There are quite a lot of animated shows and movies out that you’d think it would be hard to notice if something had gotten lost. However, sometimes a lost show or movie is so big that it makes you question what happened, what caused it to be lost, and how did such a thing happen. So, I want to talk about these animated movies and shows, or episodes of shows that were lost, weather due to complications behind the scenes, the deaths of creators or actors, budget restrictions, re-writing, or even unknown reasons. There’s a lot of lost shows and movies, so feel free to tell me if I happened to miss any. Also, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie will not be on this list, as it has been confirmed to air on November next year, so thank goodness for that. Anyway, let’s start the list.
#20: Alive: The Final Evolution
Alive: The Final Evolution, or Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen is an 8 volume manga created by Tadashi Kawashima that ran from 2007 to 2009 about a school boy who was struck with a strange sensation, and finds out that other people who are struck with this either kill themselves or evolve to have dark intentions for the world. The series seemed to do very well, with good reviews and sales. However, Tadashi finished the series in the hospital before tragically dying after succumbing to liver cancer, shortly after the final chapter was published. After it was finished, an anime series was planned to be created Studio Gonzo, who is most known for working on series like Hellsing, Gantz, Rosario + Vampire, Welcome to the NHK, and Afro Samurai. They were working on the series, but production stopped after they were removed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Today, it’s still unknown if any storyboards of the show exists, but it’s most likely that this anime won’t be able to surface.
#19: Billy and Mandy: Trepanation of the Skull and You
If you were a kid growing up in my generation, you probably remember the show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, which seemed to make a lot of references to horror classics and was a well known cartoon back on Cartoon Network. However, it wasn’t always like the show we know it for today. Back when the creator of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Maxwell Atoms, was still in college, he created a short film known only as Billy and Mandy: Trepanation of the Skull and You. The first thing you’ll notice is that the animation is much more different than the show that Maxwell created, but I think the most noticeable thing is the darker tone. Billy wants to release his inner demons and tries to do so by drilling a hole in his head. Maxwell stated that it was too dark for Cartoon Network, but found the characters too fun to just use once and decided to put them into a series. However, during an interview with Youtuber Rebeltaxi, Maxwell said that he would like to transfer the short into digital. On May 1st, 2016, the short was uploaded to Maxwell’s Youtube channel, and the film was finally found… I may be a bit late for this, but this is still a special piece of animation history for being hidden away for so long.
#18: The Electric Piper
Here is a movie that sounds so odd that it must be good in some way. The film was an adaption to the story The Pied Piper that aired on Nickelodeon in 2003. It followed a guitarist based on Jimi Hendrix named Sly. He comes into the town of Hamlin to rid it of a rat infestation with his guitar music. However, after this, he is denied his reward, which is, and I’m not making this up, a Harley Davidson motorcycle. When he is denied the reward, he convinces the children of the town to run away with him. The film was said to have the voices of Rodney Dangerfield, George Segal, and… Rob Schneider…….. Anyway, the film had only aired on Nickelodeon a few times and then was never seen again after that. No VHS or DVD releases have been found, and only three clips have surfaced online, one of which was taken down. I mean, it’s Nickelodeon, so I’m not shocked. A Reddit user says that he met with the producer of the film who gave him a copy of the film, but can’t show it for legal reasons, though the user says that he hopes to get the film online soon, yet no word of it has been mentioned since.
#17: My Peoples
Here is a film that a bit interesting on paper, but clearly wasn’t good enough for Disney’s taste. The film was to follow two feuding families, the Harpers and the McGees, whose two children, named Elgin and Rose, fall in love, and the families try to pull them apart. So much in fact, that the father of Rose tried to make Elgin forget her, but instead, brought the dolls that Elgin made to life. One of them being a proposal gift for Rose, named Angel. However, instead of wanting to bring them together, she decides to have nothing to do with them and runs off, as the other dolls try to find her and keep Rose and Elgin together. It was quite an interesting and unique idea, but multiple changes were made to the film, even thought of using the ghost of dead relatives at one point. Sadly, the film was cancelled to make room for another Disney film, known as Chicken Little… I’m sure that move was worth it in the end. I’m sure those below average scores are just a misprint. Good move, Disney. Good move indeed.
#16: Yellow Submarine Remake
We all know Robert Zemeckis for his work on the Back to the Future films, so no doubt, this guy has some talent. Sadly, he was also responsible for those motion capture films. We all didn’t like Mars Needs Moms and some were mixed on The Polar Express, but that animation was terrifying. So, naturally, the best thing to make was a remake of the Beatles light-hearted Yellow Submarine film. The film was going to use these creepy looking visuals that would seem to belong in a horror movie rather than anything Beatles related. There were plans for a broadway musical and a Cirque de Soleil show. However, in 2010, Disney shut down his studio after Mars Needs Moms was both a critical and financial disaster. Zemeckis later stated that it was probably for the best that the Yellow Submarine wasn’t remade. Concept art and even animations for the film can still be found online, but like I said, it would belong more in a horror film than anything that the Beatles made.
#15: Cecile and Her Very Own Universe
We had to put a young childrens show on her at some point, everyone. Cecile and Her Very Own Universe was a short that aired on the Phred on Your Head Show on Noggin, and unless you happened to be on that channel on 2002 for some reason, there is no way you new this thing existed, as no videos or images exist. The only image that exists is the promotional picture for it. Though, there was a description of the show on company’s website which said that the show would have been about a young girl named Cecile on the planet Metro, where people dig into the planet while she explores the surface of the planet and teaches children about the joy and fascination of exploration. Sure, it may sound a bit complicated for children, but children are smarter than adults give them credit for. I think that this would have been an interesting show for little kids. You don’t see much shows showing childrens love for exploring and learning. This would seem like a show aired at kids who are just learning about the world and need to explore it more. But, why have a show like that when we can have more Dora the Explorer and sell all the merchandise until the bank breaks.
#14: Big Bug Man
For those who have actually heard of this film, we all probably know it for one actor, but I’ll get to him later. The movie took place in a world full of greed and corruption with one man named Howard Kind, the only uncorrupted person in the world. After being bitten by a bug, he becomes a superhero, but soon becomes corrupted by the businessworld. I like the idea of showing how big business can do some serious harm to people and how fame can lead to corruption. But, like I said, people know this movie for one actor. Brendan Fraser- Wait, no. Not him. Marlon Brando, yes, him. If you don’t know who Marlon Brando is… Where have you been? His most famous role was for the movie, The Godfather. He was asked to play the main villain of this film, but instead, Marlon Brando asked to play as the old woman, Mrs. Sours. He even dressed as an old woman throughout the recording to get into character, and said that it was the most fun he had acting in a movie ever. Sadly, he passed away a month later on July 1st, this being his final film. The film was said to be released on 2007, but kept making delays up until 2009, and still nothing has surfaced since.
#13: Kingdom Hearts Disney Cartoon
Here’s one that will make plenty of gaming fans upset. Back in 2002, writer Sean Kearsley was planning on creating a Kingdom Hearts show for Disney after the games major success. The show was said to have an anime-like art style to fit with the designs of the characters. When it was shown to Disney, they refused it, as it was too dark for their show and so the the show was cancelled before it could even get started. However, many still hope for this show to come to life very soon, as Gravity Falls was a dark show that gained lots of popularity, so they believe that a Kingdom Hearts cartoon is right around the corner. Kearsley had posted the early storyboards onto his DeviantArt page and was told about his work on the show during an interview with Youtuber Brandon Gonzalez. I gotta say, the storyboards look pretty good. Though, my only question is that how can the plot of Kingdom Hearts, a game where Final Fantasy characters fight alongside Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy be too dark? I love Kingdom Hearts, but a story like that sounds too damn silly to be considered dark.
#12: Garfield’s Judgement Day
Who here remembers those old Garfield comics and the television show? Well, if so, then did you know that the creator, Jim Davis, was working with Disney to create a movie-length special of Garfield in the late 80s and early 90s? That’s right. Garfield’s Judgement Day was said to be a special that was more serious and more dark than the usual Garfield special, even having a tornado destroy Garfield’s hometown. The studio worked hard to get this done. The storyboard and voice acting was finished, as well as the songs for the special, and there were 15 minutes of animation done. However, Disney cancelled it again for being too dark. What, again? Do they not remember some of the dark stuff they did in the past with their kids movies? I remember Night on Bald Mountain in Fantasia. That stuff was nightmarish. Back on topic, Jim Davis rewrote the story two times, but instead of finding it too dark, Disney just stopped caring about it, so Jim Davis had to put the idea into a picture book instead. One of the songs from the movies appeared on a documentary titled Happy Birthday, Garfield that aired on CBS in 1988. This is the only proof we have of the film ever existing.
#11: Alice in Wonderland 1939
Alice in Wonderland has become a classic story among the years. Sure, lots of disturbing things have been talked about the original story and the creator that I’d rather not go into detail about, so let’s talk about the lost movie. Alice in Wonderland was planned to be the first animated Disney film ever, but was pushed all the way back to the 1950s instead due to there being multiple drafts. The most interesting being the Leica Reel, with artwork by David Hall, a script by Al Perkins, and songs by Frank Churchill. However, once again, Disney turned it down for being too dark. Though, this time, I can see why. The animation was both too hard to animate and the characters in Wonderland looked far too disturbing. Even the characters were seen with murderous intent, such as the Mad Hatter and White Hare wanting to tear Alice apart with scissors and knives, and even having Alice thrown into a guillotine near the end of it. So naturally, Disney didn’t even want to touch that and went for a more light-hearted Alice in Wonderland film. A few years later, a book titled Walt Disney’s Surprise Package contained David Hall’s artwork, yet these books were rare to get. They were then put into other books and even DVD releases of Alice in Wonderland. I’d say that they should have used some of the artwork, but now that I look at them… Yeah, the only thing Alice in Wonderland they’d fit into would probably be American Mcgee’s version.
#10: Dumbo II
We all know Dumbo as that beloved children’s classic with the elephant with big ears the terrifying and mentally scaring Pink Elephants on Parade. So, naturally, to cash in on the success of this classic, Disney wanted to create a sequel to Dumbo. The film was to be directed by Robert C. Ramirez, who made Dreamworks Joseph, King of Dreams. The film was worked on for some time, even planned to release in 2001, but was cancelled when John Lasseter took the role of Chief Creative Officer. The film was said to take place one day after the first movie, where Dumbo and a group of baby animals fell of the train and had to find their way back home. The only proof of this film's existence was a behind the scenes trailer of the film that showed some artwork and an interview with the creators of the film. Sure, Dumbo may not be Disney’s most popular film, but I’m sure a lot of people would like to see a Dumbo II movie… or maybe it’s just me.
#9: Pixar’s Newt
What was planned to be Pixar’s fourteenth film turned into the only film that was never finished. The film would have been the debut film for film writer Gary Rydstrom. Newt was planned to release in 2011, but was soon pushed back until being eventually cancelled. One thing to note is that the film's plot is VERY similar to the animated movie Rio. The film has two animals, being the last of their species, who must mate in order to save the species, but do not like each other, and embark on an adventure to… do a thing. It’s a kids movie. It needs to have some adventure somewhere. During production, chief archivist Dave Smith got an email from Disney, telling them that Newt would be cancelled. Sure enough, it was. The project was later passed to the Pete Docter, the director of the movie Up. When he read it, he got an idea for a new film that Disney found much better, and that movie came to be Inside Out. So, at least something good came out of the death of this movie.
#8: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Movie
Oh, this is one I know too much. Back before Jojo became the popular anime we know it for today, it was a very obscure series that didn’t see much approval in North America. The only anime of the series was this weird one that started with the second half of Part 3 in 1993 and did the first half in 2000… It was an odd production period. But, in February of 2007, in Japan only, the theaters were met with the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood movie. It would have been an interesting look at the first part of the series, if only it was good. Fans hated this movie. And I mean they despised it. Mainly due to the changes, most notably being that the character, Robert E. O. Speedwagon, who was actually an important character to the series, was taken out of the movie entirely. This was the thing that Jojo creator, Hirohiko Araki, hated the most about the movie. So much that he demanded that the film be taken out of theaters and never get a digital release. So, unless you were at the theaters in Japan on that very day, you never saw this movie. But, proof of it’s existence surfaced when a professor who had ties to the creators of the film used footage from the movie for his class to study, and footage was uploaded to Youtube, yet no audio was used on it. I’d say watch it, but we already have the Phantom Blood anime. That movie is irrelevant now, but it’s still too big a piece of Jojo history to abandon entirely.
#7: Ed, Edd, n Eddy’s “Special Ed”
Not much I can say about this one, since little information on it exists, but I’ll try to say what I can. Ed, Edd, n Eddy was a show that aired for quite a while on Cartoon Network and gained lots of popularity for being a very simple show with a simple concept, yet managed to entertain many people. The episode, Special Ed, was an episode that started production back in 2005, yet for some reason, never finished work, and just kinda stopped after that. The only proof we have of the episode actually existing is from an interview with the shows creator, Danny Antonucci, who stated that the show was based on being a very silly show aimed at children, and that the episode was just, as he stated, “too real”. It’s believed that the episode would have followed Ed, and why he acts the way he does… Oh, I think I see why this episode wasn’t aired. Oh, that would have pissed off a lot of parents.
#6: Johnny Bravo “Mess O’ Blues”
Johnny Bravo was probably one of the funniest and most beloved shows of the 90s. So how did it all start? Well, it started kinda weird. Mess O’ Blues was created by the show creator, Van Partible, who created the idea back when he was working on animation in university. The short was about an Elvis Presley impersonator. This man would go on to become Johnny Bravo himself. A professor of Parable's took the short to a friend who worked at Hanna-Barbara, and the studio loved it so much, they asked it Partible could create a seven minute short episode, but create a character that was more of a 50’s James Dean-look-alike that spoke like Elvis. Partible’s work later aired on World Premiere Toons, and became a major success. Although Johnny Bravo became an instant classic, Mess O’ Blues, the short that started it all, has never been shown. It’s odd, seeing as how the short Whoopass Stew was found, and was later made into the Powerpuff Girls… Yeah, that was the original name. Why Mess O’ Blues hasn’t been shown is still a mystery.
#5: Gotham High
This one… baffles me. It’s just… so weird, that I want it to exist just so I can laugh at the absurdity. So… This was a show created by Jeffrey Thomas who wanted to create Batman, except have it take place… in High School… I am not making this up, people. This was actually planned. When Thomas showed this to DC, they liked the idea enough to plan to create an entire series… How, I don’t know. The characters in the Batman universe would have all had some sort of clique in high school. Some including the Riddler being the nerd, Killer Croc being the bully, and Mr. Freeze as the… “cool” kid. That pun was so painful, it harmed me just to type it down. So, obviously, this show never made it into being a television series, but I honestly wish it was made into a series. The idea is just so crazy and unheard of that it sounds like something I need in my life. Not sure why, but I need it.
#4: Kingdom of the Sun
We all know the Emperor’s New Groove and how it’s one of the best comedies to come from Disney. However, it wasn’t always meant to be a comedy. The film was once planned to be a musical that would follow a llama herder named Pacha, who meets the young Emperor Manco, who looks exactly like him. So they pull the whole Prince and Pauper thing and switch places so Manco and take a break from royal duties and Pacha can experience a taste of royalty. Meanwhile, the sorceress, Yzma, plans on becoming young and beautiful by blocking out the sun and summoning an Incan god of darkness. During the work of the film, there were several delays and issues behind the scenes. Finally, the studio lost patience and decided to scrap the idea and start working on Emperor’s New Groove, which, I can’t be mad for, really. The song from Kingdom of the Sun, Snuff Out the Light, managed to surface, and was even put onto the soundtrack of Emperor’s New Groove. Thank goodness too. That song’s catchy as hell.
#3: Foodfight! Lost Footage
We all know Foodfight as being one of the worst, if not the worst, animated film of all time. But, would you believe me if I told you that an earlier version of it didn’t look so bad? Probably hard to believe, but it’s true. Lawrence Kasanoff began work on Foodfight, starting with taking a loan of over $60 million dollars. With that, he began making advertisements for the film and getting A list actors to do the voices. However, in 2002, the hard drives that contained the film was reported to be stolen and all of the footage was lost. The film was forced to start over again from scratch with a small budget and was later released in 2012. This lead to the film receiving negative reviews due to bad animation, constant use of sexual innuendos, and a script that just wasn’t that good. The thing is that, a studio reel that revealed the original footage was shown some time before the film was stolen. The animation looks much better on here than on the original film, yet there still hasn’t been any signs of the original footage of Foodfight anywhere.
#2: A Day with Spongebob Squarepants
Here is probably one of the most popular lost pieces of… anything ever. It’s the Holy Grail of lost animation. A Day with Spongebob Squarepants was an unofficial mockumentary made by Regal Films and was planned to be released in 2011, yet was cancelled. 4Chan and Lost Media Wiki users have been trying to find this film everywhere, yet no luck has been found yet. The premise of the movie is said that a child wins a chance to meet Spongebob, but things suddenly go ary. If anything, this would probably be something like Cool Cat Saves the Kids, where a guy in a Spongebob costume going around with a kid and probably being so poorly acted. I mean, they didn’t even try with the DVD cover. Spongebob’s house isn’t even the right house. The release of the film was cancelled for unknown reasons, but I believe it was mostly due to copyright by Viacom. It may seem fake, yet it has appeared on shopping websites, like Amazon. It’s so bizarre that something like this managed to appear on Amazon a few seconds and then disappear the very next. Almost scary, really. People have been trying forever to find this film, and it seems that they are still trying to find it to this very day. All I can say is good luck to whoever searches this film, because you’ll probably be waiting a long time for this movie to come into existence.
#1: Toy Story Black Friday Reel
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows Toy Story as being Pixar’s magnum opus, one of their best, if not their best film to date. But, like literally everything else on this list, it wasn’t always the beloved family friendly film that we know it for today. When Pixar and Disney planned on the film, Disney executives joked about how they wanted an film for adults, so Pixar's got to work on the film. In this version of Toy Story, now known as the Black Friday Reel, it showed Woody as being a cruel and careless character who treated everyone like garbage and was just a horrible individual. When Pixar's showed their storyboard and script to Disney, they were disgusted with it. So much, that they said it was possibly the worst idea for a movie they had ever seen. After this, Pixar’s worked on the actual Toy Story film, which is what we have today. The Black Friday Reel storyboard can still be seen in documentaries of Pixar's, and it seems that the creators of Toy Story are embarrassed of this version of Toy Story and see it as nothing more than a huge mistake on their part. However, a darker part of me really wished that this version was made. I mean, this cruel sort of behavior seems more like a Youtube parody or something, not a film that Disney helped make. Sure, it was scrapped, but just knowing that Toy Story started as something more cynical than it’s original film is both disturbing but fascinating at the same time.
Well, there you have it. Did you enjoy the list? Let me know what you thought of it. With that said, I will see you all next time.