Animated movies have become part of our cultural heritage.
What you may not know is that some of them are based on real-life people and events!
Here are 8 animated blockbusters that beautifully blend fact with fiction!
This story was inspired by the life of Hua Mulan, a legendary female warrior whose father taught her martial arts, horseback riding, archery and how to use a broadsword. Over a 12-year period she fought alongside the bravest of men, gaining a reputation as one of fiercest warriors of her generation. The awesome part? No one realized she was a woman!
Anastasia was one of Tsar Nicolas II's daughters, who was executed in 1918 alongside the rest of her family. Despite this, no less than 30 women have since claimed to be Anastasia, saying that the Grand Duchess had been miraculously saved from the firing squad!
In 2006, construction began on an immense skyscraper in Seattle. 85 year-old Edith Macefield lived in the middle of the intended site, but refused to leave her home. Despite being offered 1 million dollars, she politely turned down the offer and said that she intended to finish her days in her own home.
4. Snow White
Snow White was based on the real-life story of Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina von Erthal, who was born in 1729 in an old castle called Lohr am Main. As we far we know, no portrait of Maria has ever been found, but the castle has since become a museum, complete with its own 'enchanted mirror'!
This famous mirror was a gift from Maria's father to his new bride. It was a musical mirror made by specialist craftsmen and gave birth to the 'talking mirror' story.
The name Pocahontas means 'little wanton' in reference to a playful child. It was the nickname that an Indian chief gave to his daughter Matoaka (which means 'Bright Stream Between the Hills').
According to legend, in 1607 Pocahontas saved a man called Captain John Smith, a British colonist who was about to be executed by the tribe.
In 1613, she was captured by the colonists and held for ransom. She later went on to marry a tobacco plantation owner, John Rolfe, who converted her to Christianity. This led to her being baptized and re-named Rebecca. This union resulted in 8 years of peace between the native population and the British colonists.
This animated adventure movie is also based on fact. In 1925 a village called Nome was struck by a diphtheria epidemic. Balto was a pure bred husky and head of the village's pack. This sled dog led his pack over 84km in order to bring back medicines for the village's children and, thanks to his bravery, the epidemic was wiped out in 5 days!
The story of Balto is still taught in Alaskan schools and every year this 'Great Race of Mercy' is celebrated with the 1925 serum run to Nome. A statue of this canine hero stands in the middle of Central Park in New York.
Carlo Lorenzini, the original author, didn't like kids and this is why he created a naughty character who also told lots of lies. The punishments he received were designed to 'match the level of his deeds' and he even ended up being hung from a tree! Readers, however, were not happy about the treatment of this nonetheless loveable hero, at which point Lorenzini brought the character back to life at the request of his editor.
8. The Road to El Dorado
Some things should never be shown to kids and this animated movie contains a scene with 'hidden adult humor'. In the scene, Tulio and Chel are alone in a room making out. Moans are heard followed by Chel sitting up and appearing a bit disgusted and shocked whilst Tulio has a broad grin on his face. Although we don't actually see what's going on, you may not consider it 'family viewing'!