WTF Fun Fact 13154 – Shaggy’s Real Name

The character Shaggy from the cartoon Scooby Doo has a real name. It turns out that Shaggy is just a nickname. Now, that’s not surprising, but the fact that someone decided to give him enough of a backstory to name him Norville Rogers sure is.

The lowdown on Shaggy’s real name

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers is one of a group of amateur detectives and the slacker of the group, truth be told. Scooby-Doo is his dog, and is just as fond of running away from danger as his owner.

Shaggy is a bit of a hippie, and when the legendary Casey Kasem was asked to voice the character, he was reportedly unsure what hippies were supposed to sound like. Kasem ended up basing the character Walter Donton on the tv show Our Miss Brooks.

Kasem even convinced the producers of Scooby Doo that Shaggy should also be a vegetarian, like Kasem himself.

Since the show began, the character of Shaggy has been voiced by over 20 different people.

Shaggy’s family

Shaggy has quite an extended family. And they have some unique names, including a little sister named Sugie, Uncle Gaggy, Uncle Shaggworthy, and Betty Lous Shaggbilly. Pretty impressive for a guy who is only nicknamed Shaggy!

Of course, Shaggy hails from Coolsville, Ohio and adopted Scooby Doo from Knittingham Puppy Farm. It was after that when Shaggy met Daphne, Fred, and Velma and decided to start Mystery Incorpotated. And it’s no surprise that he’s also the one who bought and painted the Mystery Machine. It does seem like his taste.

According to his Wikipedia entry, there are some other random fun facts about the cartoon character:

“Shaggy’s old nickname was Buzz (apparently for his buzz cut) until his 10th birthday. Fred says that, contrary to what people believe, Shaggy is not skinny because Scooby is always stealing his food, but rather because he’s a vegetarian. But as healthy as Shaggy tries to stay, he has battled unhealthy habits. Velma calculates that he once ate exactly 45% of his body weight. This led to him dieting and starting a new hobby: collecting decorator belt buckles. Shaggy claims to have the largest collection of decorator belt buckles in the world and currently owns 653. He also states that he wears a different belt buckle for every mystery if one pays attention, the joke being that his baggy shirt always hides them.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Shaggy Rogers” — Wikipedia

WTF Fun Fact 13153 – Albert Einstein and Yoda

The appearance of the Star Wars character Yoda was partially influenced by a poster of Albert Einstein hanging in the creator’s studio.

What’s the relationship between Albert Einstein and Yoda?

We suppose that a close look and some squinting at the Star Wars character Yoda could conjure an image of Albert Einstein in one’s head. But they’re hardly twins – and that’s not just because of the green skin and alien visage.

Still, they have more in common than just their supposed wisdom.

Stuart Freeborn is the special effects artist that worked as a Star Wars makeup supervisor and was primarily responsible for Yoda’s final look. And he had a poster of Einstein hanging on the wall of his office.

Freeborn said Einstein played a role in influencing his vision of Yoda. But he also admitted that the character is based on his own face.

CineSecrets had a quote from the artist:

“…A picture of Einstein ended up on the wall behind the Yoda sculptures and the wrinkles around Einstein’s eyes somehow got worked into the Yoda design. Over the course of this evolutionary process Yoda slowly changed from a comparatively spritely [sic], tall, skinny, grasshopper kind of character into the old wise spirited gnome that we all know today. The final step in that transformation was Franks [Oz, sic] insistence that the puppet should have no jaw fitted. That allowed him more freedom for expression as a puppeteer but it also meant that the skin hung loosely below the cheeks and that gave Yoda an older, rather chinless look that is quite different to the drawings Ralph [McQuarrie] did.”

Surprising it is not

Look at them side-by-side and see what you think. The more you look, the more you can see it.

We want to know what Einstein would have thought. There are many photos of the genius looking goofy and joking around. But he wasn’t always known as a good guy. Unlike Yoda, his attitude sometimes outstripped his wisdom.  WTF fun facts

Source: “How Einstein Influenced the Look of Yoda” — Mental Floss

WTF Fun Fact 13112 – Psycho’s Toilet Scene

The Hitchcock thriller Psycho has some memorable scenes, a few of which take place in bathrooms. But Pshcyo’s toilet scene, while not the most iconic bathroom scene, was still a pathbreaker. It was the first American movie to feature an audible toilet flush.

Why is Psycho’s toilet scene unique?

Other films had featured toilets in passing. Silent movies had featured toilets flushing (although it was extremely rare). But the film pushed the envelope on the Hays Code (a self-imposed agreement to stay away from anything morally questionable) by featuring the up-close toilet flush.

It seems silly now, of course. We all flush the toilet. But American audiences were scandalized at the time to see and hear such a seemingly private thing on screen.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Hitchcock who wanted the toilet in the movie, it was reportedly screenwriter Joseph Stefano. According to Screenrant, “Stefano was adamant in showing this to add realism to the movie but Hitchcock stated it must be needed in the script. Stefano then wrote the scene in which Marion Crane flushes evidence down the toilet.”

What gets flushed?

The self-assured Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh, steals money from the real estate office where she works and goes on the run. Of course, there’s an ill-fated stop at the Bates Motel, but before the iconic shower scene, we get the toilet flush heard ’round the world.

After her conversation with Norman Bates, the motel owner, Marian returns to her room and makes notes about her finances. Knowing better than to leave such evidence in writing, she tears up the paper and throws it in the toilet. Getting rid of the evidence for good requires a strong flush.

Apparently, it was necessary to hear that to make it clear that the evidence she created tying her to the theft is gone.

Of course, none of that matters to her anyone once she steps into that shower.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Psycho’s Toilet Flush & 9 Other Movies With Obscure Cinematic Milestones” — Screenrant

WTF Fun Fact 13059 – The Minionese “Language”

Have you seen “Minions,” “Despicable Me,” or “Despicable Me 2”? If so, you may have heard the Minion characters speaking their own language. All Minions are voiced by Pierre Coffin, who also created the language called Minionese.

Minionese and other made-up languages

From Klingon to Elvish, storytellers have been making up their own languages for years. And some fans have ever learned how to speak them.

According to the Motion Picture Association, Minionese is “the lexical version of a hearty stew, made up of words from multiple languages, expressed not only vocally, but through the Minions’ physical comedy. While the creation of Minionese makes narrative sense now that the Minions have a rich backstory…Coffin’s goal was for the audience to understand Minionese without actually knowing the exact verbiage through the Minions huge range of vocal melodies and inflections, as well as their physical actions.”

It takes an interesting mind to create such a dynamic method of communication!

Creating language

Coffin’s first task was creating a backstory for Minions Kevin, Stuart, and Bob. The characters are part of a nomadic tribe in search of a master. In the course of their journey, they’ve taken on bits of different languages they’ve come across. In fact, there are elements of Egyptian, French, and even Transylvanian.

But each character’s intonation means a lot to the language as well. All three Minions have different ways of vocalizing.

According to Coffin:

“You don’t understand their words, you don’t understand their grammar, but you do understand when they’re in a position of conflict, if they’re sad or if they’re happy.”

He actually started building the language while watching silent films. That helped him understand how visual communication would play an integral role in having characters speak something no one had ever heard (but needed to understand if they were going to follow the plot).

When Coffin gets stuck on a line of Minion dialog, he just turns to other languages:

“Every time I got stuck in a sequence or in a shot where I need to express something, I have my Indian or Chinese menu handy. I also know a little bit of Spanish, Italian, Indonesian and Japanese. So I have all these sources of inspiration for their words. I just pick one that doesn’t express something by the meaning, but rather the melody of the words.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Here’s How They Created Minionese, the Language of the Minions” — Motion Picture Association

WTF Fun Fact 13039 – Alternate Names for the Seven Dwarfs

The Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is based on an 1812 fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. But in the original, the dwarfs did not have names. And when Disney decided to make their 1937 film, they went through some interesting alternate names for the seven dwarfs.

Decisions, decisions

According to Disney Diary, “It wasn’t until the 1912 Broadway play “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” that they were given monikers. And the names were not what you think. They were called Blick, Flick, Glick, Pick, Quee, Snick, and Whick.”

Disney didn’t necessarily love those names, so they went through quite a few alternate names for the seven dwarfs until they finally settled on Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy.

We can’t confirm it, but according to Treasured Family Travels, “It is popularly believed that Walt Disney named the Seven Dwarfs after his own seven staff animators: Carmine Coppola, Ted Sears, Les Clark, Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, and William Cottrell.” Or, at least, he named them after their personality traits.

The Seven Dwarfs’ alternate names

According to Mental Floss (cited below): “Disney and co. went through dozens of names before deciding on the seven we know today.” Some of them include Jumpy, Deafy, Chesty (?!), Hickey (again, ?!), Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Tubby, Burpy, and Awful.

Some of those might be a bit too on-the-nose to illustrate in an inoffensive way.

Modern Seven Dwarf Names

Disney Diary notes that modern retellings still change the names of the dwarfs.

“In ‘Mirror Mirror’ with Julia Roberts the dwarfs are named Butcher, Chuckles, Grimm, Grub, Half Pint, Napoleon, and Wolf. In the upcoming “Snow White and the Huntsman,” being released June 1, the names are Beith, Coll, Duir, Gort, Muir, Nion and Quert.”

We may just be biased by childhood fondness, but we think the Disney names are the best.

If you’re bothered by the spelling dwarfs (as opposed to dwarves, you may be interested to know that “dwarves” didn’t become a popular plural until JR Tolkien’s use of the word in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Burpy, Hickey, Chesty and Other Alternate Dwarf Names” — Mental Floss

WTF Fun Fact 12995 – Disney Paint Colors for Invisibility

Disney is known for creating visually stimulating things. But they also created two colors designed to be the most boring on Earth. Go Away Green and Blending Blue are Disney paint colors designed to be ignored.

Why would Disney paint colors be so bland?

Go Away Green and Blending Blue are two of the most used paint colors at the Walt Disney World Resort. They were blended by Disney Imagineers to be so unspectacular that our eyes just pass right over them and never focus on what they’re covering (like doors no guest is meant to enter).

Of course, green and grey/blue have long been used in camouflage as well, but that’s technically to get uniforms to blend into the background.

According to the blog Inside the Magic (cited below), Go-away green is “A very bland shade of green you see a lot of in the park but don’t really think anything about.  It was created with the idea that the common eye would glaze right over it. Unless you’re looking for it, it is all too easy to just glance right past anything painted in this all-too-neutral color. It is used in a lot of places like fences, buildings, the wall around the park… And most famously, the door to the exclusive Club 33.

Neutral colors at Disney

These Disney paint colors aren’t exactly available to the rest of us, but if you’d really like to make your house not stand out, try Aganthus Green by Benjamin Moore.

House Beautiful Magazine says of Go-Away Green that “The color itself doesn’t initially appear to be all that magical (that’s precisely why it’s so great)—it’s really just a barely-there cross between pale gray and green. The unassuming shade blends well with many landscapes, so it’s often used on utility structures, back doors, and other less-than-majestic sights that Disney doesn’t want guests to notice. For instance, bloggers have spotted it disguising a not-so-pretty building behind a restaurant, slathered on a shadowy, nearly blank corner, and even on garbage cans.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Disney Secretly Invented Two Colors (and They’re Everywhere!)” — Inside The Magic Blog

WTF Fun Fact 12981 – Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco is Camp Crystal Lake

Are you a fan of 80s slasher films or Gen X nostalgia in general? Then you might want to visit the Kittatinny Mountain region in northwestern New Jersey. There, you’ll find a Boy Scout camp called Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. It was the setting for the iconic horror film Friday the 13th.

Just make sure you don’t go in the summer because they really don’t like it when people bring up getting murdered in the woods.

Camp-No-Be-Bo-Sco is Camp Crystal Lake

For those who visit, the camp still looks much like it did in the 1980 film about a camp that reopens on Friday the 13th, 1980, decades after a drowning and two grisly murders. The boy who drowned – Jason Voorhees. And his mother is none-too-pleased.

In the film, campers return just like they do in real life each summer. At the real Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, kids enjoy week-long retreats with swimming and games, and arts and crafts. Of course, Camp Crystal Lake was the setting of a new set of a second murderous rampage.

The Boy Scouts of America run the camp (No-Be-Bo-Sco stands for North Bergan Boy Scouts). And they’re very careful about its image and protecting campers from any unnecessary scare tactics from outsiders during the summer.

Things change in the fall.

Touring Camp Crystal Lake (aka “Camp Blood”)

Unaffectionately referred to by campers as “Camp Blood” in the film, those who run the camp these days know that film tours are a great way to raise money. That’s why they hand it over to a group of camp alumni in the fall. The former campers bring in Friday the 13th movie props, invite actors, etc., and run Crystal Lake Adventures. They’ve been leading tours since 2011.

According to an article in Smithsonian Magazine (cited below), whose author took a tour:

“The staff at Crystal Lake Adventures do not do media interviews or allow any commercial photography. My tour guide said events always sell out quickly, and word-of-mouth among Friday the 13th fans provides plenty of publicity.”

Sounds like the perfect way to prepare for Halloween!  WTF fun facts

Source: “The 1980 Slasher Movie ‘Friday the 13th’ Was Filmed at This Boy Scout Camp in New Jersey” — Smithsonian Magazine

WTF Fun Fact 12891 – The First Animated Film

Most of us have been told that the first animated film was Disney’s version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. But Disney had nothing to do with the first – or the second!

Argentina is home to the first animated film

The first animated feature film ever made was an Argentinian creation titled El Apóstol. The 1917 movie is now lost to time after being destroyed in a fire in 1926. However, it was around over 20 years before Disney’s Snow White.

The film was directed and produced by two Italian-Argentine immigrants – Quirino Cristiani and Federico Valle.

El Apóstol is no children’s film. In fact, it was a satire of Hipólito Yrigoyen, Argentina’s president in which he dreams of going to Mount Olympus to talk politics with the Greek god Zeus. He ends up using Zeus’ thunderbolt to rid Buenos Aires of corrupt politicians.

Lost to time

The only reason we know about the film is from records about its release in Buenos Aires. It didn’t appear in theaters outside the city.

The creators got very little money or credit for their creation, and now most people assume that Disney’s film 20 years later was the first piece of animated film history.

Unlike Snow White, El Apóstol was a silent black and white film. It ran 70 minutes long.

Cristiani also created a second animated film called Peludópolis before Disney made his first one – and it had audio. That makes Cristiani the creator of the first animated feature film with sound as well.

There is a documentary about Cristiani that finally credits him with his contribution to animated cinema called Quirino Cristiani: The mystery of the first animated movies. Prior to this, he had largely been forgotten in his home country of Argentina as well.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Quirino Cristiani, The Untold Story of Argentina’s Pioneer Animator” — Animation World Network

WTF Fun Fact 12733 – The PAWSCARS

Each year, American Humane puts on its own award show to celebrate the “furry, winged, and scaled” members of television and film casts. It’s called the PAWSCARS™, and it celebrates animal actors past and present.

American Humane has long played a role in ensuring the health and safety of animals on entertainment sets. According to their website:

“Since 1877, American Humane has been at the forefront of every major advance in protecting animals from abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. American Humane advocates for the American values of caring, compassion and hope. Our programs enrich our communities, prevent abuse of animals, and embrace the power of the human-animal bond. American Humane works in association with the American film and TV industry to help ensure the well-being of animal actors and promote the human-animal bond. They are on the set to protect animal actors. American Humane also celebrates the achievements of extraordinary dogs across the country with its annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards™. In addition, the organization enlists and works with many celebrities who speak on behalf of the voiceless that American Humane aims to protect.”

Their Hollywood initiative also includes the annual award show, which we really think should be televised since we would totally watch that (and we’re sure other animal lovers would too!).

Interestingly, the ASPCA also has Pawscers Awards, but these go to adoptable animals throughout the country, not to animal actors.

American Humane’s PAWSCER awards got the most press in 2016, when fans voted on their all-time favorite animal movies. The winners included

Favorite Animal Buddy Movie of All Time: “Turner and Hooch”

Favorite Animal Drama of All Time: “Seabiscuit”

Favorite Animal Family Movie of All Time: “Old Yeller”

Frankly, we want to know what people were thinking when they chose Old Yeller, which has a pretty devastating ending and scarred generations of children. But to each their own – the people have spoken.

American Humane’s explanation was that “Disney’s timeless classic from 1957 is credited as one of the first films to demonstrate the importance of the human-animal bond, the inextricable link between people, pets and the world we share.”

Overall, the PAWSCERS are designed to honor “some of America’s most treasured institutions.” And while we haven’t heard much about the awards in the last few years, we think it’s time to add more animal award shows to the television line up!

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Pawscers Awards” – The American Humane Society