More Lost Disney Characters That Didn’t Make the Cut
Music Box, ’Beauty and the Beast’
The music box was an enchanted object featured in early drafts of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ script. He communicates only through music and was originally the character who stowed away with Belle when she leaves the castle to find her ailing father.
Like Peter Behn before him did for Thumper, Bradley Michael Pierce elevated the adorable teacup Chip from a throwaway gag to a major character. The story team looked for opportunities to feature Chip and gave the role of the stowaway to him. Aside from this, the music box just never worked well as a character. He was particularly hindered by the movie’s time period, which prevented him from playing many recognizable melodies. Although he lost his starring role, the music box is still briefly visible in the film and was featured in a Disney comic set before the movie.
Babkak, Omar and Kassim, ’Aladdin’
‘Aladdin’ is absolutely littered with abandoned characters. At one time, Aladdin had a mother (you can listen to her deleted song, ‘Proud of Your Boy,’ here), a second genie who lived in a ring and three layabout buddies named Babkak, Omar and Kassim.
Aladdin and his pals would sing barbershop melodies and try to avoid real work. They had no less than three songs: ‘Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim,’ which introduced the quartet, ‘How Quick They Forget,’ a lament sung by the remaining trio after Aladdin leaves for the palace and ‘High Adventure’ in which Aladdin tries to rally his reluctant buddies to action.
The large number of characters made for a muddled storyline. ‘Aladdin’ underwent a much needed reworking to simplify the story and the three loafers didn’t make the cut. The characters and their songs have resurfaced in the stage musical version of ‘Aladdin’ and the name “Cassim” – with slightly altered spelling – was reused for Aladdin’s father in the direct-to-video sequel ‘Aladdin and The King of Thieves.’ (Watch a performance of ‘Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim’ below.)
Before Meeko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird came along, Pocahontas told her troubles to a talking turkey named Redfeather. Redfeather was voiced by John Candy and was to have provided much of the film’s comic relief.
John Candy’s death in 1994 may not have helped matters, but much of Redfeather’s dialogue had already been recorded prior to the comedian’s untimely demise. What really spelled doom for Redfeather was the decision to rework ‘Pocahontas’ into a more dramatic film, with older lead characters, a serious romance and no talking animals.
Mheetu, ’The Lion King’
At one point in the development of ‘The Lion King,’ Nala had a younger brother named Mheetu or Mee-Too, a faux-African play on the phrase “me too.” His name suggests a desire to tag along with the two older cubs and their other friend, a bat-eared fox. After Scar’s coup, Nala would’ve been tasked with protecting her brother from Scar’s wrath.
The development of characters like Timon and Pumbaa rendered a second group of friends for Simba unnecessary. Additionally, keeping up with several characters still stuck in the Pride Lands would’ve been too much time away from Simba and, according to the film’s co-writer Linda Woolverton, too dark after Mufasa’s death.
Sara Franks-Allen lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with two dogs, two rabbits and one amazing husband. She writes for the Ladies of Comicazi blog and watches a lot of cartoons.