20 Alternate Disney Characters You Never Got To See
17. Pumbaa (The Lion King)
In keeping with the last entry, this sketch of Pumbaa is a far cry from the greedy, gassy warthog we all know and love. Pumbaa here looks downtrodden and depressed, with unmistakable shades of everyone's favourite anthropomorphic pessimist, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. This dynamic of a far more astute Timon and a far more gloomy Pumbaa makes for disturbing viewing, and it is almost certainly a good thing that these imaginings never came to fruition.
16. Zazu (The Lion King)
Neither Timon nor Pumbaa provide the greatest deviation from their original character design in The Lion King, however; that honour goes to Zazu, Mufasa's royal advisor (voiced by Rowan Atkinson). Zazu's trademark despondent British wit (which is strange, considering he's from Africa) alleviates the terror from even the gravest of situations (such as being kept a caged prisoner by Scar), but this early sketch (in which he also seems to be some sort of kingfisher as opposed to a red-billed hornbill) shows a different Zazu; his fear is less slapstick and more morose, and, alongside the early concept art of Timon and Pumbaa, really makes you wonder what kind of film The Lion King was originally intended to be.
15. The Cast Of The Jungle Book
This early sketch of The Jungle Book's characters, which serves almost as a line-up, shows a blue-covered Mowgli, a brown Baloo and a rather confused-looking Shere Khan, but also an unfamiliar Rhino by the name of Rocky. According to Disney's Animated Research Library, Rocky was short-sighted, relying largely on his sidekick, Ticker the Tickworm, and featured in many sequences in the original story until Walt Disney decided to cut him out completely. How a visibly-challenged rhinoceros and a tickworm would have fit into the final film is unclear (and for that reason it was probably the right idea to rethink their involvement) but it certainly would be an interesting thing to see.
I'm a university graduate/full-time layabout who fills his days writing fiction, watching 90s sitcoms and growing irate after failing to catch Mewtwo with 99 ultra balls on Pokémon Red. I think that says it all, really, doesn't it?