Ah, Disney. Arguably the greatest studio in the history of movie making (and becoming more powerful every day), they have brought joy and toys to kids throughout the world for decades. Hell, even their flops become franchises, complete with more action figures, costumes and stuffed animals than you can shake a fuzzy stick at. Sometimes it seems like everything they touch turns to gold.
Only, you know, not so much. Even the House of Mouse has had a gigantic share of flops, sometimes even before the talking horse is out of the gate. For a myriad of reasons, from lack of funding to lack of interest, Disney has multiple films that have sadly never seen the life of day. On top of that, a slew of them are actually sequels to much beloved flicks!
With the power it’s now amassed and the current love for nostalgia, who knows, some of these may make a reappearance someday.
For now, here are 19 Canceled Disney Sequels We’ll Never Get To See.
19. DUMBO II
Dumbo is one of those characters who remains loved in the public eye, despite most people not being able to remember what the story is actually about (there’s him and his mom in a circus with some crows, right?) This is why in 2001, plans were made to release Dumbo II.
Taking place one day after the first film ends, the sequel would have shown Dumbo, Timothy Q. Mouse, and other baby animals lost in New York City, all trying to re-unite in the Big Apple.
Sounds adorable, right? You can even watch the trailer for it on the Dumbo 60th anniversary edition DVD. Sadly, after being hyped in the early 2000s, no news was heard from it again and then the project was canceled by John Lasseter after he was named CEO of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006. Sadly, all our flying elephant dreams will have to now directed toward the live-action adaptation coming from Tim Burton.
18. THE TOON PLATOON / WHO DISCOVERED ROGER RABBIT
Many people don’t actually know that Roger Rabbit is owned by Disney, and it was a pretty solid move for the studio to show the dark side of that candy-colored cartoon universe.
There were actually two plans for prequels to the famous original. The first, Roger Rabbit: The Toon Platoon would have shown our hero in WW II, saving Jessica from the Nazis, with a big reveal at the end that Bugs Bunny is Roger’s father! Gasp! However, executive producer Steven Spielberg stopped the projected after Schindler’s List, saying humorous Nazis would be disrespectful to Holocaust survivors. Probably a good call.
There was another idea in the late ’90s for a prequel about Roger’s rise to fame, first on Broadway then in Hollywood. However, due to an extremely high budget and lack of studio interest, it too was canceled. There’s still talk of bringing it back, but for now, sadly, no more jokes for this rabbit. Unless…
17. Who Framed Roger Rabbit II
There is a chance for Roger Rabbit to ride again… possibly.
Last year, while promoting his film Allied, director Robert Zemeckis mentioned that the script to the Roger Rabbit sequel is finished. He told the Telegraph that it would bring Roger and Jessica “into the next few years of period film, moving on from film noir to the world of the 1950s.” It would also feature the return of Eddie Valiant as a ghost.
“It would be very hard to do but we would do a digital Bob Hoskins,” he said.
However, while there has been interest in the past for a sequel, Zemeckis also admits the current chance of it happening is slim. “The current corporate Disney culture has no interest in Roger, and they certainly don’t like Jessica at all,” he said.
16. TRON: ASCENSION
Ah, Tron films: much talked about, almost never done.
Just like with the first sequel to Tron, Tron: Legacy, which took almost 30 years to happen, Tron: Ascension is being held in a screen saver-like limbo. It’s officially not happening, yet, there’s still some talk about maybe, possibly, someday coming out.
No one really knows what it’s about. There’s been talk about Cillian Murphy returning to his uncredited role as Edward Dillinger, Jr. and this time being the film’s big bad, as well as Jared Leto playing a new role named Ares.
15. JOHN CARTER: THE GODS OF MARS
Remember John Carter? No… seriously, do you remember him? Set in 1868, Taylor Kitsch, he went to Mars, it was based off the famous Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. Remember?
The forgettable nature of the first John Carter is exactly why there hasn’t been anymore of his adventurers. The original film was actually planned on being part of a trilogy, with the second film called John Carter: The Gods Of Mars. If it’s anything like the book of the same title, it would have told the story of John returning to Mars to liberate the planet from its crazy overlords.
14. BAMBI’S CHILDREN
Ah, Bambi, a story about family if there ever was one – you know, if you disregard that devastating scene with the hunter and Bambi’s mother. However, the rest of it: pure family.
Felix Salten, the author who wrote the first Bambi novel, actually wrote a sequel about Bambi and Faline’s children growing up. It’s another sweet tale of nature at its best and worth a read if you enjoy adorable (yet brutal) Austrian folktales.
There was talk for years of Disney making it into a sequel, but it never got off the ground. However, the novel did get Dell Comics treatment in an official Walt Disney story, published in 1943. So if you want to go back into that forest, well, at least there’s something out there for you.
13. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS II
Honestly, out of all the sequels on the list, this is the one we’re most surprised hasn’t happened yet.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a fantastic tale of love, obsession, and holidays. There’s been talk about a sequel or prequel for years, but story creator and executive product Tim Burton has always been against it:
“I was always very protective of (Nightmare), not to do sequels or things of that kind. You know, ‘Jack visits Thanksgiving world’… just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it,” Burton said to MTV. “I try to respect people and keep the purity of the project as much as possible.”
12. TREASURE PLANET II
If you haven’t seen the original Treasure Planet, we recommend you stop reading, go watch it, and then come back to finish this article, because it is wonderful and truly underappreciated.
The film is basically Treasure Island, but in space, which should be enough to sell you on it. Had it done better at the box office, we could have gotten the long-planned sequel. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Thompson, Brian Murray were set to return and Willem Dafoe would have played the evil Ironbeard. It would have been an epic tale of pirates chasing down pirates, but again, in space!
11. MONSTERS, INC. 2: LOST IN SCARADISE
Oh man, we love a good pun here as much as anyone, but that title for the proposed second Monsters, Inc. is truly terrible.
Long before we went back to college and got our prequel, there were thoughts of a sequel: Monsters, Inc 2: Lost in Scaradise. The idea was that Mike and Sulley would learn that Boo has suddenly moved and they have to travel through the human world to find her.
We loved the wacky college hi-jinks of Monsters University in 2013, so we are glad Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan’s next adventure went back instead of forward, but Disney and Pixar both love their sequels. We may see more movies with this duo yet.
10. THE ARISTOCATS II
Not to be confused with the infamously filthy joke, Disney’s The AristoCats told the story of a highbrow cat, her little kittens, and the alley cat who helps them after they’ve been kidnapped. It’s entirely adorable.
The planned DisneyToon Studios sequel seemed like it would have been equally charming, with the family now on a cruise ship trying to stop an international jewel thief. They would have traveled the world, seeing beautifully Disney animated lands like Spain, England, Scotland, and more. However, it was also scrapped when Lasseter became CEO in 2006.
9. FANTASIA 2006
Did any Disney movie mess us up more as a child than Fantasia? We’re still haunted by that Night on Bald Mountain segment, even after all these years.
Disney actually had plans to subject a whole slew of new kids to this level of beautiful monstrosity with Fantasia 2006.
After the moderate success of Fantasia 2000, Disney began working on a continuation in the series, but it was canceled for unknown reasons. However, many of the segments from the canceled movie have been released as individual shorts, including 2003’s Destino (with stunning art from Salvador Dali), 2004’s Lorenzo and One by One, and 2006’s The Little Matchgirl. They’re absolutely worth watching, and we promise, only slight nightmares to come.
8. THE JUNGLE BOOK 3
If you don’t have kids, you may have missed (or just forgotten) the sequel to the well-loved The Jungle Book that came out in 2003. Either way, the film bombed with critics and, though moderately successful at the box office, it wasn’t enough of a hit to continue the series.
If things had gone differently, we might have just gotten the planned The Jungle Book 3. Here, Baloo and Shere Khan would have been captured and sold to a circus, with Mowgli and crew working to save them.
Disney is now focusing on its live-action movies for its classic catalogue, so it’s surely no go on this threequel. The sequel for the second live The Jungle Book has also been shelved (for now) so director Jon Favreau can work on the new The Lion King adaptation. It really looks like we’re not going back into the jungle anytime soon.
7. MULAN 3
Did you know there already was a sequel to the classic Mulan? If it comes as a surprise to you, you clearly haven’t been keeping an eye on the direct-to-DVD Disney empire.
In Mulan II, Mulan and her fiancé, General Li Shang, escort the Emperor’s three daughters across the country to meet their new fiancés. It was… not good.
There was talk of continuing this series for a while, but with the poor reviews and sales from the last movie, the idea was canceled and there hasn’t been any new news for years. Luckily, Disney has announced there will be a live-action version of the original, with Liu Yifei playing the titular character, so we get to see Mulan fight the Huns once more!
6. MEET THE ROBINSONS: FIRST DATE
The first Meet The Robinsons, a brightly colored story of time travel and a boy finding his weird and wonderful place in the world, was surprisingly charming. It wasn’t particularly memorable, but it was cute and something a little different for Disney.
There was actually was going to be a sequel to this kid-friendly flick. tentatively called Meet the Robinsons 2: First Date. It was being put together by DisneyToon Studios, however when Lasseter became CEO, this was another one he put on the chopping block, as he preferred to focus on spinoff films and original content over sequels. No more Adam West-voiced spaceship-driving pizza delivery men for you!
5. CHICKEN LITTLE: THE UGLY DUCKLING STORY
Had Lasseter not pulled the plug, it’s very likely there would be a sequel to Chicken Little around now for your viewing pleasure. The script was done, according to animator and story developer Tod Carter, and production was already in motion.
The Ugly Duckling Story‘s script was about Chicken Little getting caught in the middle of a love triangle with his childhood love, Abby “Ugly Duck” Mallard, and the new girl in school, Raffaela, the French sheep.
It sounds like it was have been more adorable and character-based then the frantic space alien attack story of the original. We’re a little sad they chickened out of this one – it would have been fun to see where it went.
4. ALADDIN 4
Yes, there are not only one, but two sequels to the original Aladdin out there right now. Both went straight to DVD and they’re both pretty awful. At least the third one had the return of Robin Williams as Genie!
In fact, there was so much extra material recorded by Williams that Disney was hoping to take it and turn it into a fourth Aladdin movie. However, part of the late actor’s will says that any unused material cannot be put into a film for 25 years, meaning those plans had to be scrapped.
3. HERCULES II
In the original film, Hercules went from zero to hero. Who knows what could have happened in the sequel?
Well, we do. In theory, the story would have revolved around Hercules and Megara, now living in Athens, raising a daughter named Hebe. When Helen (Hercule’s old friend) is kidnapped by Paris of Troy, Herc goes off to save her.
Sounds like fun, but of course, it never happened. Instead what we got was another direct-to-DVD sequel called Hercules: Zero to Hero, which bridges together three episodes from the Hercules cartoon series with some new animated segments. It’s not as strong as a full new movie, but it’s at least a little bit of something for any Disney Grecophiles out there.
2. PINOCCHIO II
At the end of Pinocchio, the wooden boy got his wish granted and he became a “real boy.” Huzzah! Story over; no need to tell anything else.
Except, Pinocchio was an insane success for Disney and is still well-loved today, so of course there were plans for a sequel. It was in development up until 2006 when, you guessed it, it was also canceled by Lasseter.
Little is know about what it would have included. All screenwriter Robert Recce ever said was: “It’s a story that leads Pinocchio to question why life appears unfair sometimes,” he told Animated Views. “I really wish I could tell you more, but you’ll have to wait for the movie. But it might be a while.”
1. THE SEARCH FOR MICKEY MOUSE
Oh no, Mickey’s gone missing! In this adorable would-be sequel to all of Mickey’s other adventures, the most famous mouse on the planet has been kidnapped, and there’s only one man who can save him: Basil of Baker Street.
Yes, the pint-size P.I. from The Great Mouse Detective would have been back at it again. Minnie, Basil, and the rest of the gang would have gone on an adventure, encountering everyone from Alice in Wonderland to Aladdin in Agrabah to get him back.
Sadly, this film has been in production since 2002 and there’s been no word for yeas if it’s coming to light. There was talk of it being Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 50th animated feature but instead, that went to Tangled. Who knows if we’ll ever see this disappearance and reappearance of Mickey Mouse.
What Disney sequels would you like to see? Drop us a note in the comments.
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