We’re here to discuss one of the biggest media power players on Earth – Disney. What about Disney? Well, let me tell you! Disney and their subsidiaries have made billions of dollars at the box office and are one of the easily recognized brands – however, they haven’t always made their fans happy.
Blasphemy, you say?!
Calm yourself and let me explain. There have been calls for the continuation of a number of their properties that have simply not come to pass. What’s even more discouraging for some fans, is that a number of the projects moved to the development stage, only to be scrapped for one reason or another. Since the Disney-Pixar merger, the Pixar team has stated that they want to focus their efforts on mostly original content. However, they did deliver several sequels to some box office hits, leading to diehard fans of other Disney properties to hope for further prequels or sequels.
The projects in this list were known by fairly generic working titles, yet drew up interest from fans who wanted to see more stories about their favorite characters.
What are these films that were in various development stages, yet haven’t become a finished product? Keep reading and your questions will all be answered.
15. The Nightmare Before Christmas 2: Why Not?
Yes, Disney was all-in and ready to produce a sequel to the cult classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, however, there was a bit of a problem.
Instead of continuing with the stop-motion technology, Disney wanted the sequel to be done using computer animation. Director Tim Burton was able to persuade Disney from going forward with the idea – putting an end to sequel talks for the time being.
14. The Seven Dwarfs Prequel
The Seven Dwarfs was pitched to have a Lord of the Rings type franchise, first continuing with a prequel showing the adventures of the group before they came across Snow White. Interesting concept right?
It’s interesting to think of how they would have accomplished such an ambitious undertaking while staying true to the themes, art, and tone set by the original film. Concept art was created for the project before Disney eventually decided to not continue with the franchise for the foreseeable future.
13. Hercules II: The Trojan War
Ignoring that Achilles was referenced in the first film – basically stating the Trojan War had already happened, Disney could have easily worked around this by using a bit of creative freedom. Yet, how can anyone forget Phil causing the Achilles statue to crumble with a flick of its heel?
The original plot suggested a possible brawl between Hercules and Achilles would have gone down in this sequel – more than worth the price of admission alone! Who would you take in a fight between these two? Again, ignore the obvious point of the film’s lead is Hercules.
12. Dumbo II: 24 Hours Later
The proposed plot for the Dumbo sequel had it taking place 24 hours after the original film, telling the stories of the group being separated in New York City. Each of the main characters was going to represent the various stages of childhood.
Sound great? Disney thought so as well, they even created a trailer, featuring it on the Dumbo: 60th Anniversary Edition DVD. How’s that for overconfidence?
As you know, those plans did not turn out the way Disney wanted and there aren’t any current plans to make a sequel for Dumbo, despite the concept seeming to be quite similar to successful modern Disney animation.
11. Pinocchio II: The Real Boy
Pinocchio 2? That’s right, Disney has floated the idea around several times throughout the decades. There’s no arguing the place Pinocchio has in the history of animation, nor how loved it is among the legions of Disney fans. The 1940s film has become legendary.
While there aren’t currently plans (nor any real conversation) about the possibility of a sequel anytime in the near future, the buzz of a Pinocchio sequel would captivate audiences around the world.
However, no matter how good a potential sequel plot Disney could develop, it’s likely fans will claim it to not to be as good as the original. Perhaps it’s best that Disney never went forward with this sequel.
10. Treasure Planet II: Because It Could Work
Treasure Planet was supposed to have some sort of sequel, yet those talks were quickly rail-roaded after extremely disappointing box office returns. While the film was not a financial success, it remains one of the most underrated and creative films in Disney’s catalog.
With the financial success coming from Disney’s multiple Star Wars projects, there is no reason why a franchise like Treasure Planet could not achieve success if continued.
9. The Up Sequel: Down
In the Best Picture-nominated Up, fans were treated to an incredible and tearjerking story about life. The film was also a major financial success for Disney, nearly raking in $750 million worldwide.
Rumors for a sequel came about when Pixar’s Lee Unkrich tweeted out a fan pic of a potential sequel titled Down. Other than speaking broadly about Pixar not focusing on sequels, those at Disney have been quiet about commenting on the continuation of the Up franchise. Yet, it seems to be a project they will consider under the right circumstances.
8. Roger Rabbit 2: The Toon Platoon
Yes, Roger Rabbit counts as a Disney flick. Numerous Disney characters were featured throughout the film. Now that’s out of the way…
A sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit was in development, with the first draft Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon having been completed in May 1989. Steven Spielberg rejected the script due to the cartoon depiction of Nazi soldiers.
It’s not known if a second draft of the film was ever produced, however, it would be a shame if it wasn’t. Roger Rabbit is a cult hit with its own unique place in American cinematic history. While we may never get a sequel, this is definitely an interesting piece of trivia for movie buffs.
7. Toy Story: The Recall
Ah, Toy Story. While there is a healthy Toy Story franchise, with several Oscar nominations to its credit – there is a famous plot arc which was in development but was seemingly canceled in favor of what would become Toy Story 3.
In this version of the plot, Buzz was to be shipped back to where he was made (Taiwan), after a massive toy recall. His friends Woody, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, and the others were to find out news that all the recall toys were set to be destroyed.
6. Finding Nemo II: I Thought They Found Him!?
Before the Dory spin-off, Disney attempted to create a Finding Nemo sequel after their partnership with Pixar came to an end. Disney even got as far as attempting to make the film, yet they realized the value of Pixar, eventually purchasing the company and agreeing to the Dory movie instead.
While a sequel to Finding Nemo may happen one day, that day won’t come anytime soon. With the success of Finding Dory, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of the Finding Nemo franchise. Who doesn’t want to see this sequel happen?!
5. Brave II: Merida Keeps Kicking Butt!
Despite not receiving the critical acclaim of other Pixar movies, Brave was a strong financial success for Disney. Talks of a sequel originated in 2012 and were further stoked in 2013, when Brave Director Mark Andrews stated, “If we got the right story it would be fun – to get the gang back together again, add a few more new characters and find out what other Scottish talents are out there that might want to do an animated fun. I don’t know if there will be another one. We never make a film at Pixar to have a sequel. It is always nice when you do and we kind of have a philosophy that if we find the right story then we will.”
4. The Princess And The Frog II
While The Princess and the Frog was a critical success, Disney has admitted to several marketing mistakes surrounding the film. Oh, it’s also important to note that the movie was released days before the record-breaking Avatar hit screens – you may have heard of that movie in passing.
Despite all of that, Princess and the Frog was still a financial success and has drawn numbers of fans to push Disney into making a sequel. While the little public talk from Disney executives about a possible continuation of the franchise leaves many wondering if we’ll ever get to see a sequel to this extremely fun flick.
3. Mulan III: Wait There Was A 2!?
With the buzz surrounding the live-action Mulan (which has existed for years in China, check it out!) many are also remembering their favorite moments from the original animated Mulan. What many forget, or simply weren’t aware of is Mulan II was a straight-to-DVD film, and a third was in the works before eventually being put on pause.
It’s odd Disney went that route with the success of the first film, yet for years die-hard fans were waiting for the third animated movie to continue progress. With the live action film coming (2019), it’s possible there could be a new batch of animated Mulan films in the franchise.
2. Sword In The Stone: Arthur The King
A flashback to the past, The Sword In The Stone is a 1963 film which has been rumored for a possible sequel for quite some time. Recently Disney announced a live-action remake was in the works, but that’s not exactly what fans of the original animation had in mind.
The film was a massive critical and financial success back in the 1960s, creating numerous conversations and rumors throughout the years. If the live-action adoption is a success we could see another animation depicting Arthur as King. However, it may be extremely unlikely at this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
1. A Bug’s Life 2: Flik Buggin Out!
A Bug’s Life was a major financial boon for Disney, the feel-good story captivated many, leading to the obvious talks of a sequel. However, Pixar President Jim Morris threw a wet blanket on hopes of a sequel in the near future stating, “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on.”
While fans of the film may never give up on a sequel, it doesn’t seem that Disney will revisit the possibility of making one for quite some time.
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