Disney was once planning to bring their most iconic princesses together for a joint adventure.
It would have been the launch of a Disney Princess Cinematic Universe (not really, but we can dream); the ultimate way to tie all the Classics together and introduce them to a new generation of fans.
This dream (?) almost came true in 2009, when director Olivier Ciappa, illustrator David Kawena and composer Alan Menken joined together to develop a Disney/Pixar short titled Princess Academy.
Movie Pilot explains that the project was ultimately shelved because of the Disney Animation studio closure.
Yeah, this was the movie set to reinvent and re-introduce hand-drawn animation for the studio. We’re even more bummed this didn’t work out now.
As seen from the concept art and storyboard sketches (head to Movie Pilot to see the rest!), the artists worked to mix traditional and modern animation styles, and managed to capture the original looks of the characters (as opposed to updating them all to fit the modern style).
“It was my goal to try and keep the characters on model and as recognizable as possible out of respect to their original designers and animators,” David Kawena says when discussing the drawings.
Oliver Ciappa says of the idea, “We wanted to create a very artistic, classy, but also very funny hand-drawn short.” The mix of “artistic, high standard and humor” would have made this an instant classic, we’re sure.
Although the movie was titled Princess Academy, the story would bring together all the iconic Disney women. We’ve got newer characters like Tiana (The Princess and the Frog), Violet (The Incredibles) and Rapunzel, interacting with Lady Marian (Robin Hood), the Aristocats and Pocahontas.
The academy itself would have been “ancient, regal, and as princess-worthy as possible.” Kawena describes it as, “A gigantic complex, with a feeling of an ancient palace with fountains, gardens, paintings and statues.”
This short looks absolutely incredible, but we’re sure you’ll all agree that this would be much better as a hand-drawn animation than as a digital composition.
We’re betting Disney might be warming up to the idea of pushing the Disney princesses together for joint adventures though, now that Cinematic Universes are all the rage!