One of the interesting things about Walt Disney films is the way they borrow from or hold up a mirror to popular culture. Along with great storytelling and good songs, this is quite possibly why people like them in the first place.
In fact, it's how some of us get introduced to great artists such as Elton John, who wrote songs for The Lion King, Billy Joel and Phil Collins, who wrote songs for Disney's Tarzan.
A Goofy Movie
Character: Powerline Musician(s): Prince/Michael Jackson/Devo
When A Goofy Movie was released in 1995, it was pretty cool for this then-nine-year-old. In the film, pop star Powerline was everything you wanted in an über-cool musician: Style, pizzaz, and that "holy jeez" factor that pleases fans worldwide. Very few artists have been able to do that. Prince, Devo, Michael Jackson have wowed fans worldwide.
Powerline was based off two great artists and one great (albeit interesting) band: Prince, Michael Jackson and Devo. If you look closely, you can tell that Powerline is modeled after these musical giants. Powerline has the popularity of Michael Jackson, a voice like Prince (even though Tevin Campbell supplied the actual vocals) and a Devo-style suit... minus the hat.
The Jungle Book
Character(s): The Vultures Musician(s): The Beatles
Originally the Vultures were supposed to be based off the Beatles, and look, talk and act like the Fab Four down to the mop-top hairdos. Originally, Disney was going to get the actual band to voice the birds, and then-manager Brian Epstein even talked to them about the project. The Beatles turned the idea down and John even suggested that the studio hire Elvis instead.