In Weird World, the Kleid family has a three-legged dog named Legend. He is loyal, charming and fearless when it comes to fighting – everything you would want in a canine companion. But the existence of the Legend in the film may be due to exactly one Disney animator, who eventually became the puppy’s namesake.
While Weird World co-director Don Hall was working on the film, one longtime Disney Animation Studios animator insisted on having a dog in the film. That person was Bernie Mattinson, who eventually convinced Hall to turn on the dog (via What’s on Disney+). Mattinson, who had been at Disney since 1953, allegedly didn’t want the problem to go away and soon got the whole office involved in his idea. “He kept telling me the movie needed a dog,” Hall said. “Dogs just scream about family, but Weird World is about family.”
Hall was initially reluctant, as the gelatinous blue Splat (voiced by Alan Tudyk) had already served as the film’s cute pet character. Eventually Mattinson and his co-stars wore down the director, and a Legend was born. The name “Legend” comes from Hall’s nickname for Mattinson, who became an official Disney legend in 2008. This title is a rare honor given to only a handful of artists and performers within the corporation each year.
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