Who doesn’t love Disney movies? They made our childhood so much better and they helped us hold onto the magic well into our adult years. Heck, even as “mature” citizens, we still find ourselves wanting to put on an old-school Disney film every once in awhile. From the really old movies like Snow White and Cinderella, to the hits of the 1990s like Hercules and The Lion King, to newer productions like Frozen and Tangled, Disney is filled with secrets. There are plenty of hidden easter eggs and never before mentioned details that you are just dying to hear. This list is definitely for the super fans, although just about anyone would enjoy reading through it.
These are not bad secrets; just things that you probably have never thought about before, and some of which may seriously change the way you think about some of your favorite films. Just imagine what you thought had happened to Scar in The Lion King. You might be surprised to find out where else he ends up in the wacky Disney universe.
It appears that Disney is never one to shy away from time-travelling, alternate realities, and various dimensions, as movies that are decades apart seem to have common threads throughout them. And of course, all of these secretive and elusive details have led to some pretty elaborate fan theories. But those are best saved for another day! For now, enjoy reading our list and prepare to be amazed.
15. Alyssa Milano is The Little Mermaid
Yes, the character design for Ariel was based off of actress Alyssa Milano. At the time, Alyssa Milano didn’t even know about it, but the Disney studio asked her to be part of the making of The Little Mermaid, and that is when she realized that the drawings of Ariel looked strikingly similar to photos of herself from childhood. Creepy or cool? Maybe a bit of both, but hey, we’d like to say that our likeness was the basis for a super popular Disney character. We do find it a bit odd, though, considering that Ariel was supposed to be a 16-year-old girl…who just happened to be totally sexed up. What kind of 16-year-old girl looks like Ariel? Anyway, the photos of Alyssa that were used for making Ariel were pictures from her Who’s The Boss days. On the other hand, a different actress was the model for Ariel’s aquatic movements.
14. Pixar Loves Apple
Pixar owes Apple big time because they were founded by none other than Steve Jobs. Yeah, the Apple mastermind actually started the company that is now known worldwide as Pixar. It began as the Graphics Group, which was part of the Computer Division department at Lucasfilm Studios. Steve Jobs saw the promising talent of the Graphics Group and became a major shareholder, and eventually, the group branched off to become its own corporation in 1986. The rest is history, folks! Now you can find little homages and references to Apple in every Pixar movie, so just keep an eye out! For example, in WALL-E, the main robot character can be seen watching something on an iPod. Racecar number 84 in Cars boasts the Apple logo on its hood. And in Toy Story 3, Andy is using iTunes on his Mac computer. Even the toys use a Mac computer in the film!
13. Are Remy & Dug Roomies?
We know Remy from Ratatouille and Dug is from Up, but we see Dug’s shadow in a scene from Remy’s movie. This leads us to believe that maybe the two animals were living together. And how incredibly awesome would that be? Just think about it: a rat and a dog just chilling together in France. It sounds like a dream come true, and Pixar could definitely make a movie based on that, we’re just saying. We aren’t sure how Dug ended up in the Up universe, but knowing Disney, the studio managed to find a way to make it happen. Oh! Maybe Charles Muntz visited the restaurant and loved the food so much that he was distracted by Remy’s amazing culinary skills and then Dug was with him, but he got away. Don’t look at us like that, it could happen! Anyway, this is one Disney secret that we love.
12. Disney Found The Ultimate Villain
Remember the creepy voice of the evil stepmother in Cinderella? Well, what if we were to tell you that the same woman voiced Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty? It’s downright true! It looks like Disney finally found that perfect woman with the sinister voice to capture the vileness and disdain of two rotten characters. So, who is this woman? Besides being the voice of children’s nightmares, she is Eleanor Audley, born in New York City back in 1906. She’s passed on now, but her voice still lives on with those two dastardly characters. Eleanor was also an actress in Green Acres, proving that maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. It’s just creepy knowing that she has those magnificent evil voice powers! It’s also really eerie that Eleanor passed away due to respiratory (lung) failure in Hollywood, California. If you want to pay your respects to the woman, you can go and visit her grave at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery.
11. Bambi’s Mom
She may have been that tragic character in Bambi, but it seems that maybe Bambi’s mom was also in The Jungle Book? Hear us out … there is a scene in The Jungle Book in which the tiger Shere Khan is hunting for some food. Okay, no big deal; a tiger needs to eat, too, right? But wait! Is that…Bambi’s mom that Shere Khan is trying to prey on? Nooooooo! This is just too sad, and we were already super depressed about the whole Bambi fiasco. Why this now? It seriously does look like Bambi’s mom, though. If you look at a side by side screen share of two stills (one from Bambi and the other from The Jungle Book,) you can see that female deer in both scenes look strikingly similar. Coincidence? We think not! Especially since these are Disney films we’re talking about. This is taking it to an all time low, Disney.
10. Sid Had A Cameo Appearance In Toy Story 3
We all remember Sid from the first Toy Story movie. Man, he was scary! This kid would take toys apart and rework them to create some pretty frightening creatures. In fact, it was kind of scary for young children to watch. There was that creation that Sid made of a yoyo with Barbie legs attached to it. And what about the baby doll head attached to the creepy mechanical spider legs? Freaky! Well, if you were wondering how Sid ended up as a young adult, you can find him in Toy Story 3. He makes a cameo appearance as a garbage man, which isn’t the worst job that he could have gotten. He could have been a grave digger or the groundskeeper at an elephant exhibit in the zoo. Still, it was sort of cathartic for viewers to see Sid ending up in a less than glamorous role.
9. The Sinister Spinning Wheel
Remember that stupid prop from that old-school fairy tale? The spinning wheel that struck Sleeping Beauty and sent her into a deep slumber was in the tower that had Rapunzel locked up in Tangled. Just another example of Disney cutting corners and borrowing props from other Disney movies of the past. In fact, Disney does this a lot, and the studio likes to use the same animations, settings, and character designs to create new looks and elements for its upcoming films. We see the spinning wheel in Tangled, even though it doesn’t have a main role to play. It makes sense to see it in Rapunzel’s tower, since she is a princess who is locked away by evil forces. Other repeat items include those iconic Mickey Mouse ears, and the beloved Pizza Planet truck, which you can find in just about every single Disney movie from Finding Nemo to Up.
8. Hercules Killed Scar
Yeah, the same Scar that appeared as the main villain in The Lion King. In the film Hercules, the protagonist ends up slaying Scar and throwing him at the feet of Phil. It was all part of Hercules proving himself to be a big tough guy worthy of valor. Yet this doesn’t make sense! If we look at the end of The Lion King, we can see that Simba tells Scar to run far away and never come back. Scar does this, but ends up being cornered by his hyena posse, who is very upset with him. The last we see of Scar is his shadow being torn apart by the hyenas! So did Hercules cheat and just find Scar’s mangled body? There is a huge disconnect here, because Hercules doesn’t live anywhere near the African savannah. What’s going on here? How is a dead (or even half-dead) lion supposed to make his way to Hercules’ land?
7. Hans Appears In Big Hero 6
Again, this is another example of Disney’s blatant disregard for continuity. We know Hans from the film Frozen, in which he was the big baddie who wanted to take over the kingdom of the Southern Isles. Okay, so far, so good. We can sort of understand why Hans would appear in a Wanted poster, but why in Big Hero 6? We know that the setting for that film was in San Fransokyo, and judging by the characters’ clothing choices and the weather, we can infer that San Fransokyo is nowhere near the Southern Isles. Why would the police be looking for a man that lives so far away and is only concerned with conquering that faraway land? It’s cool that Disney included Hans as an easter egg, but it just doesn’t really add up. We’ll give this an A for effort, but an F for execution. Better luck next time!
6. Andy & Ellie May Be Related
We know Andy from the Toy Story film series, and Ellie was the late wife of Carl in Up. If you spotted any resemblance between the two Disney characters, then you may already be onto something. As it turns out, Andy had a bulletin board full of memos and papers in Toy Story 3. If you look really closely, you can see a letter from Ellie (and Carl, too!) addressed to Andy. Now why would Andy be receiving a letter from Ellie and Carl? Could it be that they are somehow related? A fan theory has circulated saying that Ellie may have been Andy’s aunt or grandmother, and that explains why Andy has a letter from her posted to his bulletin board. Why else would he hold onto a measly piece of paper unless it had some sentimental value to it? Disney’s got some explaining to do with this one!
5. Jock Was The Real Dog Star
Disney always does a great job of making films that feature awesome animal characters. In 101 Dalmatians, there were a lot of pups to keep track of, and they were all super cute. In Lady and the Tramp, all eyes were on the two main protagonists. Yet there was a dog who made an appearance in both of the films, making him so much cooler than Lady, Tramp, Pongo, and any of the Dalmatian puppies. Jock was a scruffy black dog that helped the Dalmatian pups escape from Cruella in 101 Dalmatians. Jock also starred in Lady and the Tramp, and there is no mistaking this dog, because he has the same gray furry beard, eyebrows, and red collar. We seriously feel like making a petition to have Jock star in his own Disney movie now. It only seems fair, since he has helped so many other Disney characters find glory.
4. Marilyn Monroe Appears In
We know what you’re thinking: why would Disney promote an international sex symbol in one of their children’s films? Well, why not? Besides, it isn’t as though she makes a huge appearance, she just shows up in the stars and constellations during a Hercules scene. Marilyn’s silhouette can clearly be seen in the night sky next to the Ursa Major (bear) constellation. Actually, it’s pretty cool and Marilyn’s appearance seemed to elude the attention of kids while they watched Hercules. After all, there was only room for one hot female in this movie, and it was definitely Megara. Marilyn’s cameo is short and sweet, although it does show off her sexy allure. The Marilyn constellation features the late celeb in her iconic flirty dress as it drifts up to reveal her legs. Even her breasts are quite prevalent in the constellation, but hey, it’s a cartoon so it’s all good. Right?
3. A Muppet In The Little Mermaid
Yep, look really closely during a scene where King Trident is speaking to a group of merpeople, and you may be able to spot a muppet in there. Who is it? We’ll give you a hint: he’s green, he’s cute, and he belongs in the water (so he was a good choice for this film!) Of course it was Kermit the Frog. You can see him among the mermaids in the bottom center of the screen as King Trident hoists his golden trident up above his head. So, why was Kermit the Frog in this film? He’s not even a Disney character, is he? Well, if anything, it was a cute addition and it was a fun easter egg for super fans to try to spot. With the combination of Disney and the Muppets, you really can’t go wrong. Maybe this was actually Disney’s way of asking for a collaboration?
2. The Real Reason Why Mothers Are Absent
If you ever really thought about it, then you probably noticed that a lot of Disney films feature characters who are missing their mothers. In fact, there are many instances in which the protagonists just don’t have a mom. What’s up with that? We know that in order to exist, they need a mom (or maybe those rules don’t count in the Disney universe.) The real reason why there is a serious lack of mothers is because it was Walt Disney’s way of coping with the guilt and stress of losing his own mom. Walt bought a home for his parents after he hit it big with his film success, but his mother ended up dying in the home all thanks to carbon monoxide poisoning (the house had a messed up air filtration system). It took Walt a long time to get over it, so many of his characters exist without their mothers.
1. Mulan Moves To Hawaii
Okay, so not literally, but Mulan definitely had some staying power after her tremendous effort in her own movie. If you watch Lilo & Stitch, you can spot a Chinese restaurant called Mulan Wok. Cultural appropriation? Maybe. It was actually Disney’s way of including a Mulan easter egg in Lilo & Stitch. The strange thing about this is that Mulan was fighting in the Chinese military a long time ago, and we mean a really long time ago (sometime between the years 420-589.) We’re pretty sure that Lilo & Stitch takes place in the present tense or future (it was released in 2002) so that is an extremely long timespan between Mulan’s life and the existence of Lilo’s town in Lilo & Stitch. Hey, it could happen, given the magic and time-travelling shenanigans of Disney. Still, we wish that Mulan were commemorated in some other way besides a cheap-looking Chinese restaurant. Maybe next time, Mulan!