Updated: Jul 4, 2021
Disney's animations are global and available in multiple languages. Yes, quite an obvious fact. But, did you know all the man (and woman) power behind some of the greatest Disney films have been on the shoulders of many Asian collaborators and creatives?
VOICE OF ASIAN BEAST
Have you ever thought who voiced the Beast in both Chinese and Cantonese for Beauty and the Beast, and was also the voice to the Chinese version of Mulan's, 'I'll Make a Man Out of You'?
If you guessed Jackie Chan, the slap stick actor and martial artist, then you are spot on.
Out of the Hollywood limelight, Jackie Chan is well renowned for his vocal abilities across Asia. His budding musical career started back to the 80s! Jackie even sung at the 2008 Olympic Games closing ceremony to "Hard to Say Goodbye" with Chinese heavyweight vocalists Andy Lau, Liu Huan and Emil Chau.
The stunt man has released more than 20 albums and over 100 singles in not one or two languages, but five different languages! This almost puts his acting career to shame, performing in more than 150 films so far.
Please note our sarcasm in glory of his greatness. It makes one to wonder, why Jackie Chan has only been awarded one Academy Award?
ONE MILLION CHINESE BUBBLES
Before the wonders of CGI animation, animators sketched and painted on paper.
If you have watched The Little Mermaid or go and watch The Little Mermaid on Disney+ now, you'll find countless bubbles with every flick of Ariel's tail. Now think even bigger, Sebastian's 'Under the Sea' ensemble and Ursula the evil sea witch battle at the end of the movie.
There must be millions of bubbles in those scenes alone! Who was ever so patient to draw them out one by one?
Those bubbles were in fact contracted out to China! Millions of bubbles were hand drawn by a company aptly named, Pacific Rim. No joke from our end for a change.
Check out the clip below and tell us how many bubbles you can count from "Under the Sea"? This will really test your attention span and maths skills.
BAMBI FROM THE SONG DYNASTY
Less well known to the world is the animation works of Bambi. Upon first glance, the movie depicts flora and fauna considered rather common in the US. But upon closer inspection, you'll find certain Chinese connections.
What is the Chinese connection you ask?
Bambi, the most adored little dear...deer, was an inspiration from classical art during the Chinese Song Dynasty.
The lead Bambi Production illustrator was a Chinese-born American, Tyrus Wong, who brought Bambi to life with the best of American and Chinese influence. Bambi may have lost his on screen mother (sorry, spoiler alert), but Bambi definitely won the hearts of audiences across America and globally.
Aside from creating one of the best loved animations at Disney, Tyrus went on to work for Hallmark and Warner Bros. He was a trailblazer for the Chinese and Asian community. Tyrus was awarded a History Makers Award by the Chinese American Museum and was inducted as a Disney Legend in their "Hall of Fame" program.
Can't get enough of our insightful Asianish connections with Disney? Find out more wacky facts on Disney on Captain Bagrat’s latest podcast episode 93!
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