In Disney Animation Studios’ latest, Strange World (2022), the adventurous Clade family embark on a quest to save their idyllic world of Avalonia, down into the depths of an unknown subterranean land.
There’s dad Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal); teenage Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White); mum Meridian (Gabrielle Union); and a host of other refreshingly diverse characters making up their crack team of explorers.
Along for the ride is the family dog Legend: but did you know Legend’s name is a tribute to a member of the movie’s production staff too?
Director Don Hall has been candid about the fact his name comes from legendary and longtime Disney storyboard artist Burny Mattison.
Speaking at a special Strange World Q+A and preview event at London’s British Film Institute, Hall recalled the moment he was convinced by the story team that the family needed a dog to make it complete.
And then when it came down to naming said dog, he recalled the story he also shared with D23 earlier this year:
“One day in a story meeting, Burny said to me, ‘You’re creating such a wonderful world, but you need something grounded to reality. You need a dog,’” Hall recalled. “So, we gave it some thought, and, sure enough, Legend was born.”
“Our nickname for Burny is ‘Legend’ because he’s a bona fide Disney Legend,” Hall continued, “That’s why we named [the dog] Legend. It’s all because of Burny that he exists—and steals every scene he’s in.”
Burny’s previous Disney credits include Lady & The Tramp (1955), Winnie The Pooh (2011) and Big Hero 6 (2014), so he has more than earned the nickname.
So when you go to see Strange World, remember than the adorable three-legged family pet is named after a Disney icon.
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About Strange World:
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jaboukie Young-White, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union and Lucy Liu, Strange World follows he legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest and most crucial mission.