1. In Incan times, messing up the emperor's groove could've very well landed you at the bottom of a cliff.
I'm sure you all remember in The Emperor's New Groove when Kuzco has an epic dance scene rudely interrupted by a completely innocent man. The man is punished for throwing off the emperor's groove by getting hurled off of a cliff, which is hardly an exaggeration. This was actually a common punishment in Incan times. Incan law wanted to make sure that a crime committed wouldn't be replicated by any other member in society. Therefore, punishments were gruesome, such as stoning, hanging, or getting thrown off of a cliff.
2. A fire extinguisher can actually be used as propulsion.
One of the most memorable scenes in Wall-e is when the friendly robot used a fire extinguisher to dance in space with Eve. After Gravity used a fire extinguisher for Ryan Stone's jump to Tiangong as well, National Geographic asked astronaut Roberta Clark if that was actually possible. "It's the law of physics. For every action in one direction you have an equal and opposite reaction in the other direction," she said.
3. Lions do actually work on their roar.
Lion vocalizations serve three purposes: to tell other lions where they are, to defend their territory, and to show dominance. Lions evaluate the size and strength of other roars to determine whether or not to attack. That's why it would've been important for Simba to work on his roar. He'd have to master it if he ever wanted to take over or protect a pride.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean used Blackbeard's historically real and gruesome ammunition.
In The Curse of the Black Pearl, the confrontation between the Black Pearl and the Interceptor is somewhat accurate. In 2011, dive crews off of the coast of North Carolina brought up wreckage from the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's real-life ship. In it, they found bundled ammunition, fragments of glass, silver, and nails that the pirates would have loaded into their cannons to spray at the crew in an opposing ship. Deputy state archaeologist Dr. Mark Wilde-Ramsing said that the reason they used this improvised ammunition was to take out the crew of the ship, but leave the ship itself unharmed. The pirates would commandeer the ship and add it to its fleet, which means they wanted to do relatively little structural damage to it.
5. Moana's father had a real early Samoan tattoo.
The tattoo that Moana's dad has is called a pe'a, which is a traditional Samoan tattoo that used to be necessary if a man wanted to be a Matai, or chief. The tattoo is done over 10 days and is very painful. It extends from the waist to the groin to the legs. You can see Moana's father's pe'a around his waist, signifying his important role.
6. Marlin's trip could be a reality for an actual clownfish.
In Finding Nemo, Nemo's dad takes an epic trip across the ocean to find his missing son. In reality, baby clownfish sometimes trek hundreds of miles across the open ocean to reach other clownfish populations. Want to know something even cooler? Researchers think that the clownfish also ride ocean currents to help them make the journey. So Marlin riding the EAC has some grain of truth to it. No word yet as to whether or not they take on the jellies during their trip.
7. These little biscuits in Brave are a traditional Scottish dessert.
Called tipperary biscuits, the food in Brave that Merida and her brothers kept trying to steal are a classic Scottish dessert. They're made of several different spices, strawberry jam, and a maraschino cherry on top. P.S. They look just as good in real life as they do animated.
8. Phoebus and Esmeralda's outfits were typical of those claiming sanctuary in medieval Europe.
In Medieval Europe, fugitives could "claim sanctuary" to avoid punishment by the law. This process involved staying within a church after committing a crime to avoid prosecution. From then on, you had a certain amount of time to leave the church, hop on a boat, and never come back. To signify that you were a criminal who claimed sanctuary, you were dressed in a simple tunic with no hat or shoes, much like Phoebus and Esmeralda's outfits at the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
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