'Newsies' stars share 30 things fans probably never knew about the iconic Disney movie

David Moscow and Christian Bale in Newsies as Davey and Jack Kelly singing
David Moscow and Christian Bale in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures
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  • The stars of Disney's "Newsies" shared some behind-the-scenes secrets about the 1992 movie.

  • Songs like "A Day at the Beach" and "The Point of No Return" were cut from the film.

  • Ele Keats' real singing voice isn't in the movie, and there are some continuity errors throughout.

David Moscow said he didn't know "Newsies" was going to be a musical when he first auditioned.

David Moscow as Davey in newsies in a white shirt and paperboy cap
David Moscow as Davey.Walt Disney Pictures

David Moscow, who plays Davey in the film, didn't know "Newsies" was going to be a musical during his first audition.

When he was called back for a second audition, he had to sing a capella (he chose Ben E. King's "Stand By Me") and dance (which he did to a song by C+C Music Factory).

He's not a trained dancer, but he said the casting directors "may have thought they were getting somebody better than they were" because he'd just recently wrapped an off-Broadway show about kids learning to dance.

His "Newsies" audition featured the minute or so of dancing he'd been practicing in the show.

Moscow had a good feeling about the role — partially because of the similarities he shares with the character.

David, Les, and Sarah at the end of Newsies looking sad
David Moscow has a brother who goes by Lev, and his character has a brother named Les.Walt Disney Pictures

Despite not having much of a musical background, Moscow had a good feeling about landing the role and thought it was "kismet."

"I thought that it was very symbolic that my character's name was David. I was like, 'Oh, I'm gonna get this,'" he told Insider.

He also said his dad is an "erratic lefty and community organizer in New York," which fit the vibe of the movie.

"Also, my little brother in the movie was called Les, and my little brother in real life was Lev," he said.

Moscow said director Kenny Ortega promised him and Christian Bale they would never look bad.

a dance scene in newsies with paperboys in the air dancing
There are several big dance numbers in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Moscow told Insider that he was "terrified about the singing and the dancing" once he was cast in "Newsies."

"I feel bad for the people who had to teach me," Moscow said, referring to the choreographers and vocal coaches.

He told Insider that director Kenny Ortega promised him and Christian Bale, who starred as Jack Kelly, that they were "not gonna make a bad movie."

"They promised us that we were never gonna look bad," he said. "I think both Christian and I were pretty freaked out."

He added that they worked with him, in part, by cutting the camera away from him or zooming close to his face during big dance scenes.

For Moscow, the hardest thing to learn was a barrel roll.

david moscow as davey in newsies singing with his fists to the sun
David Moscow said he doesn't even know if the barrel roll is in the movie.Walt Disney Pictures

Moscow told Insider that Bale had to do a lot of practice for the lasso dance in "Santa Fe." And the choreographers made Moscow learn how to do a "sort of" barrel roll.

"I don't know if it made the show, but when I accomplished the barrel roll, that was like, that was it. I had reached the pinnacle," he said.

Moscow and Bale shared a trailer wall — and sometimes sang to each other.

Christian Bale next to a horse in newsies
Christian Bale as Jack Kelly.Walt Disney Pictures

Moscow said he and Bale shared a "double banger," which is a large trailer with an accordion divider in the middle.

He told Insider you "could literally hear everything" on either side of the divider and the two would mess around.

"I would start singing like the 'National Anthem' and he would start singing 'God Save the Queen' and we would try and out-sing each other as loud as we could," he said. "And it would happen at any moment."

Marty Belafsky auditioned for multiple roles.

Crutchy (Marty Belfasky) and newsboys singing in Newsies
Marty Belafsky worked with Kenny Ortega before "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Belafsky told Insider he auditioned for "Newsies" after working with Ortega on the NBC musical series "Hull High."

He said he auditioned for the roles of Davey and Racetrack Higgins in addition to Crutchy, which he got.

Some of the cast had to do martial-arts training, but it was more complicated for Belafsky.

The newsboys in Newsies sitting by where the papers are sold
"Newsies" has a few fight scenes.Walt Disney Pictures

Belafsky told Insider the cast did tumbling and martial-arts training to prepare for some of the fight scenes.

But because his character has a crutch, learning choreography and moves was a bit more complicated.

"I actually had training on like how to use my crutch as a weapon," he recalled, adding that he would spin it and use it "like a staff."

"I learned all these cool martial-arts techniques with my crutch and I was like, 'Oh, I can't wait to kick some ass with my crutch,'" he said.

He added that he was "bummed" because the scene in "Carrying the Banner" where Crutchy got to "show off his fighting skills" got cut.

The "Newsies" cast had water-gun fights on set.

newsboys posing for the newspaper photo in Newsies
The cast would run around in their period costumes holding Super Soakers.Walt Disney Pictures

Moscow said Super Soakers, a type of recreational water gun, were popular during filming.

"If you got Kenny Ortega with your water gun that'd be amazing," he said, adding that it was also a bonus if you hit the choreographers or Disney executives.

Belafsky said he remembered having water-gun fights on a "Back to the Future" set that was next to "Newsies" on the Universal lot and added that people taking studio tours would sometimes see them playing with Super Soakers in their period costumes.

Max Casella found out about "Newsies" from Neil Patrick Harris.

"Doogie Howser, M.D." Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris on "Doogie Howser, M.D."ABC

Max Casella originally auditioned to play Jack Kelly, but he was cast as the newsie Racetracks Higgins.

"The first time I heard about Newsies was from Neil Patrick Harris," he said, adding that Harris was also planning to audition for the movie.

Casella and the "How I Met Your Mother" actor were costars on the ABC sitcom "Doogie Howser, M.D." at the time.

Casella said a lot of his character's dialogue was improvised.

Max Casella in a hat and vest as Racetrack Higgins in "Newsies."
Max Casella as Racetrack Higgins in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Casella said he "improvised most of my dialogue" because his character didn't have much in the script.

To research and immerse himself in the late 19th century, he said he "spent a lot of time looking at old microfilm of newspapers from the period 1899" at the LA public library.

Casella "almost threw up" while filming with his character's iconic cigar.

newsies at the beginning of carrying the banner in movie newsies
Racetrack almost always has a cigar.Walt Disney Pictures

Racetrack spends a lot of the film with a cigar near his mouth. And it wasn't just a prop — Casella said it was real.

"Actually, I inhaled by accident. I almost threw up, it was disgusting. It was a bad choice. I wouldn't do it again. It was really gross," he said.

Arvie Lowe Jr said they sometimes had to do "a lot of takes" for the cast members going through puberty.

Boots (Arvie Lowe Jr) in newsies looking confused
Arvie Lowe Jr as Boots.Walt Disney Pictures

Arvie Lowe Jr, who played the newsies Boots, said he was around 12 years old when the movie was filmed.

"Puberty happened to me on the set. So the voice was changing, you know, during that time," he said.

He added that he and costar Luke Edwards, who was around the same age, ended up having to do "a lot of takes" because of their vocal changes.

Casella taught other kids on set how to do a New York accent.

Max Casella as racetrack higgins in newsies
Max Casella in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Although he grew up in Massachusetts, Casella's parents were from New York.

Since a lot of his costars were from California, he said they "had to sort of learn" how to have a more East Coast accent.

"They would actually ask me with all the kids to go and coach them in sounding like a New Yorker," he said

"Max Casella was the Renaissance guy on set for the New York accent," Lowe told Insider.

Belafsky said the original script was much different from what was filmed.

newsboys singing in Newsies
"Newsies" was originally billed as a drama.Walt Disney Pictures

Belafsky recalled the original audition script being "a little darker," with different characters and scenes.

He said he remembered the newsie Boots having a father or uncle who ran a Harlem nightclub where all of the newsboys would hang out.

"There was a whole sequence that took place in like this underground, like jazz club or something in Harlem that obviously wasn't in the movie," he told Insider.

Some "edgier" scenes were cut from the film as well, according to Casella.

Jack Kelly dressed in nice clothes as a scabber in Newsies
Max Casella said a scene involving Jack Kelly as a scabber was cut.Walt Disney Pictures

Casella told Insider some "edgier" scenes from the movie didn't make the final cut.

For example, he said there was a scene after Jack became a scab where Racetrack told him off.

He also said an entire verse about shooting craps and gambling got cut from the opening song, "Carrying the Banner."

Lowe's modern-day watch is visible in a crucial scene.

boots reaching for bread in newsies movie
There's one scene where the actor accidentally left his personal watch on.Walt Disney Pictures

In one scene, the camera zooms in on Boots ringing a bell, and Lowe's modern-day watch is visible on his wrist.

"The wardrobe guy always came and took my watch because I'm a kid, I'm 12. I was like, 'Wait, this is one of the coolest watches I own, like, I'm not taking it off.' It just so happens that one day he forgot to collect my stuff and put it in the bag," Lowe told Insider.

He added, "All of a sudden the sleeve comes down — now there's the watch. And then it ended up in the final cut."

Lowe also recalled Ortega seeing it in the cut and telling him, "So you know that watch? Just couldn't take it off for one day, could you?'"

The Brooklyn Bridge scene was filmed in a studio in California.

Newsies brooklyn bridge scene a group of boys on a bridge
Ths bridge can be found in California.Walt Disney Pictures

Lowe said the Brooklyn Bridge scene was filmed on the first day of shooting. And they never left California to do it.

"They had a section of a bridge on the Universal lot that we were going to walk across and then when they pan out, it's gonna be a huge, older version of the Brooklyn Bridge," he said.

He said Ortega kept yelling to them that it was "gonna be really cool" and they had to use their "imagination" while filming it.

Moscow had to drop his natural New York accent, but you can still hear it in one scene.

David Moscow as Davey wearing a paper boy hat talking to spot conlan during the brooklyn bridge scene
In this scene, you can hear his New York accent.Walt Disney Pictures

Moscow was one of the only native New Yorkers cast in "Newsies."

He said he "had a heavy New York accent," but on day two or three of filming, the creators decided to "get rid of" it.

"They were basically like, 'David is going to be the educated kid. And he has this seem different than the rest of the kids. So let's lose that,'" he said.

But if you pay close attention to the scene where Davey, Jack, and Boots meet Spot Conlan in Brooklyn, Moscow's accent randomly appears.

"You can hear what my accent would've been like for the rest of the movie," he told Insider.

Jack's hair and wardrobe shift halfway through the movie.

christian bale as jack kelly in the brooklyn scene of newsies on the docks
The Brooklyn scene happens around the middle of the movie.Walt Disney Pictures

Jack's look — particularly his hair and wardrobe — also randomly changes during the Brooklyn scene.

Lowe said Jack's hair is different and his clothes look "spiffy" and "really brand new because they didn't know that it was gonna get weathered."

"Once we started to get into the crux of shooting 'Newsies,' it was more like, 'OK, Jack has to dirty his stuff up a little bit.' But if you see him in Brooklyn, he looks clean," he told Insider. "Like everything's ironed and, you know, his hair is even done differently that day."

A number of songs didn't make it into the final film.

newsies ensemble a bunch of paperboys dressed up and singing in a crowd
Alan Menken and Jack Feldman wrote additional songs for "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Alan Menken, who cocreated the music for "Newsies," shared a number of the tracks that didn't make the final cut with Insider.

For example, he said "A Day at the Beach" was about the newsies trying to "rev up their courage."

"Don't Come A'Knocking" was also cut, and the composer said it was likely meant to be for Medda, played by Ann-Margret. A version of the song was later featured in the "Newsies" Broadway musical.

One of the songs that got cut from the film featured Sarah.

Newsies in the basement using Pulitzers printer
"The Point of No Return" was going to be played around this scene in the movie.Walt Disney Pictures

Ele Keats, who played Sarah Jacobs, said she was originally supposed to sing in "The Point of No Return," another song that got cut from the film.

Menken played the song for Insider, and it features a lot of shushing and lyrics tied to Les, Davey, Jack, Denton, and Sarah sneaking into Pulitzer's basement to print their own newspaper.

Keats is a trained singer, but they didn't even use her voice for Sarah's one solo line.

sarah jacobs in medda's lounge smiling and wearing a hat in newsies
Ele Keats said she's still bummed she didn't get to sing.Walt Disney Pictures

Keats told Insider that the one "quick" line Sarah sings in "Once and for All" isn't even her voice.

"It was actually my voice coach," she said. "And I think it was kind of a situation where they were in the studio and pressed for time and they just had her just like sing it real quick."

Keats said she's actually a trained singer with a musical background and was disappointed she didn't get to sing.

"King of New York" was a last-minute addition.

a newsie on the table holding a newspaper in Newsies king of new york
"King of New York" is one fo the bigger dance numbers in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Bill Pullman, who plays the reporter Denton, has one song with the newsboys. But it wasn't always in the script.

"They needed a song for Bill Pullman to pull together the connection with the newsboys cause it felt very disconnected, so they threw that song together," Keats told Insider.

She said it was "literally thrown together at the last possible second."

"The Truth About the Moon" was never supposed to be in the "Newsies" movie.

original broadway cast of newsies bowing on opening night
"Newsies" opened on Broadway in 2012.Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Fans have long speculated that the unreleased ballad "The Truth About the Moon" was written for Sarah and Jack in the 1992 film.

But Menken debunked the rumor, telling Insider it was written for (and cut from) the "Newsies" musical that debuted 20 years later.

It was supposed to be a duet between Katherine Plumber — a character from the musical who's a combination of Denton and Sarah from the movie — and Jack Kelly.

Keats said she and Bale dated during filming but broke up right before shooting their big scene.

Ele Keats as Sarah in Newsies on the rooftop
Ele Keats as Sarah Jacobs.Walt Disney Pictures

Keats said she and Bale were dating while they filmed the scene where Jack and Sarah talk on the fire escape. But by the time they filmed the big rooftop scene months later, they'd broken up.

"The first part of that roof scene, we had just started dating and we were like goo-goo gaga. The top of the roof scene, we had broken up, and I was not feeling good towards him that day. And I was really upset about something," she told Insider.

She said she wasn't even speaking to Bale at the time, and Ortega had to give her a pep talk before filming the scene.

The movie was originally going to have a much more dramatic ending.

end of newsies jack kelly on carriage
The ending of the film was limited by the budget.Walt Disney Pictures

Menken said some scenes were adjusted because Disney gave "Newsies" a "very limited" budget.

"So, for instance, you have that moment where Teddy Roosevelt is taking Jack to go the train to Santa Fe," Menken told Insider. "Well, he was supposed to go there, but they didn't wanna spend the money for the train."

Instead of building a train set or renting out Grand Central Station, the carriage with Roosevelt and Jack travels in an unceremonious circle, and Jack decides to stay in New York.

Menken won a Razzie for "Newsies" at the same time he won Oscars for another Disney film.

Medda in Newsies singing in a show to a newsboy during High Times, Hard times
Ann-Margret played Medda in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

The same year he won an Oscar, Menken won a Razzie for worst song of the year for "High Times, Hard Times."

"I found out that won the Razzie award for worst song of the year literally backstage when I was in the press room for having received the two Oscars for 'Beauty and the Beast," he said.

The 1990s were a "renaissance" period of his career, when he worked on several classic Disney films, like "Aladdin" and "The Little Mermaid."

But he said "Newsies" was the "poor, underprivileged child of the bunch."

"Santa Fe" came together really quickly.

Christian Bale as Jack Kelly in Newsies singing Santa Fe
"Santa Fe" is Christian Bale's big ballad in the film.Walt Disney Pictures

Jack Feldman, who wrote the lyrics for "Newsies," said Jack Kelly's ballad came together pretty easily.

"Some of the Disney executives were talking about how the lead character has this dream of living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and getting away from the really tough life of New York City," Feldman said. "And Alan, who was sitting right across the table from me, started to sing a tune using the words 'Santa Fe' and those notes never changed."

The musicians tweaked the song going forward, but the main tune remained intact.

Feldman was "psyched" to rewrite some of the songs for Broadway.

original broadway cast of newsies performing on opening night in 2012
There are a few differences between the "Newsies" movie and musical.Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images

Feldman said he couldn't wait to rewrite songs for the "Newsies" Broadway musical.

Some of the song changes were necessary because the musical introduced different characters and plot points. But other parts he "had just never been satisfied with," so he was "psyched" to be able to tweak some lyrics.

He said fans of the original movie often came up to him and were sad about all the alterations.

"I felt badly, but not badly enough that it stopped me from doing it," he said, adding he was "thrilled" to have the chance to make some of the songs "better."

Keats thought fans disliked her character because they were jealous of her — she didn't know about the Jack/Davey shippers.

Davey and Jack Kelly in Newsies looking at each other
David Moscow and Christian Bale in "Newsies."Walt Disney Pictures

Keats said that she thought "Newsies" fans didn't like the character of Sarah because they were jealous of her relationship with dreamy Jack Kelly.

But before speaking with Insider, the actress wasn't aware of the subsection of "Newsies" fans who "ship" Jack and Davey.

"That's fucking hilarious 'cause David and Christian are the most heterosexual males, you know, it's funny," she said.

She added that the gay relationship would probably be more accepted today than in the early 1990s, but either way, it's just a "fan fantasy."

Read the original article on Insider