Welcome to the 22nd issue of the Lists of Note newsletter. Each Sunday, a new (old) list.
When, in early 1986, Disney executives decided to change the title of their upcoming animated feature from Basil of Baker Street to the less ambiguous The Great Mouse Detective, its production team were less than pleased. One animator in particular, Ed Gombert, harnessed his displeasure to comical effect by creating, and circulating, this fake memo purportedly from then head of department, Peter Schneider. On it, a list of Disney’s back catalogue, renamed in a similarly bland style. The list was so popular that it soon reached a very unimpressed Jeffrey Katzenberg, then CEO of Disney, who, after questioning an entirely innocent Schneider, tried and failed to uncover the identity of its creator. To make matters worse, a copy then found its way to the LA Times. To Disney’s dismay the movie’s name was suddenly on everyone’s lips, albeit for the wrong reasons.
WALT DISNEY PICTURES
TO ANIMATION DEPARTMENT
DATE February 13, 1986
FROM Peter Schneider
Along with the new title for “Basil of Baker Street” it has been decided to re-name the entire library of animated classics. The new titles are as follows...
“SEVEN LITTLE MEN HELP A GIRL”
“THE WOODEN BOY WHO BECAME REAL”
“COLOR AND MUSIC”
“THE LITTLE DEER WHO GREW UP”
“THE GIRL WITH THE SEE-THROUGH SHOES”
“THE GIRL IN THE IMAGINARY WORLD”
“THE AMAZING FLYING CHILDREN”
“TWO DOGS FALL IN LOVE”
“THE GIRL WHO SEEMED TO DIE”
“PUPPIES TAKEN AWAY”
“THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING”
“A BOY, A BEAR AND A BIG BLACK CAT”
“ROBIN HOOD WITH ANIMALS”
“TWO MICE SAVE A GIRL”
“A FOX AND A HOUND ARE FRIENDS”
“THE EVIL BONEHEAD”
And of course our latest classic destined to win the hearts of the american public...
“THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE”
This can be found in the Lists of Note book, alongside many other fascinating lists from history. Bonus point goes to the first person who can list these movies, with their original titles, in the comments below.
The best part is for sure the unchanged title of The Aristocats, hahahaha
I had to find the real titles. So I found the original article in the LA Times, which provides some (but not all!) of the correct titles, out of order. I’m gonna take a crack at arranging them here:
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs“
Then there’s an additional title, not included in Shaun’s list:
- “Dumbo,” aka “The Wonderful Elephant Who Could Really Fly”
“ Alice in Wonderland”
“ The Lady and the Tramp”
“ Sleeping Beauty”
“ 101 Dalmatians”
“The Sword in the Stone”
“Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad”
“The Fox & the Hound”
“The Black Cauldron”
Link - LA Times story from 1986:
MOUSECHIEVIOUS MEMO UPSETS BIG CHEESE