by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s not unusual, unfortunately, for already-announced projects to bite the dust before they get chance to exist – thanks to phenomena such as Development Hell, where movies can languish in production for years on end, there have been a number of big pictures that have been thrown out before they can even make their way to the big screen. It’s perhaps a little rarer for Disney and Pixar – and though the latter has seen projects scaled back and pushed back from time to time, the latest announcement from Disney will perhaps come of some surprise to animation enthusiasts.
Gigantic, which was set to be the studio’s take on Jack and the Beanstalk – reportedly in the same vein as how Frozen revamped The Snow Queen and how Tangled took on Rapunzel – appears to have now been completely scrapped from the schedule, with Disney chiefs Ed Catmull and John Lasseter having called time on the project which originally started life as Giants. “It’s impossible to know when we begin a project how the creative process will unfold, and sometimes, no matter how much we love an idea or how much heart goes into it, we find that it just isn’t working,” Catmull advised via The Hollywood Reporter.
Gigantic was on the slate to extend what many fans have already named the second ‘Disney Renaissance’ – with the likes of the hugely successful Frozen, Zootopia and Wreck-It Ralph having helped to solidify this mantle. Disney are now, however, focused on working towards a mysterious project that looks set to hit the big screen in 2020 – while Pixar’s next efforts, among them Coco and The Incredibles 2, look set to help extend their own renaissance, largely helped by the likes of Inside Out and Finding Dory.
Disney will next hit the big screen after a 2017 hiatus on the animation front with Ralph Breaks The Internet – the sequel to the hugely popular Wreck-It Ralph – the first direct sequel to an animated Disney movie since 1989’s The Rescuers Down Under. Whether or not anything will replace Gigantic in the years to come remains to be seen – 2016 was a huge year for Disney, largely thanks to its acquisition of Marvel and Star Wars – and while there will be box office money due to come from both in future, animation fans are hoping the studio will get back to what they do best soon enough.