Difference between revisions of "My Peoples (partially found production material of cancelled Disney animated film; late 1990s-early 2000s)"

From The Lost Media Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
m
 
(20 intermediate revisions by 8 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{InfoboxLost
 
{{InfoboxLost
|title = <center>My Peoples</center>|image = Pic14.jpg|status = <span style="color:red;">'''Cancelled'''</span>|imagecaption = Concept art of Angel and Miss Spinster.}}
+
|title=<center>My Peoples</center>
{{#ev:youtube|https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-opbye7q3o|320x240|right|Opening sequence animatic by Armand Serrano|frame}}
+
|image=Pic14.jpg
'''''My Peoples''''' was a film developed in the late 1990s by Barry Cook, co-director of ''Mulan''. Despite the fact that he even went as far as to hire voice actors, as well as musicians to score the film, it was scrapped in favor of ''Chicken Little'' in the early 2000s.
+
|status=<span style="color:orange;">'''Partially Found'''</span>
 +
|imagecaption=Concept art of Angel and Miss Spinster, two of the dolls.
 +
}}
 +
'''''My Peoples''''' was an animated film that began life in late 1999. It was created by Barry Cook, who had previously co-directed ''Mulan'' one year earlier. Despite many alterations and retools, the movie had actually gotten fairly far along into production. However, it was ultimately cancelled in favor of the 2005 CGI-animated film ''Chicken Little'', and to this day, only a handful of production materials from the original project have been released.
  
 
==Plot==
 
==Plot==
 +
The film was to be set in the 1940s in Appalachia, Texas. In the original concept, it revolved around a young man named Elgin Harper who falls in love with a woman named Rose McGee, despite an ongoing feud between their respective families. Elgin, who is known for creating folk art dolls out of common household objects, pursues Rose anyway, and Rose's father attempts to cast a spell to make him forget her.
  
Set in Appalachia, Texas in the 1940s, My Peoples was to have told the story of two feuding families: the Harpers and the Mcgees, whose two children: Elgin and Rose fall in love. Elgin was to have dabbled in folk-art, creating dolls from various household objects which included the following.
+
However, the spell actually ends up bringing Elgin's dolls to life, and after one of the dolls (Angel) refuses to help the couple and leaves, the rest of them have to try to make things work.
  
'''Angel-'''A heaven-themed doll made from a flour scoop that Elgin created as a proposal gift for Rose.
+
According to Cook, the film was intended as a ''"comedy with a romantic subplot, with a lot of adventure."'' It was to be animated with a mixture of styles, as the dolls would have been CGI while the humans and backgrounds were traditionally animated.<ref>[http://animatedviews.com/2012/director-barry-cook-remembers-the-peoples-of-walt-disney-feature-animation-florida/ Animated Views article recounting the film's production.] Retrieved 03 May '17</ref>
  
'''Abe-'''An Abraham Lincoln doll made from a scrub-brush who had spoons for ears.
+
==Production and Cancellation==
 +
Throughout its production, ''My Peoples'' went through various changes under different studio executives, including several title changes. The doll characters were added after an initial rejection by Michael Eisner (then-Disney CEO) and Thomas Schumacher (then-Head of Walt Disney Feature Animation), and after this rewrite, the film was greenlit and production seemed to be moving smoothly. However, after Schumacher resigned in January 2003 and was replaced by David Stainton, more alterations were made.
  
'''Cherokee-'''An Indian boy doll fashioned out of an old garden glove.
+
Stainton was less impressed with the movie than Schumacher was, and the film was retooled so that the dolls would be possessed by ancestral spirits rather than simply being enchanted. Cook was not in favor of the change, but he continued working on the film in the new direction, as Stainton seemed happy with it at the time. This did not last, though, and on November 14, 2003, Stainton abruptly announced the film's cancellation, due to his belief that ''Chicken Little'' was more likely to draw in audiences.<ref>[http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief1/b/jim_hill/archive/2011/02/21/why-walt-disney-feature-animation-opted-not-to-make-quot-my-peoples-quot.aspx Jim Hills Media's article on the film's production and cancellation.] Retrieved 05 Dec '18</ref>
  
'''Miss Spinster-'''An old lady doll made from the wooden leg of Elgin's dear, departed aunt.
+
==Availability==
 +
The film was far enough into production that various story reels, test animations, and music pieces are known to have been completed. Most of these have not been released to the public, though, and all that currently exists is the animatic of the opening scene (and its song, "Tender Hearts"), a few seconds of animation, and several pieces of concept artwork.
  
'''Good O'Boy-'''a hillbilly-type doll made from car parts.
+
==Gallery==
 
+
===Videos===
'''Blues Man-'''A doll with the mannerisms of a Blues musician, constructed from the handle of a broken mandolin.
+
{{Video|perrow  =4
 
+
  |service1    =dailymotion
'''Crazy Ray-'''A convict-themed doll made from a tree stump that lived under Elgin's porch.
+
  |id1          =x2tuira
 
+
  |description1 =Opening sequence animatic.
'''Angel's Dog-'''Angel's canine companion, made from a spool and clothespin
+
  |service2    =youtube
 
+
  |id2          =E4rKBN3gdjc
Cook also considered the possibility of an over-the-top Southern preacher named '''Preacher Man'''. However, the executives at Disney were worried that such a character might be considered offensive, so he was cut.
+
  |description2 =2D test animation (see 1:23).
 
+
  |service3    =youtube
A spell cast by Rose's father, Old Man McGee in an attempt to make Elgin forget his daughter was to have accidentally brought the dolls to life, at which point angel declared that she did not want to help Rose and Elgin get together and proceeded to leave town. Some of the dolls went after her in an attempt to get her to come back while others did what they could to help the couple, which included keeping Herbert Hollingshead, the man Rose's father tried to set her up with away.
+
  |id3          =v=8s3hYJV5vw0&t
 
+
  |description3 =DazzReview's video on the subject.
==Production==
+
  |service4    =youtube
{{#ev:youtube|https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=livuPKwQMeA|320x240|right|CG test reels (see 1:44)|frame}}
+
  |id4          =W43UlJpNbqc
 
+
  |description4 =A compilation of various clips and animation tests from the film.
===Pre Production===
+
}}
Five months after finishing his work on ''Mulan'', Barry Cook began developing a pitch for an animated based short story that he had previously wrote called ''The Ghost and the Gift'' which involved three children and a ghost helping an Appalachian couple get together. However, the idea was rejected by both Michael Eisner, the Disney CEO and Thomas Schumacher, the then-Head of Walt Disney Feature Animation. This was because Eisner thought that the story needed more conflict, while Schumacher thought that the cast was "too human" and the film would be better in live-action.
 
 
 
===Rewrite and Greenlighting===
 
Looking back over the research he'd done on Appalachia, Cook remembered how many of the residents there dabbled in the creation of household-item induced dolls. Thinking that these unusual creations would make a unique feature, he created a Marquette of Angel, placed it in a violin case, had it delivered to L.A. and instructed an assistant to place it on the conference room table at the next story meeting. When the meeting came, Barry Cook related his revamped pitch to Thomas Schumacher over the phone and told him to open the case. Intrigued, Schumacher greenlighted ''My Peoples'' with a budget of $45 million. The reason that it was titled as such was because ''My Peoples'' had been the collective name of a group of dolls that were created by a descaled folk artist. Cook also thought that that title would suggest "a welcoming reference to one's family" which was one of the film's major themes.
 
 
 
===Decline and Cancellation===
 
In January 2003, Thomas Schumacher resigned as Head of Animation and was replaced by former-Television Animation Head: David Stainton. Immediately, Stainton began to suggest several name changes for the film and found himself unimpressed with the film's storyreel, presented to him that following February so that eventually, he ordered the project retooled.
 
 
 
After taking a research trip to the Appaclian mountains, Cook suggested that the dolls be possessed by Elgin's deceased relatives, as a lot of ghost stories were present in that city. Due to this, the title was changed from ''My Peoples'' to ''A Few Good Ghosts''. While Stainton was happy with this change, Barry Cook, having a personal attachment to his original storyline wished he could stick with it. However, he knew that as a director, he had to make sacrifices.
 
 
 
Later, In November of that year, David Staintion flew to the Studio's Florida Animation Branch where Barry Cook worked and announced that the film would be shut down, due to ''Chicken Little'' having more potential. He also announced that the Branch would be closing down the following year, prompting Cook to look for work elsewhere.
 
 
 
==Voice Cast==
 
{{#ev:youtube|https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIuqZRvnBd4|320x240|right|Proof-of-concept trailer|frame}}
 
Dolly Parton as Angel
 
 
 
Charles Durning as Old Man McGee
 
 
 
Mike Snider as Good O'Boy
 
 
 
Travis Tritt as Elgin Harper
 
 
 
Ashley Judd as Rose McGee
 
 
 
Lou Rawls as Blues Man
 
 
 
Lily Tomlin as Miss Spinster
 
 
 
Hal Halbrook as Abe
 
 
 
Jean Smart as the Mcgee's neighbour Arvilla Tugthistle.
 
 
 
Diedrich Bader as Herbert Hollingshed
 
 
 
James Carville as Crazy Ray
 
 
 
Billy Connolly as Angel's Dog
 
 
 
==Music==
 
Bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs was hired as music consultant and worked together with Marty Stuart and Hank Williams III to compose the film's songs. Barry Cook also wanted fiddler Mark O'Connor to provide some music, but never got the chance to ask him.
 
  
 
==Concept Art==
 
==Concept Art==
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=175px>
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=175px>
File:Rose-McGee-My-Peoples-lg.jpg
+
File:Rose-McGee-My-Peoples-lg.jpg|Early sketches of Rose.
File:Mypeoples3.jpg
+
File:Mypeoples3.jpg|Character size chart.
File:ImagesAKPAOAKL.jpg
+
File:ImagesAKPAOAKL.jpg|Concept background.
File:Jj.jpg|concept art for Cherokee.
+
File:Jj.jpg|Cherokee, one of the dolls.
File:ofof.jpg|Sketch
+
File:ofof.jpg|Rose, and Elgin.
File:hh.jpg|Art
+
File:hh.jpg|Good O'Boy, one of the dolls.
File:dff.jpg|Abe.
+
File:dff.jpg|Abe, one of the dolls.
File:jjk.jpg|poster from when it was called "A Few Good Ghosts".
+
File:jjk.jpg|Mock-up poster featuring one of the film's alternate titles.
File:fom.jpg
+
File:fom.jpg|Old Man McGee, Rose's father.
File:jomo.jpg|Storyboard
+
File:jomo.jpg|Storyboard.
File:ffk.jpg
+
File:ffk.jpg|Music video storyboard.
File:sky.jpg
+
File:sky.jpg|More sketches.
File:jjp.jpg|Title
+
File:jjp.jpg|Title logo.
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 +
==External Links==
 +
*[http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/My_Peoples The Disney Wiki's article on the film.]
 +
 +
==References==
 +
{{reflist}}
  
 
[[Category:Lost animation]]
 
[[Category:Lost animation]]
 
[[Category:Lost films]]
 
[[Category:Lost films]]
 +
[[Category:Partially found media]]

Latest revision as of 04:33, 30 November 2021

Pic14.jpg

Concept art of Angel and Miss Spinster, two of the dolls.

Status: Partially Found

My Peoples was an animated film that began life in late 1999. It was created by Barry Cook, who had previously co-directed Mulan one year earlier. Despite many alterations and retools, the movie had actually gotten fairly far along into production. However, it was ultimately cancelled in favor of the 2005 CGI-animated film Chicken Little, and to this day, only a handful of production materials from the original project have been released.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The film was to be set in the 1940s in Appalachia, Texas. In the original concept, it revolved around a young man named Elgin Harper who falls in love with a woman named Rose McGee, despite an ongoing feud between their respective families. Elgin, who is known for creating folk art dolls out of common household objects, pursues Rose anyway, and Rose's father attempts to cast a spell to make him forget her.

However, the spell actually ends up bringing Elgin's dolls to life, and after one of the dolls (Angel) refuses to help the couple and leaves, the rest of them have to try to make things work.

According to Cook, the film was intended as a "comedy with a romantic subplot, with a lot of adventure." It was to be animated with a mixture of styles, as the dolls would have been CGI while the humans and backgrounds were traditionally animated.[1]

Production and Cancellation[edit | edit source]

Throughout its production, My Peoples went through various changes under different studio executives, including several title changes. The doll characters were added after an initial rejection by Michael Eisner (then-Disney CEO) and Thomas Schumacher (then-Head of Walt Disney Feature Animation), and after this rewrite, the film was greenlit and production seemed to be moving smoothly. However, after Schumacher resigned in January 2003 and was replaced by David Stainton, more alterations were made.

Stainton was less impressed with the movie than Schumacher was, and the film was retooled so that the dolls would be possessed by ancestral spirits rather than simply being enchanted. Cook was not in favor of the change, but he continued working on the film in the new direction, as Stainton seemed happy with it at the time. This did not last, though, and on November 14, 2003, Stainton abruptly announced the film's cancellation, due to his belief that Chicken Little was more likely to draw in audiences.[2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

The film was far enough into production that various story reels, test animations, and music pieces are known to have been completed. Most of these have not been released to the public, though, and all that currently exists is the animatic of the opening scene (and its song, "Tender Hearts"), a few seconds of animation, and several pieces of concept artwork.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Opening sequence animatic.
2D test animation (see 1:23).
DazzReview's video on the subject.
A compilation of various clips and animation tests from the film.


Concept Art[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]