10+ Cool Facts About Disney Actors Fans Didn't Know

Oh, Disney.

Where would we be without its magic seeped into every area of our childhoods? Probably nowhere, to be honest.

It's even helped start and cement careers for many actors and singers that we know and love today. People like Hilary Duff, the Jonas Brothers, and many more.

Here are 10+ cool facts about Disney actors that fans didn't know.

1. Tim Allen took the role of Buzz Lightyear after Chevy Chase turned it down.

Where Chevy leads, Allen will follow.

This all stems from the National Lampoon's Vacation actor always being a huge influence on Allen's career. So, when Chevy turned down the role of Buzz, Allen had to take it.

2. The role of Dory in *Finding Nemo* was written for Ellen DeGeneres:

Instagram | @theellenshow

It's clearly the role the talk show host was born to play.

"I didn't even have to audition," Ellen said back in 2016 during an appearance on Lorraine.

"They thought I did look like a fish," she said.

"And they said, 'You should be in this movie because we're doing this thing about fish and you look very similar to a fish'."

Whether this is true or not, we can't imagine anyone else in the role!

3. Joe Jonas had to shave every day to look young while filming *Jonas*:

Instagram | @joejonas

This ends up being the case for a lot of Disney actors who take on younger roles.

In an essay he wrote for Vulture, Joe bared all on these strict rules.

"I had to shave every day because they wanted me to pretend like I was 16 when I was 20."

This left him rebelling as much as he could once filming was over.

"When the show was done, I cut my hair off and grew as much of a beard as I could." 

4. Tom Hanks took on the role of Woody for a unique reason.

Instagram | @tomhanks

He believes in the magic of toys coming to life more than anyone else.

"I think that there was a magical element to toys coming to life when they're on their own, that everybody wants to believe it actually happens," Hanks once said.

"In fact, we can't prove that it doesn't. For all we know, that's actually what toys do."

He continued:

"I think there's also the inner life of the toys as they've been imagined by the folks at Pixar, really just makes an awful lot of sense."

"There are all of the elements to fantastic stories and adventures..."

"...and yet they are in the room of our dreams and they are the relationships we believe we've had with them since we were children," he concluded.

Spoken like a true Woody!

5. The voice actor for Bambi went on to become a U.S. Marine.

In case you're wondering why Bambi didn't have a tough military voice, it's because Donnie Dunagan voiced the character when he was just a child.

Then, when Dunagan joined the Marines, he kept his Bambi past a secret.

As you can imagine, this was so that he could avoid being called "Maj. Bambi."

It's a good thing he traded in his acting career for a military one, since he was clearly good at it.

He ended up setting a record for his Corps at the time by being "promoted 13 times in 21 years."

6. Shia LaBeouf was almost a music star:

We're not even sure if he has a good voice, but he told MTV News that Disney was really pushing for him to sing.

"I didn't just want to be a churn-'em-out guy. I never really felt like I fit in there," he said.

7. Kevin Jonas met his wife on vacation:

This happened in 2007 during a family vacay to the Bahamas.

"When I met Danielle, I was the one that was pursuing her most of the time and I didn't want her out of my sight," Jonas told PR.com.

Turns out, she ran away, twice.

She explained this as, "I'm never going to see this kid again, so why would I spend time away from my family while we're on vacation?'"

Plus, she didn't know who the Jonas Brothers were!

8. Zendaya was once a backup dancer for Selena Gomez in a Sears commercial:

This happened when the Disney star was just 12 and still clearly unknown to Disney.

"That's a funny commercial because it's so weird to think [about] later on," she told J-14 Magazine in 2013.

"Ross [Lynch] was in it, Leo Howard was in it — and we were backup dancers, we weren't even the lead kids."

Instagram | @zendaya

Humble as always, she added: "it's funny where things evolved from and it's cool to start small."

It's safe to say that her life has changed a lot since then!

9. Hilary Duff was once honored by a military school:

Instagram | @hilaryduff

This, of course, was all thanks to her Cadet Kelly days.

Because of this, she was made “honorary Cadet Sergeant” at the same military school where the movie was filmed.

10. Jodi Benson sang "Part of Your World" in the dark.

This was done so that the song could have more of an underwater feel.

Whether this worked or not, you have to admit that the song is pretty darn iconic to this day.

11. Idina Menzel got her start at Disney after auditioning for *Rapunzel*:

Instagram | @idinamenzel

While Mandy Moore ended up playing the long-haired beauty in the end, this wasn't the end for Idina.

The creators of Frozen loved Idina's audition for Rapunzel so much that it helped her land the role of Elsa.

12. Kathleen Turner was nine months pregnant when she voiced Jessica Rabbit:

Doing a smoldering voice while you're pregnant is hard enough, but the star even went into labor during this!

“The day my water broke, I was recording Jessica Rabbit, waddling in and out (of the recording studio)!” she told Good Morning America.

13. Mandy Moore was not the first choice for *Tangled*.

But let's be clear: we are super happy with the job that she did. It was such a good movie.

But, fun fact, Natalie Portman was heavily considered for the role!

14. Walt Disney voiced Mickey Mouse for almost 20 years.

However, once Disney was becoming an empire, he gave up the voice work to Jimmy MacDonald.

There were also rumors that his excessive smoking made the voice acting too difficult for him, but it was never confirmed.

15. Miranda From Lizzie McGuire is a lot more talented than people think!


Lalaine Vergara-Paras may have been known for her role on Lizzie Maguire, but she was already acting in Broadway productions at the tender age of nine years old.

Her career just didn't quite take off like Duff's.

16. Adrienne Bailon and the case of the fake photos.

Instagram | @adriennebailon

Back when Cheetah Girls was riding high, Adrienne Bailon was living her best life.

In 2008, she was paired with Rob Kardashian, and it seemed like her private info was hacked and someone released private photos of her.

However, it was later revealed in her publicist's memoir *Don't You Know Who I Am Yet?*, that it was actually all part of the plan.

Instagram | @adriennebailon

According to him, she released the photo herself as a publicity stunt in order to get just as famous.

17. Elastigirl goes to DC.

Holly Hunter knew the superhero game thanks to her amazing work as Elastigirl in The Incredibles.

So it makes sense that she was later cast in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which came out in 2016.

"With *Batman v. Superman*, I had part of a script, a fragment, but that was under lock and key for all different reasons," she said.


Which makes sense, because DC, like Marvel, tries to make sure that, during filming, everything is as secretive as possible.

"*Incredibles 2* wasn't under lock and key, but that's part of the methodology of constructing an animated movie."


"It's made out of order in a way that a regular movie isn't."

Either way, she was great in both films.

18. Yzma is connected to Catwoman.

Eartha Kitt, who was one of the original actresses to play Catwoman, got a little nod to her role in The Emperor's New Groove.

Yzma happens to turn into a cat by the end of the movie! Coincidence? I think not!

19. There was only one person worthy to play Marlin from *Finding Nemo*.


Albert Brooks was the only person that was considered for the role, which is a compliment if I've ever heard one.

The character ended up being beloved by all, so it worked out for the best.

20. Cruella De Vil was loosely based on a real person.

Which, to me, seems like an insult, but maybe it isn't.

Betty Lou Gerson played the character in the animated movie 101 Dalmations, but people thought the character was based off Tallulah Bankhead.

Do you know of any amazing or cool facts about Disney actors?

Which fact did you find interesting about the celebrities listed above?

Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments!