Disney Movie Deleted Scenes You Need To See

Disney movies are pretty unforgettable. You might not remember where you left your keys, what day of the week it is, or the password to your online banking account, but we bet you can remember every word of your favorite flick from the House of Mouse. Even before it became the entertainment juggernaut we know it as today, Disney was a leader in the field of animation. Mickey Mouse made his debut in a cartoon called Steamboat Willie on Nov. 18, 1928, and their first full-length feature, Snow White, premiered on Dec. 21, 1937, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time. After a troubled period in the '80s, the '90s were deemed the Disney Renaissance, which kicked off with The Little Mermaid in 1989, and included classics like 1991's Beauty and the Beast, 1992's Aladdin, and 1994's The Lion King.

It's hard to imagine that the Disney movies, characters, or songs that you learned by heart could have turned out any other way. But, as with any creative process, many Disney movies started out as ideas that transformed as the films progressed. Here are deleted scenes that could have totally changed the way you remember your favorite Disney films.

Dinner is (almost) served inside the whale in Disney movie Pinocchio

The second animation feature Disney made, Pinocchio was originally released in 1940. The Disney movie's now most famous for teaching viewers not to tell lies, for the line, "I'm a real boy!" and for the song "When You Wish Upon a Star," which won the Oscar for best song that year. In case you haven't seen it in a while, Pinocchio is pretty weird. At one point, puppet-turned-human Pinocchio's friends are transformed into donkeys as punishment for partying, while his father/creator Geppetto, cat Figaro, and pet fish Cleo are swallowed alive by a whale.

In this deleted scene, known as sequence 10-1 to the animators, we see the trio inside the whale's belly, trying to find something to eat. A hallucinating Geppetto sets up a fishing line, but, with nothing biting, Figaro turns on Cleo. And it all gets a bit Donner Party — which may be why Disney eventually scrapped it. However, if you like a dark twist on a fairytale, in 2018, Variety reported that Pan's Labyrinth writer and director Guillermo del Toro signed on to make a musical stop motion version of Pinocchio.

Peter Pan was nearly a kidnapper in this Disney movie deleted scene

As with most Disney movies, the story of Peter Pan, released in 1953, was not an original. It was based on a 1904 play and a 1911 book written by J.M. Barrie, who based the character of the "boy who wouldn't grow up" on five young brothers who played near his home in London's Kensington Gardens. The movie opens in London, in the Darling family's nursery, but originally it was closer to the tone of the book and play, which is much darker than the Disney version.  

In the scrapped opening, the movie starts out in Neverland, with mean girl mermaids taunting Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan, knife in hand, telling his bored Lost Boys that he will go out and kidnap a mother to tell them stories. Terrifying! This version of Peter Pan is similar to how he's portrayed on stage and page: His mischievousness is less adorable and more self-centered, arrogant, and a little bit evil, as he struggles to tell the difference between reality and fiction. Ultimately, Disney decided to make the hero more child-friendly — and this opening went out the window.

Disney movie The Jungle Book missed out on The Beatles

Back in 1967 when Disney movie The Jungle Book came out, the Beatles released two albums, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour, which cemented their status as the most famous band in the world. The quartet from Liverpool, England had first hit worldwide fame in 1964, thanks to an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, when their energetic performance resonated with young people looking for a more modern sound than '50s rock 'n' roll. 

In a nod to the times, Disney tried to get the Fab Four to appear in their new movie as a foursome of vultures sporting the band members' characteristic bowl haircuts. They composed and animated a draft of a song called "We're Your Friends" in the Beatles' style, complete with tambourines and a cameo from scrapped character Rocky the Rhino. However, the band declined, with John Lennon as the one who was supposedly against their appearance. The song was renamed "That's What Friends Are For" and redone in the style of a barbershop quartet.

Disney movie The Aristocats scrapped Madame Adelaide's ode to her cats

Given that most of the action in 1970 Disney movie The Aristocats focuses on the felines and their accomplices, you could be forgiven for forgetting that there were human characters besides the burglarizing butler. But Duchess and her kittens' beloved mistress, retired opera singer and OG cat lady Madame Adelaide, nearly had her own moment in the spotlight.

In a deleted song that many cat owners have probably unknowingly recreated, Madame Adelaide lovingly tells her cats about how happy they make her and the purpose they bring to her life. In a later deleted scene that reprises the song, Duchess thinks back on the happy times she and Madame Adelaide have had together and how much she and the kittens mean to their mistress, and she realizes that even though she loves alley cat Thomas O'Malley, she can't leave Madame Adelaide on her own. It's a very sweet moment, and it explains Duchess' motivations in choosing her human over O'Malley — but at least they left us with the unbeatable "Everybody Wants to be a Cat" instead.

The original ending of Disney movie Robin Hood was a letdown

The story of bow and arrow-wielding thief with a heart of gold Robin Hood has been a favorite with filmmakers since 1908, when silent film Robin Hood and His Merry Men was released. And 110 years later, there was yet another adaptation on screen, although audiences weren't big fans of that 2018 version starring Taron Egerton. However, Disney took the story in their own memorable direction in 1973, when they cast Robin Hood as a disturbingly attractive fox, opposite cowardly lion Prince John. 

In the end, Robin Hood outwits the corrupt prince and saves Nottingham, and rightful ruler King Richard the Lionheart returns to reclaim his throne from his terrible brother. Prince John is last seen chasing his adviser, the snake Sir Hiss, around his burning castle. However, in the Disney movie's alternate ending, Robin Hood didn't look quite so heroic. He is injured when he jumps from the turret of the castle and is rescued by Little John, whom Prince John follows, ready to attack — only for King Richard to save the day. The deleted scene's a better deal for King Richard, but this isn't his film, so the sexy fox prevails.

The Little Mermaid's Sebastian went snooping around in this Disney movie deleted scene

The Disney movie that saved the company from its '80s slumpThe Little Mermaid has a backup cast of musically gifted aquatic creatures that helped take it from fluffy fairy tale to forever classic. For instance, it's Sebastian the crab who leads "Under the Sea," one of Disney's best songs and an Oscar winner

However, another scene focused around the Jamaican crustacean got cut down in editing. You may remember that when voiceless Ariel and stowaway Sebastian arrive at the castle, she is treated to a bath and a new wardrobe, while he ends up in the laundry. After escaping into a jacket pocket, he's sent into the kitchen, where he's chased by a chef

In the deleted scene, Sebastian makes it out of the laundry and down a corridor, jumping from a window into a courtyard, where he is chased by Eric's Old English sheepdog Max, whom Sebastian angrily labels, "You shark with fur!" He clambers up a wall into the kitchen, where the chef scene starts. This wasn't the first edit the character faced: Originally he was an English crab butler named Clarence!

We missed out on hours of Genie gold from Robin Williams in Disney movie Aladdin

Speaking of sidekicks who stole the spotlight, Robin Williams' turn as the Genie in the 1992 Disney movie Aladdin was so hilariously wacky that for many people it became his defining role. When Williams passed away in 2014, the Academy of Motion Pictures tweeted an image of Genie and Aladdin with the quote, "Genie, you're free." (Pause for tears.) 

Williams had more than a little help from the talented crew of animators, who wrote the role around the actor, and even animated one of his old comedy albums to convince him to take it. Recognizing his comedic genius, they let him improvise, later picking the best bits to animate and editing until they had just the ones that would go into the movie. Animator Eric Goldberg said of the process, "And when we got Robin in the booth, if that's a road map, then Robin took lots of detours!" Today, fans can watch some of Williams' improvisations that didn't make it into Aladdin.

The Lion King's Mufasa had a solo number in this Disney movie deleted scene

It's hard to imagine the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King unfolding in any other way — despite the best efforts of the 2019 live-action version. However, the movie went through a bumpy creative process. When the animation team at Disney were given the choice to work on The Lion King or Pocahontas, many felt that the latter was the better project. Unlike other contemporary Disney hits, The Lion King's music wouldn't involve Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, but instead Elton John and Tim Rice, and the man considered to be the studio's best animator, Glen Keane, was assigned to Pocahontas.

During those early days, Mufasa was given his own song, "To Be King," to be sung after he shows Simba the entirety of his kingdom — "everything the light touches" — and it involves Mufasa advising his son on best practices for being a ruler. The early sketches that went with it show an all-animal dance sequence similar to that of "I Just Can't Wait to be King." Supposedly the song was cut because it didn't suit James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa.

This Disney movie deleted scene from Toy Story will give you nightmares

The product of a $26 million three-picture deal Disney signed with animation studio Pixar in 1991, Toy Story, released in 1995, was Pixar's first feature film and the first feature-length computer-generated animation. Three sequels later, we've laughed, cheered, and cried with the gang of toys — especially the eternally loyal Woody.

But Woody was far from lovable in the first version of the Disney movie. On a day now known as "Black Friday" at Pixar, the team showed Disney their rough draft. In this deleted scene, Woody pushes Buzz out of the window and then claims it was an accident. The other toys turn on Woody, who starts insulting them, and throw him out after Buzz. It's pretty uncomfortable to watch, and Disney insisted on a total rewrite. Enter Joss Whedon, future creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and writer/director of two Avengers movies, who recognized that, while there were problems, the concept of toys coming to life was "gold" (via Business Insider). Whedon collaborated with the team to rework the script, and the rest is movie history.

The Hercules song that didn't go the distance in the Disney movie

The Ancient Greek myth of Hercules had a moment in the mid-'90s. It started with TV drama Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, starring Kevin Sorbo as the muscular hero, and hit the big screen in the 1997 Disney movie, Hercules. Although the movie was considered a box office flop, the soundtrack composed by Alan Menken (who also did The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, to name just two) provided several Disney classics, including "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)," "Zero to Hero," and "Go the Distance."

But the latter song nearly didn't make it into the movie. Menken originally wrote a different song for that heart-wrenching who-am-I number. He told MTV News, "We had a beautiful song in Hercules that we ended up cutting called 'The Shooting Star.' We needed something that was more of a masculine 'I Want' song as opposed to something for a sensitive lad." Fortunately, we can still hear the ballad and see some of the early animation ideas. And the song did find a new home: It was released by boy band Boyzone, and it made it to the international version of the soundtrack.

Disney movie Mulan's director cut Mushu's big entrance

After Hercules, Disney traveled from Greece to China for Mulan. The Disney movie received mixed reviews: Some praised Disney for representing people of Asian descent, while others pointed to stereotypes and inaccuracies. On the positive side, Mulan was Disney's toughest female character to that point — with a little help from her sidekicks. 

The most memorable sidekick was Mushu, a small but spirited dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy. Initially, Mushu's big introduction was supposed to come through a song called "Keep 'Em Guessing." Director Tony Bancroft recalled, "We had this great song ... he needed something that really said something about who he was. But ultimately, we ended up just going with a simpler idea, which is Eddie Murphy being such a great actor himself that he could really sell the audience on who he was in just a couple words." 

Indeed, Bancroft thinks Murphy's turn as Mushu may have landed him his role in the Shrek franchise: "Would they have thought of Eddie Murphy doing the voice for Donkey without him having already done Mushu? I doubt it. We were the first ever to use Eddie as an animated voice for anything."

This Disney movie deleted scene showed a new side of The Emperor's New Groove's Pacha

Released in 2000, The Emperor's New Groove feels like the weird cousin of the '90s Disney movies. As Variety noted at the time, a lot of the jokes went over kids' heads. The film had been through a grueling production process that started in 1995. Although the premise was always the same, initially it was helmed by The Lion King director Roger Allers and was supposed to be a serious musical drama. In 1998, Disney decided to pep it up by introducing younger animator Mark Dindal. Allers ultimately quit, Dindal and producer Randy Fullmer rewrote the script, and the zany comedy was born.

All of those edits meant that there were plenty of deleted scenes. One introduced us to villager Pacha's extended family. Fullmer explained, "We thought, boy, he oughta have a lot of crazy elements to his family." In the scene, Pacha's trying to tell his wife about Kuzco, but is interrupted by his lively daughter, curious son, entrepreneurial grandad, and stoner-esque neighbor, until Kuzco eventually escapes by running into the jungle.

It took a while for Linguini and Remy to find their rapport in Disney movie Ratatouille

As with a beautifully cooked meal, the filmmakers working on Disney movie Ratatouille had to try a variety of ingredients to see which combination would produce the most satisfying movie. From the start, producer Brad Lewis said they knew that they wanted to have a scene of foodie rat Remy and would-be chef Linguini trying to work together in the kitchen, watched by the rest of the perplexed kitchen staff. 

In the final cut, the duo quickly figure out a system that has Remy pulling on Linguini's hair to indicate what step he needs to do next, and they practice together in Linguini's home kitchen. But an earlier version of the movie had Remy hiding in a drawer, with Linguini sneaking him tastes in a ladle so he can add the finishing touch. Of the original sequence, Lewis said, "We always had this kind of iconic thing of Remy in the drawer, doing different spices and so forth, and it's interesting that never ended up in the final film." The deleted scene also shows the other chefs gambling on how long Linguini will last.

Rapunzel and Flynn nearly tangled with a fortune-telling monkey

To mark their 50th animated film, released in 2010, Disney went back to their fairy tale roots, retelling the story of Rapunzel and her magical hair. The idea had been floating around the studio as early as the 1940s, when Walt Disney himself wanted to make a version. When it came time to create their own take, the directors were excited to shake things up. Director Nathan Greno said, "I think what's great about the original fairy tale is you're dealing with some very unique, iconic imagery. ... There's a chance to tell this classic story, make it contemporary, but at the same time be true to what the original story is."

One twist that ended up being a little too twisted was the presence of a monkey medium. In the deleted scene, a skeptical Flynn and an open-minded Rapunzel have their fortunes told, with the monkey nearly revealing Rapunzel's true parentage. Ultimately, producer Roy Conli explained (via Variety) they couldn't figure out how it would fit in the story. Greno said, "As with a lot of things in this movie that came and went, we made a bunch of changes; some things stick, some things don't."

Disney movie Frozen cut a heartwarming dress-up scene

Anyone who has spent five minutes with a young child since 2013 doesn't need to see the box office figures to know that Disney movie Frozen made a significant impact. It's still the highest grossing animation worldwide, having earned a cool $1.27 billion, and it won two Oscars (for best animated feature and best original song). But the movie went through a series of changes before landing fully formed on our screens. For instance, Elsa was originally an evil Snow Queen, and she was blue

Even after the story was secure, the directors had to cut what they called the "dressing room scene," which showed a more lighthearted side of Anna and Elsa's adult relationship. Writer/director Jennifer Lee said, "We wanted the girls to interact the way a lot of us who have siblings and sisters do when you share a room and just borrow each other's stuff. But we found that once they were divided, we needed to keep them divided." Fellow writer/director Chris Buck added, "What I love about it too is that it really was the beginning of finding Anna's personality — that quirky, fun, goofy personality."

Dash and Violet nearly foiled a robbery in Disney movie Incredibles 2

Disney movie Incredibles 2 froze out Frozen in the U.S., making it the most lucrative animation of all time in the country. But as we've learned, even the most successful animated movies have gone through many iterations before they find success on our screens. And Incredibles 2 was under extra pressure. Not only did it come out 14 years after 2004's The Incredibles, but the team had a shorter production time frame than usual. Writer/director Brad Bird likened making the film to "running in front of a train, laying down track" (via IGN).

One sequence that was edited down during that frantic process was the restaurant scene. In the final movie, Bob embarrasses Violet by taking her to a restaurant where he knows her crush Tony works. But originally, the scene was meant to give Violet and Dash a chance to use their superpowers. While Bob goes to change Jack-Jack's diaper, the two stop a robbery. "I liked seeing the Parr kids solving an adult-sized problem without Bob ... and it was meant to add to Bob's frustration," Bird explained. Luckily the movie was still incredible without it.