The Reality of Disney Animals

On the Jungle Cruise, no one really thinks the animals are real. But Walt wanted to use real pythons and crocodiles and hippos ... oh, my! He didn't. Zac Hogle tells that story and ponders how real life becomes film.

Zac Hogle!

Ring any bells? Maybe not, if you follow nothing but Disney blogs, but Hogle is a successful writer, director, producer, and actor, as well as the owner of ANP Entertainment.

He thinks a lot about film. Every so often, he writes about it on his blog, ZacHogle.

Today, Hogle ponders how real life becomes film, his pondering perked by the upcoming release on April 22 (Earth Day!) of DisneyNature's African Cats.

In his article, Hogle observes that Walt Disney wanted live animals for the Jungle Cruise attraction, but then realized that you couldn't count on live animals to perform on cue, nor could you count on them not occasionally escaping or perhaps chowing down on Junior who really shouldn't have stuck his arm so far over the side of the boat.

So Walt used audio-animatronic animals instead.

Those fake animals approximate real animals pretty well. So do the animated animals in countless Disney movies, and it's all the result of observing the behavior of animals both in and out of the wild.

Hogle has much more to say, including some good observations about Disney's success in 'humanizing' live animals through its long-ago documentary specials, True-Life Adventures.

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