These scrapped Disney and Pixar storylines are blowing fans' minds

Disney and Pixar are responsible for some of the best-known animated movies around. But just how different could the plots of those films have been? Twitter has seen a flurry of debate as fans digest a list of scrapped plot ideas from films ranging from classics like The Lion King and the Little Mermaid to more recent titles Frozen, Up and The Incredibles.

Disney and Pixar have changed plot lines, inverted character's personalities and dropped whole concepts before settling on the final story for many films. The revelations include whole characters that never made it to the final cuts of the films – an aloof and perfectionist Señorita Cactus in Toy Story? A talking turkey with the voice of John Candy as a sidekick for Pocahontas?  (If you're an animator yourself, see our guide to the best drawing tablets for animation in 2021.)


(Image credit: Pixar)

Buzzfeed drew together a list of 17 of the most notable changes, and it's causing much debate on Twitter now. Most people seem glad that the original ideas didn't make it into the final movies, but it's intriguing to imagine how some of our favourite animated films could have been quite different.


(Image credit: Disney)

Disney's 2013 film Frozen tells the story of princesses Anna and Elsa, who are separated because of Elsa's magic powers. However, originally inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen", the story went through several incarnations. Originally, the girls were not sisters. Anna was going to be a peasant girl who asks the evil Snow Queen Elsa to freeze her broken heart. And Elsa had also frozen her own heart because she was left at the altar on her wedding day.

@LudwigVonDrake8 tweeted: "I love the idea of evil Elsa. Good, well-meaning sisterly Elsa is nice, but evil Elsa would have been awesome-looking, Plus there would probably be a great song involved."

Monters, Inc

(Image credit: Disney)

It's hard to imagine Monsters, Inc. without the little girl Boo as the film explored children's terror of things that go bump in the night, but it turns out that the original idea was to deal with much more adult fears. Director Peter Docter's original pitch was to tell the story of an adult man haunted by monsters that represent fears and anxieties from his past that he never dealt with.

The Incredibles

(Image credit: Pixar)

In the 2004 film The Incredibles, Syndrome is the main villain. But he was originally only going to be a minor character like Bomb Voyage, appearing only in the first scene of the film. The main villain was to be a whole different character called Xerec, who didn't make it to the original film but appeared in a comic book mini-series sequel.

Lion King

(Image credit: Disney)

Many of those on Twitter were intrigued to learn that in an earlier screenplay for The Lion King, Scar raised Simba following Mufasa's death. In the final film, Simba escaped after Scar lured Mufasa to his death. Originally, the other animals were going to mistakenly believe that Scar had saved Simba, leaving him having to raise the cub. @archangelsounds tweeted: "Scar "pretending" to take care of Simba post-Mufasa is an INTRIGUING ANGLE + lost opportunity."

Most people on Twitter seem to be happy with the decisions the companies made. @YaGirlTaylor519 tweeted: "Y'all did the right thing in not going through with y'all's original plan". However, others reckon there are ideas that could serve for other films. "Disney should just use these ideas for future movies," @Gr00vybaby420 tweeted.

See our guide to the top animation tools for digital artists to enhance your own animation work.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.