The Disney Films That Never Were: The Original Non-Pixar TOY STORY 3 - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Disney Films That Never Were: The Original Non-Pixar TOY STORY 3

Buzz recalled! Woody in China! Andy's toys meet the Transformers! All this and more in the original 'Pixarn't' version of Toy Story 3...

Arriving in 2010 to much acclaim, 11 years after the first sequel, Toy Story 3 is, in my humble opinion, the best of the four Toy Story films to date. But the version we saw on the big screen was not the one Disney originally had in mind, that should've been released in 2008 and it had an entirely different story line.

According to the terms of Pixar's initial seven-film deal with Disney, all characters created by Pixar for their films were owned by Disney. Furthermore, Disney retained the rights to make sequels to any Pixar film, though Pixar retained the right of first refusal to work on these sequels. At no point in time had there been an area of contention over this until in 2004 when negotiations between the two companies surrounding a new/extension to their agreement made a split appear likely.

Michael Eisner, Disney chairman at the time, put plans in motion to produce Toy Story 3 at a new Disney studio called Circle 7 Animation. Circle 7 was specifically set-up with the sole intention of creating sequels to the Disney owned Pixar properties, leading rivals and animators to derisively nickname the division "Pixaren't".

Among the scripts Circle 7 had under consideration for Toy Story 3 was one from Teacher's Pet screenwriters Bill and Cheri Steinkellner and would have involved Andy and his toys (Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Rex, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Jessie, and Bullseye) paying a visit to his grandmother's house for the night, because his room was getting remodeled. Whilst away several of Andy's other toys, and new characters Hee-Hee, and Gladiola, try to figure out who stole the toys one by one in a whodunit-style murder mystery story.

Disney was impressed with the script, especially since it focused heavily on a new collection of marketable characters (and I suspect one with a voice cast cheaper than either Tom Hanks or Tim Allen), but it was decided to hold it back for a possible fourth installment, and Disney instead approved a final script from Meet the Parents screenwriter Jim Herzfeld.

The Disney Circle 7 Animation Toy Story 3 would have focused on Andy's toys shipping a malfunctioning Buzz to a factory in Taiwan, called Wocka-Wocka, where he was built. While searching on the Internet, the other toys discovered that many more Buzz Lightyear toys had been malfunctioning around the world and the company has issued a massive recall. Fearing Buzz's destruction, Woody, Rex, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Jessie, and Bullseye all ship themselves to Taiwan to rescue Buzz.

Once in Taiwan the gang encounter a variety of other toys who aid them on their journey to Wocka-Wocka, including several Transformers characters. At the same time, Buzz meets other toys from around the world that were once loved but have been recalled, such as Rosey, a warm cozy toy and Jade, a tall Barbie style doll with an evening gown. Along with meeting the recalled toys, Buzz also meet a new Star Command action figure that was going to be the replacement of Buzz, Daxx Blastar, along with his accessory pet cat named Comet.

Disney officially announced Toy Story 3's production in 2005, revealing promotional art at Siggraph 2005, and assigned Bradley Raymond, who previously directed Disney's direct-to-video sequels such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and The Lion King 1½, to direct the film.

Although negotiations had not been finalised, Tim Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear, indicated a willingness to return even if Pixar was not on board, and the film was slated for a full theatrical release sometime in Spring 2008.

So why didn't it happen? Well, in January 2006 Disney bought Pixar in a deal that put Pixar chiefs Edwin Catmull and John Lasseter in charge of all Disney Animation. The following month, Disney CEO Robert Iger confirmed that Disney was in the process of transferring the production of Toy Story 3 to Pixar.

However that wasn't exactly the case, as when Disney bought Pixar Circle 7 Animation was shut down and its version of Toy Story 3 was completely canceled. It was then several months after the acquisition had gone through that John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich came up with a brand new story for Toy Story 3 (over just one weekend!), before Stanton wrote a full treatment.

The finished product had no traces of the Circle 7 version of the film at all, since the filmmakers hadn't even read its script. Unkrich explained this was...
"...Not out of spite, but we wanted to start fresh, and not be influenced by what they'd done. We didn't look at any of the work they'd done. We really didn't want to know anything about it."
Perhaps that was wise as, IMHO, they came up with something close to an animated masterpiece.

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit Two
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