In Moana, Gramma Tala says that their people stopped exploring about 1,000 years ago. In actual history, there was about a 1,000-year “Long Pause” where Polynesian explorers stopped sailing.
When Maui turns into a half-shark, his tiny tattoo version also has a shark head.
Whenever Maui transforms, since he isn’t holding his hook anymore, the hook appears somewhere in the markings on his body.
The Union Jack flag flown in Pocahontas is accurate to the time period. The extra red stripes in the modern flag are meant to represent Ireland, which wasn’t part of the UK at the time.
In Hercules, the Fates sing about the planets aligning. However, only six planets are shown…this is because the ancient Greeks only knew of the five planets (plus Earth) visible to the naked eye.
When the Muses are singing “I Won’t Say I’m in Love,” their busts are arranged the same way that the singing busts in the Haunted Mansion ride are.
The lyrics in “Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan are references to quotes from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
The Norse runes in Frozen are accurate and hint at how Elsa got her ice powers.
In Big Hero 6, there’s a McMaster-Carr catalog sitting in San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. McMaster-Carr is an American wholesale supplier of hardware, and often partners with universities.
In The Rescuers, Orville the albatross uses a runway to start flying. This is a funny gag, but it’s also true to life: Albatrosses are so large that they usually need a running start in order to take off.
In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo offers pieces of silver in exchange for information about Esmerelda. He increases his offer but stops before offering 30 pieces of silver, as that was the price that Judas accepted. Since Frollo was such a religious zealot, he would steer clear of that act.
When Judy chases a perp through Little Rodentia, there’s an ad for “Thigmo-Taxis.” Thigmotaxis is the scientific name for a biological response to move toward or away from touch stimuli, and has been studied extensively in lab mice.
The high score in Wreck-It Ralph is 120501, which is a reference to Walt Disney’s birthday: Dec. 5, 1901.
In The Little Mermaid, when Ursula transforms herself into Vanessa, she uses a butterfly in the spell. “Vanessa” is also the name of a specific genus of butterfly.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, a young boy is sentenced to death by hanging for piracy. At the time, British laws dictated that children between the ages of 7–12 could be sentenced to death for crimes if they showed “strong evidence of malice.”
In Aladdin, the genie sings that “Scheherazade had a thousand tales.” In Arabian folklore, Scheherazade actually had 1,001 tales*, but Aladdin was one of them, so the characters in the movie would probably only know 1,000.
When Genie takes Aladdin’s order, he writes from right to left, the way Arabic languages would be written.
And finally, Genie’s outfit at the end of the movie is a nod to this outfit Robin Williams wore in a video Disney shot back in 1989 for MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) at Disney World.
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