1.After the outbreak of World War II prevented Disney from releasing films internationally, Cinderella was make or break for the company — and it was a massive hit.
2.The Emperor's New Groove left not one, but two discarded movies in its wake — an Incan epic called Kingdom of the Sun and a damning behind-the-scenes documentary called The Sweatbox.
3.When casting director Rachel Sutton was going through audition videos for a non-profit project, she found 14-year-old Auli'i Cravalho and asked her to try out for the lead role in Moana.
4.Losing ownership of his original character Oswald early in his career inspired Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse and Steamboat Willie, but 80 years later, Disney CEO Bob Iger got him back by trading ABC sports commentator Al Michaels for the lucky rabbit.
5.Beyoncé, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys were all considered for the role of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog.
6.Walt Disney secured the exclusive rights to Technicolor for two years before producing Flowers and Trees.
7.The fairies' argument over the color of Aurora's dress in Sleeping Beauty was based on a real behind-the-scenes disagreement the animators had.
8.The Lion King was going to be called King of the Jungle until the filmmakers learned that lions don't live in the jungle.
9.Elsa was supposed to be Frozen's villain, but after hearing "Let It Go," the filmmakers decided to turn her into the story's hero.
10.When Walt set out to make his first feature-length animated film, even his wife, Lillian, doubted adults would want to sit through Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but it became the highest-grossing movie at the time.
11.Because they worked during coronavirus lockdowns, the Raya and the Last Dragon team would have "draw-overs" via Zoom.
12.Every dish that appeared in Ratatouille was first prepared in a kitchen and then photographed for reference.
13.Disney developed a brand-new software program called Attila in order to animate the crowds and armies in Mulan.
14.In order to record Boo's lines for Monsters, Inc., the filmmakers followed Mary Gibbs around the studio with a microphone, using jokes and puppets to get her to say what they needed.
15.And finally, Cars was originally conceived as an "ugly duckling" story based on a three-wheeled electric car from Dutch automotive history.
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