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What Could Have Been: Disney And Pixar
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In general, as it takes a very, very long time to make an animated feature film, many films are significantly different during early stages of their productions. Others never even see the light of day. Books have been published, long ones, filled with concept art from these earlier iterations and dropped projects. And occasionally, you may find early test footage on the DVDs.

    Disney Animated Canon 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
    • The film originally had more scenes with the Prince who would have been imprisoned by the Queen in a dungeon and then make a daring escape. The main reason for dropping it was that the animators were not yet experienced enough to handle the extra work of making a believable human character, what with Snow White and the Queen already taxing their skills. Some of these ideas were eventually used (more than 20 years later!) in Sleeping Beauty. Additionally, some of the scenes with the Dwarfs were also cut, mostly to tighten up the story. The best known of these was the "Music In Your Soup" song, which was eventually shown on the Disneyland program and in other specials in pencil test form. There's also a missing scene where the Dwarves build a bed for Snow White, which turned up in a childrens' book.
    • Snow White was also going to include all three of the Queen's assassination attempts (poison comb, bodice suffocation and the poison apple) but eventually streamlined it to just the apple instead. Up until very late in production, just the bodice was cut, with the comb remaining. Take a look at the title card in the beginning, there is a comb visible.
    • Dopey was originally going to have speaking parts, like the other dwarfs rather than being The Silent Bob. However, he was made mute because a voice actor wasn't able to be found for him.
  • Pinocchio:
    • Gideon was going to speak and be voiced by Mel Blanc. Blanc recorded lines for him, but after the popularity of Dopey it was decided that he would be more likable mute. Blanc's voice can still be heard when Gideon hiccups. Gideon still giggled a bit in the December 1939 radio adaptation broadcasted to promote the film.
    • Another deleted scene was originally the donkey Lampwick was supposed to join Pinocchio and Jiminy in their escape from Pleasure Island but he is caught by the Coachman's minions and as he is being carried away, he says, "Go on save yourselves, I'm a goner". However, some storybook adaptations keep the scene.
    • As seen on bonuses in the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the film, there were at least three more possible ideas for scenes that were ultimately deleted:
      • First, after dousing Pinocchio's burning finger after he plays with a candle, Geppetto puts him to bed while warning him never to play with fire because he is made of wood and should be proud of it because, as Geppetto tells it in a bedtime story, Pinocchio's grandfather is a noble pine tree, a proud monarch of the forest.
      • Second was an alternate scene of Geppetto, Figaro and Cleo starving inside Monstro the whale, in which Geppetto manages to catch a package, which he hopes contains food, only to actually contain a cookbook. Figaro sees the cookbook, which is open to a page on cooking fish and he tries to eat Cleo. Geppetto stops his every attempt, only to almost eat the goldfish himself before coming to his senses. Like the deleted scene of Lampwick being carried off by the Coachman, this scene was used in storybook adaptations. This may also have served as the basis for the first Figaro short, "Figaro and Cleo", which features a similar plot of Figaro trying to eat Cleo, although in that cartoon, he is stopped not by Geppetto, but by a black "mammy"-type maid.
      • Third was a simpler ending, in which the film ends on the beach where they escape from Monstro. In this scene, it is Geppetto who is unconscious and Pinocchio who thinks he is dead and blames himself for allowing him to die, breaking down crying as he does so. Then Geppetto comes to as Pinocchio becomes, right then and there, a real boy. Geppetto exclaims, "Pinocchio! What's happen to you?" The whole group, which also includes Figaro, Cleo and Jiminy, is ecstatic. The group, sans Jiminy, dances off down the beach while Jiminy stays behind, thanking the wishing star, after which, as in the final film, a shiny new badge appears on his shirt and the cricket sees the star reflected in the badge.
    • One of the many songs to made for, but ultimately not used in, Pinocchio was a song for Jiminy Cricket called "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow", which was used in another Disney film, Fun and Fancy Free, in which Jiminy also appears.
  • Fantasia:
    • The movie was supposed to be a periodic, if not yearly, event, with brand-new music and sequences for every rerelease. Unfortunately, the onset of World War II nixed this. This may be the most haunting of all the Disney couldabeens, as it could have changed the history of Western Animation! Imagine if it had gone beyond classical music and into swing, big band, rock, pop music and so on? We sort of saw a glimpse of what might have been with the anthology features like Make Mine Music.
    • Fantasia 2006 was to focus on world music and segments were completed for it before the plug was pulled. They subsequently became standalone shorts: "One by One" and "The Little Match Girl" are included as bonus features on the special edition DVDs of The Lion King II and The Little Mermaid, respectively; Lorenzo screened before Raising Helen in theaters, and Destino has appeared at film festivals and, curiously, cruise ship art auctions. They all appeared at a 2008 Los Angeles screening hosted by Roy as well.
    • The original Fantasia was going to include "Clair De Lune"; but it was cut. It was animated and you can see it here; the sequence was recycled for Make Mine Music by changing the music to "Blue Bayou" instead.
  • Bambi:
    • The hunter was going to actually appear, but it led to a dilemma; kids wouldn't accept a character killing the protagonist's mother unless he was evil, but Disney didn't want to make it seem that they were demonizing hunters (as if the finished film hasn't turned who knows how many kids off that pastime), so the character was cut.
    • According to Thomas & Johnston's Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, Walt had also expressed an interest in showing the dead hunters later in the film, having been caught in the forest fire that they themselves started. He backed off this idea when one of the animators asked him how well-done he wanted the hunters.
    • Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit was going to be revealed as the killer of Bambi's mom, but this would have messed up the "Toons are actually actors" angle of the film.
    • Another story goes that that the people who made Beauty and the Beast wanted to imply it was Gaston who killed Bambi's mom. Just goes to show you that nobody shoots like Gaston!!!
  • The two sequences of Fun and Fancy Free, "Bongo" and "Mickey and the Beanstalk", were in development since 1940 and '41 as two standalone features. "Beanstalk" (originally named "The Legend of Happy Valley") was brought to the screen largely as originally conceived, but a planned scene of how Mickey got the magic beans in exchange for the cow was dropped. "Bongo", meanwhile, was considered to happen in parallel with Dumbo, and feature some characters from that film. It was also planned that Bongo have a chimpanzee for a partner. In the woods, they would meet two mischievous bear cubs. The character designs were also more realistic than would appear in the final film. But with the infamous Disney animators' strike of 1941 and then the outbreak of World War II, production on both films was halted. After the war, the studio was hurting for cash, and Walt didn't think that the two films were strong enough to each merit a standalone film. So, between that and the need to bring in some much-needed cash, the studio packaged the two films together as an Animated Anthology. Ironically, the two films did air individually on television as part of the Walt Disney anthology series, as well as released individually, as well as together, on home video.
  • The trope image (also from a children's book) depicts an unproduced scene from Alice in Wonderland. Apparently, the Cheshire Cat's recitation of the opening lines of "Jabberwocky" was to give way to an actual encounter with the Jabberwock itself, voiced by Stan Freberg. It was trashed for evidently being too scary. The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle were also apparently at some point planned to appear.
    • An earlier adaptation was planned for the thirties. The storyboards were done by David Hall and very grotesque and quite dark. It was also much closer to the book. The Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland contains a homage to this early treatment: a signpost topped by the head of the Mad Hatter.
    • Apparently, Disney even toyed with the idea of having a live-action Alice explore an animated Wonderland, as in his early "Alice Comedies".
    • Janet Waldo, best known as Judy Jetson, was considered at one point to voice Alice. She would later voice Alice in Hanna-Barbera's own version of Alice in Wonderland, televised in 1966 over ABC.
  • Peter Pan:
    • Disney had been planning an adaptation of the story in the thirties. Unfortunately, the studio was hurting for money, and Peter and Alice in Wonderland were put on hiatus until after World War Two. If you can find the film The Reluctant Dragon, you can spot very early concept art for these and several other films.
    • An alternate opening shows Peter deciding to fly from Never Land to Earth in order to find a potential mother for the Lost Boys. Though in the finished film, having Wendy be their mother was an afterthought of his.
    • It was originally intended that Nana the dog would accompany Peter and the Darlings to Neverland.
  • Lady and the Tramp also has lots of it:
    • It wasn't a love story originally; the focus was entirely on Lady and Junior, because the story was based on Joe Grant's (Disney's most prominent writer) cocker spaniel and how she reacted to Grant's wife's pregnancy.
    • Tramp had several names, "Homer", "Rags," and "Bozo", mostly because of this.
    • On top of this, an extra was meant to be in a Love Triangle with Lady and the Tramp, the rat was going to be less threatening and more comedic and speak in a gangster-type voice, Lady's only neighbor was a dog named Hubert, Sarah was supposed to be a stereotypical overbearing mother-in-law, Jim Dear and Darling were named Jim and Elizabeth Brown. And finally, Si and Am were called Nip and Tuck.
    • The dog pound was to be an example of Fantastic Racism, where dogs with collars and dogs without collars were separated, and the dogs without collars more likely doomed to execution.
    • It was originally considered that when Jock and Trusty went to stop the dog catcher's wagon from reaching the pound, the wagon would crush and kill Trusty. Walt thought it was no different than Bambi losing his mother, but Peggy Lee insisted that it would be too dark. Walt capitulated, and in the final film, while it looks as though Trusty is indeed killed as intended, he shows up at the finale alive, but with a broken leg.
  • The Jungle Book:
    • The original draft for the filmwas a bit closer to the book, and really grim.
    • The vultures were direct caricatures of The Beatles. Where they now merely have Liverpool accents and a few of them have Moptop -er- feathercuts, they were once supposed to be voiced by the Fab Four. Their song "We're Your Friends" was to be a Beatles-style '60s rock song. The Fab Four's schedule didn't help this plan. But more interestingly, Walt Disney assumed the song would become hopelessly dated. So if you, as a kid, always wondered why a bunch of birds who sound like the Beatles suddenly break into a barbershop quartet song of all things, there's your answer. Walt thought barbershop would age better. Another reason it was never meant to be was the fact John Lennon absolutely refused to work with the Disney corporation.
    • The vulture group originally had the company of a short-sighted rhino named Rocky, who was to be voiced by Frank Fontaine.
  • In Robin Hood, there was storyboard material that showed the Sheriff of Nottingham at the wedding in the ending, implying that he had reformed or was at least pardoned for his actions. This was cut and his fate had him working on the rock pile along with Prince John and Sir Hiss.
    • The original ending also had Prince John stab Robin Hood and chase him and Maid Marian into a church. Both are saved by a timely arrival from King Richard.
    • Friar Tuck was going to be a pig, but this was considered too offensive and so was changed to a badger. Likewise, the Sheriff was going to be a naggy goat, but was changed to a more intimidating wolf.
  • The Rescuers went through a lot of iterations before hitting the screen. At first, the mice were to rescue a political prisoner, which, believe it of not, is in-line with the original books. Then they were to rescue a bear from the zoo, or a depressed poet. The bear idea was scrapped due to Author Existence Failure. Before it was completely retooled into the film we know today, Cruella DeVil was going to be the villain. Note how similar Madame Medusa is to Cruella at her -er- cruelest.
  • Originally, the character of Chief in The Fox and the Hound was going to die after being hit by a train, making Copper's revenge against Tod more extreme. Disney decided to let the character live because they thought the original script was too dark.
  • The Black Cauldron was originally much grimmer and graphically violent. Most of the scenes—including a man being sliced in two in silhouette and the Horned King decapitating one of his henchmen—haven't been seen outside of rumor, but the infamous "man being dissolved by the undead" scene has managed to make it to Youtube in some form.
  • Originally, Oliver & Company was going to be about Penny from The Rescuers after she had been happily adopted and going on another adventure. However; this was changed but you can still see some remnants, such as how the girl in the movie is named "Jenny".
  • The Little Mermaid:
    • While it does not appear in the film itself, the fanon jury is still out on whether the detail about Ursula being Triton's sister is What Could Have Been or canon. It was dropped from the animated movie but included in the Broadway musical and implied in the Disney Villains files. On the other hand, the TV Series (which was stated to be canon by the creators) never once mentioned Ursula's relationship with Triton, and Return to the Sea heavily implies that Ursula is not related to King Triton at all. Hans Christian Andersen never had this problem.
    • The second movie was originally supposed to have a song "Gotta Get My Wish" that elaborated a bit more on Morgana's past, but it was deleted. The scene was restored in the bonus features of the special edition DVD, however.
    • Disney came very, very close to making a movie based on "The Little Mermaid" almost thirty years earlier! The project was eventually abandoned (they couldn't figure out how to deal with the Bittersweet Ending), but you can still see the surviving production art on the "Little Mermaid" DVD.
    • Ariel was originally supposed to be Blond-haired, but it was eventually changed to red after producer Katzenberg stated that coloring her hair would turn her into a "Splash" ripoff.
    • In a case of "what could have not-been", Ariel's song "Part of Your World" was originally going to be sent to the cutting room floor due to Katzenberg thinking that test audiences were bored with it, even citing as petty a reason as a kid dropping his popcorn and focusing more on cleaning it up. Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Glen Keane were all appalled and furious, so they fought to keep it in and won. "Silence is Golden", a song originally sung by Ursula, was not quite as lucky.
    • Most of the entire ending of the film was also intended to be much different. For one thing, it originally has Prince Eric willingly attempting to marry Vanessa (like in the original story) and then began having second thoughts in the actual wedding instead of ending up Brainwashed in the final version. Also, the shark that attacks Ariel and Flounder earlier in the film was originally supposed to make a reappearance where he attempts to get his revenge on Ariel and Flounder for humiliating him earlier with the anchor, only to be blown to bits when Ariel manages to reach the ship due to the barrel that she was using being revealed to have been a gunpowder barrel. The actual humiliation of Vanessa was originally supposed to occur at the last possible second; Scuttle attempts to use his knowledge of a reflection exposing Vanessa's true identity to his advantage (specifically by hauling a mirror towards her), but she manages to wreck it. Her real identity was exposed anyway due to water reflecting her. Ariel also wasn't supposed to get her voice back until after Ursula was killed. The manner of Ursula's death was also different, with her being impaled with the Trident by Eric shortly before he lost consciousness (which is more-or-less what actually happened when the story was revisited in Kingdom Hearts II). Also, Ursula's Berserk Button pertained more to Eric hurling the harpoon towards her and actually hitting her. Although she still killed Flotsam and Jetsam by accident, she has absolutely no horror or remorse in doing so. Chef Louis and Sebastian apparently also become friends during the wedding instead of keeping their rivalry in the final version, and overall the ending was a LOT more bittersweet than in the final version.
    • During the production of Ariel's Beginning: there was leaked storyboard material where Ariel and Sebastian were discussing/debating about Eric's recent behavior, and Eric walks in and says "is someone feeling really crabby?", and then Ariel glares at him. This was either cut or intended for another film.
  • Beauty and the Beast:
    • The 2001 DVD includes an early presentation reel of concept art that confirms the original storyline was going to stick closer to the fairy tale, with characters like Belle's two sisters still in it, and would have been a straight drama. It ran into the same problems the initial effort to adapt the story in Walt's day did — the second act (Belle in the castle) was dramatically inert. Making it a musical and adding characters like the Enchanted Objects did a lot to rectify this.
    • "Be Our Guest" was supposed to be sung to Maurice, but it was seen as too good to use on a minor character so early in the film. There exists some unfinished animation of Belle's father from this original treatment.
    • A music box was originally a prominent supporting character — it could soothe the Beast with its music (heh) and was the item that stowed away with Belle when she was freed. But when the filmmakers were impressed by the voice of the child hired for the then-one line role of Chip, they promptly began expanding his role, and the music box became superfluous. (You can see it among the Objects when the mob bursts into the castle, however.) The 2010 DVD release includes a storyboard reel revealing a whole set of library-specific Objects: Oxford the book stand, Cambridge the globe, a bust who spoke in famous quotations and was attracted to Belle (!?), and a pair of binoculars who talked up Little Known Facts about space. Oxford eventually made an appearance in Belle's Magical World.
    • Early character designs and the 1989 story reel on the 2010 DVD release reveals Gaston was originally conceived as a foppish, foolish aristocrat, before animators decided an aggressively macho hunter would make a more effective antagonist. The story reel also reveals that at that point Maurice was a ruined businessman as in the original fairy tale, his Wicked Stepmother-esque sister was the primary antagonist intent on marrying off Belle to Gaston, Belle had two sidekicks in a little sister and a pet cat, Maurice's horse (then named Orson) arrived at the castle with him, and the Enchanted Objects did not speak.
    • The manner of Gaston's death also underwent several revisions: In one of the earliest drafts, Gaston was to have survived his fall, with a broken leg, and encounter the wolves from before, where it was implied that they finished him off. Another revision is a bit closer to the final film, although instead Gaston laughs all the way down (similar to the Joker in The Dark Knight), implying that his method of backstabbing the Beast was closer to Taking You with Me. The aforementioned wolf death concept was eventually reused with Scar's death in The Lion King.
    • Before all this, Don Bluth planned a "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation in 1984. His version would have involved (among other... embellishments) a clairvoyant dog, a detective bird, and a lizard escape artist. (See the "Other Western Animation" section for more Don Bluth couldabeens.)
    • At the end of the movie Belle was supposed to ask the now human Beast if he could grow a beard.
    • The midquel The Enchanted Christmas was originally meant to be a flat-up sequel, with Gaston's brother Avenant (a Shout-Out to the 1946 film of the fairy tale) as the antagonist intent on avenging Gaston's death and ruining the lovers' lives. It was changed to a midquel and Avenant's role was given to the pipe organ when the filmmakers thought the audience would be more interested in the Beast than the Prince.
  • Aladdin:
    • The 2004 DVD mentions various previous ideas, including Aladdin's mother and gang of friendsnote  being prominent characters, Iago being a calm British-like sidekick to a wacky Jafar, and the protagonist's design inspiration being changed from Michael J. Fox to Top Gun-era Tom Cruise. Additionally, most of the dropped characters were each going to have their own musical number, including a Tear Jerker for Aladdin's mom, and Jafar's Villain Song went through about five different iterations before finally arriving onscreen as a Dark Reprise of "Prince Ali".
    • In the Cave of Wonders, there was supposed to have been an extended version of the lamp grabbing scene. In it, Aladdin would have approached the lamp and, before he would grab it, would look up and see images of others, including the poor sap in the beginning, who attempted to take the lamp and were killed. As it turned out, the lamp Aladdin was going for was a fake and, by stepping away from it granted him access to the real one.
    • Originally, Aladdin was supposed to use his second wish in order to get through a Death Course designed to test Jasmine's suitors. The production team eagerly approached the idea of scripting and animating a fabulously elaborate action sequence but couldn't get the idea to work in practice, and ended up going for the much simpler solution of Aladdin being jumped by Mooks and then having to use the second wish to save his life. However, a concept similar to the deleted second wish was later used in the Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
    • Also, Aladdin was originally fully aware that Jasmine was the princess when he first met her. It was changed because the production team believed that it implied Aladdin fell in love with her because of her money and power, not because he genuinely cared about her.
    • Jasmine was also going to be a spoiled brat who wanted to marry the richest of all the princes—only becoming a sweet girl who learns humility after falling in love with Aladdin. An "I Am" Song was even written for the spoiled version of Jasmine, titled "Call Me a Princess". The production team dropped this personality because they didn't think audiences would like her very much. Also, when Jafar wished to rule Agrabah, the original idea was for some timey-stuff to happen, so everything was as if he'd always been the sultan, everyone's memories had been altered, and Aladdin, Abu, and the Carpet were only unchanged because Carpet wrapped around them and protected them from the magic wave. That was deemed way too confusing, and was scrapped as well (although the Animated Series did delve into a similar concept in one episode involving Jasmine and Sadira).
    • In the earliest scripts, much like the original story, there were two genies, one occupying the lamp, and one a ring, and Genie himself could grant an infinite number of wishes.
    • Jasmine was originally supposed to be a little bit more active. At one point, she was supposed to confront the Sultan and angrily declare "We have to talk.", but the animators nixed it because that would mean designing an entirely new room for that talk and were forced to fall back on showing Jasmine crying instead (which made them cringe). As well, when Jasmine was trapped in the hourglass, she was supposed to use the jewel in her headpiece to cut herself free, but this was changed to a last-minute rescue by Aladdin.
    • Jasmine's original reason for fleeing the palace was because she had figured her father was Not Himself, and was seeking help. Instead it became I Just Want To Be Free.
    • The third movie, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, was originally going to be somewhat closer to the series and possibly involve Mozenrath, but they 1. couldn't get his voice actor and 2. decided to retool the plot so it didn't have anything to do with the series. However, some characters from the series do show up at Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding, including Sadira (which is hilarious if you've seen the series and know what Sadira did there), Prince Uncouthma, and King Mahmood and his Wazir.
    • Sometime in the late 80's, Disney offered Bill Plympton a contract, but he turned them down. Later he learned that they wanted him to animate the Genie. THAT would have been something to see.
    • There were plans in 1994 for a sequel movie involving pirates that got as far as having music commissioned.
  • The Lion King:
    • Tommy Chong was originally going to be the voice for Shenzi, turning the hyenas into a three man band. However he and Cheech Marin had had a falling out. It really does make one wonder how the hyenas would have acted in an all man band.
    • Originally, the movie was actually going to end with Simba being the one thrown off the cliff during the final battle against Scar, who then starts laughing maniacally as the fire gradually burns him to death. Fortunately, it then turns out that Simba actually survived the fall.
    • The sequel was originally going end on a similar note, where we actually get to see Zira commit suicide by deliberately refusing help from Kiara (Simba's daughter) after accidentally being knocked over a ledge and jumping into the river below so she can drown!
      • Some of the animation of the original death scene was still used, if you watch as Zira falls, you can see the manic grin on her face.
    • Multiple characters have ended up scrapped for the final version of the first film - a little brother for Nala, Sarabi's sister, a second meerkat, Nala's father, a rock python who would have acted as Scar's Dragon and would have been voiced by Tim Curry and a bat-eared fox named Bhati for example. Nala's brother, Mheetu, in particular was to have an important role. He was created as a character for Nala to protect from the hyenas and Scar. Mheetu was the one who was lured into the gorge. Simba tried to save him but failed so Mufasa saved them, and the rest plays out like the final film.
    • The story was originally known as "King of the Jungle" and the plot was far Darker and Edgier. It had a few variations, one involving a war between prides.
    • Timon and Pumbaa were originally supposed to be friends of Simba from the very start.
    • Nala's name was originally "Nadra".
    • The re-release DVD as well as Youtube have a couple of scrapped songs, including an upbeat number for Mufasa to sing early in the film and a remix of "Be Prepared" to be sung after Scar tells the pride of Mufasa's death.
      • If you want to hear a bit of an earlier version of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", find the "work in progress" trailer for the film. It was included in the beginning of the early '90s release of The Fox and the Hound. Originally, the song was going to be about how Timon and Pumbaa felt about Simba and Nala's blossoming relationship.
    • Scar was originally a regular rogue lion. It was decided to make him Mufasa's brother as it was more emotionally investing.
    • Simba was supposed to have two cubs in Simba's Pride, a son named Chaka and a daughter named Shani. Eventually Chaka was taken out and Shani was renamed "Kiara".
    • Kovu was originally Scar's biological son but they scrapped it since it made them Kissing Cousins.
    • Similarly, Nala was originally Simba's cousin but they still paired up. In the final movie her father is unknown and it's caused endless debate.
  • Originally, the animal characters of Pocahontas were going to talk, with John Candy slated to voice a turkey named Redfeather. The character was scrapped after Candy's death and it was later decided that the animals shouldn't talk in order to make the film more "serious" — it was originally a light adventure fantasy with a preteen heroine and teen John Smith, but execs wanted more serious Oscar Bait after Beauty and the Beast was nominated for best picture — a first for an animated feature. Also, the character of Wiggins was originally conceived to be much more snobby, but then he ended up looking perky in a piece of concept art and the rest is history.
    • As seen in the behind-the-scenes section of the July 1995 issue of Disney Adventures magazine promoting this movie, there's a title card from pre-production featuring the eponymous heroine who has a different design and looks much like the Tiger Lily from this Peter Pan. In fact, it could very well be her but going by a different name to take on the Pocahontas role. Her eyes are closed, head tilted back, arms crossed and she's surrounded by a few forest animals. This gives the impression that using an established, past Disney character for the lead in this may have been considered early on at one point had the results turned out differently.
    • Originally David Ogden Stiers only voiced Wiggins, with Ratcliffe being voiced by someone else. Norman Lovett, Patrick Stewart and Brian Blessed auditioned for the part.
    • The scene of Pocahontas visiting John Smith after he was captured originally was a song sequence "If I Never Knew You". It was ultimately cut, because Disney noticed that younger audience got bored during this sequence, although the older, teen audience seemed more emotionally attached. The song is added in as an extra in some of the later DVD releases.
  • Mulan evolved from a short movie called "China Doll", the story of an oppressed girl in China that is whisked away at the end of the story by a British prince to the happiness of the west. Then Robert D. San Souci, Disney consultant and children's book author, suggested making a movie based on the Chinese poem "The Song of Fa Mulan", and Disney decided to combine both projects.
    • The character of Mulan was originally going to be engaged to a man of high status, which would be one of the reasons why she left for the war. This motive was later rejected.
  • The Emperor's New Groove originally started off as Kingdom of/in the Sun (sources disagree about the title), a musical animation with a serious tone similar to The Prince of Egypt. The two directors had different ideas; one preferred comedy, the other drama. After one left, it eventually became a screwball comedy with little music. Sting was none too pleased about this last change...
  • The ending scene of Lilo & Stitch was originally going to be much different: Just right after Gantu kidnaps Lilo, Nani, Jumba, Pleakley, and Stitch were all going to steal a passenger jet at an airport, and using it to chase Gantu's ship into the city of Honolulu, demolishing many skyscrapers in the process. Unfortunately, because of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the entire scene had to be completely reanimated, with the passenger jet being replaced by a large spaceship, and the skyscrapers being replaced by mountains. The rest of the ending was going to merge with the final version shortly afterwards (with Stitch climbing onto Gantu's ship to smash open the glass cage Lilo is trapped in, only to have Gantu shake him off, sending Stitch falling to the ground, where he then steals a fuel truck and drives it into a volcano, causing it to explode and sending Stitch flying back into the air, where he finally succeeds in defeating Gantu and freeing Lilo), except that they still use an airplane instead of a spaceship.
    • An earlier scene showing Stitch fighting Jumba and subsequently setting Lilo's house on fire was originally going to be much more violent. Jumba was originally going to make the roof collapse using his own blaster instead of dishes, a different song other than "{You Ain't Nothin' But A) Hound Dog" was going to play in the background, there was no exploding Scrump strapped to a roller skate, Jumba's shuriken was going to be made of knives instead of toothpaste, Stitch wasn't going to say "Blue punch buggy!" when he hits Jumba with a VW Beetle, the scene where Stitch activates a chainsaw was going to be much longer, and the house was going to catch fire by having Jumba accidentally shoot a leaking gas pipe broken by Stitch rather than playing Hot Potato with an overloading blaster with a carrot lodged in its barrel. Again, that scene had to be reanimated because of September 11th.
    • There was also going to be a scene where Stitch kills Pudge the fish, but the scene was cut for unstated reasons.
    • Another scene featured Lilo pulling pranks on racist tourists. It is assumed, like the previous scene, to have been cut very late in development, as they had fully voiced and animated animatics.
  • Brother Bear was going to have an older adult bear named Grizz be a friend and mentor to Kenai instead of Koda...and Grizz was even voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan. But that got scrapped, and Duncan DID get to voice a character in the movie: minor character Tug.
    • There was also the Cut Song "The Fishing Song". However, the song "Welcome" seemed to fit the mood much better, and the Fishing Song is now seen on YouTube and on the DVD.
  • Meet the Robinsons was in production when John Lasseter took over for Disney; reportedly, he spent six hours meeting with the director after seeing it. Based on his advice, 60% of the movie wound up getting recut. In particular, Lasseter thought the villain was not very threatening, which led to the creation of Doris, his Hypercompetent Sidekick who winds up being the real Big Bad. The T-Rex battle was also a later addition, as was apparently at least some of the poignant ending. (Lasseter was happy the new version would make people cry. He did work for Pixar, after all.)
  • American Dog was a shelved idea that evolved into Bolt. American Dog would have followed Henry, a famous TV canine who stars in James Bond-like adventures, and finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert with a one-eyed, eyepatch-wearing cat and an oversized, radioactive rabbit, who he cons into driving him back to Hollywood. Director Chris Sanders would have also had Henry suffering from delusions over the course of the film. The trio would search for a new home, all the while still believing that they're on television. When John Lasseter came on board as the head of Pixar, Sanders created two early cuts of the film, but Lasseter (according to rumors) said that the film was "too quirky for its own good", and ended up firing Sanders after he couldn't rework the film (it was also rumored that Lasseter fired Sanders because he was responsible for the weak box-office performance of Lilo and Stitch). In fact, Disney took great measures to white-wash any memory of the original project once Sanders left; there's a very brief mention at the start of The Art of Bolt book and no mention anywhere on the DVD extras. The only remnant of the original script lies in the sequence where Bolt, Mittens and Rhino stop in an abandoned junkyard in Nevada, and debate whether they should finally settle down or not.
  • The Princess and the Frog originally had a heroine named Maddie who, in a Cinderella-like plot, was the chambermaid to a spoiled rich girl. This was changed when a number of people complained that Maddie sounded too much like "Mammie" and was thus racist. The girl who "Maddie" worked for became the Spoiled Sweet Charlotte, and Tiana became a hard-working waitress. Naveen would have originally been an English prince, but that was deemed "too cliché".
  • Tangled started production as a conventional retelling of Rapunzel, but after Shrek became a huge hit, it was retooled into a Fractured Fairy Tale, Rapunzel Unbraided, in which a witch turns Rapunzel and her prince into a squirrel and dog respectively. As a side effect of the spell, a girl named Claire and a pizza delivery boy are transported into the fairy tale world as replacements for Rapunzel and the Prince. This video shows the original opening, as well as a chase sequence with the delivery boy driving a chariot drawn by winged horses. However, Disney decided to go back to a more traditional adaptation.
    • It was supposed to look like a watercolor painting however the technology was, and still is, too early and expensive for a feature film. The same technology has been used in shorts though, most famously Paperman
    • Rapunzel was supposed to be a Cute Mute, as she has been stuck in the tower her entire life with only Gothel to speak to (and only barely).
    • Before there was Flynn Rider there was "Bastion". He was scrapped because they wanted a more attractive male character to appeal to women, though Krisfoff from ''Frozen greatly resembles him. He was a Gentle Giant in sharp contrast to the street savvy Flynn.
      • Flynn himself was supposed to have a British accent.
    • For much of the development Gothel was meant to genuinely care for Rapunzel. In the final product it's up for grabs but it's largely believed she only cares for Rapunzel's hair. The original casting call states:
    Mother Gothel stole Rapunzel from her rightful parents eighteen years ago, and has kept her locked in a tower ever since so that the world won’t steal the power from her magical hair. As for the power of that hair, Mother Gothel keeps herself young and ageless. While it’s easy to see Mother Gothel as a Mommy Dearest villain (and she is), she’s more complex than that. She really does LOVE Rapunzel, or at least thinks she does. She sees herself as Rapunzel’s protector and believes, that she has to live forever because no one will ever be able to protect or love Rapunzel the way that she can. Thus, we have the most co-dependent mother-daughter relationship in history. And when the teenage girl begins to separate herself, Mother Gothel slowly descends into madness’s and will stop at nothing to get her little girl back in her tower.
  • A number of "what could have beens" from Wreck-It Ralph:
    • The film has a whole lot of cameos in the movie, but a few didn't make it in:
      • Plans were there to include Mario and Luigi along with Bowser, but according to the director and screenwriter, they couldn't figure out a proper cameo for them. (It wasn't because Nintendo set their price too high, as is often reported.)
      • In the Bad Anon scene, Dr. Wily was meant to be part of the group, but for some reason, Capcom changed their mind and they replaced Wily with M. Bison. This only fueled further rumors of Capcom's hostility towards the Mega Man franchise, especially in the wake of the cancellation of Legends 3.
      • While he did make it in, Dig Dug was actually meant to have a bigger role—the same role that went to Q*bert in the end. Namco took offense at Dig Dug characters being left out in the cold, especially since they've had plenty of prominence with the likes of Mr. Driller. Bart Simpson, a Jurassic Park velociraptor and a Xenomorph were also meant to be among the homeless characters.
    • Originally, Felix and Ralph were going to be two video game sidekicks who travelled through games together, hoping to become true heroes. However, Ralph's interactions with Vanellope caused them to change their mind.
    • There would have been a fourth video game world after Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush that would have been a mixture of Grand Theft Auto and The Sims.
    • Vanellope was originally planned to have gray or greenish skin to emphasize that she was a glitch, but it was felt that it made her look too sickly and zombie-like. Other concept art shows that she could have been a blonde, or a redhead at different points.
    • A few of the Sugar Rush racers had technicolor skin colors at some point in development: Swizzle was to be blue, Minty and Candlehead were to be green, Snowanna was purple, and Adorabeezle had light blue skin.
    • Some possible early concept designs for Taffyta Muttonfudge had her as an Evil Redhead or with brown hair, while most of the other drafts stuck with the platinum blonde idea.
    • The Sugar Rush racers were to have parents and houses seen in their world, with a town called "Candy Hollow" (which was to also be the title of the game before it was changed to Sugar Rush).
    • The name "Minty Zaki" was originally given to a mint ice cream-themed racer who'd wind up being called "Candlehead" in the final film. A sour apple-themed racer named "Emmareld" wound up as "Minty Zaki" in the final product. Other production name changes included:
      • "Peterbelly Buttercap" -> "Rancis Fluggerbutter"
      • "Adorabella Winterpop" -> "Adorabeezle Winterpop"
      • "Crumbelina Drizzlecap" -> "Crumbelina Di Caramello"
      • "Rumple" -> "Gloyd Orangeboar"
      • "Merfus" -> "Swizzle Malarkey"
    • Early concept art had Ralph as a hairy red beast or a sort of ape-like creature, rather than the human design they settled on in the end.
    • King Candy and Turbo were separate characters at one point instead of the same person, with King Candy acting as The Dragon to Turbo. King Candy would have also been redeemed at the end of the film.
    • One early developmental name for Ralph was the completely different "Wendell Grubble".
  • Frozen is theoretically the Disney movie with the longest production ever; Walt Disney himself tried to adapt The Snow Queen, on which Frozen is Loosely Based. In general, these examples fall into versions that would have been closer to source material and those that hew closer to the final product:
    • One had the Snow Queen and her captive Kai would fall in love. Another presumably stayed truer to the source material, and also included songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. One of those songs, "Love Can't Be Denied," received a public release before Menken left the project.
    • One of the earliest plots involved Gerda visiting the Snow Queen, asking to freeze her heart after a heartbreak.
    • In the early 2000s there were plans for a Snow Queen adaptation. Models and storyboards have been leaked online.
    • When The Snow Queen turned into something akin to the final product, Elsa was still the Big Bad (however, she would've been redeemed at the end). Her magic would appear to fulfill an ancient prophecy, which proclaimed that Arendelle would be destroyed by "a ruler with a frozen heart" (However, the cruel ruler mentioned in the prophecy was Hans, not Elsa). While writing Elsa's Villain Song, "Let It Go," the creators realised that she had not actually done anything wrong, and changed the idea.
    • Elsa had more traditional Winter Royal Lady designs early on; one had a live coat of stoats.
      • Almost all her hairstyles were short and spikey. The most well-known is her with raven hair but all the stuff just before the change to her final look, including concept art for Disney Infinity, has her with blonde hair.
    • The Art of Frozen includes quite a few things that could have been, including the original storyboards for Let It Go, back when it was a Villain Song. These storyboards show that it was meant to have a villainous, possibly even mocking tone to it. However, some elements (the stairs, slamming the door to the audience at the end) remain in the I Am Becoming Song version as seen in the film.
      • It's stated the song was gleeful, sort of like Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend"
    • Hans was originally called "Admiral Westergard" and actually married Anna. He was also genuinely nice, if dim. This was apparently left in for a long time, as the cut song "Life's Too Short" mentions it.
    • At one point Gerda and Kai (later changed to Anna and Krisfofff) were children instead of young adults and the movie was made to be traditionally animated.
    • There are several unused songs. The aforementioned "Life's Too Short" was replaced with "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)" and it was far-enough in production to be sung by Menzel and Bell. "More than just a Spare" is Anna singing about how she feels in her older sisters shadow, which was cut because it basically gave her and Hans the same issues. "Reindeer Remix" was the credit song. "We know better" was sung by pre-accident Elsa and Anna, starting with Anna's birth.
    • Anna originally flirts with Kristoff during their travels in an early cut of Frozen. The scene was changed when Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios during Frozen's production, pointed out that viewers would likely get annoyed and confused with Anna's behavior since she was engaged with Prince Hans too.
    • The original chase scene with Marshmallow had a scared-out-of-her-wits Anna being reluctant to jump off the cliff to escape, an aggressive Marshmallow that was actively trying to kill them (instead of just chasing them away), and an antagonistic Elsa creating a blizzard. This scene was created early in production as an animation test and was based on earlier versions of the characters, so when someone asked if they could find a way to rework the scene to fit it into the movie, several parts of it had to be rewritten, re-animated, and re-dubbed since it completely clashed with the final versions of Anna and Elsa. For those curious about where the missing "That's no blizzard; that's my sister!" trailer scene came from, it came from here.

    Pixar Films 
  • The Toy Story series:
    • Toy Story:
      • The first film started out as a half-hour Christmas special based on the Tin Toy short. Furthermore, Buzz and Woody's roles were originally filled by Tinny from Tin Toy and a ventriloquist dummy. These characters were deemed "too creepy."
      • One of the scripts considered for Tinny's adventure has been posted here.
      • Katzenberg and Michael Eisner originally pushed for a more adult, cynical feel, resulting in Woody and the rest of the toys being much bigger jerkasses. For example, Woody deliberately pushes Buzz out the window, instead of accidentally in the final product. The toys respond by throwing Woody out of the window (luckily, this was scrapped once a rough cut was shown, which was so awful that execs shut down production and demanded a story overhaul). Except Disney wanted to shut it down entirely. Pixar, not wanting to see what could be the film that makes or breaks the Company die, overhauled the script and presented it to them before being completely shutdown. The rest is history and the shutdown was averted.
      • Buzz's original name was Lunar Larry and he had a red suit, while Woody resembled a ventriloquist dummy.
      • Woody's love interest was meant to be a Sarah Connor-like Barbie in a Pimped-Out Dress and pink convertible who rescued Woody and Buzz from Sid's. (She would have shown up at the front door saying "Come with me if you want to live", and Woody would have responded by wishing he was anatomically correct.) Due to rights issues, Barbie wouldn't get represented until the sequel.
    • Toy Story 3:
      • The film (as envisioned by Eisner's ill-fated animation studio, Circle 7, in 2004) originally featured Buzz Lightyear being sent back to Taiwan for maintenance. Woody and the gang, upon learning that this is actually part of a worldwide recall, travel to Taiwan to save Buzz from being destroyed. This version was to be produced when Disney and Pixar nearly split from each other. Disney's purchase of Pixar in 2006 changed all of this and gave us the film we have today.
      • Here are the thoughts of the original scriptwriters, as well as some concept art, and here is more info from Lee Unkrich.
      • Then there's this 2004 draft, which featured the toys being sent to Andy's grandma's house and meeting a group of strange new toys (including a garden gnome and a pair of sock puppets). While some of the story beats are similar to the final product, the 2004 script displays NONE of the scope or emotion of the finished film.
      • In early treatments of the final script, Lotso was almost a Care Bear, the toys revisited Al's Toy Barn (which was now under new management and called Hal's), and there was an entirely different opening that would have revealed Molly had inherited Andy's toys.
  • A Bug's Life was originally simply called "Bugs", and the original plot featured some major differences to the final version. Flik would have been a red ant named Red, who was also the ringleader of the flea circus. It would have been his idea to pretend to be warriors. There also would have been Ladybug acrobats instead of pillbugs, and the team of insects would have used their circus show (instead of a bird in the final version) to defeat the Grasshoppers. There were also early rumors that it would be a musical (this was back when Disney felt Toy Story was a huge risk just because it didn't include characters singing).
  • Monsters, Inc.:
    • There's the original pitch, which was a 30-year-old man being haunted by monsters that represent different fears from his childhood. The concern was that kids couldn't relate to a 30-year-old protagonist and that the ending was too bittersweet, which is rather hilarious given Pixar's later movies.
    • The film was going to be about just Sully, whose character design was a bit different (he had octopus legs for one thing). The plot would have him having to hide a child that was older than Boo in the film. The child's costume was composed of a bathroom rug and a pair of fake eyestalks on her head, and Randall had a different name. Look for it on the DVD.
    • Actors considered for Randall included Chris Barrie, Jeff Goldblum, and Vincent D'Onofrio. He would have also been a less antagonistic character as, in one draft of the script, Randall was going to have a Heel-Face Turn when things hit the fan, leaving Waternoose as the TRUE Big Bad.
    • Leonard Nimoy was also in negotiations to play Waternoose, before he dropped out and was replaced by James Coburn.
    • This could be hinted by the fact that, on the "top scarer" list for their floor, it's assumed that all the scarer's last names are on the list, except Randall Boggs appears as "Randall" (which could just as easily have been a last name).
    • There was also going to be a sequel about Sully meeting up with Boo when she was a teenager, but this idea was scrapped because the director/whoever was in charge decided that the ending to the first movie was so Crowning Moment of Heartwarming that they didn't want to ruin it. It would have had Mike and Sully entering the human world to give a birthday present to Boo, only to find out she had moved. They then get trapped in the human world, with Sully wanting to find Boo and Mike wanting to find a way home, teaming up with Randall in order to do so. Randall would have had a Heel-Face Turn and Waternoose would have died at film's end. These plans were scrapped by James Coburn's untimely death, as well as budgetary problems. The project was forgotten until Pixar reacquired the rights and decided to make a prequel instead.
    • There would have been a subplot involving Mike and Sulley having trouble with their landlord, who would have been voiced by Yeardley Smith. And would have shouted a lot.
    • And yet another version where scaring was used for entertainment not energy, the scare floor was like a film set, and the main character was a skinny monster named Hob who forms a friendship with a boy named Raymond.
  • The DVD extras on The Incredibles showed that some of the earlier drafts were very different:
    • Originally, the Big Bad was a more traditional Diabolical Mastermind named Xerek. The anti-super litigation would have figured into his evil scheme. Syndrome still appears in this version of the script — he's an old enemy of Bob and Helen's who attacks them in their home at the beginning of the film, then dies. With his one scene, he made a bigger impression on the first readers than Xerek did, thus he was promoted to Big Bad in later scripts. Xerek would later appear in the comic book continuation of the movie.
    • Snug, the man who provided Elastigirl with the airplane she took to Syndrome's island, was originally scripted to fly the plane with her. He would have died when the missiles hit, proving that Syndrome was a Not-So-Harmless Villain. However, this required a few extra scenes of dialogue, so his eventual death would mean something to the audience. There wasn't time for these extra scenes, so aside from a line of dialogue or two, Snug was cut. (Director Brad Bird's reluctance to remove the character resulted in one bit that made it into the final version: the lingering shot of Elastigirl watching as the cockpit sinks into the ocean. She was originally going to be looking at Snug's hat during this shot. The shot remains as storyboarded, minus the hat.)
    • In the commentary, Brad Bird talks about how in his very first proto-ideas for the film, Mr. Incredible was the only superhero in the world who couldn't fly. This resulted in concept art of various heroes flying to the climactic battle, with Bob driving under them in a station wagon.
    • A deleted scene on the DVD has Helen Parr have a very strange dream in which Bob is clearly flirting and philandering with many young, beautiful women while she is trapped in a washing machine (this would obviously have happened after she began to suspect him of infidelity). Another scene has her confronting Bob over the strand of Mirage's hair that she finds on his suit - he dismisses her accusations by telling her that he decided to get his costume dry-cleaned and the hair was from the white-haired old lady who ran the place. This version would have outright had Helen asking if he was having an affair; in the final cut infidelity is kept as subtext.
  • Cars:
    • Originally, the film was going to be about an electric car living in a gas-guzzling world instead of an arrogant racecar learning very important lessons in life.
    • Also, the sequel was going to have five races making up the World Grand Prix instead of three, with the fourth and fifth races taking place in Paris and Germany, as well as having the race in Tokyo taking place during the day rather than at night. Those races were both cut because they were largely irrelevant to the plot; the final version of Paris only appeared in the scene where Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holly Shiftwell go there to meet Tomber (a three-wheeled car who knows all about the Lemons, the film's villains), while Germany is only mentioned during the end credits. However, they were both used in the film's tie-in video game. And the villain was originally going to be a different car whose name still starts with a Z.
  • In WALL•E, EVE originally first didn't find out the plant survived the exploding escape pod until after going back inside (she was originally just really happy that WALL•E survived, but they changed it to show she was still more concerned about her job than him) and the scene in the airlock dump was originally suppose to have WALL•E and EVE's roles reversed (with EVE being the one AUTO damaged and WALL•E never making it to the deck), and WALL•E fixed EVE right then instead of EVE having to rush back to Earth to repair WALL•E. The original version of these scenes (as well as an explanation as to why) were included as an extra on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
    • According to the DVD features, the humans were originally going to be gel-like life forms with an incomprehensible language of random syllables who would vary between being careless and outright cruel to the robots. Also, AUTO went fairly far into production as a design similar to a blocky, masculine version of EVE instead of his wheel-like design.
  • In Up, Muntz was originally going to be dealt with in a very horrific sequence of being tricked into entering Kevin's labyrinth and left to wander around lost until he starves. Pete Docter vetoed it as it made the ending more about Muntz than Carl and Ellie.

    Other Disney Films 
  • Mary Poppins:
    • Disney offered to do an animated adaptation of Mary Poppins, but author P.L. Travers felt no one would take the movie seriously if it was animated.
      • After the film's success, Disney approached Travers for rights to film the other books, but given her absolute hatred of the movie, she unsurprisingly refused.
    • Walt was negotiating to have the rights to film Bedknobs and Broomsticks in case negotiations for the rights to Mary Poppins fell through.
    • The book had a chapter in which Mary Poppins and the children use a magic compass to visit different countries. The Sherman Brothers wrote a wide assortment of songs to use for their journey, but the chapter ultimately went unadapted. The Cut Songs eventually found use in other Sherman Brothers productions, such as The Jungle Book and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
    • Although Julie Andrews was marvellous in her Oscar-winning turn as the magical nanny, you can't help but wonder what might have been if an earlier choice for the role had been the last; Angela Lansbury was seriously considered before Andrews was finally cast.
    • P.L. Travers suggested dropping a few hints that Mr. Banks used to have Mary Poppins as his nanny.
  • And then there's Who Discovered Roger Rabbit. Thankfully, recent rumors suggest that this may no longer be Vapor Ware, but many fans refuse to believe it until they've actually seen the film.
    • More factoids about What Could Have Been in Who Framed Roger Rabbit: in addition to the gang of weasels (literally!) comprising the Toon Patrol, Judge Doom would have had another accomplice, a Toon vulture named Voltaire (har, har). When Judge Doom attempts to dip Roger at the bar, the patrons protest that Roger should at least have a proper trial. The judge agrees, then pulls out a suitcase from which jumps a group of kangaroos that hold out signs reading "Y-O-U A-R-E G-U-I-L-T-Y" (a literal Kangaroo Court, in other words). Lastly, the final battle would have taken place on a zeppelin, and would have included a scene wherein Eddie is handcuffed to an open porthole, with most of his body hanging out thousands of feet above the ground.
      • Also, the original plan was that Valiant would be played by Harrison Ford and Christopher Lee would be cast as Doom. These facts (and the ones above) are just a few mentions, you can read the non-cut version of the script here. It was also proposed that Paul Reubens would do the voice of Roger, as this piece of test footage shows.
      • It was said that Spielberg's dream casting for Judge Doom in Roger Rabbit was Jon Pertwee. Pertwee was known as a very enthusiastic supporter and fan of the art of animation (so much so that he and Spike Milligan would later have serious arguments over who was the bigger fan of Disney's Aladdin), but Steve Martin, a close friend of both, knew that it would put Pertwee in a moral dilemma: Accept a role of essentially a genocidal madman, a role out of variance with Pertwee's actual character, or refuse and turn down a dream of his, to act in a Disney film, particularly one melding live-action and animation. In the end, Spielberg dropped the idea and went on to cast Christopher Lloyd.
    • Also originally it was to have been a gopher Judge Doom dipped instead of a cartoon shoe.
    • Benny was going to originally be a fancy red roadster instead of a yellow taxicab, and was to have not a rough Noo Yawk voice, but rather, in the words of the non-cut script shown above, a deep voice "somewhere between Lord Buckley and Barry White."
    • A scene was scripted but never filmed or animated which would have taken place at Marvin Acme's funeral. Popeye and Bluto would have been among his pallbearers, and Casper the Friendly Ghost would have been a resident of the cemetery. This would have happen after Eddie leaves Roger at the bar and before the 'pig-head' scene.
    • Jessica Rabbit was to originally resemble Kathleen Turner a little more, and her dress would have been less revealing (covering her neck and chest).
    • There were to be seven weasels in the Toon Patrol (supposedly a parody of the Seven Dwarfs). The two that didn't make the cut? A '50s greaser-themed weasel named "Slimy", and a weasel named "Flasher" or "Sleazy" who'd wear nothing but a trenchcoat.
      • Even earlier drafts (as far back as the third linked above) had far more weasels, who were all interchangeable and had no distinct personalities. There would be a fight scene in which Eddie and Jessica would fend a bunch off, while the rest of the weasels would all die of laughter in a later sequence as in the final product (except with no foreshadowing of the laughter being fatal). Voltaire also was to be the one who'd be completely dissolved by the Dip in the climax, but due to the character's removal, the weasel Smart-Ass wound up with the fate instead (while the others died of laughter).
    • Then there's the plan of "Judge Doom killed Bambi's mother", which was scrapped because it would contrast with the 'toons are actors' premise.
    • The ending scene was originally going to have Judge Doom reveal his toon mouth and red hands with long nails.
    • Several characters from other companies were going to appear until the producers never got the rights, such as Tom and Jerry and Little Lulu.
  • In a Disney Channel example, there was originally to be a duet in the first High School Musical movie that was basically a song fight between Ms. Drabus and Coach Bolton. Ms. Darbus was played by Alyson Reed, a former Broadway actress, and this cut meant that she didn't get to sing a note in any of the three movies.
  • Speaking of Pixar coulda-beens, The Brave Little Toaster was originally in production at Disney, with John Lasseter set to direct. Lasseter had planned to use CGI for the characters, which would have been a first for an animated film at the time. Executives halted production because it would have been too expensive to use, as they were only interested in CG for cost-cutting, not artistic expression, as Lasseter had envisioned. Lasseter was fired by Disney ten minutes later, and he was eventually hired by Pixar; Toaster was made independently later. Both eventually returned to Disney, but one wonders how animation history would be like had the film been made as originally envisioned and Lasseter had never been fired.
  • The Disney Princess franchise was originally going to have more characters than the ten official ones like in the final version. However, they discovered that 1985's The Black Cauldron was a huge failure at the box office, and as a result some females that were neither princesses by birth nor marriage were included, and others that actually were weren't. The most recent exclusion to the lineup would be Giselle from Enchanted, as they would have to pay Amy Adams for her character to be included.
  • The DVD for The Nightmare Before Christmas included a very strange storyboarded scene in which the identity of Oogie Boogie was revealed to be Dr. Finklestein. His Igor would then appear from underneath the giant roulette wheel and they would both make their escape while everyone (including the audience) looked on dumbfounded.
    • Also this early script shows that we were going to see some of the other holidays at the beginning sequence, and "This Is Halloween" is considerably different from the final product (for example, Jack was going to come in on a Cool Undead Horse).
  • During production of Enchanted, Disney apparently took years to decide upon the circumstances in which a young woman from an animated fantasy realm would enter the live-action world of reality. According to this article, one early draft saw her end up in Chicago instead of Manhattan, and subsequently get mistaken for a stripper. Another featured a spoiled future princess have to learn how to survive by herself in New York City. Yet another had the heroine willingly go to New York in hopes of escaping a potential loveless marriage with a prince.
    • Even after Disney decided upon the circumstances that landed Giselle in live-action New York City in the final film, the script underwent at least one additional change: the deletion of the title song, which would have been sung by Nancy and Edward. Nancy's actress, Idina Menzel, explained in an interview that the writers found it out of character for her to sing.
  • The Disney adaptation of James And The Giant Peach was originally going to feature a soundtrack by Andy Partridge instead of Randy Newman. Partridge left the project after he couldn't reach an "acceptable deal" with Disney. Home-recorded versions of the four songs he'd written for the film appeared on his Fuzzy Warbles series of demo collections.
  • The several Classic Disney Shorts have had their share.
    • According to old storyboards, the gag from The Plowboy where the goat, chicken and pig meld into one weird creature was originally to have been used in Plane Crazy.
      • Speaking of which, Plane Crazy may have been conceived as an Oswald short before being the pilot for Mickey's series.
    • There was a Mickey cartoon titled Plight of the Bumblebee, that was directed by Jack Kinney, that had most of its pencil animation done, but was ultimately scrapped.
  • For the ending of Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama it was initially planned that Kim would kill Shego, essentially in cold blood. Test audiences were horrified however and the scene was revised.
  • The Tigger Movie was originally to have been a direct-to-video film, but it was upgraded to theatrical release after Michael Eisner became impressed with The Sherman Brothers' songs for the film. This marks neither the first nor the last of several instances of an animated movie from Disney's library getting upgraded from a direct-to-video release to a theatrical feature. (Toy Story 2 provides the most successful example.)
  • For a more physical kind of "what could have been", the infamously abandoned Treasure Island resort. Several acres of land were unscrupulously acquired, and after a short run, it was subsequently locked up tighter than a drum. Conspiracy Theories abound, ranging from "Lazy staff" and "poor harbour" to "haunted".
  • There several of these with the release of several animated shorts
    • Steven Spielberg wanted the Roger Rabbit short Roller-Coaster Rabbit to be shown with Amblin's Arachnophobia, but Michael Eisner wanted it to run instead with Dick Tracy to increase awareness of the film. This dispute became one of the reasons Spielberg cut off plans for future Roger Rabbit shorts.
    • The 1992 traditional/CGI hybrid short Off His Rockers was originally scheduled to be released with a reissue of Pinocchio, but Randal Kleiser insisted it be shown alongside his film Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
    • After A Kid in King Arthur's Court bombed, Disney wanted to give Runaway Brain another shot and planned to show it again with 101 Dalmatians, but they got cold feet at the last minute and cut it from all prints, and it ended up getting shown before George of the Jungle instead.
    • Pixar's Monsters University short Party Central was to have been shown before The Good Dinosaur, but when the film got delayed by more than a year, it was instead released with Muppets Most Wanted. Before that, it premiered nearly a year before at the D23 Expo.
  • In Muppets Most Wanted, the original version of Constantine's song "I'll Get You What You Want" was originally supposed to be a 50's-esque rock song called "What You Want", "The Big House" was to have a different arrangement, and Something So Right would have had an extra verse. The movie was also supposed to be titled "The Muppets...Again", which is mentioned in the song "We're Doing A Sequel".
  • Sky High was originally conceived as a series of four movies, one for each of Will and his friends' years of high school. It's known that the threat level of the villains would increase with each movie, with the characters saving the school in the first, the city in the second, the world in the third, then the entire universe in the fourth. One of these villains, likely the second, would've been the hinted-at Bigger Bad Baron Battle, father to Will's friend and rival Warren. The sequels would also advance the Romance Arc, with Will and Layla breaking up and Layla getting together with Warren; whether Will would've received a new love interest is unknown. Alas, Disney deemed the original, which made twice its budget, still not a big enough hit to take a chance on three sequels.

    Unreleased Disney or Pixar Films 
  • There are also many proposed Disney films that never ever saw the light of day past pre-production. A few are mentioned in the books, Disney Lost and Found and The Disney That Never Was, and you can find others mentioned on old, never-updated fan sites like this one.
  • Wild Life (not to be confused with The Wild), about an elephant who becomes the darling of a city's human nightclub scene, sounds like it could have been fascinating. "Predating Chicken Little by a number of years, Wild Life was intended to be the studio's first foray into a wholly CG animated feature. Solomon notes, 'Wild Life began as a Pygmalion story designed to show children the shallowness of the world of glitz and fashion. But over a period of months, it turned into a more cynical story set in the club scene of Big City, a fictionalized 1970s New York, the era when David Bowie and The Velvet Underground hung out with jet-setters in urban clubs.' Designs by artists such as Hans Bacher, Floyd Norman and Greg Killman reveal a concept that was indeed a very dramatic departure for Disney. Alternately stunning and outrageous (and sometimes both), the designs for Wild Life clearly extended beyond what was considered appropriate for a Disney feature and it is not difficult to understand why it was ultimately shelved. As Solomon notes, '...insurmountable problems arose, especially between the decadent milieu of the later versions and the requirements of the traditional Disney audience.'" (Translation: The setting and tone weren't, and couldn't be made, family-friendly.) Concept art here.
  • A lost movie that haunts many a Disney fan is what can only be called the Insane Crossover Victory Lap. This would have been a piece of animation, made to commemorate a very major Disney milestone, that would have included every animated Disney character to date onscreen together. Originally proposed as a brief gag in a Roger Rabbit short (Roger would have been startled by the sight of every Disney character riding past in a train), the idea later developed into a feature film called The Search for Mickey Mouse, where a team of Disney characters led by Basil of Baker Street do exactly that. That movie has yet to see the light of day, but the Disney characters have mixed it up in several extant productions, most notably the cartoon compilation series House of Mouse (which came very close to having every character). And the idea of searching for a missing Mickey Mouse has cropped up in everything from Kingdom Hearts, of course, to this very, VERY odd commemorative television special, which was made around the same time the "Search For Mickey" theatrical film entered development limbo. Perhaps the recently-pitched Magic Kingdom movie will finally get the original idea off the ground?
  • Disney almost got to make an animated adaption of Where the Wild Things Are, which would have had hand-drawn characters on CGI backgrounds. A Youtube video of test footage from the film proved it probably would have been closer in style to the look and perhaps to the tone of Maurice Sendak's book than the Spike Jonze version.
  • A relatively well-known abandoned Disney movie was Gremlins. Not to be confused with the Joe Dante cult classic, this would have been based upon a story written by none other than Roald Dahl, and the Gremlins in question would have been considerably closer to the folklore at the time. This story was eventually published as a picture book by Dark Horse comics.
  • After completing The Little Mermaid, John Musker and Ron Clements were offered three projects. They chose Aladdin, and while one of the others, King of the Jungle, became The Lion King, the third — a Swan Lake adaptation — was never produced. Musker and Clements thought the story of Swan Lake sounded too similar to The Little Mermaid.
  • Walt Disney obtained the rights to some books from the Land of Oz series in 1954, with the intent of adapting some of them into a musical titled, The Rainbow Road to Oz. He cast the Mouseketeers from The Mickey Mouse Club in major parts. They performed some songs in the fourth season premiere of Walt Disney Presents. These revealed that Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion, whom the public remembered from MGM's The Wizard of Oz, would play major roles, as would the Patchwork Girl and Ozma, who did not appear in a movie since the silent era. For whatever reason, Walt ended up cancelling The Rainbow Road to Oz after seeing the numbers performed. He ended up instead adapting Babes in Toyland for his first live-action musical. Plans for a live-action Disney movie about the Oz books ultimately became fulfilled with 1985's Return to Oz, which tossed out the songs and basic plot of The Rainbow Road to Oz in favor of a Darker and Edgier direction true to the original stories. Return to Oz became a costly flop for Disney, but eventually grew into a Cult Classic. Years later, Disney made the film Oz: The Great and Powerful, which has many continuity parallels to the MGM movie and the novels, but was never officially confirmed canon to either (or even Return to Oz).
  • During The Forties, Walt Disney and Samuel Goldwyn discussed collaborating on a movie about Hans Christian Andersen. Most of the scenes would have appeared in live-action, but Disney's crew would have also prepared animated shorts of Andersen's fairy tales to play during the picture. For whatever reason, the movie eventually became retooled without Disney's involvement into an all live-action musical starring Danny Kaye in the title role. One of the stories featured in the musical, The Little Mermaid, and one considered for adapting into one of the cartoon shorts, The Snow Queen, became full-length Disney animated movies in 1989 and 2013, respectively.
  • Newt, Gary Rydstrom's directorial debut, was about two newts (Newt, the spoiled, pampered male and Brooke the streetwise female) who are the last of their species, and are put together in a community college biology lab in order to Mate or Die. Many have speculated it was canceled due to Crest Animation's Alpha and Omega and Blue Sky's Rio being released earlier, which have very similar plots but with wolves and parrots respectively.
  • There was originally to have been a feature produced at the old Florida animation studio, alternatively titled My Peoples and A Few Good Ghosts, that would hjave been set to a bluegrass score and featured the voices of Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin. The plot would have been about a family of ghosts possessing various wooden figures, and it would have employed Medium Blending, where the physical characters would be traditionally-animated while the wooden figures would have been in CGI. Unfortunately, Disney's decision to abandon traditional animation causes the project to be cancelled in November 2003, shortly before the Florida studio closed in January 2004.
  • In the mid 2000s there were plans for a movie about a cat named "Fraidy Cat". It was scrapped because the uppers thought no kid would know who Alfred Hitchcock is, which the film took heavy influence in, or would be interested in it. The official synopsis is:
    A chubby housecat with frayed nerves is torn off his comfy couch and dropped smack dab into a Hitcockian thriller when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit.

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