Frozen, Movies, Disney, Secrets
Frozen (2013) YouTube via MooMovies

29+ Unknown Secrets From our Favorite Disney Movies


| LAST UPDATE 06/09/2021

By Genevieve Scott

Cinderella's hunt for her glass slipper; Ariel's attempts to be part of our world; We think we know their stories, but do we really? From alternate endings to studio mishaps, enjoy these backstage secrets from our Disney Movies.

Cinderella's Slipper Was a Size 4.5

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! We know all about the shoes, the dress, the carriage, but if there's one mystery we have yet to crack? What size were Cinderella's famous glass slippers that they didn't fit anyone in the entire kingdom?

Cinderella, Disney, Secrets, MovieCinderella, Disney, Secrets, Movie
Cinderella (1950) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

Let's just say it's no surprise the events panned out the way that they did. According to various reports, the Princess's shoe size was a mere 4 1/2. But hey, all odds are off when we're dealing with a Disney fairytale, right? In fact, there's a whole lot more where that came from. Keep scrolling…

There Were More Than 7 Dwarfs in Snow White

Raise those hands if you can name all of Snow White's little helpers! Well, actually, don't raise that arm just yet. The original Disney fairytale actually featured a whole lot more than 7 dwarfs. That's right, and there's good reason they got axed when they did.

Snow White, Secrets, DisneySnow White, Secrets, Disney
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

From "Baldy" to "Deafy," perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised that the 16 other original - and slightly offensive - dwarfs never made it to our screen; After all, they might not make the best companions for "the fairest of them all," wouldn't you say?

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Tinkerbell Was Almost a Redhead

When we think of Mickey, those white gloves and big ears may come to mind; When we think of Minnie, it's probably those red polka-dots and big bow. As for Tinkerbell? Of course, her famous blonde locks almost immediately pop up. But what if we said she almost looked very different?

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Peter Pan (1953) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

In fact, it took Disney animators over a decade to finally settle on the fairy's signature look. And at one point? "Tinkerbell was going to be a redhead... and then a brunette," Disney actress Kathryn Beaumont - the voice of Peter Pan's Wendy Darling- revealed to People.

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Woody From Toy Story Has a Secret Last Name

Is there anything more shocking than finding out our favorite childhood toys have secret lives of their own? As a matter of fact, there is. According to Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, Woody was hiding a whole lot more than just his daytime adventures.

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Toy Story (1995) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

"Woody's actual full name is 'Woody Pride,'" Unkrich revealed. The most shocking part? "It [actually] has been [his character's name] since the earliest days of developing the original Toy Story." Mind = blown. But our next fact might just be even more surprising...

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Mickey Mouse Never Used to Wear White Gloves

Hiya, pal! Mickey and those classic white gloves practically go hand in hand at this point (see what we did there?). But believe it or not, it wasn't always so. In fact, back in 1928, our favorite mouse was seen without the famous accessory. Instead, he sported bare black hands.

Mickey Mouse, Movies, SecretsMickey Mouse, Movies, Secrets
Plane Crazy (1928) YouTube via Walt Disney Animation Studios

That's right. It was only in Mickey's 1929 debut of The Opry House that we were finally introduced to the famous mittens. Why? "We didn't want Mickey Mouse to have mouse hands, as he was supposed to be like a human," Walt Disney explained. "So? We gave him gloves."

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Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear Almost Had a Different Name

Now that we know Woody's real name, it's time to reveal the true identity of his famous partner in crime. Well, sort of. Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear was initially given a completely different name. And we should warn ya, it's truly out of this world.

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Toy Story (1995) via Walt Disney Company via IMDb

"His names changed over time," Pixar historian Christine Freeman revealed. Well, what were they? From "Tempus of Morph" to "Lunar Larry," it took writers multiple drafts before agreeing on Buzz Lightyear. While we can't quite see him as a "Larry," we're sure he'd still make it to infinity and beyond, right?

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Roz From Monsters, Inc. Was Voiced By a Man

In a world where a one-eyed monster is the guardian of a pigtail-wearing toddler, imagination is certainly of the essence, isn't it? Perhaps that's why it's no surprise that Roz, Monster, Inc.'s key master of Scare Floor F, was actually voiced by... a man.

Roz, Monsters Inc, SecretsRoz, Monsters Inc, Secrets
Monsters, Inc. (2001) Disney/Pixar via IMDb

Yep. Much like Mike, you might have been too busy noticing Roz's new haircut - or was it the new makeup? - to realize the voice behind the yellow slug was actually actor Bob Peterson. Ever wondered why the elderly lady's voice was always so raspy? Mystery solved...

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"Part of Your World" Was Almost Cut From The Little Mermaid

Remember when we were busy drooling over Princess Ariel's gadgets and gizmos a-plenty (and whozits and whatzits galore)? Believe it or not, we were almost never blessed with The Little Mermaid's musical masterpiece, "Part of Your World." And the reasoning behind it was actually very childish - literally.

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The Little Mermaid (1989) YouTube via Disney Music VEVO

During a test screening back in the day, the Disney chairman was shocked to find children tossing their popcorn around during the famous scene. How did he interpret it? They must have been bored by the song. Luckily, we know how this story ends, though. After all, what's The Little Mermaid without Ariel's identity crisis?

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Monsters, Inc.'s Boo Had a Real Name

It's almost impossible to imagine Monsters, Inc.'s Boo as anyone other than, well, 'Boo.' But while that might have been one of the only words to ever escape the toddler's mouth, her real name was actually very different. That's right. Did you hear that, Sulley?

Boo, Disney, Secrets, MovieBoo, Disney, Secrets, Movie
Monsters, Inc. (2001) YouTube via Animation Studios

According to Pixar, the troublemaker's full name was actually: Mary Gibbs. We know, it seems a bit... unfitting, doesn't it? But the decision wasn't random at all. In fact, the adorable 5-year-old actress behind Boo's famous voice was actually named Mary Gibbs. We see what you did there, Pixar.

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Pocahontas Is the Only Disney Princess With a Tattoo

She's a fan-favorite for many reasons, no need to be ashamed. With her free-spirit and fearless attitude, Pocahontas still continues to inspire viewers to this very day. But back in 1995, as the Native American goddess first took to our screen, she did something never done before.

Pocahontas, Disney, Secrets, ShockingPocahontas, Disney, Secrets, Shocking
Pocahontas (1995) YouTube via Disney

Of course, we're talking about the famous red mark that was plastered on her upper right arm. Ring a bell? The princess's tattoo is one of many reasons why Pocahontas is as iconic as she is today; After all, we wouldn't exactly expect to catch that on Aurora or Cinderella, now would we?

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Elsa From Frozen Was Almost an Evil Villain

Here's something we never expected to hear: Elsa of Arendelle was almost written off as an evil supervillain. And all because 'a guy had dumped her on her wedding day;' Safe to say, we all know how her story ultimately ends, so why don't we tell you how it once started?

Frozen, Movies, Disney, SecretsFrozen, Movies, Disney, Secrets
Frozen (2013) YouTube via MooMovies

"When we started off... Elsa was a [heart-broken] Snow Queen... a villain, pure evil — much more like the Hans Christian Andersen tale," producer Peter Del Vecho revealed to EW. What prompted the change of heart? "It wasn't satisfying." We don't know about you guys, but we'll never be able to let this one go...

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Beyoncé Was Almost Cast as Princess Tiana

She may already hold the title of Queen B, but back in 2009? Beyoncé almost traded her famous reign for that of a princess: Princess Tiana, to be exact. That was, until her Princess & the Frog starring role was given to actress Anika Noni Rose, instead. Why?

Disney, Movies, Beyonce, SecretsDisney, Movies, Beyonce, Secrets
The Princess & The Frog (2009) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

According to author Jen Rubin, while production had their eyes set on Bey for the part of Tiana, she didn't quite seem to share their same excitement. "Beyoncé expected an offer... but wouldn't audition, and so she didn't get one," Rudin revealed. In other words? It appears she wasn't irreplaceable, after all...

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The Little Mermaid's Ursula Was Inspired By a Drag Queen

On-screen, she may have had her fair share of poor unfortunate souls; But off-screen? Our favorite sea witch was actually a very soulful diva. That's right, the inspiration for The Little Mermaid's famous villain was actually a larger-than-life superstar from back in the '70s.

Ursula, Disney, Secrets, DivineUrsula, Disney, Secrets, Divine
The Little Mermaid (1989) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

Whom, exactly? Ursula's character was inspired by Divine: A cult drag queen famous for her strikingly arched 'brows and unapologetic nature. In fact, had she still have been alive at the time of production, the film's creators would have loved to see her take on the role. Interesting, huh?

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Tangled Is the Most Expensive Animated Movie, Ever

No, that's not a typo. Back in 2010, as Disney blessed us with their latest adventure, it actually cost them a whole lot - literally. In fact, Tangled still holds the title of 'the most expensive animated movie' to this very day. Well, how much did it set them back?

Tangled, Movie, Money, SecretsTangled, Movie, Money, Secrets
Tangled (2010) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

About $260 million, according to Screen Rant; Which, by the way, surpasses Avatar's alleged $237 million budget. No big deal, right? Who would've thought the retelling of Rapunzel would rack up such a hefty bill? Nonetheless, the film pocketed almost $600 million at the Box Office, so we'd say they did just fine.

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Lime Green is Disney's Signifier of Evil

Red means stop, yellow means go, and green means... evil? For decades now, Disney animators have been using the striking shade as a signifier of all things wicked. And while we might not understand it, the signs have certainly been there, haven't they?

Disney, Secrets, Maleficent, MoviesDisney, Secrets, Maleficent, Movies
Sleeping Beauty (1959) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

From Ursula to Maleficent, all odds are off when that infamous hue hijacks our screen. In other words, our writers over at Disney headquarters must have really hated the color green. All jokes aside, their attention to detail is what's morphed their movies into the timeless gems that they are today.

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The Lion King Never Had Lions Roaring

Aside from Simba, of course, how many times have we actually heard a lion roar? Not much, huh? By definition, lions are pretty lazy creatures. So when it came to the infamous Roar of the Elders, among other scenes, production had to get pretty crafty...

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The Lion King (1994) YouTube via That Scene

According to Metro, during such scenes, audio of roaring tigers was typically deployed. But that's not all. Production also hailed in a special somebody to imitate the ferocious sounds: Frank Welker, a famous voice actor - or, who most of us know as the voice of Scooby-Doo. Consider us amazed.

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The Lady & The Tramp's Spaghetti Scene Almost Never Happened

It's pretty hard to imagine Lady & The Tramp without that famous spaghetti dinner. Sound familiar? But believe it or not, back in the day, Walt Disney didn't exactly share our same feelings of amusement. In fact, if he had it his way, he would've axed that entire scene.

Lady & the Tramp, DisneyLady & the Tramp, Disney
Lady & the Tramp (1955) YouTube via Mickey World Travel

How did he see it? Sure, he wanted our furry friends to portray human emotions, but fine dining might have been pushing it: "As you can imagine, if you have two pets and they eat a plate of spaghetti, it's hard to envision that being too graceful," former intern, Steven Vagnini explained to Yahoo. Fair point. 

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Mickey Mouse was Almost Named Something Entirely Different

Back when Walt first introduced his plans of a talking mouse, he was ready to call his cartoon by something entirely different. Luckily, that's where Mrs. Disney allegedly came into play. After urging her adamant husband to rename the little guy, it wasn't long before we came to know and love... Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse, Disney, SecretsMickey Mouse, Disney, Secrets
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006) YouTube via Disney Junior

But what was Mickey's name once going to be? Mortimer. Yep, we don't know about you guys, but 'Mortimer & Minnie Mouse' doesn't quite have the same ring to it, now does it? Ironically enough, though, in 1936, Disney brought back his failed name in the form of Mickey's on-screen rival: Mortimer Mouse.

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Lilo & Stitch Has a Sinister Side

What does this former Disney cartoon have in common with The Ring - otherwise known as one of the scariest horror movies to date? To the naked eye, perhaps not much. But off-screen? Let's just say, we'll never be able to look at Lilo & Stich the same - ever again.

Lilo & Stitch, Ring, SecretsLilo & Stitch, Ring, Secrets
Lilo & Stitch (2002) YouTube via Rodrigo Martinez

Remember The Ring's horrifying little girl? The one with the long black hair and a tendency for crawling out of TV screens? She was the very same actress who once starred on Disney channel as a Hawaiian orphan with a koala for a sidekick (psst Lilo Pelekai). Take a minute to let that sink in...

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Beauty & The Beast Copied Sleeping Beauty's Famous Scene

Ever watched a Disney scene and thought, "Hey, that looks familiar?" No, we're not talking about an evil witch or a fairy godmother; We're talking about 1991's Beauty & The Beast: The moment Disney animators ripped a page out of Sleeping Beauty's book.

Beauty & the Beast, DisneyBeauty & the Beast, Disney
Beauty & the Beast (1991) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

Remember the famous ballroom scene? Well, actually, it'd be pretty hard to forget, considering we'd already seen it before: "We re-sized and re-positioned it... cleaned up Aurora as Belle... Prince Charming as the Beast,'" Gary Trousdale revealed of the time his team recycled Sleeping Beauty's dance scene for the '91 film.

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Sleeping Beauty's Princess Aurora Almost Slept for 100 Years

If the idea of a princess passing out, merely from pricking her finger on a spindle, sounds odd, just wait: The original storyline of Sleeping Beauty was set to pan out very differently. In fact, if writers hadn't changed a thing, we would've been waiting a long, long time before we watched Aurora earn her happily ever after.

Sleeping Beauty, Disney, MovieSleeping Beauty, Disney, Movie
Sleeping Beauty (1959) YouTube via Movie Clips Coming Soon

According to Perrault's original tale, sleeping beauty was supposed to have been catching some Z's for... 100 years. That's right, almost 100 years longer than the 1 hour +/- slumber we're familiar with. Why'd the writers switch it up? To introduce Prince Phillip earlier in the film. And honestly? We're not complaining about it...

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Dash From The Incredibles Was Actually Restless

It's no accident that Dash earned the nickname that he did while on our screens. When he wasn't busy taking the latest bad guy off of the streets, we could barely keep up with the little energizer bunny. But believe it or not, he was just as restless off-screen.

The Incredibles, Secret, ShockingThe Incredibles, Secret, Shocking
The Incredibles (2004) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

As various outlets reported, Spencer Fox, the voice behind the lively superhero, actually ran laps around the studio before recording his famous character. Why? Apparently, director Brad Bird wanted him to channel the role as authentically as possible. We'd love to be a fly on those studio walls...

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EVE From Wall-E Was Originally Supposed to Be a Placeholder

Long before Siri or Alexa, there was actually a different robot whose name came to hijack our feeds: Eve. Remember her? The smitten android won hearts over with her role as Wall-E's "girlfriend" in the 2008 Disney adventure; But her time on our screen was actually a complete accident.

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WALL-E (2004) Disney/Pixar via IMDb

Elissa Knight, the voice behind Eve, was actually just an employee at Pixar when she caught her big break. What happened? After recording the dialogue as a mere placeholder until a proper actress was found, soon everything changed: Production had fallen in love with her delivery so much, they decided to give her the part.

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Ellen DeGeneres Landed the Role of Finding Nemo's Dory By Chance

It's weird to think of anyone other than Ellen DeGeneres reminding Marlin to just keep swimming, isn't it? But believe it or not, the actress's unforgettable time as Dory happened by mere coincidence. In fact, Marlin's original sidekick was actually intended to be male. What changed?

Finding Nemo, Ellen, SecretsFinding Nemo, Ellen, Secrets
Finding Nemo (2003) Disney/Pixar via IMDb

One fateful day, director Andrew Stanton was watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show alongside his wife, when suddenly a light bulb went off: "I heard [Ellen] change... the subject of a sentence 5 times before she got from beginning to the end," he revealed of the moment he knew Dory had to be Ellen. And, well, the rest is history.

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Russell in Up Ran Laps Before Recording

Back in 2009, we all fell in love with Carl and his adorable new companion, Russell: The 8-year-old Junior Wilderness Explorer with a craving for adventure and a knack for keeping things... interesting, to say the least. But off-screen? Things were just as exciting.

Up, Disney, Movies, ShockingUp, Disney, Movies, Shocking
UP (2009) YouTube via Disney Sverige

"I would say, 'Jordan, next time before [you say the line], run over there, run around the chair three times, jump up and down,'" director, Pete Docter revealed of his attempts to hype up actor Jordan Nagai. "At one point, I picked you up upside-down and tickled your tummy." And suddenly everything makes sense...

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Mary Poppins Had an Accident While "Flying"

She might know a thing or two about making the medicine go down (with just a spoonful of sugar), but it wasn't always smooth sailing for Julie Andrews. In fact, the Mary Poppins star revealed that her time on set was actually met with a brutal ending - or should we say, landing?

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Mary Poppins (1964) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

"At the end of filming, I was in this excruciatingly painful harness, and I was hanging around up there," Andrews revealed of how her on-set mishap came to be. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before she "felt the wire drop about 6 inches… and plummeted to the stage." Ouch, that's gotta leave a mark.

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Robin Williams Made Very Little For His Time as Genie in Aladdin

If there's one guy who's made a name for himself out in Hollywood, it's none other than Robin Williams. The beloved late actor left a legacy like no other, including his iconic time in Aladdin as a lovable Genie. Perhaps that's why the check he cashed in for his famous role left our jaws on the floor. As for how much he made?

Aladdin, Robin Williams, DisneyAladdin, Robin Williams, Disney
Aladdin (1992) Walt Disney Company via IMDb

$75,000 - a bit less than his usual $8 million asking fee. But there was a catch: His name and face were not to be used for the film's promotional efforts, as he didn't "want to sell stuff." Instead? He simply wanted to "be part of the animation tradition... something for my children." We'd say he did just that - and then some.

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The Lion King's "Hakuna Matata" Almost Never Happened

"Hakuna Matata" and The Lion King practically go hand in hand, don't they? Seriously, what's one without the other, right? But believe it or not, back in the day, there was a different song set to grace our screens instead: "He's got it all worked out." And let's just say its takeaway message was a bit different...

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The Lion King (1994) YouTube via Dudu

Instead of singing about facing our problems (with no worries, for the rest of our days), Timon and his gang almost sang about... eating bugs. Shockingly enough, though, "We couldn't convince everybody that making the entire song about eating bugs was a good idea," co-director Rob Minkoff revealed. We'd say he was right, huh?

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Jackie Chan Voiced the Beast in Beauty & The Beast

Well, sort of. Call it a hunch, but most of us wouldn't peg the king of kung-fu as a 'classically trained opera singer,' right? Only that's exactly what Jackie Chan once was: Back in 1991, the actor took to the studio to do exactly that - in the Mandarin-language version of Beauty & The Beast.

Jackie Chan, Disney, SecretsJackie Chan, Disney, Secrets
Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

Not only did the famous stuntman voice the role of the Beast, but he also hit those high notes when the time came. From singing all of the film's songs to starring in its accompanying music video, we've never been more… speechless. Is there anything he can't do?

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Rapunzel & Flynn Made a Debut in Frozen

It's the crossover we never knew we needed! As we already know, Elsa's reality almost saw her as a cold-hearted queen. But there's another secret the writers of Frozen have kept tightly under wraps; So much so, that one of Disney's very own directors didn't even know about it.

Frozen, Rapunzel, Secrets, DisneyFrozen, Rapunzel, Secrets, Disney
Frozen (2013) via Walt Disney Company

During Elsa's coronation, as Anna is prancing around singing, two very special guests are seen in the left corner: Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. But just because the Tangled it-couple found their way to Arendelle, doesn't mean everybody awaited their arrival. "I guess I missed that," Tangled's confused director Nathan Greno revealed.

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