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Disney Legend Andreas Deja Reveals Walt Disney’s Funniest Movie

Walt Disney created so many classic animated films that are still loved by millions of people around the world today. Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland… the list goes on and on. There are so many classic films that have stood the test of time that Walt Disney created.

However, Disney Legend Andreas Deja revealed which animated film is Walt Disney’s funniest movie during a recent interview with the Walt Disney Family Museum:

I don’t think I’m the only one who would say this, but I think it’s one of the funniest [films] that Walt Disney has done. It has some of the funniest characters they’ve ever done. There is so little story. There’s not a lot happening. The kid just wants to stay in the jungle and he’s running into these eccentric characters and interacts with them. That’s really the gist of the story until Baloo and Bagheera finally decide, “It's time, we have to take him to the Man Village.” Because there is so little story structure, there is room for personality. There's room for them to interact. There's room too for eccentricities and that's what I think people really gravitated toward.

I don't know if I've seen in previous [Disney] films [where] an animated character is mocking what another animated character just said. We have that pencil test [on display] where Baloo had just met Mowgli, and Bagheera comes running in because he hears the big bear roar (of) Baloo teaching Mowgli how to sound like a bear. Then (Baloo and Bagheera) have a conversation, and Baloo says he’s going to teach Mowgli all he knows. Bagheera says, “Oh, and how do you think he will survive?” Baloo doesn't want to hear that. He just says, “How do you think he will survive?” I’ve never seen an animated character do that. He's mocking him. Frank Thomas just animated that so beautifully. There are a few other times [this happens,] Kaa the snake does the same thing when (he) falls down the tree and he's got a knot in his tail. As he's trying to slither off, Mowgli sees this and he goes to Bagheera, “He's got a knot in his tail!” Kaa (retorts) mockingly, “He's got a knot in his tail!” That kind of stuff just hadn't been done. It's just so funny that the characters act in such a believable way. It's like a level beyond what you had known from Disney Animation. It goes further with the relationship of the characters and the way they interact, and I think people gravitate toward that. People like rich characters and to laugh at character gags, not necessarily story gags.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is hosting a special exhibition, Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book: Making a Masterpiece. The movie is celebrating its 55th anniversary, and Disney Legend and Disney animator Andreas Deja is curating the exhibit, which is currently on view at the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall now through January 8th, 2023, at the WDFM.

For more information on this exhibit, click here.


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