You might already know that Disney’s 100th anniversary is taking place today. It’s a big deal, whether you like the company and its creations or not; who can deny the impact of everything from Snow White to Frozen?
There are lots of things we could say to commemorate the special day. For instance, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride used to contain real skeletons (yep, really). Walt Disney’s surname was an Anglicisation of his original French second name, D’Isgny. All interesting, right?
Well, sure. But the fact that shocked me most had nothing to do with those; for some reason, I never knew that Christian Bale voiced Thomas in Pocahontas.
Yep! He was just 20 at the time. So, it makes sense that, as Bale points out, “He’s the youngest sailor on board ― everything’s new to him.”
It came after the actor’s 1992 appearance in Newsies (oh, you always wondered what a singing teenage Bale with a heavily affected New Yohk accent would sound like? Merry Christmas!).
And it’s far from his only significant voiceover role, either. The actor lent his dulcet tones to the role of Howl in the English version of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle (did everyone else know that?).
Christian Bale went on to play John Rolfe in Terrence Malick’s The New World, another fictionalised story focusing on Pocahontas, ten years after his appearance in the Disney film.
Of course, neither film accurately portrays the exploitative relationship between the real person the stories are based on (her actual name was Amonute, or Matoaka to those closest to her) and her captor.
But if that film ever does get made, I reckon I know a guy who can pick up a role...
Well then. Any other Bale facts?
Yeah, actually ― he’s an interesting guy.
For instance, did you think he was American? Because I did, but it turns out the Welsh-born actor had been playing me like a crwth ― he put on the act for years on purpose.
To be honest, there’s lost of interesting stuff on the actor ― but eh Thomas fact is gonna stick with me for a while, I’m afraid.