American Dog (partially found original version of "Bolt" Disney animated film; 2007-2008)
American Dog was a Disney animated film written and directed by Chris Sanders (who also directed and written Disney's 2002 animated feature film Lilo & Stitch), that was due to be released in 2007. However, due to production issues and Sanders reportedly refusing to listen to the advice given by Disney executives on how to fix the film, he left the film's production and the film's concepts later became realized in Disney's 2008 animated feature film Bolt.
The protagonist of the film was a canine actor, Henry, who stars in his own show where he's a secret agent. Sanders described the plot as follows: "Henry, a famous TV dog, finds himself stranded in the Nevada desert. Out in the world for the first time, Henry's tidy life of scripted triumph has come to an end, and his 2,000 mile trek through the real world is just beginning."
Ultimately, the film was considered too surreal and "too bold" by the executives at Disney. Sanders got kicked off the team and replaced by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, this move spurring Sanders to leave Disney entirely and later join DreamWorks Animation. The film was soon re-edited and became Bolt, which was released in 2008. In honor of American Dog, Sanders reused the eyepatch-wearing cat (who would become the character Mittens in the final film) in his webcomic, Kiskaloo.
Still, very little production material and artwork of American Dog has been released or leaked to the public and all that is known to currently exist of Bolt's original incarnation is test footage of the film shown at SIGGRAPH 2005.
- Jim Hill Media's editorial article about American Dog including Sanders' description of the plot. Retrieved 14 Mar '16
- Sanders' comments against Disney management. Retrieved 14 Mar '16