7 Disney Alternate Movie Endings That Would Have Radically Changed Your Favorite Films
If you were ever a child with hope in their heart, or a human being who doesn't live devoid of technology, chances are that you grew up loving Disney movies. Even as you got older and realized they have some dirty jokes hidden in them, that dedication is strong and solid. Still, it's my job to be a routine nostalgia-buster, so let's consider the following: how weird is to think about how the alternate endings of Disney films would've changed your, you know, entire childhood? Well, believe it or not, there are more than a couple variants on your favorite cartoon classics.
Now granted, Disney films stray drastically from the original fairytales, so we all know that writers take a lot of creative liberties when it comes to creating an adaptation. I don't think the corporation would be as huge of a success as it is if it went with first draft screenplays only. Regardless, we've gotten so used to anticipating the much rewinded happily ever afters those movies end on, so to open the Disney vault and find something else... well, it's a lot to handle.
Anyway, I would get some tape at the ready because your childhood's about to break into pieces. Here are seven Disney alternate endings.
1. The Little Mermaid
There was some minor tweaking when it came to an earlier script of the film that made you want to grow fins. Instead of Ursula turning into a gigantic version of her sea witch-y self, she pursues Prince Eric in her normal fishy form... where she tries to simultaneously drown and strangle him. Suffice it to say, they scrapped the idea for something a bit more whimsical.
2. The Lion King
We all know that The Lion King is basically lion Shakespeare, but, in an earlier draft of Simba and Scar's epic final battle, they really drive that point home. Basically Scar flat out throws Simba off the cliff and says, "Goodnight, sweet prince." Luckily, Simba is actually kind of OK in spite of the fall. Scar, thinking Simba is dead, decides to evil laugh it up, but, while he's "MWAHAHA"-ing, he ends up getting engulfed in flames and burning to death. Oh, Scar, you and your pride.
3. Beauty And The Beast
Speaking of re-written deaths, since we're solidly on the subject, the original 1988 concept plot (and second draft from 1989) is a lot different compared to the final film. Now, granted, those versions are a lot closer to the actual film (Belle's father steals a rose from Beast's garden and he swears to kill him, Belle goes to live with Beast to save her father's life, it's a whole thing), but, originally, Gaston was slated to have a much more gruesome demise... well, depending on your perspective on gruesome demises. He was supposed to have survived his fall from the castle, but then be eaten by wolves from earlier in the film. Amusingly enough, it seems like Disney studios may have pocketed this idea for Scar's death with the hyenas.
4. Lilo & Stitch
So, apparently, in the original ending of Lilo & Stitch, there was a part where Stitch was supposed to hijack a plane in order to follow Gantu's ship. So cute, right?? Wacky Stitch and his mischievous antics. However, the film came out in 2002, and the 9/11 attacks happened during production, so they scrapped that part out of respect. Instead, the ending was re-written so Stitch used Jumba's ship instead.
5. Robin Hood
Robin Hood might not ring a big bell for the millennial set, but let's include it in here for good merry measure. In the alternate ending, Robin Hood jumps off a castle to escape capture, as in the real ending. However, Robin Hood is injured, and Maid Marian goes to his aid. Meanwhile, Prince John sneaks up on the couple in order to stab them to death. Dark. King Richard intercepts this planned stabbing, dethrones John, and everyone else gets happily ever afters.
6. Toy Story 2
Oh man. Where to begin? The short version is that the entire original storyline for Toy Story 2 is drastically different than the movie. Woody's Round-Up is still a concept, but Bullseye can talk, Jesse is instead Señorita Cactus, and she teams up with Stinky Pete to manipulate Woody into staying with them. Instead of having the climax an airport, the movie segues into a car chase... with Woody stealing Al's car and Al following in a Pizza Planet truck. The ending more-or-less has Woody drive back to Andy's house, which sounds pretty incredulous. Even for a movie about living toys.
Bottom line? In the original version of Frozen, Anna plays a prissier, girlier, less "adorkable" version of herself, so to speak. And Elsa? She wasn't a misunderstood hermit burdened with insecurity; she was a straight-up villain. The original plot was supposed to have Anna, a peasant girl, ask the snow queen Elsa to freeze her broken heart. Instead, the pair were turned into more nuanced characters when they were made into sisters.
Whether your favorite Disney movies would have been better or worse with the original endings included is really for you to decide for yourself as a fan. Personally, I can't imagine these amazing flicks any other way.
Images: Walt Disney Feature Animation (1); Giphy (7)