Animated movies cost a lot — for example, the estimated budget of movies like Zootopia (2016) and Frozen (2013) is around $150,000,000. It’s clear from this number that animation studios are always very careful with what they’re producing, developing only the best of the best ideas, so every new project will end up a hit. No wonder so many ideas get rejected, but sometimes due to different circumstances even the most promising projects can end up shelved for eternity without getting a happily ever after — even after they were announced and production has already started.
Here at Bright Side we have collected several shelved Disney projects that we were supposed to see, but they never happened. And it’s a pity, because we totally believe in these and would be the first ones in line to watch.
This movie should have become a computer-animated musical, a reimagining of Jack and the Beanstalk. It tells a story of young Jack who finds a world of giants hidden in the cloud and befriends one of them, an 11-year-old named Imma. Together they try to stop the Storm Giants who want to rule both the giant and the human worlds.
The directors of the movie were Nathan Greno (the director of Tangled) and Meg LeFauve (the director of Inside Out), and the musicians who composed music for the movie were Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote the music for Frozen. It was planned to be released after Frozen II in 2019. However, in 2017 Disney announced that the project “wasn’t working out” and had been canceled.
2. King of the Elves
This animated movie was planned to be based on the short story written by Phillip K. Dick. It’s about a man who lives in the Mississippi Delta, who helped a band of elves, after which they chose him as their new king. He leads them on their way to escape from an evil troll, finds himself on a dangerous journey, and finds the meaning of his own life.
At first, the release date was planned to be in 2012 — its production even moved the Frozen release to 2013. However, later production stalled due to problems with the story, and its director started to work on other projects.
3. The Seven Dwarfs
In the 2000s, DisneyToon Studios was planning to make a prequel for Disney’s classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). It should have been called The Seven Dwarfs and could have told the story of how the dwarfs met and started to live together, along with the plot line of how the Evil Queen took the throne from Snow White’s father.
Later, during production, the focus of the movie moved to how one of the dwarfs, Dopey, lost his voice after watching his mother die. The story then became too dark to tell to kids, and it was dropped in 2006.
The plot was centered around 2 of the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts. They were forced together by scientists in order to save the species, but couldn’t stand each other.
The release was planned for the summer of 2011, but later was removed from the list of upcoming projects and was confirmed to be dead. It’s not completely clear why the project was canceled — some say the studio wanted to focus on other more promising projects, others pointed toward the similarities to the movie Rio (2011).
Disney planned to adapt Terry Pratchett’s novel Mort into an animated movie. The plot centers around a boy, who Death chooses to train to be its apprentice. However, on his first assignment on a princess, the boy fell in love with her and didn’t fulfil his duty, changing history and the chain of events that followed.
This project didn’t happen for various reasons. At first, Disney wasn’t sure about making Death a major character. In addition, the rights to the project were sold as a package and Disney didn’t want to buy the entire franchise.
But this definitely sounds interesting and we really think that Tim Burton could make a masterpiece out of this idea.
6. Wild Life
Wild Life was planned to be an animated film that was being developed in the late 1990s, but was dropped in 2000. The owner of a prestigious night club was looking for a new star to raise his club’s popularity. The star-to-be becomes Ella the Elephant from the local zoo, who is able to talk. However, Ella doesn’t believe in herself and doesn’t think she’s good enough until one day when she gets electrocuted and knocked unconscious. With her new found self-confidence, she becomes a famous pop-singer.
The problem with the movie was that it wasn’t turning out to be a children’s movie. It was filled with adult jokes and when Roy Disney heard its script, he immediately shut down production.
7. Dumbo II
The action in the sequel was supposed to take place the next day after the event from the original. It was planned to be centered around baby animals who got lost and separated in New York and who are trying to find their way back home. The idea was also that each character would represent a different stage of childhood and deal with their own problems, learning how to fix them.
Sounds like a nice and sweet story, but it didn’t happen for various of reasons.
8. Monsters, Inc. 2: Lost in Scaradise
Monsters Inc. (2001) was originally planned to have a spinoff, and we don’t mean the Monsters University (2013) prequel. In 2005, Circle 7 screenwriters started to work on the second part of Monsters Inc., where the plot takes place one year after the original. Mike and Sully visit the human world on Boo’s birthday to give her a present, but instead of her they find and old lady and realize that Boo has moved. After their disagreement on what to do, they split up, and get trapped in the human world trying to find her.
This definitely sounds exciting, but unfortunately the production was closed after Circle 7 Animation was shut down and Pixar ended up doing the prequel.
Which of these movies would you most love to see? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Preview photo credit King of Elves / Walt Disney Pictures