Daring to Dream

Bit Parts and References

once upon a studio the simpsons chip n dale: rescue rangers olaf presents the wonderful world of mickey mouse lilo & stitch

Once Upon a Studio

Disney100 is the name of campaign commemorating the studio's 100th Anniversary. Among the releases for Disney100 was a new nine-minute short dropped on D+, titled Once Upon a Studio in which many varied characters from the animated canon gather together outside the studio's front doors for a group photograph, organized by Mickey and Minnie. A couple of TLM characters get their moment in the short, namely Flounder, Ursula, Max, Ariel and Eric. Flounder gets saved by Moana, Ursula backs away from Strange World's Splat, Max steals Prince Charming's shoe, and Ariel sings a line in the final gathering. There may be more in the group shot or in the background, let me know in the comments!

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The Simpsons: Welcome to the Club

Long-running animated TV show The Simpsons has made many references to Disney media before, but those kinds of references took on a different vibe when the studio that owns the show, Fox, was bought by Disney in 2017.

In September 2022, Disney+ released a new short titled The Simpsons: Welcome to the Club, where Lisa Simpson wants to become an official Disney Princess but gets detoured into the Villains section instead. She meets various villains, and among them is Ursula, who kicks off a musical number, as is her wont. Dawnn Lewis voices Ursula in this short.

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Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

The 2022 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie is a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-style universe where animated characters live in the regular world and work as actors to create animated films and television shows. This includes Chip and Dale, the stars of the 1980s TV show "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers" and former best friends who have become estranged. The pair are brought back together when their friend Monterey Jack is kidnapped, and they get involved to find out what happened and rescue him.

In the movie's main plot, animated characters are mysteriously going missing, and the earliest example the movie gives is Flounder, who racked up a debt with the Valley Gang that he couldn't repay. The Valley Gang's MO is to kidnap and nightmarishly edit characters into knock-off versions of themselves, and are then forced to create bootleg content. "The Little Mermaid", for example, becomes "The Small Fish Lady". Flounder is voiced by Rachel Bloom.

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Olaf Presents

Olaf the sentient snowman of the Frozen films had a particularly memorable moment in Frozen 2 where he "recapped" the events of Frozen.

That little skit proved very succcessful, and in 2021 resulted in a series of original Disney+ shorts where Olaf gets to recap various classic films in his style. One of those shorts is for The Little Mermaid, where Olaf plays Ariel, Triton, Ursula, Sebastian and Chef Louis, and Sven gets to be Eric.

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The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse

The classic Mickey Mouse shorts got a modern, comedically surreal revival in the mid-2010s. Featuring the favourites of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, along with many of their beloved friends and antagonists, the shorts eventually came under a new title: The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse, in 2020 for online streaming.

In the 2020 episode Keep on Rollin' Peg-Leg Pete crashes the gang's disco night part at the roller rink. Pete's date (and part of his gang) is none other than Ursula the sea witch, here voiced by the redoubtable Pat Caroll in all her crackling glory. Like the other Mickey Mouse shorts it has a specific type of humour that if it lands, is utterly fantastic in its wackiness, and I am totally here for it. Many thanks to Shira for notifying me about this episode!

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Lilo & Stitch

The 2002 movie Lilo & Stitch is one of the more odd and experimental films of the later animated canon, but a success for those very things. The marketing for the movie reflected awareness of the film's odd duck status, and there were a couple of teaser trailers that featured Stitch "crashing" into previous animated films. Among those teasers is one where Ariel gets interrupted during her classic "Part of Your World (reprise)" scene, which was reanimated with an adjusted colour palette.



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