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Toy Story was almost called Hand-Me-Down Hero and five other scrapped Pixar ideas

Contributed by
Jan 2, 2018

Many of us have Pixar to thank for single-handedly engineering our childhoods. Through a string of box office hits, they soon became the gold standard for animated entertainment geared toward kids and kids at heart. At the end of the day, Pixar's success boils to the stories and characters they create, whether it's a group of toys that come to life when their owner leaves the room or an obsolete junk robot attempting to save earth's last living plant. There's heart, emotion, and genuine forethought put into all of the company's movies, but they don't just crank them out like electronics on an assembly line.

There's a process of trial and error to creating classics and Pixar is the first one to admit that. In a video published on December 22, they provide a rundown of unused movie ideas that prove the ones we got were the best ones possible. Here are a few of the most intriguing scrapped concepts that never made it into some of Pixar's most beloved movies.

 

[Insert Title Here] Story:

Toy Story. Such a simple and elegant name, but it wasn't always that way. According to the video, the film that would propel the company into the major leagues was almost called Hand-Me-Down-Hero, The Cowboy & The Spaceman, Spurs & Rockets, Plastic Buddies, Don't Move, and Toys In The Hood. The opening of Toy Story 3 was originally going to have Woody ride into a town in the Old West. Buzz shows up and "then the toys find themselves in the middle of a Hannah Montana-esque concert." It would be revealed that Andy's sister was playing with her brother's toys, but the filmmakers decided to go with a train sequence instead.

There were almost a lot more emotions in Inside Out:

Pixar's take on the turbulent time of childhood from the perspective of a kid's emotions was truly a genius move. However, Riley's head was originally supposed to be a lot more crowded than it turned out to be. In fact, she was going to have 27 different emotions with their own names. For instance, Sadness was Misty, Anger was Ira, and Fear was Freddie. It may have gotten a little too confusing with so many feelings and names, so Pixar made the smart move of limiting the characters to a smaller, more select group of basic emotions. 

Blob-E:

At one point, the company wanted to animate a movie about a bunch of blobs whose primary language consists of "childlike gibberish." The blobs eventually became the overweight humans aboard the Axiom in Wall-E.

Edna Mode was shrunken for The Incredibles:

The short-statured super hero costume designer (voiced by director Brad Bird) was originally much taller in designer Teddy Newton's first drawings. As a joke, Newton doodled her as an extremely short woman and Bird loved it so much, the joke of a design made it into the finished product. Since then, Edna has become iconic and there's no sense crying over her lost height. To quote her character, "Never look back, darling. It distracts from the now." 

Mike Wazowski could have been much scarier:

Billy Crystal's one-eyed scream harvester went through several different iterations before the filmmaker settled on his final look. Some of the video's drawings show him with two legs and no arms, his whole body on fire, a shaggy head of long hair, and a goatee. The axed designs make him look like a much scarier monster than he turns out to be, so they definitely made the right move keeping him simple. 

Catterpillar craziness:

Heimlich, the food-loving catterpillar of A Bug's Life is one of the movie's greatest sources of comedy, especially when he sprouts into a fat butterfly at the end. Voiced by the late Pixar animator Joe Ranft, the character was supposed to be voiced by a "professional actor." Ranft provided the placeholder voice until a performer could be hired, but he did such a wonderful job, that he was kept on as the official voice of Heimlich. Given his German accent, do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger was on their shortlist of actors they wanted for the role?