The Walt Disney franchise is known for its family-family films and even more for heart-warming stories. Despite the numerous Disney film stories that the franchise has created, there’s no denying that some of these movie adaptations have true stories behind it.
Whether it’s the renowned Remember the Titans, and its inspiring take on achieving dreams, or the Secretariat’s thrilling races. One can say that there’s more than what meets the eye. The stories that have inspired these are much darker than what is shown on screen.
In this article, we take a look at the dark and true stories behind these creations. Read on to learn more about where the franchise remained faithful, and where they started fictionalizing.
Remember the Titans
Plot of the Movie
Released in 2000, Remember the Titans is an American biographical sports film, and it was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer under Walt Disney with the help of director Boaz Yakin. It tells the story of a high school football team in Virginia, and it also deal with racial tensions of the 1970s.
Starring Denzel Washington as Herman Boone, the new head coach of T.C. Williams High School. The film plays out by showing the struggles of Boone and the rest of the team in order to reconcile their differences. At the same time, it also highlights the successes of the team under Boone’s leadership.
Although the film centers on the struggles of Boone in gaining the respect of his players and their success in winning the state championship. The blatant and explicit emphasis on racism and its effects on the team were highly fictionalized to appeal to the public.
Players and coaches themselves voiced out that while racism was highlighted by this film, racial tension was easily overlooked in real life even before the team played their first game. Other key changes that were added by the Walt Disney company included the kiss between Sunshine and Gerry. The song-and-dance routine observed during the warm-ups, and characters, such as Emma Hoyt were fictionalized.
Plot of the Movie
One of the other Disney film stories that remains controversial today is Secretariat. This 2010 film by Randal Wallace details the life of the Thoroughbred race horse, Secretariat, and his owner, Penny Chenery.
The film follows the rigorous training and events leading up to Secretariat’s eventual win the in the 1973 Triple Crown race with the aid of Penny Chenery, who supposedly inherited her father’s horse stables. Secretariat being bestowed to Chenery saved the financial state of her farm.
While this story no doubt highlighted the success of the thoroughbred, Secretariat. Disney failed to take into account, or rather, tried to overlook the fact that Chenery also owned Riva Ridge. Riva Ridge was another prize-winning horse who gained success in the previous year’s Kentucky Derby.
More importantly, the Disney film also failed to mention Angle Light, the horse that won over Secretariat prior to the latter winning the 1973 Triple Crown. Only Sham was mentioned in the film as the antagonist to Secretariat’s shining career.
Another scene that was highly fictionalized by the creators was the foaling scene, where Secretariat was being foaled at Meadow Stud. The thoroughbred’s stamina ignited an emotional response within Chenery, who then experiences a bond with the horse. Unfortunately, the scene never occurred. Chenery was not even in the foaling event.
The Bottom Line
Disney’s family films certainly have a way of touching its viewers’ hearts. However, you must take some of the Disney films with a grain of salt as they tend to embellish the truth for more commercial impact, and a more captivating story.