animation trivia

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Bolt

1. Animators brought a giant inflatable hamster ball to the studio.

To relieve stress and get inside the mind of Rhino, the animators rolled up and down the halls in it for fun.

2. Mittens’ voice is actually Susie Essman’s normal speaking voice.

After Susie Essman was cast in the role of Mittens, the directors loved her normal speaking voice so much, that they requested that she use it instead of creating a unique tone for the character.

3. The animators took inspiration from Michael Bay for the film’s Bolt TV show.

When John Lasseter gave the animators the challenge to create a Bolt TV show that would be exciting enough for network television, they looked to Michael Bay’s action films for inspiration. As a result, they relied on deep blacks and bright colors, which served as a nice contrast to the much softer textures and colors seen in the real world.

4. The crew adopted a hamster to help them animate Rhino.

While John Lasseter’s pet chinchilla served as inspiration for Rhino’s design, the crew adopted a hamster and studied his movement on a sheet of plexiglass to get a better idea of how Rhino would walk in his plastic ball. They named him Doink.

5. The voice actors behind Mittens and Bolt never actually met.

Despite having many shared scenes, actors Susie Essman (Mittens) and John Travolta (Bolt) never recorded together.

6. When the directors gave Mark Walton the role of Rhino, they caught his reaction on tape.

Typically, before bringing the talent into the studio, a film’s animators volunteer to record a practice run of the script. When animator Mark Walton came in and read for Rhino the hamster, the directors liked his performance so much that they cast him in the role. But before telling him, they had him come in for one more reading and slipped the line, “I am the voice of Rhino” into the script. They had a camera set up to catch his surprised reaction.

7. Real locations were used as inspiration for the film’s lighting.

To nail the natural difference in lighting between several of the film’s diverse locations, the crew went to LA, an Ohio trailer park, the streets of New York, the San Francisco docks, and the desert surrounding Las Vegas to take photographs—which they later used as reference during production. In fact, the hotels and casinos shown in the Las Vegas scenes actually exist.

8. The film’s art style was inspired by the work of Edward Hopper.

Instead of going full CG, the animators opted for a softer approach, using the paintings of Edward Hopper as inspiration. They found a way to recreate brushstrokes in the computer and used that method to set the film’s 3D objects against a 2D backdrop.

9. Bolt’s look is based on a breed of White German Shepherd.

Though Bolt’s breed was never defined in the film, the main character animator, Joe Moshier, has indicated that the wonder dog is loosely based on a White German Shepherd puppy that the team studied during production; his huge ears, and bushy tail are dead giveaways.


DreamWorks’ Shrek was first released on May 18, 2001.

The song “All Star” by Smash Mouth, heard in the opening credits, was only placed in the film for test audiences until a new song could be found. But test audiences loved it, and the producers kept it in. When the producers decided to keep “All Star” they decided to let the band sing the last song in the movie, “I’m a Believer.” (x)

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

In honor of the exclusive Oswald short available on the Walt Disney Signature Collection, here are a few fun facts about the Lucky Rabbit. Unlock the short “Hungry Hobos” when you purchase Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Digital.

Ub Iwerks was lead animator on Hungry Hobos, and one can see his superb personality animation in the early scenes of Oswald’s and Pete’s checker game and their cow encounter.

While Iwerks draws Pete as a relatively svelte rogue toward the start of this cartoon, fellow animator Rollin “Ham” Hamilton handles several later shots in which Pete shows more of the chunky physique we associate with him today.

Hungry Hobos was popular enough to launch a subseries of shorts featuring Oswald and Pete as brother hobos, which continued within the Oswald series after Disney’s involvement ended. Non-Disney Oswald-Pete hobo cartoons included Weary Willies (1929) and Tramping Tramps (1930).

Oswald’s eyes actually cover his entire upper face—we usually don’t notice, though, because the whites of his eyes aren’t outlined in full. When Oswald picks up the chicken in Hungry Hobos, however, the whites of his eyes are fully outlined for a few seconds, giving him a brief “goggle-eyed” look.

Sheriff Crabb, the grouchy dachshund lawman, also squared off with ne'er-do-well Oswald in The Ol’ Swimmin’ ‘Ole (1928), as well as in later non-Disney Oswald cartoons.

Get Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection TODAY.


Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire was first released on June 15, 2001.

Mike Mignola, creator of the Hellboy (2004) comic books (and the basis for the movie) provided many initial production sketches for this film. Mignola was initially contacted by a Disney representative asking if he would work on the project, Mignola’s first response was “How did you get my phone number?”. (x)

5 facts about Princess Mononoke

1) In Japanese mythology, dogs/wolves are male-voiced and cats female-voiced regardless of sex. This is why Akihiro Miwa provided his voice for Moro the mother wolf in the Japanese version of the film.

2) The film’s runtime is 134 minutes (2 hour and 14 minutes) which is the second longest animated film ever made. The longest is Final Yamato (1983) (165 minutes).  

3) Mononoke means monster or vengeful spirit. The people of Iron Town called San this because they thought her soul was stolen by the gods of the forest.

4) Since the film Nausicaa was greatly edited down in American releases one of Studio Ghibli’s producers sent the co-chairman of Miramax an authentic katana with a simple message: “No cuts.”

5) Director Hayo Miyazaki took 16 years to fully develop the characters and plot of the film.


6) Princess Mononoke was the first animated film ever to receive the Japan Academy Prize for picture of the year.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Aristocats

1. The Aristocats is based on real family of cats.
The film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe, which centers around a real family of cats that inherited a fortune back in 1910.

2. Scat Cat was originally going to be voiced by Louis Armstrong.
Animators modeled Scat Cat (originally named Satchmo Cat) after Louis Armstrong because they wanted him to voice the character. Everything down to the gap in his teeth to the way he played the trumpet was based on the singer. When Armstrong was too sick to play the part, Scatman Crothers was offered the role.

3. There were supposed to be four kittens.
The original script featured a fourth kitten named Waterloo, but he was removed because the writers thought four kittens was too many.

4. The film was intended to be live action.
Aristocats was meant to be a two-part live-action installment of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color back in 1954. It was Walt himself who decided the story was better suited for animation.

5. Some of Napoleon and Lafayette’s barks were recycled.
A couple of the barks heard in the film were actually recycled from the Twilight Bark scene in 101 Dalmatians.

6. A famous singer left retirement to sing the opening song.
Composers Richard and Robert Sherman convinced Maurice Chevalier to come out of retirement to sing the film’s title song “The Aristocats.” We’re glad they did, because that song is great.

7. It was the last film to be approved by Walt Disney.
The Aristocats was the final film to be approved by Walt Disney, the first to be completed after his death, and the last to include the phrase, “A Walt Disney Production” at the end.

8. O’Malley was based on and voiced by Phil Harris.
Phil Harris, who is famous for playing Baloo in The Jungle Book, was used as inspiration for Thomas O’Malley. In fact, the writers let the actor change some of his lines to better suit his personality. The first song he sings bears a strong resemblance to Baloo’s famous tune “The Bear Necessities.”

9. Eva Gabor (Duchess) and Pat Buttram (Napoleon) were co-stars on a famous TV show during filming.
While they were recording their parts for The Aristocats, the actors starred in the TV seriesGreen Acres.

10. Edgar was supposed to have a partner-in-crime.
In one of the earlier scripts, Edgar had a partner-in-crime named Elvira. Elsa Lanchester (Katie Nanna in Mary Poppins) was cast in the role.

It’s only magic 

Isn’t it amazing when you know 

Every second that you see is Twenty-four connected pieces 

Thank you for coming, 

thank you for staying 

Thank you for watching the show.

… i might be stuck listening to this song for a while… i love it now.

And as a side note im growing fonder of the opening, still not as good as other, but it was stuck in my head earlier before beginning the liveblog