / Via

Release date: September 5, 2009

Description: "Through extensive use of archival clips, documentarian Don Hahn explores how Walt Disney Animation Studios broke out of their mid-1980s box-office slump. The film focuses on the group of young, ambitious animators and filmmakers, such as Tim Burton and "Toy Story" director John Lasseter, who struggled against outside competition and old-guard studio executives within the company to reclaim Disney's legacy as a producer of world-class animated entertainment."

TL;DR Reason to watch: Seeing a young Tim Burton pre- "Nightmare Before Christmas"

2. Walt and El Grupo

IMDB / Via

Release date: April 26, 2008

Description: "In 1941, the U.S. government asks Walt Disney to embark on a goodwill tour of South America. Though relations at the studio are rocky at the time, Disney, his wife and a handpicked creative team visit Argentina, Chile, Brazil and other nations. In the process of gathering story material, Disney and his team fulfill a de facto diplomatic mission, forging relationships with Latin artists."

TL;DR Reason to watch: Try to match the inspo with a Disney movie.

3. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story

IMDB / Via

Release date: April 24, 2009

Description: "As contract songwriters for Disney, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman compose many of the studio's best-loved hits, including "It's a Small World (After All)" and songs from "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book" and many more. Their prolific professional collaborations result in many awards, including two Oscars. However, a deep, longstanding rift strikes a sour note in the brothers' personal relationship."

TL;DR Reason to watch: Sing along to your favorite songs when they come up!

4. Frank and Ollie

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Release date: October 20, 1995

Description: "Legendary Walt Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston helped create the studio's signature style. In this documentary, the pair look back on their pioneering work on such children's classics as "Lady and the Tramp," "Bambi" and "Pinocchio." Over their decades-long careers, Frank and Ollie remained not only close collaborators but inseparable friends; that's clear enough as the duo fondly recall their time together bringing drawings to life."

TL;DR Reason to watch: Disney and Hollywood didn't break a friendship, find out how.

5. The Sweatbox

IMDB / Via

Release date: September 13, 2002

Description: "Documentarian Trudie Styler takes animation fans behind the scenes of Disney's whimsical feature "The Emperor's New Groove." With her husband, renowned rock star Sting, serving as chief songwriter for the musical buddy comedy, Styler gains unparalleled access to the inner workings of Disney's legendary animation studios. With it, she reveals the winding road that takes a script called "Kingdom of the Sun" and transforms it into a critically acclaimed addition to the Disney collection."

TL;DR Reason to watch: BTS look at Emperor's New Groove. That's reason enough!

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