Coming up with such rich and three dimensional characters must mean there are mountains of rejected ideas in the waste baskets of Disney animation studios, and us mere mortals won't ever know about most of the characters whose careers were over before they began.
There are, however, a handful of characters who made it past the initial sketch stages that ended up being axed for a variety of reasons and below is a collection of the characters whose roles would have been major enough to totally change the movies.
So get ready to imagine how Aladdin might have turned out if he wasn't an orphan, or how Pochontas would have been if her animal friends could speak, because all these things were very nearly a reality!
Aladdin's Mom, Aladdin
Aladdin went through a particularly brutal cull of characters before it became the polished masterpiece that we know and love, and one of the poor unfortunates to face the axe was Aladdin's mother.
When this nourishing maternal figure was cast out, a beautiful song was also left in the desert of the Disney archives which is a true shame because it's absolutely stunning.
Belle's Little Sister, Beauty and the Beast
Belle's little sister, Clarice, made it a long way before getting the axe in order to enhance the loneliness in Belle's life that helped her to bond so deeply with The Beast in the first place.
Senorita Cactus, Toy Story 2
Senorita Cactus was meant to be a character in Toy Story 2, but I guess she got cut when someone remembered that no kid has ever played with a cactus. EVER.
Gryphon and the Mock Turtle, Alice in Wonderland
The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle both bumped into Alice in Lewis Carroll's original book, but Disney decided that the lion-eagly hybrid and the combination a turtle and a calf (inspired by the veal used in mock turtle soup) were a few strange creatures too many.
Instead of joining the Cheshire Cat or the Queen of Hearts in wonderland, the Mock Turtle and Gryphon bizarrely appeared in a jello commercial to confuse the hell out of children everywhere. Check it out in the video below:
Mheetu, The Lion King
With a faux-African name that is meant to sound like 'me too,' this little tag along lion was designed to be Nala's younger brother and a member of Simba's inner circle who stood by him when he was exiled from the pride.
The development of the characters Timone and Pumbaa ended up making this little fluff ball an unnecessary distraction and he was cast out by the animators.
Redfeather the turkey's on screen chances ended in rather more tragic circumstances that the rest of the characters in this list. Originally voiced by John Candy, Redfeather was put to bed when the iconic comedy actor died suddenly in 1994.
Although Candy has voiced a lot of his lines, it was decided that Pocahontas was better suited to be a serious drama as opposed to a comic romp and the Native American's animal friends were all rendered silent while Redfeather got the chopping block entirely.
Although we hear his men referred to by name a couple of time in Pinocchio, the dishonorable general was cut from the final move because, let's face it, Pinocchio has enough terrifying characters to give the average child nightmares for weeks.
Deafy, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Yep, you read that right. There could have been a Deafy. When Disney first designed the dwarfs they were rather generic until it was decided to give them set personalities based on their names.
A large amount of possible dwarfs were trashed (including one called 'Burpy,' I kid you not, but Deafy made it worryingly far into the storyboarding process. Thankfully, someone decided that 'Sneezy' had better comic appeal so we were spared some cringeworthy outdated disability jokes. Phew.