Behind the Magic: 10 Bizarre Stories From Former Disney Character Actors

Disney character actors must remain in character no matter the circumstance. From bench-pressing Timon to a Saudi Arabian prince requesting characters to perform in his room, here are strange occurrences from former Disney character actors.

1. Severe Injuries

Tress MacNeille in House of Mouse (2001)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

Humans like to test their strength in inhumane ways. Grown people know that humans reside inside of the character costumes, yet they still tug, yank, and hit the costumes, trying to make the actor crack and break character. Guests tackled Daisy Duck, which knocked her unconscious, grabbed Donald Duck’s beak to see how far they could pull it, and tried to arm wrestle with Mickey Mouse’s glove.

2. Goofy Contemplates Life

Jason Marsden, Grey Griffin, and Bill Farmer in House of Mouse (2001)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

Since Goofy is everyone’s favorite talking dog, kids love to swarm him. A past Goofy character actor shares the time a group of kids jumped on his costume, causing the face mask to move upward and blocking his line of vision. He couldn’t signal for help due to the pack of kids climbing him, so he sat there, bracing for imminent death, until his attendant informed him the set had ended.

3. Interaction With Nic From Zootopia Leads to Dismissal

Zootopia (2016)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

In Zootopia, Judy Hopps, a rabbit cop, fancies a liking toward a fox, Nick Wilde. When the film came out, Disney set up a character meeting with Nick. A superfan walked right up to Nick and grabbed his tie in an attempt to recreate a flirting motion first performed by Judy in the film. The perpetrator was banished from the park immediately.

4. Br’er Rabbit Encounter Embarrasses Daughter

Johnny Lee in Song of the South (1946)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

Parenting styles range from authoritarian, authoritative, uninvolved, and the breed that wishes to expose their children to the trauma they unleash on others. One former cast member states a teenage girl lifted up Br’er Rabbit’s shirt while meeting him, and while her mother didn’t see the interaction, a guard informed her of the situation and ended further antics.

5. Does Stitch Need Stitches?

Daveigh Chase and Chris Sanders in Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

“People like to hit him because he is ‘indestructible’ in the movies. They think it’s funny. The worst was when a teenage boy punched me in the head in the exact spot where a lip on the costume was, driving it into the base of my skull. It was the only time I ever left a set early,” an actor states.

6. Carnivore vs. Chicken Little

Zach Braff in Chicken Little (2005)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Maintaining a reputation as the “Happiest Place on Earth” comes with screaming children, barrels of attitude, and expressive anger over slight mishaps. When this former Chicken Little character actor dressed in uniform, he remembers a child sprinting over to him and hooking him in the stomach, appalled that the character doesn’t consume chicken.

7. I’m Not Cinderella

Ilene Woods in Cinderella (1950)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

What more cliched way to propose a marriage than in front of Cinderella’s centerpiece? Character actors assumed their roles and met their most devoted fans but paused when a brave man knelt down on one knee before popping the ultimate question. The receiving end grew distraught, claiming they were only ever friends and she did not share any romantic attraction toward the charmer.

8. Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella in The Lion King (1994)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

“Hakuna Matata means no worries,” except when you can’t see the ground. One former cast member shares a memorable moment they had in costume. “I was Timon one day, and some massive dude just suddenly picked me up and then push-pressed me above his head. Timon’s costume has a huge tail and feet. I’m surprised the guy managed to even get me up there, but I did not feel safe.”

9. Prince Pays a Price

Russi Taylor and Alan Young in DuckTales (1987)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

“The weirdest thing for sure was when a super-rich Saudi Arabian prince came over, and we had to do basically anything he said. One time, he wanted the whole duck family in his suite, so he literally had Huey, Luey & Dewey shipped over from Florida, as Paris didn’t have the costumes. I was Scrooge. We had to go to his suite overlooking Main Street one morning and hand out random certificates to his friends for achievements, including being at Disneyland Paris,” a former Scrooge McDuck relays.

10. Prince Strikes Again

Eva Gabor, Dean Clark, and Liz English in The Aristocats (1970)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

“One of the most surreal moments of my life to date was dancing around a room to ‘Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat’ from The Aristocats with dozens of totally random Disney characters, while fake snow came down from the ceiling and disco lights went crazy. Meanwhile, a Saudi-Arabian prince and his crew were all at round wedding-like tables, just chilling and watching us while we sweated for their entertainment. Good times,” Robin Hood’s actor recalls.

Source: Reddit.

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