In October 2017, Disney announced that they were pulling the plug on Gigantic, a planned retelling of the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. Though the studio never confirmed the reasons behind the cancellation, it has been widely speculated that the production hit a number of creative hurdles along the way.
Gigantic isn’t the only feature that will never see the light of day. Check out other canceled Disney Movie ideas that didn’t quite make it to production and the reasons why they got stuck on the cutting room floor.
5 Canceled Disney Movie Ideas That Would Have Made Awesome Films
Tron: Ascension (Tron III)
The Tron series has gathered a huge following ever since the first film was released in 1982. The sequel, released in 2010, rose to become a hit at the box office as well. So it was no question that Disney would cash in for a third installment, right?
Well, technically Disney did announce that a third Tron film was coming. In fact, director Joseph Kosinski confirmed that the film was in its early stages in 2013. It was reported that the movie’s original stars, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, were also set to reprise their roles. Jared Leto was rumored to be attached to the film as well.
However, the plan fell apart two years later, and it was likely due to scheduling conflicts. All hope isn’t lost, though, as Kosinski shared in 2017 that the production wasn’t totally canceled and that like a majority of fans, he’s only waiting for that green light from Disney.
In 2008, Disney announced a new project with Pixar titled Newt. The film was set to follow the last two blue-footed newts on the planet and their quest to save their species with the help of some scientists. It sounded like a really fun concept, only Disney wasn’t totally on board with it. Filmmakers eventually decided that the plot was too mundane for their standards and scrapped the project altogether, leaving us with one of the canceled Disney movie ideas that would have attracted a huge following. There were also rumors swirling that 20th Century Fox beat Disney to the idea with the 2011 animated flick Rio.
Newt may have never made it to the big screen but it was given a special shoutout in Toy Story 3. In one scene, you can spot a “newt crossing” sign in Andy’s room.
Fantasia was one of the iconic Disney films ever released. For a while, there had been rumors going on that Disney was planning a follow-up called Musicana. It was set to feature a mix of jazz, classical music, myths, and art. But the plan never came to be. Instead, Disney funded Mickey’s Christmas Carol, a retelling of the classic story by Charles Dickens.
4. One for Sorrow, Two For Joy
The 2004 fantasy novel One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Clive Woodall had all the makings of a blockbuster film. It is set in the bird kingdom of Birddom, where evil magpies and crows kill the birds that live there. One lone robin sets out on a mission to defeat the mad bird Slyekin and put an end to his reign of darkness for good.
Despite the potential hit in their hands and the fact that Woodall handed Disney the rights to adapt the movie, One for Sorrow, Two for Joy never made it to the big screen. To date, there is no word if the movie will actually happen.
5. Uncle Stiltskin
One of canceled Disney movie ideas that we’re sure would have been a hit is a feature about a character the whole world is familiar with—Rumpelstiltskin.
Way before Robert Carlyle‘s excellent performance as Rumpelstiltskin in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Disney had plans to bring the notorious villain to the big screen in an animated feature. The story follows the original Brothers Grimm version of the character where Rumplestiltskin kidnaps a child to spin straw into gold. But since this is Disney, there’s bound to be a heartwarming twist somehow. In this version, Uncle Stiltskin learns about the true meaning of family and everything ends well for him.
Sadly, the film was shelved in 2003 and hasn’t been developed ever since.