How much exactly did Disney fork out of their seemingly bottomless pockets to buy both Marvel and George Lucas’ Star Wars Universe? It’s extremely likely that by simply owning these lucrative brands they’ll make their money back very quickly not to mention how much they’ll make from churning out sequels in the next few years but it hasn’t always been so easy for the house that Walt built.

In fact, back in the day several cinematic releases very near left the company in ruins and poor old Mickey living rough on the mean streets of Toon Town. Here, What Culture brings you the 10 Disney movies that almost ruined them financially. We’re pretty certain that many of the titles involved will surprise you – read on.

10. Dumbo

We’ve seen a shoe fly. We’ve seen a house fly. Thanks to Disney we’ve seen a bloody elephant fly! But ironically it was the contents of Walt’s own man purse that was doing the flying (out of the window) when Dumbo hit the big screen back in 1941.

Despite its massive success over the years, especially on VHS and DVD, Dumbo was the unrecognised victim of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour. With those horrific events taking centre stage viewing figures for Dumbo dwindled way below expectations thus causing it to struggle to claw back its $800,000 budget.

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This article was first posted on November 8, 2012