Our favorite Pixar movies all had to start somewhere. After the initial seed of an idea was planted these movies took a whole series of twists and turns before the movie was complete. The characters that we know so well today went through some very interesting changes along the way.
I think that you may be pretty fascinated to see, just like I was, how far some of these movies ventured from the original idea.
4. A Bug’s Life
We all love the heroic Flik, but before him there was Red, who was featured in the first draft of the movie.
Flik started life as a red ant named Red (appropriately!) who was part of the Circus gang. This axed ant was destined to be the ringmaster of a troupe of circus insects. Red was set to be a troublesome ant on a mission to cheat the colony. This idea was flipped around into something more light-hearted and the character of Flik was born.
A fun fact about this film is that the storyline originated from a humble lunchtime conversation between the studio's head story team!
3. The Incredibles
What was different? Originally the supervillain was going to be a character called Xerek. Syndrome was only supposed to have a short part at the beginning of the movie.
When Syndrome proved more popular among the producers, the decision was made to axe Xerek. However, he wasn't the only one. Here is some early concept art showing off three potential villains:
It also seems The Incredibles were also going to have an additional, more beastly, member. Check out designer Lou Romano’s concept art for the superhero family below.
2. Inside Out
During brainstorming there were even more emotive characters planned for this movie. They were going to have a German-accented Schadenfreude (literally 'shameful joy' ie. laughing at another's pain) along with a French-accented Ennui (literally 'severe boredom').
The character of Riley changed from someone who wanted a part in a Thanksgiving play, to someone who wanted to run away from home.
And remember Bing-Bong? Well, even this character saw some major changes too. In one version Bing-Bong was not Riley's only imaginary friend, Riley's other friends included Corner Sun and Mrs Scribbles.
In an interview with Den Of Geek screenwriter Pete Docter revealed some of the other changes made on the road to making this movie happen.
“For a while we got distracted and made Joy go on the journey with Fear and not Sadness, and that was another big, long detour that ended up producing some really good stuff but was wrong. I think all of us could kind of feel it.
We would sit in editorial and we would have great little scenes, but they didn’t add up to anything. And as sort of proof of that, Joy in the third act, you want her to be able to do something that she would have never been able to do at the beginning.
So she had gone on this long, fantastic journey with Fear and I was thinking, well, what is she racing back to headquarters to do? What action is she going to take based on what she’s learned from Fear? And it just wasn’t anything.”
1. Toy Story
There were tons of changes made, but here are just some! Toy Story began life as an extension of Pixar's Oscar winning short Tin Toy.
Tinny, a character from the short, was a character written into the original story. Woody was supposed to just be a side-kick to Tinny and was actually envisioned as a evil looking ventriloquist's dummy. Check out this early concept art below!
Thankfully this horrifying looking dummy evolved into being the famous pull-string cowboy doll, Woody.
The producers thought Tinny was too immobile for the storyline, and so Tinny was developed as a space toy. The first name they chose for the newly developed toy was Lunar Larry. Eventually the character was renamed Buzz Lightyear, to honor the NASA Apollo astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.
Along with Tinny, there were some other characters who also got scrapped, including Wheezy the Penguin, a collector called Al McWhiggin and even Barbie herself. Surprisingly, Barbie became Little Bo Peep after Mattel refused to license the doll for the first movie. Eventually Mattel saw sense and allowed Barbie to meet Ken in Toy Story 3.
Here are some other fun facts about Toy Story!
Are you surprised by the origins of these Pixar movies?