I found another cool article I thought I would share. It was from a magazine called "Persistence of Vision" circa 1995 (some of these projects were completed, though not as originally planned):
..."There has been a wave of Disney remakes lately, starting with Jungle Book. A live-action version of 101 Dalmatians is also underway. It has been reported that David Newman has written a script for a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake. It is said to be significantly different from the original; only Nemo, the Nautilus, and the squid have been kept - beyond that it is reported to be "very different." Disney is anxious to do the film, because of the advancements with their new computer system. The Nautilus is projected as being totally computer generated. The films Mighty Joe Young, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and 20,000 Leagues, appear to be a start to a reported new Disney policy - they want to do one big live-action family event film every year.
..."Disney just acquired the rights from the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate for Tarzan. This Disney project is reported to be headed to animation, but one source claimed that she heard live-action.
....."Shortly after the opening of Pocahontas, the edict came down to put more cute animals into The Legend of Mulan. The animated feature already included a cute little dragon, and rumor now is that a cricket will be added to the film. (Jiminy?)
..."Hercules is in active development and appears to be heading for a 1997 release. Hunchback is set for 1996, and Mulan has apparently been pushed back to 1998. Voice talents rumored to have been chosen already for Hercules include, Hal Holbrook, Danny Devito, Matt Frewer, and Bobcat Golthwait. Ron Clements and John Musker are directing, and rumor is that Hercules is there followup to Aladdin. They are looking for a really wild film- it's been called Disney's version of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Art direction for the film is rumored to be some of the most crazed stuff Disney has ever done.
....."The computer animation guru John Lassiter's Disney collaboration, Toy Story, is scheduled for release this fall. The Disney/Pixar combination is currently working on James and the Giant Peach. While on the subject of computer animation, the project that is fascinating everybody at the Disney studio is "The Dinosaur Project." It is an attempt to do, with computer generation and without Pixar's help, the most lifelike dinosaurs ever done. A rumored test reel was completed, and was reported to have been "very highly received." They are looking to expand the ten minutes of footage into a full-length feature for a scheduled Christmas, 1997 release.
....."Fantasia Continued, continues. The following sequences from the original are being kept: Sorcerer's Apprentice, Nutcracker, Dance of the Hours, and night on Bald Mountain (without the Ave Maria sequence!). Six new sequences are being added. Five of them were reported last issue - and have not changed - the sixth sequence is rumored to be a piece by Shostakovich (one source claims Piano Concerto #2).
....."The Pomp and Circumstance sequence has been changed again. Originally it was going to include every Disney animated character - but it wasn't working. Disney is now back to one character Donlad Duck - in the version of Noah and the Ark. It is reported to be genuinely funny and inspired. Hearsay claims that the marketing campaign for Fantasia Continued will be built around Donald and this sequence.
....."Of great concern to Disney Feature Animation is the defections to Dreamworks SKG. Currently Dreamworks is working on the Prince of Egypt. Stephen Schwatz, who was working on Mulan, has apparently left to do the music for "Egypt". Also the people that wrote the original screenplay for Aladdin are working on "Egypt" for Dreamworks. Katzenberg continues to attempt to lure creative people away, and seems to be having some success. (In fact is is rumored that the reason Prince of Egypt, a story of Moses, was chosen as a first project was in an attempt to lull away one of Disney's top animators, whose Christian beliefs are well known.).
....."Also in the preliminary work stage for Disney Feature Animation is Around the World in 80 Days and Quetzalcoatl. The recent "Gong Show" for Disney Animation put six titles into active development. Some are odd choices, especially since the "adult-developed" Pocahontas is not doing as well as Lion King. Early reports claim that the standard comment for Pocahontas is "It was good, but it wasn't a Lion King". The six titles are: King Lear, Pygmalion, Sheherazade from "Thousand and One Nights", Ramayana, The Flame of Peace, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Again, I think it is kind of interesting to try to imagine the climate at the Studios during those time to see what all was in the pipeline and what some thought/hoped the direction of the company was going to be. It is interesting because we KNOW where the company went with each of these projects (well....most of them), and it's a fascinating process to see and one can easily appreciate it. Now if only we can see "The Sweatbox"...lol
"It's Kind Of Fun To Do The Impossible"
- Walt Disney