Tinker Bell (partially found first draft of Disney animated film; 2007)
Tinker Bell is a 2008 movie starring the titular fairy from Disney's Peter Pan movies and their then-recently-launched Disney Fairies book series, and this movie itself also spawned no less than 5 sequels. While the completed movie was about Tinker Bell arriving in Pixie Hollow and the immediate time afterward, the original version that was under production was much different in terms of its plot.
One particular draft (sometimes referred to as "Tinker Bell And The Ring Of Belief" in certain promotional materials), which received a trailer and various tie-in stories on the Disney Fairies website, was about human children that believed in fairies being brought to Pixie Hollow, where they would attend fairy school. Attending fairy school was mandatory for fairies, as a fairy had to complete fairy school to be allowed to use pixie dust.
As part of John Lasseter's decision to greatly reduce and/or alter Disney's direct-to-video output, as he had just become Chief Creative Director of Walt Disney Animation Studios, he is reported to have seen a work-in-progress screening of the draft. However, he was extremely negative to the original version, deeming it as "virtually unwatchable" and demanded that the plot be heavily rewritten.
One of these changes was the voice of the titular fairy herself. Tinker Bell was originally going to be played by actress Brittany Murphy but was later replaced by Mae Whitman for unknown reasons.
Another potential factor was the budget had by then already reached $30 million, which was a lofty sum for a direct-to-video feature in the mid-2000s. The completed movie's release would later add yet more to the budget, resulting in a total cost of $50 million.
The Original Plot
Though not everything is known about the original version's story, Some bits and pieces have been revealed about the film's plot in various early trailers and articles. The plot was originally described to be more "epic" than what was finally released.
The film revolved around Tinker Bell and her friends living in Pixie Hollow, as they all train to become "Wing-Maidens", who aid in continuing the "Ring Of Belief" that keeps imagination, and their world, in turn, alive. But through an unknown chain of events, Tinker Bell ends up breaking the Ring Of Belief, which causes all of the children in London to lose their sense of wonder and imagination. Now Tinker Bell and her friends must try to fix her mistake before it destroys all of Pixie Hollow.
A notable factor of the original version was that Peter Pan, the lost boys, and Captain Hook, would have also tied into the plot, though their exact roles are unknown.
Several things survive from this earlier version. As many pieces of concept art, merchandise, promotional material, and even early trailers feature various elements from the earlier draft.
There were some Flash games on an older version (ca. 2006-2011, when it comes to the American version) of the official Disney Fairies websites that elaborated further on the draft's plot, including one Flash game (believed to be titled Discover Pixie Hollow) that served as a tour of Pixie Hollow. Another flash game, titled Hopeful's Quest, served as a "Which fairy talent do you have?" questionnaire, and placed Fairy Mary in the role of a class teacher at the school (In the released movie she had instead become the leader of the pots-and-pans talent group), which indicates that she could've had such a role in the first draft. These Flash games have since been lost to time, but a very small amount of YouTube playthroughs exist of them as of May 2021.
Brain Freeze Entertainment, who made storyboards for the film, has one of the sequences from the original cut and can be found on their website.
In January 2020, Walt Disney Animation Studios artist Barry Atkinson uploaded additional storyboard drawings with no commentary on ArtStation. It is unclear how many of them that were used in the movie draft's development.
Other than these, however, the original draft of the film has never been seen in its entirety.
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