Pixar is currently a subsidiary of Disney (the animation studio’s official name is Disney/Pixar), but it was not always that way. Actually, when Michael Eisner was CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and the contract previously agreed upon between Pixar and Disney was coming to an end, the two companies developed quite the contentious relationship. Eisner’s successor, Bob Iger, swooped in and worked hard at repairing the ties between the two companies before ultimately buying Pixar. Before that, though, Disney was working on Toy Story 3, without Pixar’s involvement. After the break, take a fascinating look at the Toy Story 3 we never saw!
Given that Disney owned the rights to all of the films Pixar developed in conjunction with Disney, Pixar had no claim to make a Toy Story 3 without Disney. That is why, when the talks between Disney and Pixar turned sour, Disney created a studio called Circle 7 Studios, which would solely develop sequels based upon the films Pixar had made up until that point. It was a dark time for Pixar, which came extraordinarily close to being separated from the films that had made the studio a darling in to critics and audiences alike.
Along with Monsters, Inc. 2 and Finding Nemo 2, Toy Story 3 was being developed. From the Disney Wiki, we have a brief synopsis of the original Toy Story 3‘s story:
It focused on the other toys shipping a malfunctioning Buzz to Taiwan, where he was built, believing that he will be fixed there. While searching on the Internet, they find out that many more Buzz Lightyear toys are malfunctioning around the world and the company has issued a massive recall. Fearing Buzz’s destruction, a group of Andy’s toys (Woody, Rex, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Jessie, and Bullseye) venture to rescue Buzz. At the same time, Buzz meets other toys from around the world that were once loved, but have now been recalled.
However, after Disney purchased Pixar and John Lasseter became Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Disney Animation, Lasseter famously closed down Circle 7 and swiftly threw out everything that had been development at the studio. Jim Martin and Shane Zalvin were two of the Circle 7 Studios employees behind Toy Story 3, and they have both released a bevy of pre-production art from the abandoned film (via Comic Book Movie). Take a look at a selection of their artwork below:
It is difficult to say how this version of Toy Story 3 would have turned out because we never got to see the final product. Still, the version that we did get, that was masterful work from Pixar. Head over to the respective sites of Jim Martin and Shane Zalvin to see more of their work on the never-made film.